There are two ways to look at changes and challenges – either focus on the difficulties, or look for ways to adapt and find solutions. One thing rings true with these various challenges. We live in a new reality.
LandSouth, with our core value of adaptability at the heart of every decision, chose to find solutions and embrace the new world of operations. We found solutions and continue to look for new ways to deliver best-in-class multifamily communities.
Solutions to New Problems
Our improved processes, developed during the slowdown, have enabled us to find and implement workarounds to address these issues.
• Extended timelines – Previously, the standard build timeline was 18-21 months. Now, it’s 22-26 months. Being upfront about the longer time frame sets realistic expectations and allows time for supply and labor delays, which can happen at any time during the project. That way, developers and partners are prepared for such delays.
• Buy in bulk – Get the supplies and products when we can get it. If appliances (refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, etc.) are available for purchase, we can now buy in bulk and store in warehouses until we reach the installation stage of the project. We now incur warehousing costs but can deliver closer to timelines and not wait on uncertain delivery statuses.
• Find new brands and suppliers – Sounds straightforward. If one supplier can’t provide the service or product needed, we find one of equal quality who can deliver.
• Pay in advance – Secure the materials before they are needed.
• Simplify – Limit the design and identify the selections in the highest demand. Suppliers are simplifying their product lines too.
Message to Developers
Fortunately, developers are aware of the situation, so we don’t have to be the ones who inform them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t shocked by the new prices and timelines. Prices increases are coming in on a WEEKLY basis, and we are seeing upwards of 1.5-2% increases every month. To alleviate the surprise, LandSouth initiates these conversations and provides details to help developers understand the new prices and timing. During these conversations, we share the solutions we’ve implemented and assure them that we are continually collaborating with our partners and looking for more solutions. We’re honest about the limits, the new prices, and the challenges. Efficiency and planning are our greatest assets as proposals from subcontractors are only good for a week or even a day at a time before the price goes up. The more the developers understand in advance, the better they can manage unexpected delays and increased costs.
Upsides and Unexpected Benefits
As with the unexpected gift of time at the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to discover upsides and benefits to this new world of operations. Our processes continue to evolve, becoming more efficient as we must find new and better ways of doing things. All this stems from a continual increase in demand. People are spending more time in their homes and subsequently want more from them. This leads to exciting challenges for developers, architects, and construction companies.
People are changing more than their homes. Many are changing careers. More people are entering the construction industry and the trades, especially women and younger employees, bringing more diversity and innovative ideas. Through these changes, LandSouth has evolved, becoming more focused, purposeful, and efficient.
The World Going Forward
We’ve all heard the term “new normal.” Well, it’s no longer new, it’s simply the norm. What do we expect in the construction industry in the future?
• High demand for multifamily communities
• Continued supply and logistics issues
• New, simplified approach to design
• Longer timelines and innovative approaches to deliver projects
• More people entering the skilled trades
• New, unexpected issues and challenges
LandSouth will be ready for all of them, focused on always delivering the best-in-class multifamily communities.
ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION…BUILDING IDEAS
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast’s premier general contractor, specializing in multifamily, senior living, and mixed-use development, was named one of Engineering News Record’s Top 400. Since 1998, LandSouth has transformed ideas into best–in–class communities. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 25,000 multifamily units. For more information, call LandSouth’s Marketing Coordinator, Kaley Robinson, (904) 760-3188, or visit www.landsouth.com