How To Become A Real Estate Developer

Key Takeaways

  • Real estate developers are entrepreneurs who oversee the development of properties, from start to finish.
  • Requirements for becoming a real estate developer include prior real estate experience and the ability to build a network.
  • Large-scale development projects can offer large rewards, but developers must be willing to face the associated risk.

Are you excited by the idea of developing real estate from start to finish? Are you passionate about the process of buying and selling properties? Do you have several years of real estate experience under your belt, and want to take your career to the next level? If you answered ‘yes’ to these statements, you might be a good candidate for becoming a real estate developer.

What Do Real Estate Developers Do?

Real estate developers are entrepreneurs who oversee the development and redevelopment of properties. They plan and control projects from start to finish, from the purchasing of land to the building of the property. Most real estate developers work on commercial real estate projects, which include retail spaces, office and residential buildings, as well as travel and leisure developments.

If you’re wondering what becoming a real estate developer would be like, you can compare the profession to the role of a project manager. Just like a project manager, developers oversee projects from start to finish, make major decisions, and recruit and manage professionals to execute project plans.

Real estate professionals are often attracted to the development profession due to the complexity of projects, as well as the potential for earning high returns. However, keep in mind that any opportunity to earn lucrative profits is counterbalanced by the presence of risk. Read more on why an investor might want to become a commercial real estate developer.


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Becoming a real estate developer

Requirements For Becoming A Real Estate Developer

If becoming a real estate developer interests you, the next step is to find out whether or not you possess the traits required by the profession. Most experts recommend having a few years of real estate experience, which allows you to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the real estate market, and start building a professional network.

You will also need strong analytical and research skills so that you can make wise investment decisions. Finally, you’ll want to think about how to maintain your moral code when managing large-scale projects and large groups of professionals. The sections below elaborate on each of these aspects.

Real Estate Experience

Those wanting to become a real estate developer should understand that, although no traditional education is required, experience in a real estate-related field would prove to be invaluable. Having prior knowledge of the different risks and obstacles related to real estate development will reduce your exposure to risk and help you make wise investment decisions.

If you don’t already have previous real estate experience, focusing on your real estate investment education is a good place to start. Use our guide to finding the right real estate training program to help initiate your education.

Building a solid foundation in real estate also allows you to learn how to prevent common mistakes and gain invaluable market insights. Finally, it will afford you the time to build up a professional network, a crucial aspect that will be discussed in this next section. Get a head start on your real estate developer training by learning common industry terms to know or reading commercial real estate books.

Building A Network

One of a real estate developer’s main responsibilities is the recruiting, hiring and management of professionals from across a variety of fields. Architects, asset managers, general contractors, engineers and appraisers are examples of the wide array of talent required to successfully complete a development project. Building a strong network of such professionals will make a developer’s job much easier, as it allows them to seek advice from and hire colleagues that they can trust. When attending your next event, try implementing some of these tried and true networking tips from leading real estate experts.

Research

When deciding whether or not becoming a property developer would make for a good career fit, you should first ask yourself if you have strong research and analytical abilities. The most successful real estate developers spend hours researching the real estate market to find new opportunities and avoid high-risk proposals. They must also have the analytical ability to plan for the short and long term, using the resources available to them. This includes quickly finding solutions to common and rare problems, requiring resourcefulness, creativity and patience.

Invest Wisely

The research and analytical abilities discussed above also tie into a developer’s knack for making wise investment decisions. When developing a new property from start to finish, a large number of financial resources are invested to purchase land, procure building materials, manage construction and acquire human resources.

At such a high cost, there will always be the risk of drastic loss if a project fails. Someone who wants to know how to become a property developer should ask themselves if they are willing to face these risks.

Ethics & Integrity

Maintaining an ethics and integrity standard is paramount to the success of any business owner, and is what will set your enterprise apart from the rest. Because developing a property involves many professionals contributing toward a finished product, their work and conduct will all reflect upon your brand. This is why establishing and communicating a code of morals and integrity from the very beginning is necessary.

Maintaining a reputation of uncompromising ethics and integrity is what will help you win new clients and repeated business, thus helping to build your brand. Read more on the conversation on the importance of ethics and integrity for developers.

Summary

Becoming a real estate developer is a profession that requires ambition, technical skill and real estate savviness. If you have a few years of real estate experience under your belt, however, you have already started building the foundation that you need to succeed. If you’re at the beginning of your career, a real estate investment program could be just the resource you need to help you get started.

What are some of the aspects of becoming a real estate developer that interest you most? Feel free to share in the comments below:

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