While standing before a group of strata owners last night discussing a very big and important redevelopment I was reminded of a lesson I learned when I was a young competitive swimmer.
My coach pulled me out of the pool one morning to talk to me about my stroke and a particular technique I had let slip. As he made his point he pulled at my googles that were still on my head and screamed ‘LTMD’ as he released them and they snapped back onto my face.
LTMD stands for ‘Little things make the difference’ – I got over the shock and the pain of his brutality but I have never forgotten his message.
In redeveloping strata for owners corporations who see value in upgrading rather than merely repairing their ageing buildings and underdeveloped sites, I’ve found it’s not the legal process, the feasibility studies or the debt finance arrangements that carry the vote when it comes down to committing to the work and relocating while the work is done. It’s the little things.
It’s the colour of the carpet, the arrangements for parking and garbage bins in the upgraded common areas, how long people will be out of the building, how they will pay rent while they’re out and keep up with their mortgage and occupancy costs. I’ve learned that little things are not trivial things. It’s these things that matter and get the crowd behind the proposal or not.
That’s why I’m predicting on the eve of new laws applying to strata in NSW, developers will rarely use the renewal processes we have read so much about in the lead up to commencement; they simply won’t have the patience for the little things.