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Employer’s agent, a matter of passion

If I ever considered investing in construction, I would definitely seek help. In fact, I want to think that most investors surround themselves with the best advisers for a business of this nature. Is it enough that a friend of mine recommends a professional with good references? Maybe I would trust him, but not with complete confidence. I am looking for someone serious and rigorous, a technical support, a junction between the different stakeholders and a guarantor capable of managing the overall data of the project.

In a nutshell, he should take care of almost everything. Does anybody like this exist? I inquire, I browse the net, I read on a site that this profession has a name: Employer’s agent or Project Monitor. Perfect, I start to feel more confident.

The first fear that assails me is the acquisition of the land. I am not even sure if I am buying well or bad. The chapter on Due Diligence reassures me. It explains how the Employer´s agent coordinates and manages the project from the first second. Next, he accompanies me in the feasibility of the project, the appointment of the developer, the setting up of the operation, the monitoring of the completion of the site, including the extensive inspection of the final work review list. His work will conclude with the final acceptance and reception of the project. That way I rest assured that my money will always be in good hands.

I continue to investigate: the tasks of my Employer´s agent are precise and clear. He consults and monitors the companies involved, analyzes all documents (study, execution and DOEs), financial (global offers, quotes, additional work …), charts for analysis and implementation as well as contractual documents. The close follow-up of administrative files is guaranteed, as well as participation in meetings with local authorities, from preliminary design to obtaining permits. I will also be offered alternative technical solutions, including a report of all these meetings.

Everything starts to flow, I take action. I take my phone and contact several companies in the sector. I feel like somebody testing the market, well-off and eager to learn. However, after a few unsuccessful attempts, things don´t seem to go so well. Not all that glitters is gold and very few companies take me seriously.

Finally, when I am almost about to give up, somebody patient and willing to help me picks up the phone. This time it is a female voice who asks me the right questions, listens to me, and the conversation goes smoothly. She explains and highlights the responsibilities of a Project Monitoring : Importance of providing accurate analyses and of establishing a relationship of trust with me and with the  project stakeholders; Importance of handing over all information on time, of knowing the project better than myself, and knowing how to fulfill my expectations and requirements. I love that last point. I let her talk, she knows her job.Next, she explains which challenges new Project Monitoring missions will have to face in a near future: it is crucial to know how to adapt to the new technical developments in construction, to increasingly tight schedules, to new types of buildings (last mile delivery buildings), and anticipate administrative issues, especially on the environmental side or any which may arise during each construction phase. I agree 100% but I have one last question and doubt: What are the benefits of employing a Project Manager on my construction site? The answer comes like a breath of hope. The expert gives me one reason after the other with the key word being: “advantage”.

On the one hand, financial advantage by anticipating the constructive solutions and adapting these, on time, to the project. On the other hand, economic advantage thanks to the technical and financial analysis of the offers which allows to identify any additional costs and confront negotiations confidently. Furthermore, I am guaranteed an effective and successful operation from an administrative point of view, especially when it comes to the countless authorizations needed. Possible deviations from the initial planning will be identified and constructive solutions, to remedy eventual failures in workmanship, will be provided.  My curiosity grows. I am captivated by her professionalism, her know-how, her agility, her passion, I open up, I talk to her, we decide to meet. The next day, we meet in Paris, 136 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, a bistro full of charm, very hygge, she introduces herself and TOP MANAGEMENT, an international engineering company specializing in the management of industrial, logistics, commercial and office design and construction projects. I ask for a coffee:- What are the most important projects in which you have been involved as a Project Manager?

– Large-scale projects like that of Carrefour in Poupry of 130,000m², or technical projects like that of a positive and negative cold warehouse of 35,000m² in Lens.She explains their working system, how they analyze the possible issues beforehand and then send the feedback to the client for the final decision.

This implies regular telephone conversations, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly meetings, sending of reports by email and a follow-up on all documents to be analyzed.

I interrupt her to ask specifically about her company:

TOP MANAGEMENT has a global knowledge of the industrial & logistics sector with more than twelve years of experience. The company has a dedicated team of specialized experts in their field, with an unbeatable ability to respond to any setback due to their versatility and ability to handle all these tasks in many different languages. Did you know that the way of working varies completely depending on the type of construction site? Some constructions start completely “blank,” which means without the prospect of a tenant. This reduces interfaces but implies working on a projected building with divisions considered according to the chosen risk level. The tenant’s interior automation system can influence the project based on the chosen configuration. Are you following me? I will follow you to the end of the world!

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