Project Management: Guiding clients every step of the way

CHICAGO, IL – As commercial real estate needs have become more complex and specific to each client, Bradford Allen has begun offering project management services to ensure each client’s transaction goes seamlessly, saving them time and money, and ensuring the environment will be a good fit.

Project management has become an important part of commercial real estate for a variety of reasons, including growing technology demands, planned stages of growth, and greater specialized services. The scope of project management from beginning to end includes: project planning and design oversight; strategic planning; budget and schedule development; occupancy planning; risk management; site selection analysis; construction management, and move management.

 “It’s site selection, it’s looking at your needs now and in the long term, it’s the pricing and selection of furniture, ensuring the IT infrastructure, the moving and much more,’’ said Steven Lerner, a one-time corporate real estate manager turned broker  whom Bradford Allen brought in to start its project management practice. “Essentially, our focus is on customization so the space is tailored to the exact needs of the client.’’

Lerner notes some of the reasons project management is critical:

  • An end-to-end solution — From the planning stage to the day you get the keys, a project manager will maximize the potential of your new space and assure it comes in at or under budget. Hiring one at the very start is most beneficial, but a project manager will add value at any time in the process.
  • Efficiency and accountability — The goal of a project manager is to save the client 10% to 20% of the total cost and reduce the commitment of their internal resources. This positive return on investment comes from timely coordination and the savings that come from experience and existing vendor relationships.
  • Single point of contact — Managing a variety of vendors and specialized tasks requires more time, expertise and focus that most people realize. The project manager will keep everything from the drywall to the telephone installation on a tight and orderly schedule while your employees excel at your core business.
  • Professional expertise — Real estate project managers have the expertise to consult on a client’s individual needs. Perhaps a company is experienced planned stage growth and needs an office that can be expanded in a year. The project manager can plan ahead for how your space will look now, a year from now, and five years from now.
  • Risk management — People think about the cost of hiring a project manager, but what is the potential cost of not hiring one? The very real potential for disruption in your business due to building or permitting delays is likely to far exceed the cost of ensuring your project is done on time and meets your needs.

Lerner has consulted for Bradford Allen clients that include small firms lacking the resources to even begin seeking input on sophisticated IT infrastructure and space management issues, large companies with a firm budget and strict timeline, businesses not yet present in the Chicago market, and even for projects outside of Chicago.

“We would have spent a lot more time and money if there were no project manager overseeing the project, said Biren Jethwa, a recent Bradford Allen client who says project management work was critical for the office space it recently rented at 55 E. Monroe. “It was exceptionally helpful on the IT front. You will have cost overruns if you don’t hire one.”

About Bradford Allen Realty Services

Bradford Allen Realty Services, a Chicago-based commercial real estate firm, offers a full range of services and expertise to entrepreneurial and corporate business entities as well as not-for-profit organizations. The firm provides real estate strategy, advice, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors and owners of real estate. For more information please visit our website at