Acquiring, building out and occupying commercial real estate space is an inherently complex undertaking. Whether you’re buying or leasing the building, as the owner you have a lot riding on the successful on-time, on-budget completion of the project.
However, the skills and knowledge needed to manage a large commercial project are not often found within a company’s internal staff. Also, the focused, hands-on attention required to shepherd the project from inception to successful completion is not something an internal manager typically has the bandwidth to address.
Key tasks in any successful project include:
- Finding the right space – not only based on lease price but also considering what it will cost to build it out for your needs as well as the ongoing costs of operations
- Designing the improvements – including finding the right architect who understands your industry and business requirements
- Managing construction – hiring the best general contractor and subcontractors, including specifying, assigning, and scheduling work, as well as monitoring, inspecting and problem resolution
- Assuring regulatory compliance – proactively identifying all local, state, federal and other entitlements, restrictions, and mandates to avoid being surprised by any project-stopping issues
- Utilities and operational optimization – planning HVAC, electrical, water, and other utilities to minimize cost and environmental impacts
- Move-in logistics and set-up – managing the sequence and process of getting your employees and operational processes up and running, including any needed staff training on the facility
- Ongoing support and refinement – monitoring post-move-in operations to identify and resolve any issues needed to optimize your business operations
Most businesses with significant projects find it very helpful to bring in an experienced owner’s representative who can oversee all of the above issues and is responsible for the entire end-to-end project. Not only is having a comprehensive view critical for success, in practice at Bradac Co, we’ve seen many clients save enough on project efficiency to pay for the owner’s rep fees.
Additional benefits of using an Owner’s Rep:
In addition to providing a single, turnkey service to handle the above tasks, using an owner’s rep gives you an unbiased advocate who has only your interests in mind. This can prove to be invaluable when the nearly inevitable finger-pointing takes place between contractors, architects, subcontractors, suppliers, and others in the process.
It has been our experience that a good owner’s rep can be very useful for coordinating the views and needs of your internal stakeholders. The prospect of acquiring new space too often can trigger competition between departments regarding who gets how much, where and with what features. In these situations, it is helpful to have an owner’s rep with the experience and communications skills to understand each stakeholder’s point of view and discern their real requirements. As a knowledgeable external resource, the owner’s rep can act as a neutral and unbiased referee, helping resolve competing interests in a positive manner.
Another part of the owner’s rep role is to raise and resolve any internal issues that may risk holding up the project. Too frequently, there can be internal delays on approvals or decision making regarding items in the schedule. In such situations, our job is to define and raise the issues to the proper decision authorities within your company, thereby providing both the visibility and the information needed to clear the potential roadblocks and keep the project moving on schedule.
Ultimately, the job of the owner’s representative is to look out for your interests across the entire project, from inception to design and construction, to successful completion.
At Bradac Co, we know from experience that every project is distinctive, so we always go the extra mile to understand and align with your unique corporate culture. This enables us to effectively cut through other competing interests, both internal and external, to assure that your overall goals are kept at the forefront every step of the way.