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-   -   Guide: How to Become a Developer (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=187172)

Flavia123 Aug 30, 2011 8:49 AM

I really agree with your opinion. The architecture education isnĀ“t key for this kind of business. You have to offer rich business skills, perspective contacts and huge input capital to the business.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zerton (Post 5082546)
I don't think an architecture education would be overly helpful. I would definitely recommend a business education, ruthlessness, and maybe an inheritance of a few million. :haha:


Nowhereman1280 Aug 30, 2011 3:50 PM

^^^ As my father always says, no matter what field you work in, your field is business...

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiTownCity (Post 5238495)
^You should really get around to posting those pics. I'm interested in seeing your work.

I will soon. I want to post the pictures of my attic level that I just gut rehabbed. I spent the entire summer on it and did the entire thing by myself with the sole exception of charging the new AC units which I was about to buy the equipment to do.

The shocking part about this is that it actually looks really damn good...

ChiTownCity Sep 8, 2011 5:12 AM

^I can't wait for my first 'official' project like that. I'm just hoping this house will still be in good condition by that time (which I doubt)......

ChiTownCity Sep 8, 2011 5:57 AM

I do have one more question. After I graduate what kind of jobs should I be applying for? and While I'm in school right now what kind of jobs should I be trying to work at (that are entry level minimum to no experience required)? I know during my senior year it is really important to try and get an internship at firm but what about before then...

jigglysquishy Sep 28, 2011 4:41 PM

Kind of off topic, but I thought I'd throw the question in here anyways.

I'm currently studying Chemical Engineering in Canada. I'm kind of in conflict because I love chemistry, but I love buildings, structures, urbanity, skyscrapers etc.

Is there any way a Chemical Engineer could get a job in any kind of urban/skyscraper related field?

Nowhereman1280 Sep 30, 2011 1:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiTownCity (Post 5404155)
I do have one more question. After I graduate what kind of jobs should I be applying for? and While I'm in school right now what kind of jobs should I be trying to work at (that are entry level minimum to no experience required)? I know during my senior year it is really important to try and get an internship at firm but what about before then...

Well it's never too early to start working. Experience is key in any field, but especially in RE. You want to get out there and start learning and making contacts.

Apply for jobs anywhere in real estate because they are still hard to find. I'm partial to jobs in RE law (become an atty's assistant or something) because they give you a solid grounding in the mechanics of real estate law and how transactions work. They are also in relatively high supply. Call developers, real estate investors, anyone who is working in real estate and offer to be their assistant, work for free if you have to.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jigglysquishy (Post 5426272)
Kind of off topic, but I thought I'd throw the question in here anyways.

I'm currently studying Chemical Engineering in Canada. I'm kind of in conflict because I love chemistry, but I love buildings, structures, urbanity, skyscrapers etc.

Is there any way a Chemical Engineer could get a job in any kind of urban/skyscraper related field?

It's not off topic at all. Sure, you could definitely get into the field. In fact, most people working in real estate don't have a degree specializing in it. Engineering is actually pretty transferable to the world of finance and therefore real estate because it means you have a good grasp on numbers and analytical skills.

siunate2324 Oct 4, 2011 11:21 PM

From everyone who I have talked to it seems like the business route is the way to go. This is why I chose to go down the finance w/ a minor in accounting road. The overall skills learned in these classes hopefully will provide enough value to help me get that first job. However, I dont believe it is enough to get directly into real estate dev. which is why I reaaaally wanna to attend grad school specializing in real estate.

So does anybody have any ideas/opinions on real estate development grad programs, I know that the MRED is more project related and I could also continue down the finance path and work on the financing of projects (kinda boring to us). Been recommended UW-Madison highly too.

Finally, I hope with this recent trend in Chicago projects is good timing and maybe I can swing a summer internship on a development to help me get field experience needed for grad school. I've talked to a couple bigger developers and they also told me, surprisingly, that being a broker for a couple years is a great to start, make contacts, learn your trait and selling abilities, etc.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated, especially in regards to grad programs as I am senior looking to graduate in May I beginning to search much more intensely.

