Increased role of project managers in real estate
Jan 15, 2014
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: With the real estate sector getting more organised, the policy makers are addressing the major bottlenecks of the industry. High rate of inflation and the slowdown in the economy are affecting housing development to a large extent. In order to induce maximum efficiency in terms of cost, quality, delivery and profit, many companies are turning towards employing highly skilled project managers who plan, schedule and monitor the progress of projects.

As projects become more complex and expectations rise, project managers are now frequently used in typical real estate firms where they take up the role of monitoring and supervising the overall development progress. Project managers are mainly expected to take the interest of the real estate owner or developer first and make sure that the project is completed in time. They are to be differentiated from construction managers, who are usually hired by the building contractor to coordinate the various construction site activities.

Real estate development involves the amalgamation of various processes and aspects such as market analysis, financial analysis, urban/town planning, land and title administration, land acquisition and negotiations, community-political and administrative-governmental approvals, architectural design, construction budgeting, contracting and tendering, building construction and site supervision, project management, occupancy management, marketing and leasing, disposition, property and facility management, and tax/accounting etc.

Project management is a fairly new phenomenon in the development industry. The consultants generally associated with the industry are architects, engineers and quantity surveyors. Project management is fundamental in ensuring project success which revolves around four elements: performance, cost, time and scope.

A project manager is responsible for the on-time and on-budget completion of the development project and typically works directly for the owner. Before construction begins, the project manager may be responsible for site selection and due diligence, securing the correct zoning and entitlements, selecting contractors and creating a working schedule and budget.

Over the past couple of decades, project management has become widely accepted in the construction industry and the role of an independent project manager has been recognised as essential for successful project execution. With globalisation, increasing diversity and complexity of projects as well as more stringent financing requirements, most of the developed economies continually redefine PM methodologies to meet these demands and achieve project objectives. Clients (developers and investors) insist on more stringent time, quality and cost terms, making it increasingly necessary to include specialist management skills in project teams.

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