Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Real Estate Developer?Real Estate Developer: From Property Purchase to Project Completion
There’s a great deal of processes that goes into real estate development. While one may be inclined to follow this career path, it would be prudent to dig a little deeper into what the job entails. The good news is that there is not one specific discipline that you need to have studied before you can become a real estate developer. However, it would be helpful if you have knowledge or experience in urban planning, construction (residential, commercial, or infrastructure), business, finance, engineering, or architecture.
This isn’t to say that you should have studied each of these disciplines; it’s merely pointing out that being knowledgeable about these areas will serve you well as a real estate developer. If you don’t have the financial capacity to establish your own real estate development firm at the moment, your best option is to work for one—as a junior developer. Just as in any field, to gain a better understanding of the industry, it would be helpful to start at the bottom, and gradually learn your way up.
The mindset of a real estate developer
Education and training aside, it’s your internal drive and intangibles that will help you build a successful career as a real estate developer. What does this mean? It’s your people skills, ability to take risks, critical thinking, and creativity that will take you far in this field.
Let’s break it down.
1. People skills. As a real estate developer, you will be on top of the project from beginning to end. After you’ve purchased the property you wish to develop, you will have to put together a team that will work on the various stages of the project’s development. Your “team” is likely to include the architect, engineer, contractor, interior designer, supplier, and others that you feel are necessary for the project. On top of these people, you will also have to talk to the client and local agencies to make sure you’re building according to regulatory standards.
Now, imagine everyone asking for your attention at the same time, or complaining or airing grievances during the development phase. If you don’t have the skills to properly handle each individual, knowing that each one has his or her quirks and unique traits, you could end up without a team to work with in the end because everyone has quit on you. And this isn’t even a made-up scenario. It has happened to developers before.
2. Risk-taker. Are you a risk taker? Knowing how to assume risk is important because you will have to decide on how much risk you’re willing to take to develop a certain property. How much money are you willing to put into the project, and how much are you willing to lose? In real estate development, there is always that risk that the property will not yield the profits you projected—even after you’ve marketed it exhaustively.
On this note, just as you decide how much risk you’re willing to take, you should also know how to manage risks. What factors do you need to consider to mitigate risks?
3. Critical thinking. This skill is what will see you through the entire project. Critical thinking will help you assess risks and find solutions to challenges that appear during the development phase.
4. Creativity. Naturally, you will need to tap into your creative juices when developing a piece of property that will serve your client’s needs—and even the community. From concept to execution, your creativity will be required for all the phases of the development project.