An intentional culture delivers an elevated client experience

05 October 2022

Client service is an important aspect in every industry; real estate development and construction are no exception. Creating a positive client experience is at the center of what Focus does, so much so that it is ingrained in the values of our corporate culture. By centering our culture on an ownership mentality, enhanced community experience, and created value: teams are aligned to go above and beyond for our customers and deliver an elevated client experience.

Elevated client experience through ownership.

The first way Focus teams deliver an elevated client experience is by taking an owners mentality. Teams are expected to own projects from start to end, and our integrated model, which brings development and construction under one roof, provides the multiple perspectives required to make smart decisions from conception through closeout. The result of this integration is a team that employs collaborative creative problem solving without finger pointing or ego. This might show up in the ways that construction project managers factor lease-up into their schedules, or in the ways that they own unforeseen impacts.

The effects of this mentality are clear when examining Focus’ track record on the two major indicators of success for: schedule and budget. On average Focus delivers projects within 30 days of the anticipated delivery date. and of the last 16 projects built by the firm, 7 were delivered ahead of time. Further, teams effectively manage budgets. On average Focus projects come within 99% of the original GMP contract value. Compare that to the results of a survey from KPMG where respondents said that only a third of projects came within a tenth of the original budget, and only a quarter of projects came within the same factor of the anticipated delivery date (KPMG).

Building value for clients through quality + design.

Ownership through clear communication pays off for Focus and clients alike, but that is only one of the ways Focus’ culture improves client experience. Focus believes that a development’s success lies at the intersection of quality design and sound economics. Our teams elevate client experience is by building fiscal and design value. Teams work to strike a balance between a solid investment return while preserving a shared vision. Creative and compelling ideas emerge when our teams balance financial and design priorities. Over three quarters of project staff at Focus are architects or engineers by training, and with a strong technical and design background, Focus’ teams can skillfully balance the infinite choices and align them with client goals.

Take for example the redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall, teams worked closely with the Village of Vernon Hills to develop building arrangements and designs that would be approved by the reviewing committees. The Village had certain requirements and preferences for the design of the buildings, and this had to be balanced with the cost of materials and the ease of construction. Focus’ Senior Development Manager, Vic Howell was able to use his experience as an architect and knowledge of construction to efficiently communicate with all parties and develop solutions that remained within the project’s budget while creating an even stronger visual impact.

Enhanced client experience by championing communities.

Focus is able to further enhance the client experience by championing the needs of the community. Whether it's by building a new apartment building where someone can enjoy the beauties of day-to-day life or by deploying proactive problem solving to deliver a project on time, the client first mindset might look different depending on the context. For example, Focus, like many builders, has experienced volatility in the availability of construction materials during 2022, which has created challenges for projects large and small. The Lumen at Fox Valley project faced one of these potential delays due to a manufacturers queue mishap. In an effort to solve this problem on behalf of the client, the Focus team arranged a conference call with the manufacturer where they expressed the real-life consequences of not receiving the necessary equipment in time. Fox Valley residents who had sold their homes in order to join this new community, would not have a place to live if the materials were not delivered in time. As a result, the manufacturer expedited the component order and Focus avoided a potentially lengthy delay. By keeping our individual and corporate clients at the center of everything we do, teams are able to solve problems for the benefit of all.

Through a commitment to ownership, building value and by championing community, Focus strives to elevate the experience for all of our customers. From our corporate clients to the people who occupy the spaces we build; Focus aims high on client experience.

To learn more about the ways Focus delivers an elevated client experience, or to discuss a project of your own – please reach out today.

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