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What is an Owner's Representative?

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Learn about the role of an Owner's Representative and how they help with overseeing real estate development projects.

Project Manager, Fee Developer, Development Manager, Owner's Representative, or our favorite, Owner's Advocate, are terms typically used to identify the professional overseeing a real estate development project.

An Owner's Rep is a project manager for the complex development process and is the multidisciplinary team leader needed to execute a project successfully. Think of them as the quarterback for the development team and the owner's advocate in the process. They ensure that the scope, schedule, budget, and other critical criteria are being met in the best interest of the project owner.

Why do I need one?

When you are conceptualizing a new development or redevelopment project, having a subject-matter expert on your team is invaluable to navigating all aspects of the development process, including acquisition due diligence, design, entitlements, permitting, utilities, and construction.

Owner's reps utilize their relationships with local jurisdictions, contractors, architects, engineers, and other service providers to put you in the best position to receive high-quality outcomes for the best price. They use their knowledge and experience to help you make decisions that minimize your risk at every stage.

An owner's rep manages the complex development process on your behalf so that you can focus on your core business.

What should I look for in an Owner's Representative?

Trust is the most critical factor in a successful relationship with your Owner's Representative. In the beginning, this trust will be based on the experience and relationships that they bring to the table. A strong track record of delivering similar projects successfully is critical.

In addition, many attributes contribute to a project manager's success. These include attention to detail, organizational skills, leadership, diligence, communication, and follow-through.

Expertise in plan reading, scheduling, project budgeting, and contract negotiation is required for any successful commercial real estate development project manager.

Lastly, owner's reps must be expert problem solvers. It is our responsibility to identify, assess, and solve project issues as or before they occur to ensure the success of all team members and the project

as a whole.

As a project progresses, you will start to build trust in your Owner's Representative based on their level of communication, their ability to respond and adapt to issues, and the cost savings that result from their decision-making.

You want to be confident that your owner's representative is acting in your best interests, advocating on your behalf when managing the project team from ensuring a contractor's scope is correct to navigating the permitting process with the local jurisdiction. A successful owner's rep must take absolute ownership of the project and be accountable for the outcomes.

What sets Compass apart?

At the core of our service is client advocacy. By approaching each deadline, hurdle, and question with our client's needs and outcomes in mind, we confidently deliver solutions customized to their goals.

Our continuous curiosity feeds the work of our project management team. We strive to be a resource for knowledge throughout the development cycle, and Compass is committed to promoting life-long learning for each member of our company.

Our team takes pride in acting as humble experts, providing a guiding hand from a project's ideation to its delivery. We are, first and foremost, dedicated representatives of our client's interests: our goal is to streamline the development process, reduce risk, and save time and money.

Finally, we practice extreme ownership throughout the development process because we act as both an owner's representative project manager and a principal developer. As a result, we understand what's at stake for an investor and what it takes to deliver a superior outcome.

We are excited to create real estate development solutions that become a part of a community. If you would like to explore a commercial real estate or multifamily development project or joint venture, contact Michael Shohet at

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