During my undergraduate years in college, I have taken several courses that touched upon the business of real estate. This has piqued my interest in the subject and I have started taking some steps toward becoming a real estate agent. During my studies, though, I have heard some people in my classes talking about brokers and developers. I feel like becoming a real estate developer would match my skill and interest set more than any other job in that industry. Now I am wondering if I should skip my real estate sales training and focus on this instead. So I wanted to ask the experts: What are the steps to becoming a real estate developer?
Becoming a real estate developer is a worthy business goal that many find extremely rewarding and lucrative. But before you begin any journey, it’s important for you to know exactly what that job would entail. A real estate developer is a professional who purchases property to either build or renovate on. Usually, if there is already a habitation on the property, it is in such distressed condition that it requires an almost entirely new rebuild. But that is not necessarily always the case. The developer then oversees the entire project all the way through, including financing, planning, designing, and hiring the professionals to work on it. In other words, the project never leaves the developer’s hands. A developer will often find investors to help with the financing of such project rather than pay for it all out of his or her own resources. But this is primarily the case in commercial development. Take, for instance, a developer who has found several dilapidated motels for sale in Australia. He or she might decide to take on one or more investors and turn the properties into a chain of profitable hotels.
The first step in becoming a real estate developer is to decide whether you will be self-employed or work for a company. If you are going to be self-employed, you won’t have any education requirements. But if you decide to work for a company, you will typically be required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, though many have a master’s. Most companies prefer these degrees to be conferred in business, management, civil engineering, or other similar fields. But there are developers who have degrees in completely unrelated fields, as well. Aside from a degree, there are no certificates required. But there are certificate programs offered that can give you a better understanding of the field, as well as help you land a great job. The Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), for example, offers a Certificate of Advanced Study in Commercial Real Estate Development. These are the kinds of credentials that can serve to enhance your resume in a competitive job market.
Next, you will want to gain some experience in the real estate field, whether you will work for yourself or another company. And the best way to do this is to obtain your real estate license and work in sales for a while. This experience will help you develop your communication skills as well as your sales skills. It will also give you an inside position for networking within the industry.
Real estate developers’ salaries can vary greatly, depending on what types of properties they develop, how many investors they use, and how much work they have to hire out. It will also depend on whether they work for companies or themselves, and if their pay is based entirely or partly on commission. But the average salary is typically just under $100,000, in addition to profit sharing and bonuses.