Today, we will talk about project management when repairing and working with real estate. As a project manager myself, I understand the importance of organization, and I will share the tips I picked up on-site with you. If you are a novice to project management, I would suggest you pay close attention to this advice as it will save you lots of time and expense. The first and most important decision you will make when employing the services of a general contractor or individual contractors is that you are the boss and responsible for the entire project.
The next thing that you need to prioritize is time management. This will allow you to balance deadlines, oversee the project’s budget, and allow for contingencies. This can be a stressful situation juggling so many balls, especially when problems and things don’t work out to plan. You need to be there with a calm and clear perspective to fix the problem and move the work again, as time is money. If you are an organized person, this will benefit you; if you are not, I strongly advise that you do more research on the topic as a lack of organization will be detrimental to the entire project and cost more than you expected.
Once you are ready to start the project, the next big decision you will need is to choose a General Contractor to do all the work or hire individual contractors to do different jobs. This takes more organization as more people are involved, but you must look for references and check the quality of their work on past or current projects. Once you are happy with the contractors and team you have in place, the sooner you communicate your expectations to them, the better off you will be.Next on your list is defining the scope of the works. It sounds a bit technical, but it’s the look and design you want to achieve and deliver on completion of the work. There can be no wiggle room allowed here; you need to be precise, clear and detailed in informing your contractor precisely what you want. To do this effectively, you must understand the deliverables of the project. The contract with your contractor will define the scope of work and what they will be doing, and how much they will charge for that work. You will also need to be aware of your available resources concerning labor and financial requirements to ensure the project is moving along and you are aware of all the people working on the project.
To ensure a free-flowing project, I suggest you follow a tried and tested template. I have available a template for you to follow in my course, or you can search online for one when you are starting; it’s best to hire a mentor or follow a template just until you get enough experience to do things by yourself.
Once you have agreed on the project plan with your contractor, you must review its progress on an ongoing basis. Delays or problems will have knock-on effects, and you must be ready to adapt or rearrange things to ensure that contractors’ services are prepared to go on the arranged dates. A plasterer cannot start his work until the electrician has completed his, so any delay in the early stages of the work will have a chain effect on other jobs. Every time a job fails to be completed on time will impact you, so you must keep on top of things by reviewing progress daily.
Setting time limits will help to ensure that each job is completed on budget before it has a detrimental knock-on effect. While you want the work completed efficiently, you mustn’t compromise on quality to finish it faster. From my experience, taking shortcuts only leads to problems in the long run, which is a false economy. Be sure to get the job done correctly in the first place to avoid future problems and expenses. Meet frequently with your contractors to keep appraised of their work and schedule and be aware of any potential issues that need attention. I strongly advise that you keep a record of all your dealings, receipts, expenses, and contacts and organize them in a filing system, especially if you manage more than one project. I prefer to use a combination of a digital and paper filing system. The digital system allows me to update my iPad while on-site and access information on the go when I need it.
Delegation of tasks is not a job I enjoy, but it’s an essential factor when managing people. You will need to learn delegation skills, which allows for greater efficiency and a smoother running project. When delegating jobs, you must spell out the instructions correctly, and they are clear, knowing what you want them to do. Simple mistakes or miscommunication on logistics can lose you time and money. Anticipating problems that may arise is another skill a good project manager needs to acquire. Making contingencies and spotting the signs will come with experience, so the more you do it, the better you will get.
And the last tip I would like to share with you is to invest in some management software. In the past, I have employed Microsoft Project when working for a company, but you don’t have to use that. You can even use an Excel sheet only to manage the projects that have been completed. It’s up to you to organize yourself, but this is how we do it. So I hope this helps, and I will see you on the next project.
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