Tips for real estate consultants

As would-be consultants, you will be engaged to give invaluable insights in your areas of expertise, whether it be into concept development, management and supervision, and process improvement, etc.

Your exact role will depend on your clients and the specific project they have in mind. For example, real estate consultants working on a property development project may be asked to review, evaluate and or confirm the viability of planned investments. Developers may ask for current and future trends so they can be properly guided into undertaking projects that will be in demand and competitive in the market. Investors could seek professional advice on a variety of services to help them maximize the use of their resources.

Unlike the clients’ organic staff, think of consultants as experts working behind the scene. The consultants’ responsibilities include, among others, providing information, facilitating clients’ learning,  imparting advice and recommendations, solving problems, and giving guidance to help them reduce their risks and attain investment success.

While knowing these roles are necessary, getting clients is equally crucial for starting consultants.  Here are few tips to consider:

1. Create an online presence.  Identify who your target clients are, and create an online presence focused on them. If you have an existing account, make sure to review and “clean” it. Separate your personal and business posts. Online and networking platforms require information such as professional experience/skills. Make sure to be purposive in filling them up, as future clients who see them may need your skills and hire your services. Actively join and engage in groups related to your business. Bring value to the group as it will help you stand out and gain the trust of potential clients.

2. Polish your profile. Develop a profile so your probable clients can find out more about your background, expertise, and the services you offer. Explain your strength and state why you are among the best consultants. Incorporate a portfolio to showcase your works and how you contributed to your previous clients’ or former employer’s success. Include your clients’ testimonials. Maintain your professional license and certifications. They are important to your career and clients.

3. Ask for referrals. Your colleagues and friends can assist you. Asking them to introduce you to potential clients. They can undoubtedly promote your services because of their positive experience, trust, and appreciation with you.

4. Create working relationships. Most consultants already have their respective set of clients. However, it is also possible that they may have clients who need a service that they cannot offer. If you are new, offer to work at introductory or lower fees. It is essential that you continue to develop new and strong relationships with colleagues and potential customers to encourage them to share information about you and your business with their network. Always presume that clients also know their businesses, as they may not like consultants who are overbearing and may just “push” them around. Remember to deliver value, as their opinions will benefit you in the future.

These practices will help you secure more clients and hopefully increase your future incomes.

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References used include Consulting Is More Than Giving Advice by Arthur N. Turner (hbr.org) and 75 Tips for Becoming a More Effective Consultant by Matt Haag (linkedin.org)

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Henry L. Yap is an architect, environmental planner, former real estate practitioner and senior lecturer. He was recently appointed as one of the undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

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