March: Conscious Commercial Development Month
There are many tangible and intangible benefits to hiring locals for your company’s commercial development, design and real estate needs. Here are just a few to consider:
1. Speed & Efficiency – Local commercial real estate companies have less red tape and HR processes than national firms. They are more nimble and can respond more quickly. And with construction and contract projects, face-to-face communication almost always solves problems faster. Bonus for the bottom line? Travel expenses don’t need to be added to the budget when you work with locals.
2. Relationships Matter — Local real estate agents keep a constant pulse on the market. The fact that they live here gives them a full understanding of the entire market (retail, residential, and commercial) which gives them insight into trends that will influence decisions. Relationships undeniably play a large factor in real estate. By focusing on one market, firms can create deep and meaningful relationships.
For construction projects, a general contractor hires subcontractors to handle specific aspects of the construction process. These specialists include plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, roofers and more.
A national contractor will likely hire the first available subcontractor to do the job, which often results in getting sub-par work that may need to be replaced or will lead to problems as the building ages. A local general contractor, by comparison, is familiar with the local talent pool and knows which subcontractors provide high-quality work.
3. References You Can Count On — Testimonials posted on websites aren’t always the most reliable since typically, companies are only going to show those that depict their services in the best light.
Seeing a contractor’s projects firsthand, and talking with previous customers, make it easier to evaluate local construction companies before hiring them for your commercial project. You will be able to see a wide range of past work and you can ask questions to previous customers to determine how the company handled problems or issues.
4. A Boost to the Local Economy — A real estate development firm works hard to choose a site that’s in the best interest of their client and the community. No property owner wants a sour relationship with the neighbors. Local developers should seek to improve the local economy, too. In addition to the jobs that come from construction, the commercial tenants will create new jobs. Hiring locals can also contribute to lower property taxes overall because they add to the overall health of the local tax base.
5. Better Community Engagement — When a commercial real estate development firm in the Lowcountry looks to place a commercial real estate project, they too want the best for the community that will include their client.
The relationships between local brokers and the community are mutually beneficial – the broker gains business from friends and peers, and the community receives top-notch service from the brokers who live and work there. When doing business among friends and peers, brokers will deliver exceptional service and undivided attention.
6. Understanding of Local Regulations, Codes, Weather and Other Construction Issues — By hiring a contractor who is used to working with the building codes and regulations in your area, you can avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.
There are also local factors that could derail your project. While a large national contractor will be familiar with federal and workplace regulations, they aren’t likely to know the ins and outs of your municipality’s building codes.
How much will weather interfere with your construction plan? Are there local events that may interfere with moving in equipment and materials? Do subcontractors disappear during hunting season? Local businesses know about these issues ahead of time, and can work around them.
7. Increased Design Flexibility— National construction companies tend to focus on specific building types, construction techniques and layouts, working in small variations as needed for each location. They’re large enough that they can focus on these projects because they know they’re easy to complete.
But if you want a unique or custom design, you may have trouble getting what you want with national companies; you’ll either need to find a specialist that can handle your building project, or you’ll need to brace yourself for fewer quotes at a higher cost.
Local construction companies often have to be flexible, focusing on a variety of needs, which makes it easier to find a good fit for your project.
8. Freedom to Choose Who You Work With – National companies have a network of offices in different cities which means you are typically forced to work with a certain broker in each market. With a local firm, you have the ability to choose the agent you want to work with.
The above featured photo is of Local Works Coworking Space‘s ribbon cutting ceremony in Jan 2021. The development of this space was made possible thanks to the following local partners: RCB Development, David Thompson Studios, Cityvolve, Landrum Tables, Perrin Woodworking, Glasseco Surfaces, Iola Modern, Celadon, GDC Home, Wulbern-Koval, Brooks Signs, Meeting Green, and many others