Interview with Client Care Manager – Paul Lahoud
In what ways does the Client Care department contribute to the long-term success and satisfaction of clients and occupants?
Our Client Care department plays a pivotal role in the post-occupation phase, which is critical for ensuring we continuously monitor the quality of our buildings. It’s not just about the immediate handover; it’s about understanding how our clients and occupants experience the space over time. This insight feeds directly into how we approach new projects, influencing design and construction to enhance our work’s quality delivery.
At Binah, quality isn’t a single aspect; it’s a comprehensive approach encompassing the entire construction lifecycle. From the initial design to the final handover and beyond, we ensure that every team member, consultant, supplier, and subcontractor execute their work with the utmost diligence. It’s about sweating the small stuff just as much as the high-risk elements, ensuring that when someone moves into their new home or office, they’re stepping into a space built with care at every corner.
In your role as Client Care Manager, what aspects of a construction project do you consider crucial for ensuring long-term quality?
In my role, I can’t afford to look at any one element in isolation. While it’s true that things like waterproofing or structural components carry a profound weight of importance due to their impact on building longevity, it’s equally crucial to focus on the finer points like the quality of finishings or materials used that make a building a pleasure to live or work in from day one. My team and I are involved in everything from design reviews to on-site inspections of critical phases. We’re there to ensure consultants, subcontractors, suppliers, and our project teams are completing work with due diligence.
We typically work through the strata, building managers, and the owner’s committee. They are our point of contact for addressing concerns and documenting feedback, ensuring a structured and efficient process for communication.
How does the Binah team incorporate the perspectives and needs of occupants throughout the construction process?
We’re constantly looking for ways to bridge the gap between construction and occupation. Our proactive involvement from the outset enables us to foresee and cater to the needs and preferences of occupants. We are committed to transparency regarding any challenges that may emerge. If we recognise an issue, we collaboratively address it with complete transparency, ensuring that we resolve it and move forward together. We leverage social media platforms to provide updates on our project developments, executing targeted campaigns that highlight key construction milestones. This approach allows owners to engage with the progression of their projects remotely, offering them a convenient virtual site experience.
While we might not get feedback in the form of explicit suggestions for changes, our engagement with the occupants’ committees during meetings offers us valuable insights. These interactions are crucial for understanding if we’re meeting their expectations and if our work stands the test of time in their eyes.
For us, success goes well beyond the handover of keys. It’s measured in many different ways. Firstly, the project team completes their quality assurance checks and addressing any defects before the building is transitioned to our Client Care team. Being proactive rather than reactive is the key. Beyond that, the overall satisfaction of the owners committee and the building manager and the relationship we maintain with them. We want to build great relationships with the owners and building managers years after project completion.
Since the department’s inception, we’ve significantly expanded our involvement in projects. We’re more present on sites, we’re engaging with building managers and owners more frequently, and have grown our team to accommodate this. This allows us to give more time and attention to each project, ensuring that we’re not just a department that steps in post-handover but an integral part of the entire building process.
Collaboration with the construction team has matured over the years. There’s a deeper integration now, with both sides understanding the value of working closely from the get-go. The implementation of technology like Procore has helped, but it’s the commitment to a quality-first mindset that has transformed our working relationship.
At Binah, our commitment to quality and safety stands at the forefront of our operations. As we grow together, we cultivate teams that evolve alongside us. Subcontractors and consultants are expected to meet these standards consistently; those who do not align with our growth and stringent criteria may find our partnership reconsidered. Above all, we always refer back to Australian standards and codes, ensuring that our commitment to excellence is never compromised.
We engage proactively with clients to ensure exceptional outcomes, establishing trust through open communication.
When issues arise, we don’t shy away; we raise our hand to initiate dialogue. This approach builds trust and enduring relationships with all stakeholders. Honest conversations create long-lasting relationships that extend beyond the occupants moving into their new home.
The Building Commissioner has helped to restore consumer confidence.
The Binah team has consistently placed best practices at the core of our construction philosophy, and with the implementation of the new ICIRT framework, we have reinforced this commitment. The assessment process has resulted in achieving a gold star rating, a testament to our commitment and, most importantly, a foundation for families to grow and for individuals to enjoy their retirement, free from concerns about the quality of their investment.
” It’s about sweating the small stuff just as much as the high-risk elements, ensuring that when someone moves into their new home or office, they’re stepping into a space built with care at every corner. “