Working in commercial real estate can sometimes feel like being in the middle of big jigsaw puzzle. When all of the puzzle pieces are scattered on the table top, it’s difficult to see what goes where.
But as things start to fit together the big picture begins to emerge, until finally, every piece has found its place in the puzzle.
The Key Players In Real Estate – Who Does What
In the real estate industry, every player has their place. When working together as a team, each contributes to the big picture.
Sometimes that picture is a new mixed-use office development project, sometimes it’s converting traditional office suites to on-demand coworking office space. Other times the big picture can be leasing a vacant space or selling a building.
Different real estate projects have different team members. Below is a list of the 15 most common key players in real estate and how each member contributes to the success of the team.
Appraisers help determine the value of a property by analyzing comparables and preparing written reports used by real estate investors and lenders. Because property types are unique, real estate appraisers usually specialize in certain real estate asset classes such as land, residential, commercial, or special-use property.
Architects create a detailed building plan prior to construction and work with the general contractor to ensure the directions for the building plan are followed.
Participates in many different real estate transactions and processes, including land acquisitions, zoning matters, and contract review.
Works in all parts of the development or redevelopment process, from conception to completion. Civil engineers provide a critical assessment of raw land use and identify the infrastructure needed to support the project.
Analyzes a site’s physical limitations, conducts environmental impact studies such as Phase I and Phase II inspections, and assists in overseeing any needed remediation work to reduce environmental contamination to an acceptable level.
Responsible for overseeing the construction of a project and providing all of the material, labor, and services needed to bring the project in on time and within budget. General contractors in real estate often work with subcontractors who specialize in different portions of the construction project such as electrical and plumbing installation, and heating and cooling systems.
Designs functional and attractive public and private areas in and around the property. Architects specializing in landscape work also assist site developers with planning the locations of buildings in a multi-property development, locating streets and walkways, and selecting environmentally-friendly landscape vegetation.
Works hand-in-hand with the property management team and owner to maximize gross revenues by leasing to tenants that enhance the property’s image and position in the marketplace. Real estate agents specializing in leasing also play an important role in helping property owners achieve their investment objectives.
Depending on the type of project, real estate lenders can be insurance companies and large private equity firms, traditional banks or hard money lenders, or mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers. Real estate lenders provide financing for new construction, bridge loans or gap loans as a development project progresses, and take-out financing with longer-term commercial real estate loans.
Help investors determine the demand for a project and its economic feasibility by conducting a detailed analysis of current real estate market trends and anticipating future changes in the market.
Handles day-to-day property issues and helps the owner reach their short-term and long-term real estate investment goals.
Real Estate Broker
Real estate brokers are involved in all stages of the real estate process including initial land acquisition, subdivided lot sales, and property acquisitions and sales.
Works in conjunction with architects, civil engineers, and environmental consultants in all project aspects such as zoning, ingress and egress, security, and water drainage.
Working either privately or as part of a larger engineering firm, surveyors are responsible for identifying the boundaries of a property and preparing legal reports that are used by the architect, site planner, engineer, and general contractor to construct the project.
Ensure that a property title is legitimate and free of any liens or encumbrances before the title is transferred. Title and escrow companies also issue title insurance that protects the owner and its lender against any future lawsuits or claims over title to the property.