As CSM Group explores Owner’s Representation (Owner’s Rep) projects with clients, our team has begun to hear certain questions frequently and learned there is a lack of clarity about what exactly this delivery model is, what an Owner’s Rep does, and how to work with one. Our goal is to answer these questions and provide a useful guide on how to work with an Owner’s Rep and why they are so beneficial to a project. 

What is an Owner's Rep? What can they do for you?

In Part One of our Owner’s Rep guide, we will be breaking down what an Owner’s Representative is, what they do, and how they are different from other kinds of management roles on a construction site. This is the first step in understanding how to better work with an Owner’s Rep. 

What’s an Owner’s Rep?
An Owner’s Rep, in its most basic definition, is the person or company who represents and advises the owner of a building or facility project. An Owner’s Rep ensures the owner’s project needs are met and that the project comes in on time and under budget. 

An Owner’s Rep can help companies and organizations that don’t have this capability or enhance a company’s current in-house team. Owner’s Reps have technical expertise in not just construction, but real estate and architecture, and often manage the relationships between general contractors, architects, construction companies, municipal authorities, and any financial institutions involved with the project. They often work across all (or any) stages of the project, providing pre-design, design, and complete construction management services – but are not typically constructors. 

What does an Owner’s Rep do?
The main prerogative of an Owner’s Rep is to advocate for the owner’s goals in the project and ensure proper close-out. The work of an Owner’s Rep will vary based on the scope of the project and per the owner’s requirements and needs. An Owner’s Rep involvement can happen as early as land acquisitions or later in the actual construction phase of the project. 

Owner’s Reps also make sure contractors meet needs and requirements to keep the project on track, ensure quality, and prevent budget overruns. An Owner’s Rep will assist in:

- The pre-design/design phase
- Choosing a contractor to do the work
- Setting up and enforcing the project schedule
- Managing change orders
- Reviewing, processing, and approving applications for payment (invoicing)
- Facilitating progress meetings and distributing progress reports
- Overseeing project closeout and punch list items
- Answering RFIs

What’s the difference between an Owner’s Rep and a Construction Manager?
An Owner’s Rep, construction manager, and project manager are not the same, using all three terms synonymously would be incorrect. They do have some similar responsibilities, as these project roles oversee the budget, schedule, and workers. They also make decisions when issues arise. However, the major difference between the three project roles is who they report to. 

The owner of a project must interact with several different entities to make a project possible, including government agencies, lawyers, contractors, architects, etc. An Owner’s Rep is hired to help manage these interactions for the owner. A construction or project manager is solely responsible for their portion of the project. 


If you have any questions regarding Owner's Representative services, or would like to discuss your project, please contact our Owner's Rep expert, Todd McDonald.

CONTACT TODD

Katrina Reed is the creative services manager at CSM Group. For all media inquiries, please contact her at katrina.reed@csmgroup.com.

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