This is part three of A guide for Owner’s: How to work with an Owner’s Representative. In the previous installments, we’ve covered the basics of what an Owner’s Rep is and the steps you should take before hiring one. In this third installment, we will detail 4 essential services that any good Owner’s Rep should provide on the job.

If you have an Owner’s Rep that knows what they’re doing and cares about the success of your project, here at the 4 things they absolutely will do. 

1. Detailed project planning and hiring 
      1. Decisions made during the planning phase of a project will live throughout the project’s lifecycle. A bad or wrong decision could have costly consequences and could lead to detrimental delays. These reasons are why it is imperative to make sure that not only is the planning phase done correctly, but with the right partner as well. A good Owner’s Rep will leverage their experience to provide an accurate cost model and bring solutions and ideas to the team that maximize the overall project budget. They will also help you hire an architect and construction manager best suited for your project. Because CSM Group is a construction management firm, we have a robust process for issuing RFPs and our Owner’s Reps mirror that process when hiring partners for projects. A good Owner’s Rep should structure the RFP in a way that clearly lays out the fee structure and then only interview partners that are deemed the best fit for the project. 
      3. 2. Ask the right questions
        The job of an Owner’s Rep is often about the process, but there is an advantage to doing a project in which the rep has experience in that industry and market segment. The science of being an Owner’s Rep is in the experience. But let it be known, being an expert isn’t necessarily about knowing the answers to all the questions – it’s often about knowing what questions to ask. With every project and client, you have to be able to ask the right questions to learn what is most important to the client. When trying to facilitate this process as an Owner’s Rep, a big part of that is the strength of the questions asked that lead to the best solutions. This is the art of being a good Owner’s Rep.
      1. 3. Use their experience to go above and beyond
        A good Owner’s Rep won’t just have experience, but they will leverage that experience to provide a deeper breadth of services related to the project. The right Owner’s Rep will have a mixed bag of abilities and a resourceful team behind – which can be key to the project. Here at CSM Group, we have “Enhanced Services” where we provide more management, third-party estimates, strategic partners, and safety analysis. Within the healthcare industry, we can also provide some compliance services as well. 
      1. 4. Provide a financial analysis of the overall budget. 
        The budget is a huge aspect of a project and a good Owner’s Rep should provide a financial analysis of it and this doesn’t just mean construction, but the soft costs as well. Soft costs include consulting fees, furniture, fixtures, equipment, licensure – essentially, anything that would fall to the Owner’s side. This is not always easy for every Owner’s Rep because it’s not easy to know and there is a lot of educating guessing on the fee structure. However, a good Owner’s Rep will want to set up allowances in the budget to truly understand what the budget will be. A good Owner’s Rep will have the experience to create realistic budgets around what services could increase the overall project cost and effectively communicate that with the Owner and other necessary parties. 

The Takeaway
A good Owner’s Rep will complete their job description and ensure that your needs as an Owner are met and your project comes in on time and under budget. A great Owner’s Rep will not only use their knowledge and experience but truly care about the success of a project. The right Owner’s Rep will do it all. 

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.


Katrina Reed is the Senior Director of Marketing & Sales at CSM Group. For all media inquiries, please contact her at