While it’s always important to keep development costs under control, today’s market conditions have increased the pressure for companies to look for ways to save even more money. This is definitely true of urban multifamily real estate development firms who face cost challenges ranging from material supply to labor shortages to rising interest rates.
But you know that in order to remain competitive and meet your target rent, your new development must offer a rooftop amenity. And it needs to be high quality.
If you’re evaluating whether or not to engage a rooftop amenity designer for your project, it may seem like a cheaper option to take that scope in-house and put your development team on it. It wouldn’t hurt your project to save a few thousand dollars in design fees, right?
Actually, it could. Without an expert to guide you, your rooftop amenities could end up costing you instead of contributing to your bottom line.
Without a rooftop amenity design expert on your team, your project is more likely to stall, go over budget, and ultimately disappoint when it’s all built. Taking rooftop amenity design in-house leads to a more expensive project with fewer good results. And no one wants to pay extra for an inferior product.
Why You Can’t Afford to Take Rooftop Amenity Design In-House
Taking rooftop amenity design in-house can be a costly mistake for real estate developers for these 3 reasons:
1. Development Teams Lack Expertise in Rooftop Amenity Design
Designing rooftop amenities requires specialized expertise in creative design, an understanding of what affects user experience and some very technical construction knowledge. It involves careful coordination with other disciplines such as structural engineering, plumbing, electrical, and, of course, architecture and interior design.
Rooftop amenities also require an understanding of applicable building codes and safety guidelines that will need to be considered before the project can obtain city approval and permits. Unless a real estate developer has a team with all of these skills in-house, they may not be able to design amenities that are safe, functional, and attractive to renters.
Furthermore, without the necessary expertise, real estate developers can (and usually will) make costly mistakes during the design and construction process. Rooftops are inherently complex with a wide array of conditions and a multitude of construction options. Some details are significantly better than others, but it all depends on the specific circumstances of your project. Without experience it can be very difficult to make the right decisions. And poor design choices often lead to cost overruns, safety and usability issues, and ultimately lower returns on investment.
2. Taking Rooftop Amenity Design In-House is an Inefficient Use of Resources
Designing rooftop amenities in-house can be a drain on resources, both in terms of time and money. Real estate developers may need to divert resources away from other areas of the project to design and manage the amenities, which can impact the overall success of the project.
If you’ve ever worked with an inexperienced designer and been dissatisfied with their lack of creativity or inability to meet deadlines, then you know how important it is to have a proven design process. The best designers follow systematic design processes that have evolved over time to optimize creativity and efficiency. It’s a delicate balance to be innovative and meet project deadlines — and that’s no small feat. So unless your real estate development team is stacked with individuals who have extensive design experience, you are unlikely to be more efficient working on the rooftop amenity design in-house.
3. Internal Teams Miss Opportunities to Stand Out
Real estate developers who focus on designing rooftop amenities in-house may miss out on opportunities to work with experienced professionals who can offer innovative and cost-effective solutions. Experts who have the most current knowledge help keep your project cutting edge, rather than lagging behind your competition.
When real estate developers design rooftop amenities in-house, they may have a limited perspective on what amenities are most important to potential renters. Working with experienced professionals and getting input from potential renters can help to ensure that the amenities are attractive and meet market demand. Rooftop amenity designers keep a pulse on what is popular, what’s overdone, and what is unique to your market that will differentiate your project the most. It would take hours of research for your in-house development team to acquire that level of insight.
Avoid the Costly Mistake of Designing Rooftop Amenities In-House
Overall, while it may seem like designing rooftop amenities in-house could save money, it can actually be a costly mistake for real estate developers. By working with experienced professionals and getting input from potential renters, real estate developers can ensure that their rooftop amenities are safe, functional, and attractive to renters, ultimately leading to a higher return on investment.
Learn more about Loft Six Four’s experience and expertise to help you build superior outdoor and rooftop amenities.