Becoming a real estate developer is possible for anyone that’s serious about pursuing or already possesses the necessary education, work experience, drive, and commitment to become qualified.
Here are five key-steps to keep in mind if you’re seriously considering a profession as a real estate developer:
1. Education – While it is true some successful real estate agents without a college degree have gone on to make millions of dollars as an agent; most real estate developers have a college degree in a relevant field at minimum. This is not just to meet the guidelines of prospective employers, but also a requirement by most insurance agencies to get the necessary liability protection you will need in the future.
2. Experience – Even if you don’t have any experience today, it’s never too late to attend local real estate developer events, network, and even apply for individual certification courses either online or in person. Many, are in fact available for FREE, so there’s no excuse not to get started today!
3. Legal identity – As mentioned above, once you’ve received a (ideally bachelor’s level) degree in Civil Engineering, Business, or Management, next you’ll need to form a legal business identity or entity to obtain the necessary corporation or limited liability company to ensure you’re properly licensed to conduct business.
4. Power in Connection – Outside of trying to do everything as outlined above, consider the benefits of interning or seeking employment with an already established real estate developer.
Understand, that typically real estate developers cannot successfully make it on their own in the industry until they have already obtained AT LEAST 5 years of experience in the field. And even then, this is by no means a guarantee for success or landing a career and successfully opening up your own real estate development business.
5. Start Small – In the beginning, try to research market trends and changes, as well interact with only the most well reputed professional construction firms or contractors. Also, for a fraction of your ‘total costs’ consider the benefits of focusing on “property improvement,” remodeling, and reselling as opposed to land acquisition, demolition, and building from the ground up. Doing so is the best way to ensure maximizing profits, and minimizing costs – unless money is no object!
Finally, take up a sincere interest in not only extra certifications and courses, but also extensive (5-10 years) worth of research to identify the risks, trends, and work toward understanding why and how those that have become the most successful real estate developers made it to the top.