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Failing to meet financial expectations, running behind schedule, or going over budget from mistakes can increase a capital project’s costs exponentially. Owner’s reps are uniquely able to help organizations plan and execute successful capital improvement programs.

Construction team at a construction site

The risks of any capital project are costly: failing to meet financial expectations, running behind schedule, or going over budget from mistakes can increase the costs exponentially. Many organizations may not have the resources within their staff to ensure these risks are mitigated.

That’s where owner’s representatives come in.

What is an owner’s representative?

Owner’s representatives plug into your existing internal team to help them understand and manage the intricate details of significant capital programs. They offer your team process and technical expertise to help you make the thousands of decisions required in a timely manner.

But don’t confuse owner’s representatives with construction project managers, general contractors, architects, or engineers. Their roles are inherently different.

Owner’s representatives, as your independent fiduciary, help your designers and constructors keep the budget and schedule on track.

What’s the difference between constructors, designers, and owner’s representatives?

The thing is, owner’s representatives are not constructors like construction project managers, general contractors, or design builders. They are not designers, like architects or engineers. Owner’s representatives help organizations plan and execute successful capital improvement programs.

Three key differences highlight the value of an owner’s representative:

  1. Comprehensive understanding
    Designers design buildings. Constructors manage the building process. Owner’s representatives, in understanding the entire project planning and execution process, serve a broader role. They act as the binding agent between designers, constructors, and your organization to help you successfully manage each renovation project or new building construction.
  2. Insightful guidance
    Designers and constructors look to you when issues or conflicts arise. Owner’s representatives, as your trusted advisor with extensive project management experience, present all your options and help you make an informed decision through all the stages of a construction project. They're processes, procedures, resources, and technical expertise are yours to call on to help guide you to the decision you think is right for your organization and project.
  3. Unbiased advocacy
    Designers and constructors promise to get you the most building for your construction dollar. Owner’s representatives, as your independent fiduciary, help your designers and constructors keep the budget and schedule on track. An owner’s representative’s goal is to protect the owner’s investment throughout every stage of each construction project within the program and keep the owner informed on the project status.

The benefits of an owner’s representative

The common thread in this explanation is that owner’s representatives act as an extension of your in-house staff to help in ways your designer and constructor can’t.

Owner’s representatives offer a lot more benefits to organizations as well — they understand what questions to ask, what information needs to be gathered, and how to keep projects on time and on budget. Check out a related blog post to learn more about owner’s representatives and their role in protecting you during a capital program:

Learn more about the benefits of an owner’s representative >

Before you hire an architect or construction manager, you should consider having an owner’s representative assist your internal team in planning your capital program to ensure its success. 

Plante Moran Cresa has helped owners undertake more than $5 billion in capital projects. We have a strong record of setting programs up for success — or back on track after a rocky start. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you make informed, strategic decisions during their capital programs.