THE influx of international corporations into Asia has led to a greater need for the services of property consultancies. According to Ruyee How, group executive director of property consultancy Marlin Land, rapid economic expansion in Asia has led to an increased number of multi-nationals moving into the region. The opening up of emerging markets, such as China and Vietnam, to foreign investment has added impetus to this trend. Ms How said property consultancies had important roles to play in helping these multi-nationals to set themselves up. 'The Asian market is not homogeneous - each market has its own rules and regulations when it comes to real estate and property investment. Consultants should be able to advise clients on every step of the process,' she said. Ms How said a property consultancy had more in common with a management consultancy than an ordinary estate agent, which provided only a brokerage service. Property consultants could provide neutral advise, without being biased towards a landlord or developer, she said. The only difference between a property consultant and a management consultant, was that the latter focused specifically on properties. The most advanced property consultancies employed a wide range of specialists, many with no obvious connection to the property market, to cope with the increasingly complex needs of multi-national clients, Ms How said. Hong Kong-based Marlin Land employs 38 staff from a variety of disciplines, including surveyors, economists, statisticians, financial analysts, valuers, building specialists and marketing professionals. Ms How said consultancies undertook a substantial amount of work before making recommendations to their clients. In addition to direct property-related advise, consultancy specialists advised on tax implications and occupancy costs. They predicted the affects of economic trends on property investment.