Beejar |

Q & A

Q & A with Reed Woodson Q: What is Beejar? A: Well, there are several aspects to it, but simply put, Beejar is a design/build firm. I'm also a Realtor, so that plays into the model as well. Q: What is the model? A: It's a holistic approach to real estate development. It's the belief that finding the right property can be just as important as the design, which can be just as important at the implementation of that design. It's the weakest link theory. Q: In English please? A: Ok, often times the property itself dictates the scope of work possible. There are so many obstacles that people fail to consider. What are the zoning laws? Are there any landmark restrictions? Structural limitations? These are just a few of the things that can handcuff you right out of the gates. Most Realtors aren't asking these questions for their clients because they aren't trained to think that way. Having bought and gut-renovated multiple properties, I think about these issues second nature. So ideally I'll work with clients as their Realtor during the acquisition stage to help find the property that makes the most sense for them. (continued) Q: Then what? A: Then it's on to the design phase. Q: Why are you smiling? A: At the core of it, Beejar is a design firm. Acquiring property, contracting and project management are all critical to the project, but for me, those endeavors are all just means to an end. Q: The "end" being....? A: Having a clean slate from which to design, and creating the most unencumbered path possible. Q: So in addition to acting as Realtor and designer, Beejar acts as contractor and project manager as well? Why? A: That's right. During my first renovation I worked with several contractors and ultimately ended up taking the project over myself. No disrespect to the profession - as there are many great contractors out there - but there is an inherent conflict of interest there between designer and contractor. And there's also too much potential for finger pointing. I've seen it too many times. In this model, there is total accountability. The buck stops with me!! Q: So you require your clients to put a lot of trust in you... A: Absolutely. They are going to have to put their trust out there anyway, from their Realtor to their designer to their contractor to their project manager. And then hope they all play nice together. I see no reason why it shouldn't be all under one roof. In fact, I see a lot of reasons why it should be, which is why I formed Beejar. Q: Can clients choose your services à la carte? A: Sure. If someone just needs design work, or help only with acquiring the right space. I wouldn't contract a job I didn't design though. That's all of the headache and none of the fun. Q: Are you a licensed architect or structural engineer? A: No. I bring in those trades when the project calls for it. With renovations that don't require structural work or filing, I'll draw the plans myself. Q: You occasionally refer to Beejar as "us." Who is "us?" A: I am referring to the team of architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians and other trades that I partner with based on a project's scope. Q: You're a LEED AP. What is that, and how does that benefit your clients? A: LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It's the standard rating system for green building today. AP stands for Accredited Professional. It's my belief that the green movement is not a fad. There is a finite amount of land on this planet and population is increasing exponentially. Natural resources are diminishing. But beyond that, the green movement just makes sense philosophically. It's not about hugging trees and singing Kumbaya. It's about living sustainably. I have yet to hear a plausible argument in opposition of that. Q: Thanks for the proselytizing. Benefit to clients? A: Oh, right. Well, regardless if clients want their projects LEED certified or not, I can at least present them with their options. Most people would rather not breathe in paint fumes containing VOCs if they knew they had the choice. Or if they knew how much money they would save annually simply by changing their light bulbs or installing low flow fixtures, they would opt for that. In so many cases, implementation is so simple that the only reason it isn't in place is lack of awareness. So to answer your question, I can inform my clients and create that awareness. Q: Besides lack of awareness, why doesn't everyone build green then? A: Cost. While some green approaches save money, others aren't quite there yet. But the current legislation coming down the pipes combined with the massive inflow of money recently into R&D of materials and systems, there will soon be plenty of government subsidies and credits on both the local and federal levels to make "going green" worth it financially across the board. In many cases, it's already here. Q: Anything else people should know about Beejar? A: Ha ha. That is more than enough info. Thanks if you're still reading.

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