The Varied Jobs of a Real Estate Developer

Posted by Jake Riviera on April 11th, 2021

There are many paths towards becoming a real estate developer. Many people assume that you must have a background in real estate. Although a license in that field will be necessary once you get started, there are a lot of professions that seamlessly translate to success as a developer. Maybe you have a background in construction or architecture. Even lawyers and finance gurus are discovering lucrative property investments and shifting their practice towards real estate. 

No matter where your career began, you'll need to broaden your skillset to become a profitable developer. This is because they are responsible for a variety of tasks that require time, expertise and an entrepreneurial mindset. Here are just a few hats that real estate developers regularly wear.

Financial Planner

When starting a new venture, money is usually the first hurdle there is to jump. Real estate developers may be using some of their own capital, but most likely bank loans and investors will be part of the formula. Interest rates, loan programs and tax incentives all use a language of their own, and you will need to thoroughly speak and understand it.

Once initial funding is secured, you can shift into a more budget-focused mindset. Developers are tasked with keeping construction and renovation costs on track. They also are responsible for securing insurance for the project. Developers may obtain builder's insurance, professional liability insurance and home insurance quotes in order to protect their investments.

Community Expert

When hunting for your next investment property, you'll want to become familiar with the market in potential communities. This is where some experience in real estate comes in. Whether you are scouting land for projects or renovating an existing building, property values and market trends will be at the top of your list of considerations.

When building homes in a neighborhood, you should become an expert on the in's and out's of that community. You are not building in a vacuum. Different locals have different regulations. Real estate developers regularly attend public hearings to learn the rules of the land, be seen by influential residents and influence policies. Establishing relationships in the community will only help you complete your project on time and on budget.

Construction Foreman

Construction projects take a lot of planning, organization and multi-tasking. Developers may hire a foreman to do the brunt of this work. However, you will still be involved in overseeing construction projects. If renovations are needed, contractors will have to be interviewed and hired. If you are building from scratch, be prepared to work closely with an architect. 

This part of the job will take up more time than you may expect. Separate crews will be coming into the property to do their work, and they all have their own schedules. Some work, like painting and flooring, can't be done until plumbing and electrical are complete. Inspectors have to review your progress and may suddenly appear, throwing off your plans. Developers must be on call to answer questions and deal with unexpected construction issues at all times of the day.

Chief Negotiator

Effective real estate developers negotiate everything. You will find yourself haggling with contractors, investors and real estate agents. If this is your project and you are managing the budget, then you'll want the best deals in order to preserve profits.  This takes a certain type of person. Negotiators have to keep their emotions in check and know when to walk away. Do your research in order to recognize a good contract verse one that has some room for improvement.

Big Dreamer

Real estate developers need to have a vision. You must be able to see the potential in an empty plot of land or a run-down building. This vision will drive you when the work gets hard. It will propel you towards bigger projects with greater earning potential. Real estate development is not a good fit for bench warmers. You should be able to thrive in chaos and rise to challenges in order to make your vision a reality.

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Jake Riviera

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Jake Riviera
Joined: May 24th, 2020
Articles Posted: 22

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