The grand opening of the sales models and the sales office…which can be very exciting for the people from the main office…can also be a major setback for morale in the field if everything is handled in the last-minute, rushed atmosphere typical of most new project grand openings.
The standard protocol is for the main office to set a date, order all of the brochures and promotional literature, start the advertising, but fail to anticipate all of the small details that must be taken care of at the last minute. The construction people in the field are then locked into a date that might not be realistic in terms of pulling everything together in a smooth and orderly manner.
In one particular case, the builder had trouble deciding whether the sales office should be in one of the condominium units…or in a separate structure. The homebuilder procrastinated to the point of having two unfinished double-wide trailers delivered to the jobsite for a sales office…only 10 calendar days before the grand opening.
The jobsite superintendents were forced to schedule most of the subcontractors on top of each other…with landscaping, masonry block work, finish carpentry, and painting all occurring simultaneously down to the last minute before the opening on a Saturday morning.
When people from the main office came out to the jobsite two days before the grand opening to view the progress and to help in the last-minute preparations…they thought as construction novices that all of the tradespeople running around bumping into one another was normal for building construction. They saw all of this frenzied activity as exciting compared to the mundane routines of the office.
What the people from the main office did not realize was the damage done to the reputation of the jobsite superintendents among the various subcontractors and tradespeople involved. Tradespeople commented that this company was just as disorganized as all the other homebuilders in their past experience…and that everything being done in preparation for the grand opening of the sales models complex was a last-minute panic…as usual.
It took the jobsite superintendents months of orderly and organized construction…after the sales models grand opening…to regain the confidence of many of the tradespeople and subcontractors who participated in the sales models work.
The point here is that the main office should plan and schedule the grand opening date with the assistance of the construction department, and then abide by their own activity milestone dates in finalizing decisions, selections, and the ordering of various materials and furniture for the sales models and sales office.
If the grand opening date is unrealistic…or if the main office cannot themselves stay on schedule…then after the promotional literature has been printed and advertisements published in the newspaper and on the internet…the construction must hold to that date…forcing it into almost impossible situations and working conditions that are adversely characterized by the tradespeople involved…potentially damaging the building construction for months after the sales models grand opening.