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

siunate2324 Jan 31, 2012 6:50 AM

Hope it's a good start, lol I've done research on the web the last few years trying to get as much knowledge as possible so I hope it pays off as I feel like I finally found the right path. No I am a senior at SIU down south. I switched from architecture to management to finance (real estate) an seems like it was the right way to get into development. Also noticed thru MRED n grad school research they put emphasis on leadership and having a genuine interest in RE, which is why I hope things like my club/ULI present not only resume boosters but hopefully opportunities.

Yeah ULI looked like a good chance to get some real knowledge on how the industry works and since it's my last semester to get it as a student I am planning on it getting it anytime.

I never looked at GPA and admittance into grad school like that but I guess you are probably right. I think me trying to be admitted into grad right after I graduate is prly unrealistic even though it'd be nice...but I guess if it can help earn a better degree getting good experience right away can only help. I def feel like if I can somehow pull off getting UW, NW, or now I'm looking at Depaul more extensively I'll be set for a good career. Depaul has gone up my list since all I've heard lately is the importance of gaining connections where you intend on working and also they offer opportunities for students to work and attend grad programs concurrently. We'll see what happens the real world is coming pretty quick...

siunate2324 Mar 22, 2012 12:31 AM

For the sake of keeping this thread going I'll post a simple question since I'm closing in on graduating with a finance degree. Say I get out of here degree in hand, gonna probably be hard finding a development company that's decent around Chicagoland hiring even though that'd be ideal. But what other routes are there to take? I hear from many people in the industry starting as a broker isn't bad since u learn the trade, transaction process, n how to sell. But would that be better than a smaller time finance job with just any company? I need something for a bit of work experience to help my grad school chances in between undergrad and grad. Thoughts?

Nowhereman1280 Mar 23, 2012 4:42 PM

If you are closing in on graduation, I'd start working on a brokers license. That's what I did right at the end of school and it's opened the door to a ton of opportunities for me. I will say that residential brokerage is NOT the way to go and that you should try to shoot for commercial brokerage and learn industrial or office brokerage. It's a great way to learn the fundamentals of putting deals together and to start building a network.

I'm finally closing in on my deal of being able to actually start my own independent development company and will probably open a brokerage arm as well as I've recruited a few friends who also have licenses to join me. What is really driving my business plan now is a Private Equity fund that I'm putting together to buy up small multi-family properties. I own two buildings now and have another under contract and am waiting for a response today on a 4th one that my partner and I put in a cash offer on (I'm pumped about this one as they've indicated we are the top offer right now). I wouldn't have been able to afford or figure out how to do any of this without the base that two years of brokerage has given me.

TechTalkGuy Jun 10, 2012 1:11 AM

Anyone serious about getting into real estate should seriously contact Donald Trump about an apprenticeship. His company develops allot of very interesting properties.

Illithid Dude Oct 31, 2012 7:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish (Post 5728923)
Anyone serious about getting into real estate should seriously contact Donald Trump about an apprenticeship. His company develops allot of very interesting properties.

Donald Trump? Never heard of him.

Tony Oct 31, 2012 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish (Post 5728923)
Anyone serious about getting into real estate should seriously contact Donald Trump about an apprenticeship. His company develops allot of very interesting properties.

I'm sorry, this is a crock of complete sh*t. Skip this scam and do real research instead, either on your own or hiring a Planner. I can pretty much guarantee all developers I deal with would laugh at that statement.

Alxx611 Aug 31, 2013 4:44 AM

This topic is really interesting to me because I'm currently in a one year graduate school program at Tulane (Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development) that essentially, is geared towards making the student become a developer. Its actually in the School of Architecture. The curriculum basically blends building-design, finance, economics, real estate, case studies, and legal issues all together, with an emphasis on sustainability. Its interesting, because in the past you didn't just go to school to "become a developer" and our program is one of very few kind that now exist for that. In the past, people became developers from very diverse backgrounds. Many ex-architects, real estate agents, businessmen, people from the public sector with influence, lawyers, brokerage agents, private lenders, etc. Really any background, but of course the main key is being someone with a lot of money, or having a partner with money.

The paradigm now sees development as something that is done best by generalists that can know a little bit about every aspect of the developing process. A lot of the development process is becoming consolidated, and you have many design-build companies now. The idea is that just being an architect, a real estate finance guru good with spreadsheets, or construction manager isn't cutting it anymore. You need to educate yourself in every part of development to become a developer, and its becoming a well-defined discipline.

