CHINA'S growing demand for project co-ordinators has attracted property consultants based in Hong Kong. The mainland property market has only begun to develop, but there are already many professionals there to put together large projects, such as engineers, architects and valuers. China has no profession equivalent to a chartered surveyor, who can stage-manage all the different parts of a major property project, says real estate consultant firm Richard Ellis. Dominic Leung, director of Richard Ellis, said China's market was between 10 and 15 years behind Hong Kong's and inexperienced in valuation. ''The role of the surveyor would be to lead the whole development team, including architects, engineers and other consultants, throughout the project,'' he said. It was important for property consultants to be part of a project from its conception. From here, they could advise how best to take advantage of the prevailing market and short-and long-term demand. Traditionally, land owners and developers would appoint an architect first, he said. However, an architect, whose main brief was to design, might not consider the needs of the market, functionality or the practical aspects of the project as a surveyor would. ''The role of the property consultant is more of an adviser working together with the other team members,'' he said. Many Hong Kong-based companies, such as Richard Ellis, have found their role in China expanding. They began by advising foreign developers who were looking to enter the market, but now also received instructions from semi-government organisations. Ruyee How, the regional director of Richard Ellis, said it was important to be aware of China's market dynamics in planning and building a project. Consultants could use their experience gained elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific to help properly plan projects - through feasibility studies and analyses - before building started, she said. Hong Kong consultants found their experience in valuation an advantage. Mr Leung said he doubted whether Chinese professionals had the experience of international consultants. ''Valuation appraisal reports are . . . desperately needed in many parts of China,'' he said. ''Hong Kong surveyors do have more exposure to a wide range of specialist real estate projects which call for more than a straightforward valuation assessment.'' Kenneth Cheung, of C. F. & Associates, said the need for experienced, professional property valuers would grow with the business between Hong Kong and China. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange's recent guidelines on property valuation in China should ensure surveyors would operate consistently, and deliver fair values.