You’ve got grand visions for what you want your new building to look like. But you’ll need help when it comes time to make them a reality. From finding the right location through design and construction, choosing a team to assist you through the process will be one of the most important decisions you make. With industry experts on your side, your project will be developed according to your goals, and stay on budget and schedule, progressing more smoothly with fewer setbacks. As with any capital-intensive project; you’ll want to work with trusted professionals.
Read on for our best advice on the who and how of choosing your commercial real estate development team.
Key aspects to consider
You likely make hiring decisions based not only on a candidate’s credentials and interview response but also on how you feel they will fit in your company culture— dependent on what you can tell about their work ethic, goals and personality. The same should be true when you are building a development team.
Keep your core values in mind when vetting people to assist you with your development project. Core values impact the way business is done and will be foundational to the project and team. A team with shared core values can take a project from average to excellent. Ensuring your team members align in communication styles is also key to success. If you’re looking to build upon prior successes, consider team members you’ve successfully worked with on previous projects. Recommendations from industry colleagues are also a good place to start.
Another important aspect of building your team is finding the members at the right time with capacity to take on the work. On a development project it is to your benefit to build the full team earlier rather than later. This is so that value adds from the various team members occurs early with the ability for the greatest impact. You don’t want to get all the way through development of your building plans only to find out the contractor had cost saving ideas to do it differently! We’d suggest that your first hire be a real estate development consultant with first- hand experience developing real estate who can help you build the rest of the team.
The earlier in the process you choose to build the team, the more cohesive the project plan will be as you’ve given each person time to provide valuable input and coordinate the details with the other team members.
Development consultant: Development consultants are responsible for the project from start to finish, from managing budget development and financial return expectations to orchestrating and managing the entire process and team. This person will be your right-hand project manager through this project, staying on top of the details and turning your project into one that meets your business goals.
Commercial real estate agent or broker: A broker will bring value to your team using their local market knowledge to source the right site options. This team member will review listings, schedule tours, contact other brokers as well as write offers and negotiate on your behalf.
Architect: The design of the building is a key aspect in your project, and you want to be sure to get it right. This means the style and experience of the architect you hire matters greatly. Your development consultant will issue a request for proposals to reputable firms and review options with you. Your architect should ideally be a good listener who can take your visions and guide them to fit both your budget and the space. Once hired, the architect will work closely with the general contractor on the design and plan for development.
General contractor: Your general contractor is the one managing everything that has to do with construction and will work closely with the architect and development consultant through the duration of the project. There are many types of contract structures to consider so depend on your consultant to help you understand what is best for you. References before developing the list of bidders is highly valuable.
Attorney, Accountant, and Tax Advisor: You’ll want an attorney experienced with commercial real estate along with a professional accountant and a tax advisor involved in the project even before a site is purchased to help make decisions on the various legal and financial matters that can impact your project.
The KimbleCo difference
Real, in the trenches development experience is one aspect that differentiates KimbleCo from other real estate consulting firms. Our president and vice president both have past career experience as developers, developing a combined total of more than 6 million square feet of office, industrial, multi-family and retail space, as well as numerous business parks. This is rare for real estate service providers, positioning us to provide you with the highest level of expertise – from site and team selection to financial structuring, through project management of the development to a successful outcome.
We want you to build the best team for your next building project and hope our ideas help to get you on the right track! For more information, get in touch.