Commercial real estate is complex. But sometimes a transaction takes more than a good negotiator or deal maker. You need a consultant, someone experienced in understanding the nuances and finding the right path through all the noise.

Here is my top 10 list of things that consultants provide. Knowing this may help you sleep better at night.

  1. Clarity.  Consultants turn complexity into clarity, which is especially important as this world becomes more and more complex. Imagine being a manager and projecting your office needs five years out; or being an heir of a portfolio of assets needing to project the best use of land. Seriously, it’s a full-time job.
  2. Economic impact and feasibility studies.  Consultants give you accurate and unbiased data and their analysis is a critical foundation of projects.
  3. Site location and relocation. Is it time to relocate? Or, is it not? A consultant assists you in making that decision with unbiased advice.
  4. Lease versus purchase evaluation. Many business owners question whether it is possible to invest in both real estate and operations. A consultant assists decision makers who need a firm understanding of real estate value versus business value, and they can provide a formula for comparing the financial aspects of leasing to those of owning a business property.
  5. Real estate portfolio strategy. Consultants look at the big picture. They ensure your company’s real estate footprint is made up of the right space in the optimal location.
  6. Real estate due diligence. Back to that idea that you want to be able to sleep at night when you are in the middle of a deal. Consultants can give you that peace of mind.
  7. Expert witness testimony and litigation support. You’ll definitely want this should you need it.
  8. Investment analysis and strategy.  Consultants dig deep into the numbers with a broader view in mind. They make sure you’re getting the best ROI.
  9. Market research. Lots of real estate professionals say they have market research and may show some stats. But rarely is their data as comprehensive as it can and should be.
  10. Land use master planning.The experienced land use expert creates a use and infrastructure plan that sets forth your goals for the project and assists in developing consensus among the stakeholders.
  11. Workouts.  A consultant will create a plan of how to restructure or modify debt in the face of foreclosure.
  12. Valuation. What is a third party’s opinion of value? It’s important to know.
  13. Capital raising. Consultants with the right connections can help you find the capital to execute on your project or to take it to the next level.

OK, I went longer than 10 but I couldn’t help myself. There’s just so much interesting stuff that consultants provide to help their clients make the best choices that I couldn’t limit myself to just 10. Take advantage of this list the next time you are involved in a deal and you might find yourself sleeping soundly.