A developer is an entrepreneur who coordinates many activities involving the development of properties such as office complexes, shopping malls, amusement parks and residential communities. A real estate developer also purchases neglected or incomplete properties for the purpose of rescuing the project from potential financial loss or bankruptcy. A successful developer is able to raise capital for his project, successfully construct a property and finally sell or manage it for a profit to investors or his respective development company.
A real estate developer first explores possible locations for developing the property he has been hired to construct. Once a site has been determined, the developer purchases the land and works with his investors or management on setting forth a budget. He will also work closely with contractors to develop a strategy on how best to construct the property and is sometimes involved in the structural design of the site. After construction, a developer will then either manage the property on behalf of a leasing agency or his own development firm or sell it.
Most job opportunities for real estate developers are published in the classified sections of local and national periodicals as well as on Internet job banks. However, entry-level candidates will find the best way to break into the field is by working with a current or previous school counsellor or administrator. Most colleges and universities have strong working relationships with a variety of industries, and students or graduates will find many opportunities through this avenue. Another approach is to join a real estate office or broker leasing agency to learn how the process of real estate development works. Many brokers in these offices work directly with the developers to seek potential buyers and qualified candidates will get to see the process firsthand from start to finish.
A successful real estate developer must be a team player as there will be many different personalities with a variety of personal objectives involved. Strong communication skills, a working knowledge of advanced computer programs and applications as well as having a flexible work schedule will be required. It is also important that she be very organised as there will be multiple deadlines to meet both financially and structurally.
Most real estate developers hold a master’s degree in marketing, business administration or finance as the job requires a high level of financial skill and business acumen. Although not possessing an undergraduate or graduate degree does not necessarily prevent a qualified candidate from a successful career in real estate development, it does help those just starting out in the industry get that first job interview or make the right connection.
According to Payscale.com, the average developer with up to 10 years of experience can earn a base salary of £74,100 per year.