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What is an owner’s rep, and what do they do?An owner’s rep is someone hired by an owner to protect the best interests of the Owner through all aspects of the project from early planning to project completion and beyond. As an owner, even if you have the industry knowledge, your probably don’t have the time or resources in-house to do it yourself. An owner’s rep acts as the liaison and the translator throughout the entire process with the sole purpose of representing the Owner and their best interest. I like to compare it to hire an accounting firm to do your taxes. I also like to think of an owner’s rep like a conductor in an orchestra - Someone must take all these brilliant, creative artists, and plan for how they’re all going to work together, in the right sequence, to create something beautiful. Instead of sheet music and instruments, it’s structuring scopes of work and schedules to align to a master plan for the project – making sure everything is moving exactly when it needs to move, and costing exactly what it’s supposed to cost.
Why Should I Hire An Owner's Rep?An owner's rep knows all the latest opportunities and laws; they understand the industry terminology and they will almost always save more money than it costs to hire them while providing peace of mind that it was handled expertly. Additionally, when an owner’s rep is engaged at the earliest possible stage of the process, they’re able to work alongside the owner to identify budget and project objectives, a realistic schedules based on the project’s goals, and a clear understanding of what success looks like to them. Once these fundamental pieces are in place, the rep can then help identify and assemble the ideal team of design, construction, and specialty consultants to deliver on the client’s goals. From that point forward, it’s about management, communication, and coordination.
What challenges can owner’s rep typically help me with during a project?1. Feeling overwhelmed: All the sudden you may realize you're not able to get you day jobs done, or you're not as comfortable with the process as you originally thought. You are being inundated with change orders and requests and you are unable, or don’t have time, to answer all of the different questions coming in from you consultant team. You are becoming a bottleneck in both the project and you day job and need help to keep both moving. Without this help, you may not be able to make timely decisions and the project will likely fall behind schedule, if it isn’t already. 2. Encountering mistakes (i.e. you don’t know what you don’t know): Maybe you didn’t know you needed to hire a permit expeditor, or you realize that none of the design consultants own the responsibility of consolidating the drawings into a final bid set. A key component of your project then unintentionally slipped through the cracks. You must then figure out how to correct your mistakes, which will take time and add cost to the budget. 3. You're behind schedule: Keeping a project team on schedule is complicated – and every additional day has an impact on budget. Sometimes an overwhelmed owner may not even realize when or why delays have happened. They need someone to help identify issues, reestablish critical milestones, and get the project back on track. 4. You need back up: Sometimes an owner’s rep is hired to explain controversial or complex issues to key leadership that internal staff may not have the experience or background to do. Plus, the owner’s rep can handle conflict resolution, so you don't have to take on that role. Whether it’s dealing with cost overruns or difficult personalities, the owner’s rep can stay impartial and out in front of issues – developing strategic solutions to resolve them before they impact the project.
How can hiring an owner’s rep positively impact your project?Like most things, it all comes down to managing resources, time, and money. Having an owner’s rep allows you to appropriately invest your time in connection to the project in a way you can manage because it’s been laid out for you. The earlier an owner’s rep gets involved, the more value they can bring to your project – hiring the right team and setting a project up for success. By the time a project reaches construction, an owner’s rep has the cost estimates to establish a realistic and accurate budget, has hired the right contractor to ensure it stays on schedule, and has documented every step of the way to guarantee the project meets established goals. In the end, it is about providing the owner with peace of mind and a final result that’s exactly what they envisioned.
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