While detail to attention and process is important to project management and contract administration, building relationships is most critical. That’s the advice from Votum Construction President/CEO Vernice Atkins-Bradley and Brooke Myers, founder of Emerge Real Estate Ventures. The duo provided attendees at a recent Leadership WLI event with insights from their vast experience managing complex projects.
Both gave examples of touching base with former clients just to say hello or provide unsolicited solutions to challenges. Myers suggested occasionally calling instead of emailing as that produces a more personal touch and often, important information that wouldn’t be gleaned from a quick email response.
Both Atkins-Bradley and Myers are currently involved in the Creative Village project. Myers explained once she has a contract negotiated, it goes on the shelf, hopefully not to be reviewed again. This is how she accomplishes that:
• Negotiate well up front
• Hire team members with the same values as you
• Make sure expectations are clear from the outset
• Detail the project delivery schedule and penalties at the start
• Carefully read and understand the “Exceptions” portion of a contract
Program moderator Kathy Putnam of SalterMitchellPR asked the pair about lessons learned from on-the-job horror stories. Both agreed that paying attention, asking questions, quickly seeking solutions and trusting in yourself were the take-aways from their “oops” moments.
Interestingly, both women began their firms during the depth of the recession. Gutsy move, but they did their homework, prepared for ramp-up costs and believed that the market was about to return. Their calculations paid off as both are working on interesting projects.
WLI events are open to all ULI members and their guests. Be sure to check the Events section for our next gathering.