5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Developer

5 questions to ask your Real Estate Developer

As an owner or investor, there are countless things to consider before choosing a real estate developer for your next project. The real estate development process is a long, winding road that your developer will take the lead on, so it’s important that you choose wisely. You’ll likely meet with several before making a decision, so we’ve gathered five questions you should ask a real estate development firm.

real estate developer expertise

What’s their expertise?

The biggest real estate developers boast that they can take on any project, of any size and in any city. That may be true, but it may also mean the developer doesn’t have a clear focus or expertise in a specific area. Depending on your project, you should consider aligning yourself with a real estate development firm whose expertise complements it. For example, a developer may have expertise in:

  • Residential real estate
  • Commercial real estate
  • Historic development
  • New market development
  • Tax credits

real estate developer track record

What’s their track record?

Execution matters just as much as expertise. If a developer doesn’t have a solid track record of delivering excellent buildings on time and on budget, then they aren’t worth your time. As your developer shows off past projects, ask about the more specific details. These include:

  • Estimated project budget vs. actual project cost
  • Timeline for delivery
  • Quality of construction
  • Client feedback or testimonial

real estate developer finances

How are their finances?

Property development is a complex, expensive process. A developer needs a significant amount of capital in order to source engineers, contractors and other parties responsible for getting the project off the ground. Developers in a shaky financial position may delay projects, pass increasing costs on to you or cut corners on the building’s quality. Don’t be afraid to ask for a developer’s financial report as part of your due diligence.

real estate developer lead time

What’s their lead time?

You should ask any potential developer how long a project like yours should take to build. Depending on the developer, this answer may drastically vary, with some promising highly unrealistic timelines in order to grab your attention and win the job. The most successful property developers will be able to balance your time constraints with the project’s quality.

real estate developer values

What are their values?

Like we said above, your property developer helps you navigate your project from start to finish. They’ll become part of your team for several months, or even years–so you should share some common ground. Ask yourself, does this developer buy into your vision for the project? Do they seem easy to work with? Are they as committed to this project’s success as you are? If you answered no to any of these questions, you may want to consider moving on to the next.

Let’s Get Building

There are countless real estate developers across the country. As you seek a development partner for your next project, use these questions to help guide your discussions and make a more informed decision. And if you’re seeking a historic real estate developer who’s passionate about community, look no further.

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