As an organization we are often asked what is a real estate project. According to the Project Management Institute’s definition:

A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who do not usually work together.

A real estate project could be anything from global headquarters relocation, stay in place renovation project or an out of the ground construction of a new building. Typically these projects are unique to organizations in that unless they have a huge real estate footprint these projects may only occur once every 10 or 15 years; typically when a their real estate lease expires. The overall goal of a real estate project could be to accomplish moving to a different city, building a new building with better amenities to attract new talent; or to simply renovate their existing space and give it a fresh makeover.

If we take the project management institute’s definition further and apply it a real estate project we often see project teams that include people who usually do not work together. Internally at an organization we may see the project team be made up of various employees who most likely do not work together everyday. For example, the internal team maybe the CFO, human resources and facilities. Externally the project team members may not have worked together either. Architects, general contractors, specialty consultants will all work together towards a common goal; although they may have never worked together before.

To boil it all down, a real estate project is anything involving real estate that has a defined beginning and end, a goal in mind, and it may involve parties  or resources that do not typically work together. By defining scopes of work, managing the schedule / budget, and communicating and driving the various project team members towards a singular goal a project management firm can help ensure a projects success. 

Stephen Fean
Stephen Fean is the Vice President of Business Development 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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