The City That Never Sleeps, Gotham, The Big Apple—whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that New York City is legendary to both its inhabitants and the rest of the globe. Actors, business people, and world leaders come to the city to make their dreams come true. To professionals in the construction industry, however, classic red tape and sneaky costs can hurt the dream (and the team!) of game-changing projects. New York City continuously ranks as the most expensive place to build globally, and the costs are only skyrocketing. Does that mean that developers should give up on their skyscraper plans and head back to a small town? Absolutely not. With 21st-century solutions, construction teams can mitigate extra project costs to stay on-track and on-budget in New York City.

Know your market. The best way to avoid surprise costs? Learn about them far before the preliminary planning stages. The urban market, especially New York City, is a unique one, so it’s worth going the extra mile to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities that may present themselves. Networking events and conferences are a great place to start, get peer-to-peer advice. You’ll want to hear about others’ experiences building and budgeting within state and city regulations. Some great questions to get started: What was the most surprising cost of your project? What regulations/permits proved more difficult than expected? How do you wish you would have budgeted differently? Fortunately, it’s not all grim for construction hopefuls in New York. Special business initiatives, such as certification for women and minority-owned businesses, exist to initiate innovators to get building.

Create an actionable budget. Working with the accounting team to diligently craft a budget that is conducive to your plans and allows for unexpected costs to arise, not to mention city-specific team member costs such as metro cards and parking fees. The best budgets include the most perspectives possible. These comprehensive budgets allow project teams to make the most informed choices and gain the necessary insight for an effective budget. Digital communication tools, such as Rhumbix, offer an easy-to-use platform that streamlines this multi-person conversation.

Consider T&M tracking. Time and materials tags are critical to the building process; subcontractors want to get paid, and accountants want to track expenses. Large numbers of submissions can lead to a disorganized nightmare of delays—not ideal for 18%+ of final job costs. Everyone is empowered when T&M tracking goes digital.