With that said, I'm only a few months into the program so I'm still learning. I was actually a Biology major in undergraduate, with some studio art experience, and very little real world experience so this was a huge jump for me with a lot to learn. My class though is made up of architects, business and finance majors, some people with design-build experience, real estate agents, an artist, and a few others with a similar background as me. I think they may have been flexible in who they accepted in the school, as this still a very young, growing program.

As the year goes by though, I'll be glad to give a more polished answer on going about being a developer other than just "go to school". The program definitely is giving us a head start advantage in the field, but again, there are really so many paths to getting into the business, with academia perhaps being a newer option.

Its ultimately knowing a little bit about everything, networking, the willingness to live the majority of your life teetering on the verge of financial collapse, self-motivation, always having vision, and being very creative about finding financing.

Larry King Nov 23, 2013 5:59 PM

Any developers out there?

I've been in the biz a couple years now... I work on larger projects (20mm+) for a firm and also am starting to do some smaller projects on my own (<1mm)... Breaking ground on my first project by myself in march

SLO Nov 23, 2013 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry King (Post 6350494)
Any developers out there?

I've been in the biz a couple years now... I work on larger projects (20mm+) for a firm and also am starting to do some smaller projects on my own (<1mm)... Breaking ground on my first project by myself in march

What is the project?

Larry King Nov 23, 2013 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLO (Post 6350611)
What is the project?

Just a couple for-sale rowhouses... Urban infill in philly

SLO Nov 24, 2013 8:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry King (Post 6350783)
Just a couple for-sale rowhouses... Urban infill in philly

Excellent, I'd love to see them. I've done lots of spec houses and one small 10 lot subdivision.

LouisVanDerWright Nov 25, 2013 1:51 AM

I'm working a big project in Chicago right now. I'm not the boss by any means, but I am a minority partner and working on every step of the project. We haven't announced yet, but I'll share the details as soon as I can.

Larry King Nov 25, 2013 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6351684)
I'm working a big project in Chicago right now. I'm not the boss by any means, but I am a minority partner and working on every step of the project. We haven't announced yet, but I'll share the details as soon as I can.

Cool sounds like the role im playing in a large (for me... 150 units) project in philly...

Larry King Nov 25, 2013 1:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLO (Post 6351475)
Excellent, I'd love to see them. I've done lots of spec houses and one small 10 lot subdivision.

Ya its been a learning experience so far... dealt with too much zoning bs for what should be a simple project

I hope to build for 90-95 psf, seems realistic... just hope that contractor estimates hold up and theyre not blowing smoke

LouisVanDerWright Nov 25, 2013 2:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry King (Post 6351958)
Ya its been a learning experience so far... dealt with too much zoning bs for what should be a simple project

I hope to build for 90-95 psf, seems realistic... just hope that contractor estimates hold up and theyre not blowing smoke

$90-95/SF??? That seems really low, am I missing something? Seems new construction in Chicago runs no less than $140/SF, but then again I've never been involved with single family construction, so maybe it is lower than I think.

Larry King Nov 25, 2013 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6352006)
$90-95/SF??? That seems really low, am I missing something? Seems new construction in Chicago runs no less than $140/SF, but then again I've never been involved with single family construction, so maybe it is lower than I think.

I know an israeli in philly that builds for 70 psf... but he has his own crew, equipment etc

Union cconstruction in philly is like 190 psf

Non union single family homes in phila will range from 80 to 120 or so... work done by immigrants

Edit: this is just hard construction costs

SLO Nov 25, 2013 4:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry King (Post 6352029)
I know an israeli in philly that builds for 70 psf... but he has his own crew, equipment etc

Union cconstruction in philly is like 190 psf

Non union single family homes in phila will range from 80 to 120 or so... work done by immigrants

Edit: this is just hard construction costs

That seems reasonable. Im sure its higher than here in DFW, which will have a wild range in construction cost depending on exactly where. City vs non city etc. Our bottom range will be 75-95 psf for ground up construction cost. Thats for your average spec home. Of course they sell low as well....

Reverberation Apr 11, 2014 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry King (Post 6350494)
Any developers out there?

I've been in the biz a couple years now... I work on larger projects (20mm+) for a firm and also am starting to do some smaller projects on my own (<1mm)... Breaking ground on my first project by myself in march

I work for a developer and have been in the business for a few years now. Eventually I want to start owning my own small scale projects on the side to build the residual income stream but it isn't a buyers market with where cap rates are now on assets in stable areas.

rohanjain Apr 19, 2014 5:38 AM

You can research it yourself and go the way according to your dreams.

ChiTownWonder Jun 21, 2014 5:02 PM

do you have to be rich to be a developer? isnt it more about loans and financing?


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