Owner’s Representative or Project Manager; What’s the Difference?
Why Hire a Owner’s Representative or Project Manager; is there a Difference?
By: Robert Hanson, Nationwide Consulting, LLC
What is the difference between a firm calling itself an Owner’s Representative and those calling themselves, Project Managers? In the case of Nationwide Consulting, LLC, both terms Owner’s Representative and Project Manager are used.
There are so many passionate points of views, interpretations and disagreements on such vague titles from card-carrying “Owner’s Representatives”. So what is the difference? Well, it depends who you ask, who you represent and how the client and project team perceives your role.
We at Nationwide Consulting, LLC use the term Owner’s Representative and Project Manager interchangeably in presentations, discussions, contracts and articles. The Owner’s Representative or Project Manager is typically a 3rd party (individual or company) that is hired by the Owner or Tenant to represent them during site selection, design and construction phases. Another use of Owners Representative or Project manager might be in a relocation project, to handle all aspects of a complicated move.
When the Tenant (as opposed to Owner) hires the Owner’s Representative or Project Manager, the role is often referred to as a Tenant Representative or Project Manager however they perform similar oversight tasks on behalf of the tenant during a landlord fit-out. This should not be confused with crucial Tenant Rep
Brokers (but often is) who advocate and exclusively represent tenants in lease transactions.
The Owner’s Representative is working for the owner’s or tenant’s best interests and are at the heart of every decision made in a project. Owners/Tenants with limited knowledge of design, construction, phasing and relocation hire an Owner’s Representative to represent their interests and be the liaison between the broker, design team, landlords, contractors, and client vendors back to the owner.
Owner Representatives are usually charged to monitor (not manage):
The design development process to ensure project scope is achieved;
The overall project budget (including FFE and other non design/construction related costs);
The bidding process;
Assist with jurisdictional reviews and project related mitigation issues;
Construction related activities, including pay applications;
Project close-out and occupancy;
Move management and relocation. These are the main functions typically performed as an Owner’s Representative. There are certainly others; and depending on the size, complexity and experience of the owner, the role may vary.
A Project Manager title can also be used to describe not only an Owner’s Representative but also a General Contractor’s Construction Project Manager who is employed by the GC to direct the trades and oversee the project from the contractor’s perspective. Yes, a separate Project Manager may also be part of the General Contractor’s team too.
Some view the project manager as directing the project through the design phase working along with the architect and engineer, while the Owner’s Representative works as a liaison between the project manager and contractors.
For complex projects with procured services and different Project Managers for different phases, the Owner’s Representative is a Project Manager that aligns the team of Project Managers with the owner’s interests in the project. This has the effect of neutralizing conflicts of interest within the project team.
Nationwide Consulting, LLC is considered to be a project manager that manages the entire project depending on what phase we are brought into the project. We are contracted by the Owner or Tenant to represent them and manage/coordinate all aspects of the project. We set requirements for time and money and coordinate all of the teams by being active at their individual management level to assist them in resolving problems. At times we have found that having control of the “purse” strings is very motivating in getting a message across, truly acting as the Owner’s Representative can speed the process and brake log jams in a complicated project.
No matter what you call the position, if you are contracted directly to the Owner (or Tenant) you are the Owner’s Representative, but you are managing the project.
So to answer the question, the term Owner’s Representative and Project Manager can be and is in many cases used interchangeably.
At Nationwide Consulting, LLC we stand ready to manage your project efficiently and work to the advantage of the owners. Whether you call us Owners Representative or Project Manager, we are on your side. We will assure you are in controle of your project, that prices are kept in line, work is efficient and your interests are of number one concern.
Owners Representative or Project Manager, you need call only one number to find out all you need to know about what Nationwide Consulting, LLC can do for you right now:
Call Robert Hanson are Nationwide Consulting, LLC for a no obligation assesmet of your project right now: 410.336.4961