Tips for a Successful Township
Gone are the days of mere city building, nowadays, for construction companies to survive and be competitive, the key to the future is building smart cities. It is no surprise that the best township teams are the ones who constantly update themselves on industry and tech trends.
As the General Manager of Township & Facilities Management of Gamuda Berhad, I am proud to see our hard work recognised by EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards this year and in the past.
The seeds of a successful township don’t follow a strict formula. Rather, it requires a kind of adaptability and the ability to juggle different demands of several stakeholders.
Before I provide a brief account of that, let’s first understand how we define a successful township. As a rule of thumb, smart cities require sustainability in terms of security & safety, connectivity, convenience, and scalable infrastructure.
In order to ensure that townships are highly regarded, developers and management companies need to take heed of a few things before and after building a township. Let’s take a look:
Everything starts with a good plan and design. We tend to hear this a lot, but only because it is true. This should be a mantra for every developer as a lot of maintenance issues can be mitigated or even prevented if they get it right from the start.
Engagement & Initiative
Developers should not underestimate the importance of engaging and involving their township or property management team during the design and planning stage. These are the best people to provide feedback from existing customers. Moreover, sustainability starts with planning and design.
Every new project should reflect improvements carried forward from the last one. It is good practice for the planning and design team to have half-yearly reviews with the township or property management team in order to gather data and feedback. Lessons could be learned immediately and applied to new developments. Not only does this apply to the design of houses, but it also applies to the entire township infrastructure.
Management teams often find themselves as mediators when it comes to bridging different stakeholders on various issues or matters. Stakeholder and community engagement, as well as feedback, are crucial to ensure that parties understand why certain things are done in a certain way or have to be done in that way.
A community often does not have the same expertise and insights as to the management team. For example, a lot of people don’t realise that security and convenience do not quite go hand in hand. You cannot have both. Our challenge is to engage the community and explain the dilemma. This can be done through face-to-face encounter, other times, it is more efficient to go through their AGM platform, monthly meetings, circulars, or even newsletters.
We don’t need to look any further than the auto industry. Every new model carries with its improvements from the last one. The new model would also take current trends into its design and build. To really stand out, teams must innovate and deliver what customers really need as opposed to what they think customers need.
To wrap up, the key to a healthy township ecosystem is to maintain a symbiosis between the developer, the management, the investors, and the community.