Martin LaMar: What Is Smart Real Estate Project Management?
Real estate is one of the most dynamic, constantly evolving industries in the modern economy. This makes it exciting, which is part of its charm. But it also makes it unpredictable. Business guru Martin LaMar, who has seen his share of ups and downs in commercial real estate, knows firsthand how important it is for companies to cultivate the right systems for overseeing their large-scale, high-visibility, and expensive real estate projects.
Having the right real estate project management systems in place is critical for several reasons, according to LaMar, who is currently the regional vice president of McCormack Baron Companies. In his role at the company, he is responsible for a real estate portfolio that consists of more than 10,000 market-rate, tax credit, and public housing units throughout Mississippi, Chicago, Western Illinois, and St. Louis in Missouri.
The first reason project management is so important in real estate? A robust project management system helps with budget management. This is valuable considering that real estate project managers have to hire and supervise several contractors, budget for construction materials, and watch for increases in costs as a result of change orders. They are also responsible for paying vendors, using financing appropriately, and following a number of protocols for keeping their projects under or at budget.
The Management of Time
A strong system for managing real estate projects also ensures effective time management, according to LaMar, who has overseen multiple housing authorities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. In fact, he got his start in real estate interning at a housing authority in Washington as well. LaMar says it is critical for project managers to keep good track of their time because failing to order supplies in a timely manner or not coordinating among contractors can end up slowing their projects down. This, in turn, can lead to cost increases for the client or for the project in general.
Third, well-thought-out project management is critical in the real estate industry because it helps with managing risks. Any real estate project risks exceeding its budget or dragging out longer than anticipated. These projects also expose a company to risk. However, project managers have a duty to reduce their risk by securing the necessary project insurance, creating contracts that spell out every party’s responsibility, and hiring only professionals who are properly bonded or licensed.
Taking these steps, for starters, can help with avoiding unwanted expenses, including those associated with litigation.
Finally, real estate project management is paramount for avoiding communications issues, according to Martin LaMar. In fact, complex and large projects might require periods for public comments, public outreach, or community notices. The more prepared that real estate project managers are for the construction initiatives and property transactions they are charged with handling, the more confidently they can make decisions that will positively impact their bottom lines in the long run.