Property developers often get a bad reputation. We’ve all seen the cartoon like imitations of individuals who bulldoze towns without a care in the world. While the representation may not be fair, there’s no denying that it’s sometimes the case. Often in the world of development, we consider our business above the needs of others. If we have a vision for a piece of land, we continue, irrelevant of how others feel about it. So, is it any wonder we’re not the most popular people in the world?
In truth, though, there’s no reason why communities and property developers can’t live in harmony. At the end of the day, everyone wants the same thing – the chance to make an area the best it can be. But, thinking of business first is no way to a peaceful life. If you want to get along well with the communities you work in, you’re going to have to change your ways. To start, consider these things before you go ahead with a project.
1. Environmental Impact
So, you’ve got a location in mind for your next project. The land is for sale, and the prospects look promising. All good so far. But, you can’t jump in and buy without doing your research. Before you develop anywhere, you need to know the environmental impact your work could have. Understandably, people are concerned about the environment, especially the one on their doorsteps. If you pollute or otherwise damage an area, you’ll find it hard to get along.
So, what can you do? In all honesty, research is all it takes. Study local wildlife to make sure you aren’t disturbing nests or breeding sites. Turn to software like HEC-RAS to study any nearby rivers. If you need to divert them, this software will help you do so. It’ll also ensure your work doesn’t worsen flooding. And, if you do have to cut down trees, make it clear that you’re planting others elsewhere.
2. The Will of the People
The will of the people anywhere can be strong, and not listening to it would be foolhardy. If you want to succeed in any given area, you need to take the time to listen to what residents have to say. Before making public announcements, arrange a meeting with the townspeople. Then, talk them through your plans in detail. This opens up on instant communication, which is sure to help your cause. It also makes sure no one’s back gets up before they’ve even heard your pitch.
But, pitching isn’t enough. You also need to listen to objections and tweak your plans accordingly. If you don’t listen to what the citizens have to say, they’re less likely to give you leeway. Instead of working with you, they’ll provide opposition to your every move. Make sure that doesn’t happen by starting a give and take relationship. And remember, you may well have to give more than you take. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
3. Correct Planning Permission
If you’re in the business, the chances are, you already know all about planning permission. But let’s be honest; even the pros cut corners here when they shouldn’t. But, in keeping with your no toe stepping method, this isn’t something you can afford to skip. This is important from a community standpoint, but it’s also crucial for your business. Planning permission gives residents a chance to either approve or disagree with proposed work. Pitching to them is all well and good, but if you then provide them with no choice, you’re sure to find yourself in trouble. The issue for your business is that someone could contest the work. They could make you stop, or worse, undo your progress. Is that a risk you want to take? Sure, putting in for planning permission takes time. But, you’ll be waiting a lot longer if you have to stop later down the line.
4. Minimise Disruption
Building work is noisy, messy, and can cause a whole load of issues. Is it any wonder that residents are sceptical? The good news is, getting them on side could be as simple as minimising disruption where possible. They’ll be grateful for your efforts, and so less likely to complain at small disturbances.
You could ask your workers to finish all noisy work in one day and warn residents when that will be. Or, you could transport materials at night so that you don’t block the roads. Small things like this go a long way in keeping people on side.