In this, the 3rd and final part of our series, we focus on 2 company types within the Built Environment that are often discussed and are crucial to the other companies existing, even though it can be a less visible part of the market. Of course, you guessed it, we're talking about End Clients & Developers.
When we speak to people in the industry they often refer to “client-side” and upon further qualification this can mean either going to work for a property owner (a hotel chain for example) or to work for a property developer.
At this point, I would like to acknowledge and say thank you to Andrew Hudson from HB Reavis for his contribution to this article. Andrew gave me some valuable insight from his own experience moving from Consultancy to Developer last year.
If you have ever considered this part of the sector to form your future career, then here are some things to consider, we hope you find them insightful.
Developer / End Client – Pros
Influence. Because you are working for a developer you tend to have greater influence and access to all parties when designing, shaping and planning a project.
Fulfiilment. For developers (especially those such as Turnkey) you are involved at every stage of the project life cycle; from inception, design all the way through to completion on site and future operation, which isn’t always the case in Consultancy. This can mean that you are closer to the finished product and feel like the extra hours and challenges you have overcome were worthwhile!
Package. Developers and end clients tend to be more flexible on salary and can offer more generous bonus structures as they have the direct access to funding and can reap / share the rewards of successful delivery.
Colleagues. In this part of the sector, often you are relying more on colleagues than external suppliers. The diversity of background of these colleagues can be immensely collaborative, sparking innovation and creative solutions. Additionally, this can also lead to less politics and a more straight forward working relationship when it comes to real time information and collective problem solving.
Broader scope of role. Often a role within a Developer/End client will involve a wider remit of tasks. The teams are less divided and everyone has to be involved to get a project finished, this means that your role can often involve elements of Cost Management, Design, Procurement, Contractual and Legal considerations, Project Delivery and also the management of external partners and supply chain on site.
Developer / End Client – Considerations
Less Variety. In Consultancy and Contracting you are typically moving from one project to the next, working on a variety of sites, locations and sectors. With a Developer/End-Client they often focus on one sector (Resi, Commercial, Industrial etc) so it can lead, in some cases, to less variety. Additionally, unless the client has a number of projects, you may find yourself working on perhaps one or two projects for a number of years.
One Client. If the relationship doesn’t gel then, by working directly for the client, you are hamstrung to a degree. That said, if you love your colleagues then why would you need a variety of clients?
Volatility. Clearly, this affects all parts of our industry. However, the Developers are typically the ones that feel it first. If a project that you are working on loses funding or doesn’t realise planning approval then it may affect your job security.
Role. Different Developer / End Clients operate different models. Some look for package specific insight and skill, whereas others are generalists (good at everything but not a specialist). You’ll need to think about where you are in your career and do you want to become a specialist or not, taking in to consideration the intense pressure of specialising.
Hours. Due to the intensive timescales and deadlines the hours can be pretty full on at times.
Managing 3rd Parties. When working for a Developer/End client you tend to be more involved with managing the contractors on site once a project is in the build phase. Whilst for some this is a skill set they naturally gravitate to, for others it can be a challenge as the conversation can be more direct rather than consultative.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the above and if you agree or not, if you want to talk specifically around any of the above points or just around your options in general then we would love to jump on a call or grab a coffee with you at a time that is convenient.