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Project Management, CRE Best Practices

Don't Let Legal Agreements be Showstoppers: A Project Management Checklist

Standard legal agreements are intended as a safeguard for owners. Project management teams that fail to anticipate agreements and compliance matters risk costly delays, e.g., change orders, rework, fines and penalties. Be informed, to ensure that practical matters never become showstoppers.


Commercial real estate organizations rely upon the expertise of project management teams to navigate construction and development across the assets under their control from start to finish. Each successful project results from informed planning, with adequate consideration given to codes, ordinances, legal liability, and compliance.

Failing to appropriately plan for and anticipate enforcement matters has the potential to delay or derail major undertakings. There are financial implications, not only in the form of delays, change orders, rework, etc., but potentially fines and penalties.  

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Project managers are accountable for delivering on time and within budget. Standard agreements throughout the capital deployment process are intended to safeguard owners against risks, additional costs, penalties, or code violations. Left unaddressed, these add time, costs, and could become roadblocks or worse, showstoppers.

General Waiver and Release of Lien

Contractors or subs, suppliers, and others who might be party to the construction provide waivers to release owners from costs and any future lien rights to a property. Executing this agreement confirms that payment has been received and there are not debts related to this transaction outstanding. The release allows the owner to exercise full control over the asset without obligation.

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Indemnify and Hold Harmless Agreements

Indemnify and Hold Harmless agreements may be either unilateral (one-way) or reciprocal (two-way). They assert that the party will not be held responsible for risk or damage, whether financial or from legal action.

Code Compliance

Protecting the value of an asset requires full comprehension of the regulatory landscape. Depending upon the jurisdiction in which the project occurs, there may be a variety of code and compliance issues governing properties and their components. Real estate compliance covers every part of the project, and neither the size of the project nor its budget, large or small, exempt owners from compliance obligations.

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Fail to plan, or plan to fail

Accounting for these components by way of the project management plan and at the completion of each stage helps protect assets from unanticipated risks, costs, and delays. Legal action, code or compliance violations can significantly and adversely impact the asset value and the owner's ability to enhance them. Leverage technology to ensure that teams are less likely to miss unforeseen circumstances. In so doing, you increase the likelihood that project managers deliver on time and within budget.

As with any legal matter, consult appropriate counsel for opinions or advice.

Download The Fundamentals of Cost Tracking [GUIDE]


Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Written by Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Rochelle is the Content Marketing Manager for Honest Buildings. She creates stories and other on-brand content to inform and engage owners and other members of the Commercial Real Estate industry.

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