Here's a typical request I get... "Can you help me, do you know a good contractor to renovate my condo?"
Certainly I have a short list of preferred suppliers. These are companies that I have worked with before and I know the quality of construction I can expect from them. Notice I said 'quality' as opposed to availability, price or schedule. I have found that the the quality contractors have a way of performing that encompasses those other attributes, to the clients' advantage.
The first thing I will do for the client is to meet with them and walk through the project. Afterwards, I prepare a cost estimate. Clients need to be realistic and have to appreciate what their needs and wants list will really cost, long before meeting with a contractor. Usually an iterative process follows until we get to a budget that the client feels comfortable accepting. This is not an easy process and for many clients it is just painful but it does establish the scope of work and its associated cost.
After the budget is established I call in the contractor to meet with the client. At this point the client and contractor discuss what needs to be done. Also discussed are hours of work, noise mitigation, permiting and condo association notices and approvals. After which, the contractor prepares their estimate for the work. The contractor's estimate, along with the material list and schedule are reviewed in detail until they are acceptable to all parties.
Formal acceptance of the estimate along with the terms and conditions are then signed.
Where the condo owner chooses to use my services as an Owner's Representative then I will take care of managing the contractor on behalf of the owner.