Avoiding Change Orders with a Real Estate Project Manager

Change orders can present major obstacles to the completion of a real estate project, most especially the project budget and schedule. It is the job of a real estate project manager to oversee all project details and mitigate change orders as much as possible.

Our PMs have identified certain items that, for a variety of reasons, often cause change orders. The list below represents areas that our PMs double and triple check in order to avoid change orders, to the best of their ability.

Related- Decommissioning a Real Estate Project

  • Low voltage cabling- Requirements change throughout life of the project.
  • Audio Video– Changing technology has an impact on planning correctly.
  • IDF Room Infrastructure– Information is not always clearly identified during bid the process.
  • Structural Support– Incomplete information can lead to changes in order to provide sufficient structural review.
  • Environmental Concerns- Incomplete evaluations can lead unplanned remediation in the late stages of the project.
  • Furniture- Planning the timing of furniture installation. Costs can increase to meet fast paced projects.

Many change orders can be avoided by having necessary in-depth conversations with the client to understand exactly their needs, requirements, current conditions etc. Asking the right questions upfront, even when they may seem irrelevant, can lead to learning crucial information about a client’s needs and expectations that will help to avoid change orders down the road.

Related- Project Management Terms You May Have Forgotten

Unplanned deviations from the original scope of the project that result in change-orders for can be extremely costly and wreak havoc on a project schedule. The goal of any dedicated real estate project manager is to mitigate and eliminate change orders if at all possible. Change orders are very common, but with a real estate project manager on board, many change orders should be able to be eliminated.

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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