If you’re planning new construction for your business this year, you may want to hire an owner’s representative to protect your interests. Your owner’s rep will be your right hand in keeping your project(s) on budget, on schedule, and at the quality you expect.
Be aware, however, that not all owner’s reps are the same. Here are 4 important questions to ask before hiring your owner’s rep.
Anyone who advertises themselves as an owner’s rep will tell you that they have construction expertise. However, there is a vast difference between someone who has managed a couple of small residential or commercial projects and someone who has managed multiple large commercial projects.
To find out where your potential owner’s rep falls on the spectrum, ask them to describe their expertise in these six areas:
Look for an owner’s rep who not only says “yes” to all six categories, but can talk in detail and with confidence about them. They should also be able to cite recent examples of their experience in each area of expertise.
On a small project, your owner’s rep may not need to have an entire firm behind them to do the job well. On larger projects, or when you’re constructing multiple facilities at the same time, you want your owner’s rep to have offices located across a substantial geographic footprint and with plenty of resources in each office to be able to be on each site regularly, and to get on-site quickly when issues arise. If your owner’s rep has to incur significant time and money just to get to your site, you can be sure that their site visits will be infrequent, and often not at appropriate times to best observe the construction activities.
The AIA and the NES both offer standard owner’s rep contracts. An industry standard contract is almost always preferable to a custom contract, as they are drafted by industry attorneys, designed to be fair to all parties, and have been court tested. That having been said, even a standard contract should lay out in detail what services are included.
Owner’s rep services can range from a brief document review and an occasional site visit to a full service, hands-on, daily project management role. Ask prospective reps what services they include, and then make sure the contract specifies the services in detail. A few items to include in the contract include:
Your owner’s rep will be largely responsible for the success of your construction process. Make sure you hire someone you can trust to handle the job. We’d love to talk with you today about our owner’s rep services. Contact us now.