Nowhereman1280 Oct 12, 2011 2:38 PM

Yes, the best route seems to be business major (Finance and something) and then doing brokerage or something related until you've built up enough capital and contacts to make it on your own.

Grad school is helpful, but mainly if you want to be hired onto an existing development team. If you want to go it on your own then grad school is only worth the money if you think it will teach you something and give you additional contacts.

Personally I double majored in Finance and Economics and at a Real Estate lawyer's office for almost three of the years I was in school. At the same time I was also doing the coursework (online because it is hilariously easy) for my Broker's License and took all the licensing exams about three months after I graduated (early, after 3.5 years) from college. This basically set me up as very well qualified to nab any entry level job in RE that I wanted. I now do brokerage and consulting for industrial and commercial projects as my "day job" and run a side business of buying up and renovating multi-family properties on the side. Eventually I am going to quit my "day job" and start doing development full time, but for now I just have to settle for doing it part time. So if I can consider myself even somewhat successful in getting into development, then it sounds like you are off to a good start.

If you do decide to go to grad school the best programs in the Midwest are at Madison (as you mentioned) and Northwestern University. DePaul and several other smaller schools also have good programs, but UW and NW stand out above the rest.

If I could give you any advice at this point it would be to do everything you can to get a position in real estate BEFORE you are done with school. If you want to have it easy after your graduate, then you should be working your ass off while you are in school. Get a part time job in RE even if you have to take minimum wage or even work for free. In Real Estate experience trumps everything else on your resume.

What school are you at now?

siunate2324 Oct 13, 2011 8:28 PM

Yeah my goal right now is to gain some experience in the field I've heard from so many people in the field it's paramount to all and that includes helping being accepted into a grad real estate program. Personally I'd prefer to step into a reputable development team/company (build my capital through salary). I'm not very interested on going out on my own for awhile because obviously you're gonna be a part of bigger projects working for larger companies and don't share as much personal liability on projects, and can create a larger network.

I've been looking more at Curbed lately and noticed that the first page on many of the Chicago projects on SSP lists the developer which has helped me compile a nice list of companies beginning build again. Dream companies would definitely be a place like Related or John Buck Co. as their reps are pretty solid which would be great out of the gates. I'm just hoping it isn't impossible for somebody like me who has no experience in field per say. I guess I can only hope with the increase in construction coming up somebody will see the value in a student with passion for real estate/architecture with a skill set that includes financing, accounting, management, and marketing and I can get some vital experience before grad school.

Currently I'm a senior at SIUC studying finance w/ a specialization in real estate and a minor in accounting. Problem is there is 0 real estate down here. 2 options I'm considering to get things started on the side are like you said getting just a brokerage license online and possibly founding a student real estate organization to help me bolster my resume and talk to local people and what they do to create smaller scale developments such as new student housing, restaurants, etc.

Nowhereman1280 Oct 13, 2011 8:46 PM

Well you could always just try to get a job as an assistant or admin in a residential brokerage or real estate law office. All towns have at least one of each, even Carbondale. Those are good places to start because future employers will know you've at least had experience in how a transaction works, even if it is many times smaller than the one's you'd like to work on.

siunate2324 Oct 31, 2011 4:57 PM

Alright I just fine-tuned my resume I will probably apply to some local places for the spring semester and hopefully can get some experience there.

