You have a team of experts with your architect, contractor, legal, and accounting team but who sees the big picture? Having an Owner’s Representative facilitates communication across team members in a timely fashion. Note, the owner’s can often times be the culprit of why projects are delayed; an Owner’s Representative can assist on preventing these delays and miscommunications.
You hire an accountant to do your taxes and often their efforts often return results that cover their fees. Owner’s Representatives should not make a claim that they will save their entire fee through their efforts but it is a rare case when their involvement does not result in savings to their clients. Like an accountant you also are receiving piece of mind that your project is following industry protocols reducing your risk.
You as the Owner have a job and most likely it is more than full time, adding a large capital project just increases to the burden of your daily responsibilities. An Owner’s Representative will not replace the owner but they will do the heavy lifting related to project management that will allow you to be engaged and informed without being overwhelmed.
Software and Information:
A reputable Owner’s Representative will have implemented a project management software that allows the exchange of information and filing of records. As the owner you need access to information and it shouldn’t be housed in third party office. An Owner’s Representative will manage countless documents on the owner’s behalf.
The Architecture and Construction Industry is more than guilty of acronyms and terminology that is industry related. An Owner’s Representative can assist owner’s on continually reviewing the goals of the project and walking them through the drawings and specifications as needed.
Architects and contractors have their roles on a project but there are many tasks that have to be completed by the Owner as well. This can include but is not limited to surveys, soil information, IGA agreements, Contracts, hazmat, move management, IT management, security systems and more. The Owner’s Representative will work with the team to outline the roles and responsibilities and work to the team members to make sure items are not overlooked.
Owner’s Representative should have solid relationships in the industry and can weed out good consultants from bad. They often will not only know the architect and construction firms but may even know the architect project manager and construction superintendent.
Your project may require miscellaneous consultants to meet its goals. Owner’s Representative will work to generate the RFP, interview (if necessary), and negotiate the required contracts.
The Owner’s Representative will be in charge of a comprehensive project budget that includes hard and soft costs. An established Owner’s Representative should have a solid master budget complete with lessons learned. The Owner’s Representative will generate the master budget and track expense related to progress on the project.
An Owner’s Representative will work with the team to build a master schedule and track it. The master budget should include details related to critical path and deliverables from all parties.
Quality comes not only at the implementation of construction but is also related to the quality of drawings and even includes items such as meeting minutes. The Owner’s Representative should know what is industry standard as a minimum and work to review the documentation and construction for accuracy, timeliness, and quality.