How To Become A Real Estate Developer (2024 Guide)

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Did you know that many of the world’s millionaires grew their net worth by investing in real estate? That’s right; if you can successfully get involved in the real estate industry, you’re almost guaranteed to make money. 💸

    Real estate development is the process of renovating existing properties or building new ones in order to sell or lease them.

    Even if you don’t intend to become a millionaire, you may still have the itch to try your hand at one of the hottest ways to earn money. If you have the drive and determination to become a real estate investor, it’s definitely a possibility!

    Follow these 5 steps to learn how to become a real estate developer.

    Step 1: Get the Proper Education and Licenses

    The first step to becoming a real estate developer is to get educated. A bachelor’s degree will definitely help, but it’s still possible to do this job without a degree. If you’re still in college or have access to take classes, make sure you take courses in real estate development, land use planning, and urban economics. These courses will give you the foundation you need to be successful in this field.

    Helpful backgrounds can be in:

    • Finance
    • Architecture
    • Construction
    • Urban planning

    However, people from all walks of life and backgrounds have been able to make the transition into real estate development.

    Additionally, most states require real estate developers to hold state-issued real estate licenses so that they can act as brokers in the buying and selling process. In order to get your real estate license in most states, you’ll need to take a course and pass a licensing exam.

    Step 2: Develop a Specialty

    how to become a real estate developer

    Secondly, you will need to develop a specialty. If you focus your attention on one facet of the real estate market, you’ll be able to grow your skills and become an expert in the space. Real estate is a huge industry, so there are many opportunities to specialize. Ask yourself some questions, such as:

    • Do you want to develop residential properties?
    • Or are you interested in commercial real estate development?
    • Perhaps you’re passionate about sustainable development or historic preservation.

    No matter what your interests are, make sure you choose a specialty and focus on it. The more specific you are, the better your chances of success will be.

    Step 3: Get Real-World Experience

    After you have gotten your education and license and developed a specialty, the next step is to get experience. One way to do this is to find an internship or entry-level position at a real estate development firm. This will give you the chance to learn from experienced developers and see firsthand how the development process works.

    Another way to gain experience is to work as a real estate agent or property manager. While this isn’t directly related to development, it will still give you valuable knowledge about the industry that will come in handy later on.

    It’s wise to start collaborating on smaller projects rather than jumping headfirst into large, intimidating projects. (Unless, of course, you want your specialty to be large, commercial properties!)

    Ultimately, “who you know” will take you far in the industry, which brings us to the next step…

    Step 4: Build Your Network

    how to become a real estate developer

    The fourth step to becoming a successful real estate developer is to build your network. This means getting connected with people like:

    • Other developers
    • Lenders
    • Investors
    • Architects
    • Engineers
    • Contractors
    • And anyone else who could be involved in a project!

    If you’re interested in developing brand-new properties, having a partnership with a reliable general contractor makes all the difference. It’s even better when you can find a design-build partner so you can have multiple components under one roof.

    The more people you know, the better your chances of finding financing for your projects and getting them off the ground successfully. You can get connected by being active on social media, reaching out to people and companies you want to work with, and attending networking events.

    Step 5: Find Financing

    One very important detail about real estate development is that you need to have money in order to make money. This is what stops most people from investing in the first place.

    So, unless you have a large chunk of change in your bank account, you’ll need to find financing for your projects. This can be done through private investors, banks, or even government programs. Once you have the financing lined up, you can start working on your first project!

    • You’ll purchase a property or a piece of land that has potential,
    • Renovate it in order to increase the value, then;
    • Sell the property at a higher price in order to make a profit.

    You can also build a brand-new building from the ground up and rent it out. This is a very popular route to take with new apartment buildings or vacation rentals.

    APX Can Make Your Real Estate Development Dreams Happen

    Taking these steps will help increase your chances of success as a real estate developer. Start by getting the required education and licenses, then put your energy into making connections and gaining experience.

    When the time comes to develop a brand-new property, you want APX Construction Group on your side. We specialized in commercial construction and have many years of experience building incredible apartment buildings and multi-family structures, all while remaining communicative and on budget.

    We’d love to connect with you and hear about your real estate development goals. Reach out today to introduce yourself and schedule a free consultation!

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