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The real estate industry is a competitive and demanding segment. Investors not only need to have their fingers on the pulse of the market but must also be able to adapt at the drop of a dime. Developers in the field need to have a long-term outlook on the market and anticipate the need for new property developments to ensure their investments generate viable returns. Professionals from both segments must leverage specific skills for success.

To develop the necessary skills to succeed in their career and earn their clients’ trust, every real estate professional should commit to ongoing professional study. To help, five contributors to Forbes Real Estate Council delve into what makes a real estate professional successful and which skills are the most critical for investors and developers.

1. Knowledge Of The Target Market

Real estate professionals should know their target market. As a provider of reverse mortgages, we feel that it is not our job to sell the program to senior borrowers but to educate them on the options and the program parameters—good and bad—so that they can make informed decisions. – Michael Branson, All Reverse Mortgage, Inc.

2. The Ability To Listen Effectively

I think investors and developers should have very different skills, but a common skill would be the ability to listen effectively, as real estate is such a multifaceted and interdisciplinary field with experts in every aspect of it. Those who assume they know better than subject-matter experts are at a higher risk of making ego-driven mistakes than those who listen thoughtfully and critically. – Arthur Greenberg, Knightsbridge Park

3. An Understanding Of The Development Cycle

A developer needs to understand the development cycle from soup to nuts. They should be knowledgeable about the market they are interested in and understand the city’s needs. – Erik Hayden, Urban Catalyst

4. A Knowledge Of Tech Trends

Should the investment focus on enterprise multifamily leasing units, know the trends of tech and how they relate to modernizing the lease transaction itself. Today’s renters want a quick, affordable, efficient leasing process, and their realm of choices is becoming wider by the minute. – Reichen Kuhl, LeaseLock

5. A Thorough Understanding Of Where The Local Market Is Heading

A successful real estate investor or developer should understand where the local market is going over the next three to five years. How are demographics developing? Are people moving in or out? Are large employers or startups attracted to the area? How much supply is likely to come to market—will there be significant competition for tenants, or will the market remain tight? This location-based perspective should be overlaid with a macro perspective on interest rates and the economy to understand where the cost of capital will be going. – Nils Kok, GeoPhy



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