Maintaining good and open relationships with your stakeholders is critical to any real estate portfolio. This is because failing to maintain these relationships effectively can lead to your investments and projects meeting unnecessary friction, which can drive up costs and have a massive impact on your profits. It’s all well and good knowing this information, but it can be difficult to identify who your key stakeholders are and the best ways to go about managing their expectations when managing your portfolio.
How to Enhance Communication and Transparency With Stakeholders
Once you have a definite understanding of who your stakeholders may be, you’ll be able to find ways to improve your lines of communication and your transparency with these stakeholders. The best way of communicating with stakeholders is that any decisions that could have a direct impact on them are immediately communicated to them so that they understand what is happening during the project at all times. Here are some ways through which you can improve communication and transparency with your real-estate stakeholders.
One such example of this is real estate investor reporting. Giving your investors quick access to information on how well their investment is doing and keeping them abreast of positive and negative developments is key. Doing this effectively will make your investors more likely to invest in your future projects, as they feel more secure about how their money is being used. There are some technological solutions and investor portals to this effect, which helps to enhance transparency and open communication.
It’s not enough to just update your stakeholders when things change either. You should be scheduling regular planned updates with your stakeholders even if there are no material changes in your project, or things are moving as planned. Keeping this kind of communication with your stakeholders will improve their confidence in your portfolio and will also ensure that you’re spending less time answering questions from these stakeholders.
Ask How They Want To Be Communicated With
Not every single stakeholder wants to have a long call or constant daily emails telling them about how the project is going. When you’re onboarding your important stakeholders, it’s best practice to specifically ask them how they wish to be updated. Communicating in the best way for them ensures that they’re going to be sufficiently engaged and informed throughout the project and they’re going to be a lot easier to work with throughout the whole process.
Maintain Easily Obtainable Financials For Each Project
This seems fairly straightforward, however it’s going to be critical for a majority of your stakeholders. For example, investors may want to see the financial records of a project to ensure their money is being used widely. Suppliers may require payment confirmations and the tax authorities may select you for an audit. This is why it’s critical to maintain clear finances in a way where it’s easy and transparent to distribute them when they’re asked for.
Here’s an example:
You can’t be transparent without simply being honest, this should come as no surprise. Unfortunately, there are numerous instances of real estate businesses that have either hidden the full facts from their stakeholders, or have outright lied. Trust can be developed by being upfront about project plans and stakeholders are more likely to react positively throughout the process if honesty is maintained.
Who Are Real Estate Stakeholders?
A stakeholder is defined as those who have a vested interest in a project or business and can be either positively or negatively impacted by these projects. Stakeholders can be internal (within the organisation) or external (out of the organisation). You should always make note of who your stakeholders are during a project so you can be sure to keep their interests and needs in mind.
One of the most common and effective ways of tracking stakeholders and their importance is the power-interest matrix which divides stakeholders based on their influence on a project and their interest. An example of this is below.
Some common examples of stakeholders of real estate companies are investors, tax authorities, tenants/leaseholders, employees, external contractors, suppliers.
Now you should have an understanding of the ways you can improve your transparency and communications with your stakeholders to the benefit of your project. Creating a tailored feedback system, with an emphasis on making it easy to get updates and keeping your finances in order for when they’re required. Maintaining all of this will improve your stakeholder relationships and lead to more buy-in for your projects.
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