On a side note, do you think with the upturn in the market and construction recently in Chicago that any of these larger companies would need to start hiring for any of these projects? It would be a huge help if I could somehow get a summer internship on a project that is in the works currently, do these projects ever attract interns or anything of that sort that I could just get some idea of the processes involved with development or any experience in the field I can get.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 17, 2011 5:25 PM

^^^ It's possible, but a lot of these companies are running lean and mean right now. They also are bringing back a lot of workers who have been laid off. I think things need to heat up a bit more before the money will be flowing enough to get them hiring again...

simms3_redux Dec 17, 2011 3:11 PM

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simms3_redux Dec 17, 2011 3:25 PM

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simms3_redux Dec 17, 2011 3:39 PM

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330to216 Dec 18, 2011 8:39 PM

Ok so I have a different perspective to add to this thread. I'm currently a sophomore at Cleveland State University (Obviously in Cleveland, Ohio). My major is engineering but while I like my major, I don't want to do it for the rest of my life. I want to help make my city a better place to live and in the process, make money by rehabbing the many beautiful homes and warehouses scattered throughout the city. Now I kinda have an idea on where to start but I need another opinion. I would be going into business with my roommate (He's an accounting major which is good because I don't like to deal with that type of stuff.) I'm aware that to be able to take on the big warehouse-loft rehabs, I need to start small, homes and neighbor storefronts. Now let me present the pros and cons I've identified in this situation. I'll start with the bad.

CONS:
Cleveland continues to lose population
The real estate market in general is not very strong here
Investors still do not have a lot of confidence in this city
Still a somewhat negativity towards the city (beginning to change)
We are young (both 20 years old)

PROS:
The job market is beginning to boom here again, and the job selection has finally diversified
The real estate is CHEAP!! very cheap!
UNIQUE apartments, lofts, and homes are really popular right now.
Cleveland finally has a few urban neighborhoods to work with now. (Never been like this before)
I feel I have a very good concept of what works in Cleveland and what doesn't. I know this place like the back of my hand.
The real money makers are going to be the warehouse loft conversions. Those are the most popular form of urban living in the area hands down, and if anyone knows Cleveland somewhat, there is a glut of absolutley stunning buildings just begging for a new life.

Let me hear your guy's opinions. Am I crazy, or am I on to something here? I feel that this city is really starting to pick up and anyone who has a little bit of pride and intelligence can make a difference and some money

ChiTownCity Dec 23, 2011 7:10 AM

@ Simms3_Redux:

Thank You so much for that information. That Definitely helps bring some clarity to what a Developer is. I would have never known that it was that small, although just from my own little research I was beginning to figure it would be something like that.

Just judging from your observations it looks like I won't be able to make it in that field :(. I did absolutely terrible in high school, went to a community college, and now to a public university. And on top of that, I'm African American.

I'm still considering Finance & Project Management as my majors and Urban Design as a minor. I was hoping that by working on a team, that I would have a slightly better advantage of getting into this field rather than trying to stick it out on my own........................... It looks like I'm back to square one trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Question: It seems like your input has more to do with large skyscraper type developments. Do you have any info you might be able to add about just regular apartment/mixed-use developments? I know participating in the creation of skyscraper would be nothing more than a fantasy for me, but is it just as intense to get on a development team that deals with small developments?

siunate2324 Dec 24, 2011 9:08 AM

glad to see this thread living on, so since I'm still striving/learning how to better myself I'll share my 2 cents here since I'm closing in on my last semester of college.

@simms3
That was a pretty interesting comment definitely presented alot of new ideas. Also seems like you have a good amount of experience which is obviously the most important thing we lack. I'm taking quite a few finance and accounting courses right now. Recently we've done a lot of work on cash flows, bond valuations, etc. and this is the stuff I've really tried to focus on. Also just got done with an excel project on Markowitz theory so hopefully that helps learning how to build excel models, I have yet to hear of Argus but I will keep an eye out for ways to gain some/more experience with both softwares

@nowhereman
I've taken some of your past posts in this thread and tried to apply as much as I really can at my stage. I just founded a real estate club on campus for students so I'm hoping that will help for grad school/jobs with a good leadership item for my resume. This is should be a good chance for me to maybe land an internship because I'll be dealing with many local brokers, RE law firms, etc. on a personal level. Also planning a trip to STL to hopefully have our group talk to a handful of development companies around there and try and gain as much knowledge from that as possible.

Also have you heard anything about ULI (Urban Land Institute). I think I'm going to join for year and see how that is along with getting my license after I graduate.

