Being a real estate investor is not the only career or business path available in the world of real estate. Indeed, there are many other options worth exploring if you don’t think that being simply a part-time or full-time real estate investor is the right choice for you. One of them is becoming a real estate developer. However, you should keep in mind that unlike a real estate investor, which can be just a part-time job or an additional source of income, being a real estate developer is a full-time job and actually a career for which you have to prepare duly. So, we come to the question: “How do you become a real estate developer?”
1. You need to get proper education
The first step to becoming a real estate developer, like with all other careers, is to get the appropriate education. You need to go to college and get a Bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, construction management, civil engineering, urban development, or some combination of those. For example, you can consider a double major or a major with a minor. The more educated you are, the better. Also, the more diverse your education, the better.
2. You need to get professional experience
In general, if you want to start any business on your own, you first have to get some solid professional experience in the field by working for others. You can’t graduate from college with a Bachelor’s degree in law and open your own law company, can you? It’s the same with being a real estate developer. In order to have a chance to become a successful real estate developer, you will need to gain experience in real estate. Get a job or even an internship with a real estate company and try to get access to a number of positions there. The work of a real estate developer is a very diverse one, and you will benefit greatly from different experiences and skills. While at such a job, every day make special effort to get the most out of this experience and to learn something new. The minimum recommended work experience before you are ready to start your own business is about 5 years.
3. You need to continue expanding your knowledge
Completing your Bachelor’s degree is not the end of your educational trip if you really want to be a good real estate developer. You have to continue upgrading your knowledge. Think about a Master’s degree, either an MBA or in engineering or in any other related field. Moreover, take as many real estate courses as possible. There are plenty of online and in-classroom options which cover all aspects of the real estate business. With such a multifaceted career as a real estate developer, you really have to take advantage of any available learning chance. In addition, subscribe to all sorts of newspapers, magazines, blogs, and other sources of information about the current state of the real estate market and recent trends within it.
Related: 4 Must-Use Real Estate Investing Resources
4. You need to get certified
It is not important to just be knowledgeable and skillful in order to be a good real estate developer. You also have to be able to prove it. And the best way to do that is to obtain recognized certificates. Examples include the Realtors Land Institute’s Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) as well as the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP)’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Real Estate Development and Certificate of Advanced Studies in Real Estate Finance. Of course, you don’t need to get these certifications just for the sake of having a framed sheet of paper hanging on the wall of your future real estate office. To the contrary, all these certificates are the result of passing successfully through a sequence of courses and classes, during which you will further advance your knowledge of the real estate business and be on the road to becoming a better real estate developer.
Another important advantage of attending classes and courses is meeting lots and lots of people interested in the real estate business. Make sure to establish contacts with as many of them as possible. Once the course is over, put the necessary efforts to keep your relations with these people. In real estate investing, it is crucially important to have as large a network of professionals and experts as possible. It is also of crucial importance to always try to work in real estate partnerships since these open new horizons as long as you are certain that the advantages of working with others will exceed the disadvantages.
Related: How to Build and Maintain a Real Estate Investment Network
5. You need to build relationships with various professionals
Directly related to the last point, you should put efforts into meeting as many other real estate professionals as possible. From this wide pool of experts, select the most reliable ones and work on enhancing your relationship with them. Before you enter into real estate partnerships or before you know you can trust anyone in the real estate business, you need a strong, long-lasting relationship. However, don’t make the mistake of confusing partnerships with friendships. Business partners are business partners, and friends and friends, and the two should generally be kept separate.
Related: How to Avoid Problems Arising from Real Estate Partnerships
6. You need to establish a legal entity for your business
Once you have covered all previous steps and are ready to become a real estate developer, you need to have a legal entity for your new business. While this might cost what seems like a lot of money, it is best to have your own company where you know that you are the boss, and the financial and business decisions are ultimately yours to make.
While the career of a real estate developer is not necessarily the easiest one, the returns which it promises are definitely worth the efforts. If you make sure to get properly prepared for such a career by following the steps above, it is absolutely feasible to become a successful real estate developer. On your way to this goal, make sure to check out Mashvisor for numerous tips on the real estate business and for the most important recent trends in the US housing market.