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Great project managers know half the job is keeping the neighbours happy

Effective tenant liaison demands that you are a brilliant communicator

If a group of workers were to unexpectedly arrive into your kitchen while you were cooking dinner and start disconnecting your gas, water and electricity, removing your table and chairs, and stripping out your wall units, it’s safe to say you would probably be a little put out. Okay, that analogy might be a bit extreme. How about this? It’s a sunny summer Saturday and you’re all prepared for a lazy day of reading and sunning yourself out on the patio, when your next door neighbour comes home with a demolition drill from the hire-all and starts chopping up the concrete path in their back garden. Now, of course, your neighbours have every right to do what they want in the confines of their own back garden, but a little bit of a heads-up would have been nice. A knock on the door at the very least the day before, so you could prepare yourself for the disturbance, maybe ask if you had any special plans that their work could potentially upset. Or maybe, just maybe, postpone the demolition until a time when neighbours would not be inconvenienced, like on a weekday when you weren’t home for example.

It’s all about being a considerate neighbour

This is essentially what the skill of tenant liaison for a construction project manager (PM) is all about - being a good neighbour and showing consideration for the people who live and work around where your project is taking place; the people who will be most inconvenienced by the works you are required to carry out.

At Built Interiors, we say that we build relationships and exceptional interiors. The latter cannot come at the expense of the former. Our process is client focused. That is not solely concerned with delivering a fantastic looking, high quality fitout. It’s also about managing the impact of the works surrounding the project on their own business and the concerns surrounding them.

Our ability to go into an operating building and carry out top quality work with minimal disruption to our clients’ businesses and the tenants around them is what sets us apart, working around the functions of a going concern before or after hours, and even during lunch breaks where necessary. This was a crucial requirement on the full reception and landlord refurbishment of Merchants House for our repeat client, Sonbrook, where there were multiple office tenants in the building and continuity of services had to be maintained.

Being an excellent communicator is what marks out the best PMs

Constant, open communication is key for a PM, particularly when it comes to liaising with existing tenants. Having the skill to communicate is vital if a PM wants to build and maintain relationships with tenants and bring a job to completion with 100% satisfaction.

This will mean the PM introducing themselves to the surrounding tenants way before the project even begins, surveying them to identify any concerns they might have around the works. Lines of communication with representatives will need to be established with email lists and regular updates to keep them informed as the works progress.

PMs need to be able to address and anticipate complaints, track and follow up on them with the trades and engineers on the job. If there is the likelihood of disruptions to power or water supply, parking or access to the building, this needs to be notified to tenants well ahead of time with every channel at your disposal (face-to-face, SMS, email, printed leaflets and notices), and the disruption managed with constant communication for its duration.

Talk to the team at Built Interiors

If your next project is located in a building or development with surrounding tenants and their ongoing businesses to consider, you need a fit-out specialist contractor that understands all of the logistical challenges of working in occupied buildings. So why not get in touch with the team at Built Interiors today.

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