Real Estate Counselors

Real Estate Counselors

Are real estate consultants just brokers in sheep’s clothing?

First, know that the little industry-niche of commercial real estate consultants has an affiliation group called the Counselors of Real Estate (“CRE” or “Counselors”). What’s interesting about Counselors is that these are people who are invited to join CRE because they have demonstrated the advice they provide is high-quality. Always.

Here’s what sets Counselors apart:

  1. A counselor accepts that every client is different and asks open-ended questions to get at the heart of what the person or group needs. Counselors take their role as advocates seriously and never spout general one-size-fits-all advice.
  2. The real estate Hippocratic Oath: (1) Try not to kill anyone. (2) Help solve a problem. (3) Make the client look good to their boss and the stakeholders. (4) Give the client the information they need to act with confidence. (5) Provide clarity to complex issues.
  3. Counselors define their role early in the process. They know that 80 percent of success is dependent on the role negotiated upfront. So they live by the rule: Do what you say you will do or explain why you can’t.
  4. Above all, they provide clarity, brevity, and impact. Counselors know, “You can do all the research and analysis possible, but you have failed if you don’t communicate it effectively.” Great Counselors understand the concept of stable data as it relates to leadership. Everyone agrees on the information at hand, and everyone is getting is on the train before it leaves the station.


The Counselors of Real Estate have a strong group here in Charlotte. Our consulting corps has helped many nonprofits throughout the region. I’m very enthusiastic about this progression in my career. If you think you have a challenging assignment, or if you are stumped on a CRE issue, or you need a friend in CRE to talk to, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Here are a few consulting assignments that Cardinal is currently working on...

  • Family Office: On-call support for everything from relocating an affiliated not-for-profit to selling a Washington DC townhome to cleaning up title issues and recommending deed restrictions.
  • Chemical Manufacturer: Disposition strategy and execution of land, relocation of headquarters, real estate underwriting, and valuation. Cardinal uses its Due Diligence 360™ and Prepared to Win-Win™ documents that assist decision-making.
  • Not-for-Profits & Churches: Land-planning strategy, lease renewals, dispositions. Cardinal uses the VOTA Matrix™ to help non-professional real estate decision-makers obtain the clarity they need to move forward with confidence.


These tools are unique to Cardinal’s consulting services, but we are happy to share them with you. If you want to learn more about Cardinal’s consulting services or the Counselors of Real Estate, please contact me.

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


Stay up-to-date with Cardinal Insights, our award-winning newsletter.


Our clients get senior-level attention.

We’re grateful for our clients. They are extraordinary leaders who have achieved tremendous results. When we think about the companies and people we are fortunate to work with, we are blown away.

Ready to get started?