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Ask an Expert – Leo Crane on Owner’s Representation.

Ask an Expert – Leo Crane on Owner’s Representation.

For our inaugural ‘Ask an Expert’ chat, I had the opportunity to speak with Leo Crane, the founder of Summit Point Consulting. Crane’s expertise spans two decades of engineering and consultancy and has evolved into a specialized focus on owner’s representation and project management. Our conversation shed light on the role of an owner’s representative and the multifaceted challenges and strategies inherent in project management.

Leo described owner representation as advocating for project owners and coordinating stakeholders; including consultants, architects, contractors, and real estate professionals. Emphasizing effective communication, Leo highlighted that the owner’s representative is the central hub for information flow. He stressed the importance of an owner’s representative being fully committed to the owner’s interests and building collaborative relationships with all those involved in the project.

Leo shed light on the challenges inherent in project management, mentioning the typical concerns of schedule adherence and budgetary constraints. Beyond these common hurdles, he underscored the critical importance of ensuring alignment between project outcomes and owner expectations, particularly in protracted projects spanning several years. Crane advocated for continuous communication and regular check-ins to maintain cohesion among stakeholders and mitigate divergent interpretations of project objectives. He underscored the value that Estate Managers can bring to the process by providing historical context and essential insights as well as being the touchstone for communicating with the principal.

Regarding engaging with an owner’s representative for the first time, Leo advised Estate Managers to ask questions openly and honestly to understand the value proposition. He acknowledged that sometimes hiring an owner’s rep occurs reactively but emphasized the value of early engagement in projects to proactively address potential issues and assemble the right team for success.

When discussing how to identify the right owner’s representative for a project, he suggested evaluating technical aptitude, depth of industry experience, and interpersonal skills through feedback from various stakeholders involved in the project. He noted the importance of relationship-building, and collaborative skills as key attributes of a proficient owner’s representative. Crane underscored the significance of selecting not just companies but also the individuals within them who will be involved in the project long-term.

Leo’s insights provided a great introduction to Owner’s Representation. You can watch the 30-minute chat at the new Estate Management Network Members’ App:

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