James Stuckey Explains Different Players in Real Estate Development

James Stuckey

James Stuckey

Recently, A Gathering of Experts spoke with James Stuckey to find out more about the real estate  development process and how there are many different types of developers. James Stuckey says that each has their own reasons for entering the field.

A Gathering of Experts: Good evening and thank you for joining us today.

James Stuckey: Thank you for having me.

A Gathering of Experts: So does real estate development involve more than just a builder and financier?

James Stuckey: Yes, there are many different players involved although the builder may be the only one visible to the public at times.

A Gathering of Experts: We understand there are also many different developers with different motives.

James Stuckey: That’s very true. I can think of probably half a dozen different types of development firms.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you tell us about them?

James Stuckey: First there are groups called Equity Developers. Silverstein Properties is a good example. These are both private and publicly traded companies that place their own equity or money at risk.

A Gathering of Experts: Do these groups always contribute the same percentage to a project?

James Stuckey: No, the amount of money and the type of equity as well as the guarantees that are given vary dramatically.

A Gathering of Experts: What about Real Estate Investment Trusts?

James Stuckey: These are often simply called REITS and they are companies that sell shares of stock to raise capital and must distribute 90% of their pretax profits to shareholders.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there any guidelines on how much of their total assets they must invest in real estate?

James Stuckey: Yes. Seventy-five percent.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there any developers that don’t offer up their assets as collateral?

James Stuckey: Fee Developers; frequently, developers or development organizations complete projects for a fee.

A Gathering of Experts: And they don’t invest their own equity or give financial guarantees?

James Stuckey: No, they also do not participate in the profits and losses or tax benefits enjoyed by Equity and REIT Developers.

A Gathering of Experts: What about government agencies? Do they fund their own development?

James Stuckey: Well, there are differences between government agencies and institutional developers.. A government agency might build a school or industrial park, and an institutional developer a retail project.

A Gathering of Experts: And they are all nonprofit?

James Stuckey: No, there are some for-profit companies, like Home Depot, that are considered Institutional Developers because they build for themselves.

A Gathering of Experts: What about small builders?

James Stuckey: There are some smaller builders and speculators who typically build one and two family homes and low-density office and retail buildings.

A Gathering of Experts: Aren’t landowners considered developers?

James Stuckey: No, not all land owners want their property improved. But often, landowners will contribute their land as equity to developers for a partnership interest.  Some just hold property for the investment value.

A Gathering of Experts: Is everyone involved in the development process usually an expert in real estate trends?

James Stuckey: Equity players are those who may or may not have development experience, but supply equity to others as an investment for projected return.

A Gathering of Experts: It sounds like that at any given time there can be many people involved in a single development contract.

James Stuckey: That’s true… In addition to the people who plan what should be built, there are also architects, structural engineers, and dozens of other people with specific areas of expertise involved.

A Gathering of Experts: Well, we appreciate your time with us this evening. We look forward to speaking with you again.

James Stuckey: Certainly and thank you for having me.

A Gathering of Experts: Before we go, can you tell our readers a bit about your own property development firm?

James Stuckey: I am the President and CEO of Verdant Properties, LLC®. We are a development firm focusing on in environmentally responsible building and development.


  1. Evelyn Martin says:

    Wow! There are multiple hands that go into developments. More than I thought, James Stuckey! What an interesting blog. I never knew all the ins and outs. Guess I should do more research on this topic. Thanks for your knowledge, James Stuckey.

    • James Stuckey says:

      @Evelyn Martin – Yes, many hands. Trust me, there is plenty of material out there to delve into regarding real estate and development. Enjoy. – James Stuckey

  2. Michael Max says:

    “It sounds like that at any given time there can be many people involved in a single development contract.” — Yeah! No wonder housing today is so expensive. Look at all of the mouths that have to be fed. no wonder. Thanks, James Stuckey for posting this – it was informative.

    • James Stuckey says:

      @Michael Max – Ha! Yes, housing/building is expensive, there are so many moving parts/people. I am glad that you learned something from this article. – James Stuckey

  3. Theresa Bigg says:

    James Stuckey shares a lot of great information in this blog. What an interesting answer – that homebuilders are not developers. I always thought it was the other way around, James Stuckey. I will look for more of your posts because I found this one very interesting.

    • James Stuckey says:

      @Theresa Bigg – Thank you for your kind comments. Many people believe that homeowners are developers. But when you understand the concept, it makes sense. Thank you for reading. – James Stuckey

  4. Judith Turner says:

    How in the world did you learn about all of this information, James Stuckey? It seems very confusing. And where do you even begin to realize what career path you want to take? James Stuckey definitely has a strong shoulder on his head for being in such a competitive industry.

    • James Stuckey says:

      @Judith Turner – Just time and personal study. It was confusing at first when I started to learn it, but after time, it is just second nature. I’ve always had an interest in homes, architecture and helping people, so the easiest answer was real estate and development. Thank you for the sweet compliment. – James Stuckey

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