We like to share all the stages of our real estate projects, starting from searching for a property to work on and moving forward. As a reminder, the stages of a redevelopment project are:
- Acquire the property.
- Finalize the scope of work knowing there will be changes because of unexpected issues.
- Renovate the property.
- Market and sell the property.
- Analyze the project for what went well and what you could do better.
A lot of work goes into each of these phases. In fact, you could approach each phase as a separate project with its own lifecycle.
Analyzing the project for the lessons you can learn from it is probably the most overlooked step in a project, even though it is one of the most important.
A project is NOT over when you collect or pay out the money for it. It’s over after you thoroughly analyze what went right and what went wrong with it (and I’m not just saying this because I also work for a company that specializes in work and resource management software, where lessons learned gets drilled into every PMI-accredited project manager). In fact, we have a Lessons Learned page that we are using to talk about projects that just didn’t work out.
Honestly, every project we do should teach us about what will work well in the future, or what we don’t want to do again. A Lessons Learned session is an important part of closing out any rehab. If you aren’t doing it, you should. It’s where you figure out what you did right so you can do it again more efficiently. It’s also where you identify what you could have done better, and there is always something you could have done better.
We have a few projects to go over, since we are wrapping some of them up. We’ll have a more formal meeting soon and go over things in depth with the whole team. We’ll post our lessons for Meadow Arbor 2 and the Taylor homestead in a few days.
Apply the Lessons!
Recording the lessons and bringing them up before the next project is a key step. Lee worked for a computer company that overlapped its development cycles to the point where it was always “too late” to implement a lesson in the next version of the product. Sometimes the same bug would persist from the time a product was introduced until it was removed from the market. Although the company faithfully executed the Lessons Learned phase project lifecycle, it failed to implement the Lessons Learned. At least one development team started referring to “Lessons Lost.”
With our current Oakridge property, we are applying the lessons we learned on these previous projects. The house fits our model. We have a quick timeline that our general contractor is sticking to unless weather interferes. The scope of work was set quickly and hasn’t changed. Russell has done some of the demo and landscaping work, himself, since he enjoys it. We’re proud of the work Carol and Ray are doing! This is a partnership deal with Genesis Architectural Design and Home Remodeling, so it’s to all our benefit to get this one done and take our profits.
Our entire team is focused on improving and learning from each deal we do and each house we renovate. That’s what’s important. I’m grateful to everyone we are working with now.