A real estate consultant is an expert who offers unique knowledge and experience in buying, selling, and investing in residential and commercial property.
Consultants often partner with real estate agents, property developers, construction teams, investors, and other clients to evaluate market trends, determine appropriate pricing strategies, and negotiate deals effectively—plus, they understand current real estate market regulation.
Working with a skilled real estate consultant may help clients get the best price or terms on a transaction. A consultant may also assist in identifying potential problem areas and providing valuable guidance throughout the real estate process.
What Does a Real Estate Consultant Do?
While a real estate consultant's specific duties vary, they have some key responsibilities.
From research to networking and advice, here’s more about the everyday tasks of a real estate consultant:
Real estate consultants need to stay up to date on current market trends to best inform their clients.
Regularly researching sale prices for similar properties, economic forecasts, and mortgage rates are part of the job.
Consultants must stay abreast of local zoning laws and regulations that may affect a client's purchase or sale. Research also often involves consulting with other professionals, like appraisers or home inspectors.
One of the key responsibilities of a real estate consultant is to nurture professional relationships within the industry.
Networking allows real estate consultants to stay informed on new or upcoming developments and uncover potential leads for clients.
Establishing connections with investors and developers may also prove beneficial when it comes time to negotiate an offer or contract on behalf of clients.
Real estate consultants should be able to provide trustworthy advice throughout each stage of the buying or selling process, which is why they must stay in the know.
Advice includes helping clients determine what type of property they're looking for, educating them on financing options, making recommendations regarding offers and counteroffers, and providing other valuable observations about a property.
Who Benefits From Working With a Real Estate Consultant?
Real estate consultants commonly work with clients who are also real estate professionals like developers, investors, and real estate agents to create strategies tailored to their individual needs.
In a world of ever-changing real estate markets, navigating the nuances and complexities of a real estate transaction can be challenging—which is why real estate consultants may come in handy.
Let’s take a closer look at who can benefit from working with a real estate consultant:
Developers often need help navigating the complexities of the development process.
A knowledgeable consultant can work closely with developers to provide the following:
- In-depth insights into local market trends
- Current land use regulations
- Permitting processes
- Assessment of potential sites for development
- Coordination with local government entities
- Analysis of competitor projects
With their expertise covering everything from financial projections and feasibility studies to final permit approvals, real estate consultants may play an essential role in ensuring the success of any development project.
Working with a real estate consultant can be immensely beneficial for any real estate investor, no matter the size or scope of the investment.
From general market analysis to comprehensive financial evaluations, a consultant might help an investor build or maintain their portfolio.
Plus, an experienced consultant can suggest strategies and guide purchasing, selling, or refinancing a property.
With a present understanding of market trends, potential risks, and future revenue opportunities, even the most seasoned investor may benefit from working with a real estate consultant.
Real Estate Agents
Experienced real estate professionals know the importance of having reliable resources when dealing with complicated transactions or demanding clients.
Working with a consultant provides an extra layer of expertise that could prove invaluable if problems arise during negotiations or contracts need reviewing before finalizing.
A good consultant understands complex legal terms, so they can provide valuable insight into potential roadblocks that could impact closing dates or force contract renegotiations.
How Does Real Estate Consulting Work Practically?
Real estate consultants can give clients an edge over competitors—that is, other buyers.
With their in-depth understanding of the market, consultants can identify possible opportunities and provide guidance on acquisition and negotiation strategies.
A good consultant should be willing to take as much time as needed to ensure that all their client's questions are answered and their needs are met. They’ll typically work alongside clients throughout the process and offers professional opinions on market trends, legal advice, and financial considerations.
Real Estate Consultant vs. REALTOR®
A real estate consultant works or specializes in the real estate industry and provides advice or counsel to clients regarding buying, selling, renting, leasing, and managing properties.
A real estate consultant may provide services like market analysis, property valuation, negotiation assistance, and other professional advice on buying and selling property.
A REALTOR®, on the other hand, is an individual who holds membership in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and may facilitate real estate transactions. REALTORS® commit to adhering to NAR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and completing continuing education requirements—giving them an edge in professionalism.
Can You be a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Consultant?
Yes! Many consultants choose to become REALTORS® to take advantage of all that NAR offers—including access to resources, networking opportunities, continuing education courses, discounts on products and services, and more.
Becoming both a REALTOR® and a real estate consultant allows you to provide knowledgeable advice while taking advantage of the benefits of NAR membership.
Since real estate consultants need to stay up to date on the industry for continued success, becoming a REALTOR® is just one way that you might stay ahead of the curve.
Requirements for Becoming a Real Estate Consultant
Becoming a real estate consultant is a rewarding journey that requires education, qualifications, and experience to be successful.
If you’re already a licensed real estate professional, your path to becoming a consultant requires enhancing your field knowledge to make your expertise as valuable as possible.
However, if you're just starting, checking your state’s requirements is essential, as the requirements vary. Usually, the next step is to complete a pre-licensing course that teaches real estate fundamentals, like contracts, leases, and marketing within the law. Then you must pass a licensing exam to test your knowledge of these fundamentals.
Becoming a real estate consultant doesn’t come with specific requirements; rather, consultants benefit from extensive real estate knowledge. That’s why obtaining a real estate license and earning other designations like joining the Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE®), is a good idea.
Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time real estate agent, additional certifications are recommended to increase your expertise further. These accreditations may also relate to financing, tax laws, or property management, to name a few.
How Does a Real Estate Consultant Get Paid
A real estate consultant salary depends on a few factors. They can receive payment in various ways based on the scope of work.
When working with clients on buying and selling, consultants often earn a negotiable commission determined by the total sale price of the property.
Consultants may require a retainer to keep working for a longer duration if the project is extended—like for project management services, overseeing renovations, or expanding an existing building.
Other consultants may charge hourly fees for research and other tasks like site investigations or market analysis.
Since payment methods depend on individual cases, discussing compensation early on with your clients is essential.
Is Becoming a Real Estate Consultant Worth It?
Real estate consultants aim to help clients navigate the complex nature of the real estate market.
Consultants should be knowledgeable about numerous areas of the real estate industry, including zoning regulations and local tax laws, along with access to a network of professionals.
To expand your knowledge and expertise, you might consider NAR membership for access to resources that may help you reach your professional goals.
Ultimately, becoming a real estate consultant can be a unique and rewarding job that requires significant industry knowledge and excellent people skills.