Owner’s Representative

owner’s rep, construction owner’s rep

An owner’s rep is a third party that represents the project owner’s interests in the development of a real estate project.

What is an Owner’s Representative?

An owner’s rep is a person or company, selected by the owner of a real estate project to represent the owner’s interests in the development of the project.

They advise owners and act on their behalf, ensuring 1) the successful completion of the project, and 2) that the owner’s interests are represented in every decision in each phase of development, including:

  • Concept/Initiation
  • Feasibility
  • Design
  • Procurement
  • Construction
  • Post-Construction
  • Occupancy
  • Close Out

Owner’s representatives typically have specialized knowledge and experience, enabling them to effectively coordinate the actions of architects, designers, engineers, bankers, general contractors, subcontractors, end-users and municipal authorities, to meet the needs of the project owner.

What does an Owner’s Representative do?

Owner’s reps make sure that the owner’s goals and objectives are going to be met in every decision that goes into a real estate project. This includes ensuring that the project will be delivered on-time and on-budget to an agreed upon standard of quality.

An owner’s rep scope of work varies from project to project and can include tasks such as feasibility studies, due diligence, construction document reviews, estimating, construction management, overseeing budgets/schedules/disbursements, quality control and closing out projects.

Scope of Services

An owner representative’s scope of services covers all phases of the project’s development. Below is a general list of services offered by owner’s representatives in each phase.

  • Initial Ideas, location, capital
  • Risk assessments
  • Development of governmental, financial, developmental, and operational objectives
  • Beginning team selection
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis – market, location, usage, competition, risk, cost
  • Surveys
  • Pro forma development / projections
  • Cost modeling
  • Due diligence
  • Financing analysis
  • Municipal authority coordination
  • Design / engineering /construction team selection
  • Working with team to meet owner’s needs
  • Constructability review
  • Value engineering
  • Estimates
  • Assist with land assembly
  • Community outreach
  • Insurance
  • Public sector approvals / Permitting
  • Construction financing
  • IT/Security
  • Demolition / utilities coordination
  • Finalize costs / schedule / design
  • Prepare loan packages
  • Prepare bidding packages / select GC, subcontractors
  • Finalize subcontractor contracts
  • Execute contracts
  • Maintain schedule / milestones
  • Perform accounting / budgeting / cost controls
  • Deal with setbacks
  • Conduct on-site safety inspections
  • Maintain quality control
  • Dispute resolution
  • Change order management
  • Pay application review and management
  • Obtain occupancy permits
  • Assist with move-in
  • Punch list management
  • Operation and maintenance manual collection
  • Contract close out
  • Warranty work
  • Authorizing release of retention

Why do I need an owner’s representative?

Often owners do not have the time or expertise to manage all phases of a project’s development. The owner’s representative has the technical knowledge and experience to ensure that the owner’s project goals and objectives are met in every phase.

typically these include:

  • Certifying that the design meets the owner’s needs
  • Making sure quality standards are met
  • Monitoring contractors for unsafe practices
  • Maintaining good relationships between all parties
  • Managing community outreach
  • Delivering the project on-time and on-budget
  • Closing out the project – warranty, contracts, etc.

What are the benefits of an owner’s representative?

  • Making sure the owner is getting what they pay for
  • Conflict resolutions
  • Verify milestones are being met
  • Quality assurance
  • Maintaining schedules/budgets
  • Technical expertise to deal with problems as they arise

Common Questions

Why should I hire an owners representative?

Owner’s reps are hired because they have the expertise and experience to manage the day-to-day activities of developing a real estate project. They save the owner time, energy, and money and provide the owner with the opportunity to attend to their next real estate deal.

What qualities should I look for in an owner’s rep?
  • Superior communication skills – direct & honest
  • Accountability
  • Firm, fair, demanding, detailed
  • Responsiveness
  • Team building qualities
  • Experience in dealing with architects, engineers, financing and all types of construction related skills/trades
  • Expertise in the type of building project (Hotel, Multifamily, Office, Retail, Mixed-use, Medical, Education, Military, etc.)
When should I hire an owner's representative?

When you as an owner do not have the time, energy or expertise to manage all phases of development for your project.

How do owner's representatives charge for their services?

Owner’s reps typically charge 1) hourly, 2) by a fixed fee for a scope of work, or 3) by charging a percentage of the project cost.

For more detail, read our blog discussing how owner’s reps charge for their services.

At what stage of development should you bring in an owner's rep on your project?

It is recommended that owners bring in their owner representative as early in the process as possible. This allows for a better understanding the owner’s objectives in the process, allows for better team building, and clearly positions the owner’s representative as the quarterback of the team.

What are the benefits of hiring an owner's representative?
  • Increases the likelihood of having the owner’s project goals and objectives fulfilled
  • Minimizes legal and financial risks of owners
  • Ensures that the owner is getting what they are paying for
  • Maintains good working relationship with all parties
  • Ensures project completes on time and on budget
  • Watches for unsafe practices of contractors
  • Insures municipal and quality standards are being met
  • Reviews, maintains and manages all contracts
  • Keeps detailed records in case of problems later

What is the difference between an owner’s representative and a construction manager?

Owner’s representatives are hired by the owner of the project. They report to the owner of the project and represent the owner’s best interests to complete the project on-time and on-budget.

Construction managers or project managers are hired by the General Contractor or a subcontractor and report to the company that hired them. They are responsible for the portion of the project that the company is hired to complete.

Ask your own question.

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