A development team can be put together in one of several ways. At one extreme, a large company might include many services, from architecture to engineering. At the other end of the spectrum, a development company might consist of one principal and a few staff who hire or contract with other companies and professionals for each service as needed. Assembling a team of professionals to address the environmental, economic, physical and political issues inherent in a complex development project is critical.
A developer's success depends on the ability to coordinate the completion of a series of interrelated activities efficiently and at the appropriate time. The development process requires skills of many professionals: architects, landscape architects, civil engineers and site planners to address project design; market consultants to determine demand and a project's economics; attorneys to handle agreements and government approvals; and to analyze a site's physical limitations and ; surveyors and title companies to provide legal descriptions of a property; and lenders to provide financing. General and sub contractors create the visual results of development. In depth knowledge of how each functions and prices their work is critical to control costs and create a quality project.
The late Arthur N Levien a prominent developer once described a real estate developer as follows "a real estate developer is a person who is not an architect, engineer, plumber, iron worker, attorney, appraiser, or any of the dozens of other professionals involved in the real estate development process. It is however someone that knows what each one of them does in detail so as to get exactly what he or she wants from each of them.