There is no I in TEAM.
The total is greater than the sum of the parts.
TeamWork makes the Dream Work.
As glib as these three statements may seem, they are fundamental to the idea of creating a project development with input from a group.
The contribution doesn’t have to be financial; it may be a skillset or depth of experience that adds dimension to a development.
The teamwork is an essential element. Where a number of parties have contributed financially, it opens up the overall capacity for the project, with additional funds for design elements or luxury fitouts. When the input is a skillset, it allows the development of the project to be expanded with new ideas which can inspire additional thoughts from others. Rather than each person completing a separate component without input from others, this collaborative approach allows the ultimate outcome to be greater than the sum of the parts.
The challenge, of course, can be when everyone has such varied ideas that there is no commonality. Similarly, when some people only wish to participate in one way, for example, they consider their financial contribution sufficient and do not feel compelled to add to the design or development process. Experienced team members may think their background knowledge should offset their financial obligations. Ultimately, there needs to be a consensus of agreement or the dream may never reach fruition.
Where the contribution of each member is unequal, whether skill, experience or financial, it is important to clearly stipulate the exit strategy. An architect who has provided his experience and skillset to the development in lieu of a financial contribution would undoubtedly feel unappreciated if the value of that contribution was not recognised once the development is complete.
Decisions need to be made regarding the division of the final development also.
- Will the finished development be sub-divided and each part-owner accept title to a separate of the physical property?
- Will the development be sold as a whole and the proceeds be divided between the team?
- Can one team member buy out another team member’s share? If so, what is the appropriate buy-out cost?
It is important to address all these prior to embarking on such a development because it will also need to be reflected in the purchase contract and any partnership agreements or business structures that need to be in place.
One of the most effective solutions is to engage the services of a professional Project Manager. Their role is to co-ordinate all components of the development and ensure that communication lines are kept clear. They serve as a central point for dissemination of information and act as an independent consultant. Their skillset will enable them to be conversant with all aspects of the development as well as have a high level of excellence with people management. The inclusion of a professional Project Manager in the team raises the likelihood of success for the development.
As with any business decision, it is vital that each member completes their due diligence, and is clear on their contribution and the actions required should they wish to exit prior to the completion of the project. Ensure clear communication guidelines are in place so every team member is aware of the progress at all times. Value each team member’s contribution, even when it may differ from the initial vision or another person’s ideas. Most of all, be prepared to modify the direction of the development, within feasibility, when a fresh and exciting opportunity is presented.