In the world of real estate development, the notion that every property is unique is all too real. This is particularly true for startup developers looking for opportunities every day in a market where developable land is becoming increasingly scarce. Making it as a startup developer today can be difficult due to this and many other factors, but the keys to success remain (mostly) the same.
Success as a startup developer minimally requires the right financial backing, business savvy, and careful attention to detail. It also requires interacting well with key players. One key player is the local government. If you are a startup developer, consider carefully these three keys to having success with local government:
- Understand your own needs.
- Establish your limits in advance to ensure project profitability.
- Sell your vision to all the key players (use visuals if appropriate).
- Adjust to moving deadlines.
- Consult with the local government staff prior to closing or submittal for development orders.
- Ask for a pre-development meeting (obtain seller’s consent if required).
- Have a basic knowledge of the local government’s laws and ordinances.
- Obtain an understanding of the local government’s strategic plan for the area of your development.
- Be flexible. Developers have to shift strategies quickly.
- Prepare for opposition from the public, staff or governing body.
- Hire more effective consultants.
- Be creative when making trade-offs.
These three basic things will go a long way to ensuring success with the local government.
Quentin E. Morgan is an attorney with the South Florida law firm Brinkley Morgan. Mr. Morgan’s practice includes representing clients involved in government contracting. He can be reached at 954.522.2200 or Quentin.Morgan@BrinkleyMorgan.com.
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