Are you trying to find a construction manager (CM) in Los Angeles? Your choices may seem abundant, but which of these companies is best equipped for tackling your project in a city where new developments are notoriously challenging? In this guide, we will walk you through the qualities that separate the top construction management companies in Los Angeles, CA, from the rest of the pack. We will also explain how to find out as much useful information as you can about a CM before you hire them.
How to Select the Right Construction Management Firm in Los Angeles
Below are the most vital selection criteria you should use when looking for professional construction and development services in Los Angeles.
Company’s Prior Experience with Your Project Type
Prior experience is the most basic of all selection standards. But when you’re choosing a construction management company for your project in Los Angeles, you’ve got to dig a little deeper and make sure that the company has past experience with your type of project.
Project-specific experience is a must anywhere, but in a city like Los Angeles, it’s simply paramount. In a city where the approval process is infamously tangled and lengthy, the last thing you’d want is a construction manager who has only dealt with low-rise residential projects to represent your commercial development; and vice versa. The approval process differs greatly between building occupancies, with different committees getting involved and different standards with which the proposed building must comply. A construction management company with an extensive portfolio of buildings that are similar in occupancy, function, and size to yours is best suited for navigating the hurdles of planning and zoning approvals.
Likewise, it’s important to consider the company’s experience in Los Angeles. Not only will a local construction management company know all the nuances of LA’s planning, zoning, and building regulations, but it will also be familiar with the approval process, having handled it many times before.
Team Members’ Experience
Apart from assessing the construction management company’s expertise with LA-based projects that are similar to yours, you should also perform an in-depth evaluation of the company’s team. After all, you’ll be working with these individuals, and so their personal background is just as important as that of the company they represent. They, too, should hold intimate knowledge of LA’s approval process and have a sizeable portfolio of relevant projects under their belts.
Positive Word-of-Mouth References
You can glean vital background information from the construction management company’s website, which, ideally, should have a selection of past projects for you to view. Likewise, you can use a platform such as LinkedIn to learn as much as possible about the company’s team — doing so will help you gauge if their collective experience will meet your needs.
However, the ideal way to establish a construction management company’s credentials is through word-of-mouth. Rather than blindly trusting a website, news release, or a social media feed, it’s best to ask project owners who have worked with the company for their opinion on the services that were provided. You can also ask other construction professionals who have worked with the CM for their experience and opinion. These personal connections will get you plenty of important insights about how the company operates, and alert you to any red flags and deal-breakers.
Company’s Vision for Your Project
Of equal importance is a one-on-one meeting with the company’s management team. Such an opportunity will not only help you establish an all-important personal connection but will also give you a good impression of whether the company can deliver the type of building you expect.
During the meeting, regardless of its format, you should try to understand the construction management company’s vision for your project. This is a good time to find out how your goals considering the proposed project’s schedule, budget, building function, and architectural and structural features can be accomplished and aligned with that of the company.
It’s also wise to ask whether the CM foresees any unique challenges, whether with the jurisdictional or administrative side of things, with design, or with construction itself. Of course, a preliminary discussion is also your opportunity to share as much of your vision of the project as possible — effective collaboration between the owner and CM is the recipe for success in construction.
Finally, an in-person meeting with the prospective construction management company will help you establish how the team behaves and communicates, both with you and amongst themselves.
Transparency and Loyalty: Other Qualities to Look for in a Construction Management Company
When you choose a construction management company for your project, you should look beyond the company’s background and expertise. Characteristics like transparency and loyalty are of equal importance. Testimonials and meetings with the company’s representatives should help you establish these qualities.
With your money on the line, the CM representing you should be fully transparent throughout every phase of the construction process. You should never be left feeling in the dark, nor should you ever be surprised by consequential decisions that are made without your input.
An initial meeting can help you gauge the CM team’s ability to communicate clearly and transparently. You should also get a feel for the team’s ability to collaborate effectively with other project stakeholders.
For the duration of your project, the construction management company you hire should represent only you, advocating for your interests above all else. Any conflicts of interest should be mutually disclosed and dealt with in a manner that follows relevant legislation and satisfies both you and the CM. Previous clients’ feedback should help you decide whether you can trust the CM to represent you before you hire them.
Finding the best suited construction manager for your project
Building in Los Angeles isn’t always easy, and finding the right construction management firm to oversee your development is equally challenging. When you’re deciding which of the top construction management companies in Los Angeles, CA, are best-suited to take on your project, remember to consider the following:
- The company’s expertise with your project type
- The CM’s LA-based experience
- Whether the CM’s vision for your project aligns with your own
- You should expect full transparency, loyalty, and effective communication from the CM
Above all else, get a good feel for the company by asking for testimonials from past clients and other construction professionals; and of course, always trust your own instinct.