@chitowncity
What college are you going to now? I've talked to a few people and if you get a finance degree along with your other plans I believe you'll be standing pretty solidly, not to mention even if you don't get into the field a finance degree is great to have. And if you are around Chicago, and follow the Chicago forums you can tell things are picking up steam. I'm not saying that anything is a given but there is clearly alot of work picking up in local RE. As nowhereman stated most will probably still keep a short staff, but it wouldn't hurt applying for as many possible finance/admin/REIT/development companies as possible for little jobs like being an admin or getting an internship. If you are looking into grad school I've looked at the MRED program alot. They value any job experience in the finance industry equally as much as RE, and this industry is EXPANSIVE so you should be able to find something...but I suggest doing as much RE related things as possible around yourself, luckily I had the opportunity to build my own group and we'll see how big i can grow that.

Also from my grad school research I tended to notice mostly the value of a degree. I really really wanted to get an MRED degree cuz its so real estate related and I'm still looking into applying for a couple even though I need to focus on graduating this year. But also I've heard from credible people that a MBA focusing on RE AND finance would be excellent, and obviously the better the university the greater the value. Plus like I said earlier you walk away with more flexibility as well. I really would prefer DePaul or UW Madison (GPA aint getting me into NW).

One last note if all else fails going into selling homes and brokerage is another legitimate way to get a start in the industry as well. Learn to sell and value what you have, gain personality and knowledge about RE/transactions, and NETWORK. Not where I wanna be but still an option.

This is a good discussion, hopefully it leads to all things best which is good and Responsible development for our great city.

untitledreality Jan 5, 2012 2:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5083475)
PSS: The only developers that I know of who have an architecture degree are David Hovey and Antonvich. Architecture is a very uncommon way to get into the business.

Agreed that it is uncommon, but there is nothing stopping anyone who is an architect from becoming a developer, other than themselves. It just seems that many architects feel uncomfortable by the notion of development, by taking on risk. Its really quite sad.

Other notable Architect/Developers are Johnathan Segal, Sebastian Mariscal, Onion Flats and Alloy in NYC. They have all gone beyond the point of dabbling in development like so many architects frequently do and have found great balance between the demands of finances and design.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 23, 2012 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by siunate2324 (Post 5527482)
@nowhereman
I've taken some of your past posts in this thread and tried to apply as much as I really can at my stage. I just founded a real estate club on campus for students so I'm hoping that will help for grad school/jobs with a good leadership item for my resume. This is should be a good chance for me to maybe land an internship because I'll be dealing with many local brokers, RE law firms, etc. on a personal level. Also planning a trip to STL to hopefully have our group talk to a handful of development companies around there and try and gain as much knowledge from that as possible.

Also have you heard anything about ULI (Urban Land Institute). I think I'm going to join for year and see how that is along with getting my license after I graduate.

Sounds like you've gotten a good start. Are you going to school in Chicago?

I've read a lot of the reports/research that comes out of ULI. The do good work. Could be a good place to check for internships as well.


Quote:

Also from my grad school research I tended to notice mostly the value of a degree. I really really wanted to get an MRED degree cuz its so real estate related and I'm still looking into applying for a couple even though I need to focus on graduating this year. But also I've heard from credible people that a MBA focusing on RE AND finance would be excellent, and obviously the better the university the greater the value. Plus like I said earlier you walk away with more flexibility as well. I really would prefer DePaul or UW Madison (GPA aint getting me into NW).
I think you might find that grad programs aren't as focused on GPA as you fear. The MUCH more important factor to grad programs is your resume. You could have graduated with a 2.0 from a community college and get into University of Chicago if you are the CEO of a $50 million company you built from scratch. That's why building your resume by doing things like starting a real estate club is so important.

Also, I think you'll find that UW Madison is just as picky as NW, especially for their business programs as they have a similarly selective program to NW. Madison and NW have two of the finest Real Estate MBA programs around.


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