Friday, September 25, 2015

A Developer's Observation on Residential Modular Factories

I got an email yesterday from a commercial developer telling me about his experience at the Offsite Expo in DC Wednesday.
"I've been reading your blog for a couple of years and especially like the articles about large apartment projects as this is what I build. I have never used modular and thought that the Offsite Expo in Washington would be a great place to learn more about building my next project with modular prefab units. My next project is 800 units in three phases over 4 years."

"I was very disappointed in how the modular factory people there responded to my project. With only one exception they all stood around in their fading polo shirts with their factory's emblem. Most reminded me of Jake and the Fat Man, an old TV show. One was even eating while talking with me. Their booths were not very professional.
Their bottom line was "give us your plans and we'll get back to you if we can do it."
I almost gave up on modular until I stopped and talked to a couple of Architects. They immediately asked me to explain my project, when I wanted to start and my past experience in these projects. Both made appointments with me for the following week.
They both used laptops and demonstrated how they take a project like mine from beginning to completion. Very professional.
I expected so much more from the modular factories."
I wrote to this person and asked if I could use his email and just got the OK this morning. I had to promise anonymity as the Architects may give it to one of the factories where 'Jake' works.

Since I did not personally attend the Offsite Expo, which I understand was a big success, can anyone else confirm or deny these statements about the modular factory booths?

1 comment:

Tom Hardiman said...

Gary, I'm not sure who that person was, but their perception is their reality I suppose. As the event producer, I didn't see any issues with the booths or lack of professionalism. I have no problem with people wearing polo shirts at a trade show, especially one in a convention center. That said, I also saw several people wearing suits and ties and several very nice displays. Pivotek brought in an entire bathroom pods display and Williams Scotsman brought in half a building! We had reps from Marriott, Microtel and several developers, contractors and architects. We will get feedback from attendees and exhibitors and send you a summary to see if it matches this person's perception.