In the booming world of self-storage investments, navigating the complexities of construction projects has become more challenging than ever before. As investors venture beyond traditional facility purchases, they often find themselves in need of contractors who understand the nuances of value-add facilities or raw land developments. However, ensuring a smooth partnership with your contractor requires clear communication and well-defined expectations. Here’s what you should anticipate and demand from your contractor to guarantee a successful self-storage project.
1. Weekly Coordination: The OAC Meetings
One of the fundamental aspects of effective communication is regular interaction. Implementing weekly Owner-Architect-Contractor (OAC) meetings establishes a structured platform for all major stakeholders to collaborate. During the entitlement and design phase, these meetings focus on project updates, engineering activities, and potential challenges. As the project shifts to construction, the emphasis shifts to progress updates, roadblocks, and addressing change orders. Documenting every decision made during these meetings is crucial, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
2. Daily Progress Reports: Keeping You in the Loop
Waiting for weekly meetings to resolve issues can delay your project unnecessarily. Daily reports from the contractor offer real-time insights into subcontractor activities, weather observations, schedule impacts, and potential hurdles. These reports empower you to stay informed, allowing prompt and efficient decision-making. Keeping a keen eye on daily reports helps you anticipate and manage Requests for Information (RFIs) and scope changes effectively.
3. Detailed Monthly Invoices: Ensuring Financial Transparency
Transparency in financial matters is paramount. Monthly pay applications, typically consolidated by the general contractor, should be reviewed against the progress on-site. These applications, accompanied by a comprehensive monthly report, provide an executive summary of the previous month’s progress and the expected milestones for the upcoming month. Detailed records of change orders, RFIs, safety concerns, and quality control measures are essential components of these reports. Reviewing these documents allows you to justify progress payments and ensures financial accountability.
4. Proactive Engagement: Your Role as an Engaged Owner
Effective communication is a two-way street. As the owner, active participation in OAC meetings, asking pertinent questions about reports, and holding contractors accountable for errors are vital responsibilities. Your proactive engagement sets the tone for the entire project team, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and commitment to project success. Additionally, it’s imperative to include these communication expectations within your contracts with architects, engineers, and contractors, establishing a clear framework for project management.
In the dynamic landscape of self-storage investments, success hinges on seamless collaboration between investors and contractors. By setting clear expectations, fostering open communication, and staying actively engaged, you not only mitigate risks but also enhance the likelihood of a successful project. As you embark on your self-storage venture, remember that a well-informed and engaged owner is the linchpin to turning your project aspirations into reality.