The great balancing act

Virtually every customer we encounter has some set of priorities that are conflicting.  Generally this balance is cost versus outcome; we all want maximum outcome (better performance and appearance) at relatively minimal cost (sometimes short-term, sometimes long-term). The trouble is that most don’t fully know how to get the outcome they want (or even what that outcome is) with a cost they can accept.

For homeowners associations, it’s a balance among property values, monthly dues, and the appearance of the community. Throw in some interpersonal politics among homeowners for good measure.

For commercial/investment properties, especially those with NNN leases, it’s a matter of preserving the asset value and its returns, keeping tenants happy, and also not killing them with the NNN charges. These days, the former is often sacrificed for the two latter. The tenants are happy in the short term. The owner is happy that the tenants are happy, but fears the effect of deferred maintenance or neglect on long-term asset value.

For other property types and ownership arrangements the challenges are similar.

Going back to the balance of outcome versus cost… At the end of the day, it takes a lot of experience and paying attention to results and outcomes to understand how they interact and counteract. It also takes the ability to ask good questions, listen, and understand the landscape of influence. What are the other cost drivers? What do the owners want? What do the tenants want? What are the monetary resources and limitations? What does the future hold? Is the focus on aesthetics (class A office and residential communities) or functionality (freight distribution center)?

The goal is to find balance in all of the considerations in a way that leads to balance in the cost/outcome equation.

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