Member Only

Community engagement is every developer’s business

Engaging with locals about your upcoming project is critical and it can’t be left to external consultants to build those relationships.

Our research has proven that community engagement needs to happen at the project level. The approach can be scaled to the size of the development, but it can’t be skipped.

As an industry we assume people understand far more than they do about the ins and outs of development. The community doesn’t understand the process, they don’t know the difference between code and impact assessment, and they more than likely aren’t aware of their own property’s zoning.

Your development is going to take them by surprise no matter how much consultation the local council did on their Planning Scheme. Either they weren’t there, or they weren’t reached by communication at the time. So, the job falls to every developer to engage and do it early.

It’s the only way to have a productive conversation and shift the dial of community sentiment. Going in too late sees you on the back foot and creates space for others to share, sometimes incorrect, information about your project.

Engaging early works and we know because through our Research Foundation, with the support of the Industry Leaders Research Group, we’ve conducted extensive qualitative research into the pain points of engagement.

We have invested significantly in this research and we know exactly what developers need to do to engage effectively with their neighbours. We also know from this work that developers need to use their own employees to interface with the community, not external consultants. This is because the community doesn’t want to deal with a third party, they want to engage with the developer directly. Consultants are too removed from the development’s ins and outs to be able to give answers on the spot regarding what requests can or cannot be accommodated.

Our members have exclusive access to our Being a good neighbour guide to help them understand the process at a high level and we have also released a Community Engagement Toolkit with templates and examples to further support them in their efforts.

If you’re a member and want a copy of the guide or toolkit please contact our Director of Research.