“Free” Project Management

3 Replies

Hey everyone!

I have been working in commercial construction since 2001. I have been the lead PM on projects ranging from $5M up to $40M. I currently work as a senior project manager at the largest concrete contractor in the country.

I was thinking of offering my project management expertise & commercial construction experience in exchange for learning more about being a commercial developer from someone that has been in real estate development for awhile.

Obviously the ideal situation would be something I can do part time since I have a day job. If I could get a piece of the project, that would be fantastic but not a deal breaker either way. I just want someone to show me the ropes.

What do you all think of this idea?

@Seth Tandett because you are looking for a commercial developer you are dealing with a much smaller subset of people, and most commercial developments are run by corporations not individuals so you'll have a tougher time getting your foot in the door.  Unless it is commercial RE or bust a residential investor might be more the speed you're looking for.

@Seth Tandett Developers will not exchange equity for services. We hire it out.

As you know developers hire Architects to design and facilitate construction admin, GC's to handle the vertical and CM firms, owners rep or consultants if needed to oversee the project part time. If they are in need of full PM they will hire that in-house.

If you want to get into the development space you should look for a position with a development company as a PM and grow from there. There are a lot of firms in Richmond looking for talent.

@Seth Tandett

I agree with @Aaron K. and @Greg Dickerson : if you have the means to become a developer for any decent-sized projects, you can afford to hire a good team around you. In most cases, the developer relies on the GC, architect, and any consultants on the projects to handle most interactions. Developers working on mega jobs may hire a full-time manager to supervise the job site during the entire duration of the project. 

Given your experience, you may find some smaller/newer developers that may want to hire you as a consultant. For example, I know a few smaller developers in my area that hired people for such purposes. But these tend to be tiny projects in the grand scheme of construction projects (probably sub $5 million for the entire project cost). In these projects, the developers often act as the GC for the project. Setting aside whether that's a wise decision, it's not unusual for the developer to hire someone with construction experience to act as a project manager of sorts. 

For these small projects, I could theoretically see someone giving up some equity for help depending on their cash situation. But the value of the equity is probably minor given the project size. 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it for legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.