Redevelopers play an important role in the communities they serve. By redeveloping properties, they can help to revitalize neighborhoods and bring new economic activity to an area. They can also help to improve the quality of life for residents by creating new jobs and providing new amenities and services.
Few understand the importance of redevelopers to their community more than Jerome Karam. Specializing in identifying potential properties in the Houston, Texas area and Southwest Louisiana, Jerome Karam feels a connection to these areas and wants to see them thrive once more.
Just how important is it to be part of a community? While so many developers work on new properties without ever making a meaningful connection to an area, a real connection makes a big difference.
Connecting with the Community
Any type of developer will have better feedback if they are connected to the city. While it’s nearly impossible to get 100% positive feedback, there are opportunities to connect with a community when a project turns out great.
No community wants to be the punchline of a joke. There are highs and lows with any city, and revitalizing a once-thriving area can be a great way to get back on top. Many developers have an ear aimed toward the community to pick up any feedback along the way. This can be as simple as talking to neighbors, joining local groups, and staying connected with the community.
A redeveloper working in the town they call home also helps out considerably. Jerome Karam branches a little more outside of his current location, but he’s spent time everywhere he works. This makes a big difference not only in decision-making but in the eyes of public perception. More often than not, locals want locals working on projects.
The Impact of a Redeveloper
Redevelopers must be aware of the potential impact their projects can have on the community. For example, if a redeveloper is not careful, their project could displace existing residents or businesses. It could also create or speed up gentrification pressures that lead to rising rents and property values. Redevelopers need to consult with the community and local stakeholders to ensure that their projects align with the community’s vision and needs.
For Jerome Karam, this has been a learning process every step of the way. Now that he’s been in the industry for a long time, he has an understanding of the role a redeveloper takes in a community. There’s a chance that taking over one big building could impact multiple blocks nearby, so getting it right can trigger so much more.
Saving Money and Time
Picking the right property for a redevelopment project can save a considerable amount of money. It all comes down to the condition of the building and any updates that are necessary if it’s an older property. Smart redevelopers do their research beforehand to ensure that it’s cost-effective to keep the building around.
This is just part of the money-saving opportunities for the best redevelopers. They can also move much quicker with an existing building since there’s no need to obtain brand new permits for a lot of different parts of the project. Faster development times can keep even small operations moving relatively quickly.
All the money and time savings equates to affordable solutions for residents, business owners, and more. Maybe the best example for Jerome Karam is when he transformed The Mall of the Mainland into Mainland City Centre. He purposely kept rent down for tenants, hoping to appeal to businesses trying to make an impact on the community. Although the market rate would have said to ask for more money, he stressed the importance of having the area filled as much as possible.
Why Keeping The Community Happy Matters
The worst thing any developer can do is turn on a community. It’s a one-way ticket out of town, as it’s unlikely to find success on future projects.
Jerome Karam suggests that everyone does their homework before purchasing any property. Thinking about the worst-case scenario as well as the best-case scenario will help map things out a bit better. If a project doesn’t turn out exactly as planned, it could end up being a huge negative.
Is Community Important in Other Businesses?
Having community support and building a strong community matters in real estate development, but what about outside of this world? A strong community with plenty of support for many businesses will help anything thrive.
Businesses need customers if they want to survive. A community can refer to any locals, or it can refer to an online community that shares a lot of similarities. Whatever the case is, taking the time to connect with them and keep a positive reputation helps out tremendously.
A business should never lose track of the fact that its success heavily depends on how consumers view them. Failure to gain community support in the early stages will make it more and more difficult as time goes on. Jerome Karam is a family man with his wife Leslie and five children who stay involved with the community every step of the way. He’s invested in it with his own business, which shows others just how much he thinks of the community.