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Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:35 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pungent Onion, Illinois
Posts: 8,492
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Exactly what are some of the ways to become a developer? Would majoring in architecture be a good way to get into this field or would it be best to major in a strictly business field?
Do business and take as many courses on real estate that they offer. I am currently working on this myself. I got myself a good job during college working at a Real Estate Law Firm that taught me a ton and worked there for two plus years. Worked for a while at a tech start up which was a complete distraction from my real passion for real estate. I recently moved over to doing a combination of brokerage and consulting on corporate accounts. I am now in the process of buying my first building which is a two flat. I intend to live downtstairs and rent the top while I save up to rennovate the whole thing and sell it. Given the fact that its selling for about $150k in a market where a renovated two flat went for $500k to $750 three years ago, that should give me enough capital to really get going and either use it as collateral on other loans or just sell it to an investor and leverage the capital on other deals. Its going to take time and a lot of work, but I'm so close I can taste it.

Its funny, I was asking the exact same question on here four years ago so the advice I have for you works. Remember the following:

1. Be prepared to work your ass off
2. Be willing to take a risk. You have nothing to lose.
3. NETWORK at all possible opportunities. Real Estate is all about who you know
4. LEARN. Get yourself an internship or job at a real estate law firm, consultant, developer, or brokerage. Reference point one here. If you can't find a paying position or get a job through a connection, then approach local real estate people and offer to work for three. You can't do points 1-3 without number four. Most of Real Estate is something you can't learn in school, its good to have a education that gives you chops with numbers, but you need to have hands on experience.
5. Get your brokers license and do it as fast as possible. Its impressive to people if you have a license and a college degree at a young age. It also proves that you aren't just another business student groping everywhere they can looking for just another job to hold them over. It also only costs $600, but you can get the Illinois Realtors Association scholarship for college students who are interested in real estate.

If you do points 1-5 you will find yourself knowing what steps you have to take to become a developer in a couple years. I can't tell you how to become one because everyone does it differently, but I can tell you that if you do the above, you will figure it out yourself if you really have a passion for it.

PS: I double majored in Economics and Finance and graduated in 3.5 years so I could get a jump start on my goal.

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.

To be honest if you are young, be aggressive and just throw yourself out there for every developer, consultant, REIT, and real estate law firm in the city and be willing to work your ass off for little to nothing. You will never have another opportunity in your life again where you won't need a fully paying job and there are a lot of REITS and developers right now that are ramping up their operation and running lean and mean in this environment. Getting a some college kid to do their admin work and pick up their lunch so they can work all day without stopping will be extremely tempting to them.

Also its not necessarily decades off, I will be officially a small time developer as soon as this deal closes in January meaning I went from punk ass college kid to "developer" (albeit small scale right now) in less than 5 years. And I'm still only 23...
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