Career in development. How to get started?

8 Replies

Hello,

I am currently on my last year of University to obtain a degree in business focused on Finance. I am currently in an internship in commercial real estate but I can't imagine myself managing portfolios forever or working in the corporate setting. I want to do acquisitions and build. Be out there not in the office.

 I do not know how to start but I have done a few wholesale deals and just closed my first rental while balancing a full time paid internship and full time school (Hectic). Based on these experiences, I enjoyed the hustle of finding off market deals and also seeing my hard work pay off from watching my rental transform from ugly to beauty.

Now, I have been in school for 5 years... They don't teach development nor real estate in uni. 

Should I apply for a school that focuses on real estate development after I graduate? I have connected with developers but they are small local developers. I want to eventually move into commercial and learn from someone who is well experienced but i'm not sure how to do this.

How do I start the path of development, any books, paths or direction to start? How can I obtain a mentor and how do I provide value for them to even consider mentoring me? 

Scary how it is my last year of uni and i've worked so hard but realizing now that I don't want a corporate job. I tasted it and DO NOT LIKE IT. Any developers, please help. 

Find out if you can work with some sponsor/developer/syndicator it would be very helpful. There are few things you can do 1. look at your skills and figure out what you can do with your current skill set 2. Find what you want to learn, commercial real estate is a big field 3. network with people who are doing what you want to do. You can use this platform and LinkedIn to connect. Working with a group will be very useful

Just to give you options...if you do wish to delay the "real world" a bit, you can always go for the MBA.  An MBA will never hurt any of your professional choices.  So, if you don't see any obvious choices and don't mind struggling for another 2-3 years.  It won't hurt.  But also, don't stress.  You are likely young enough to have a few pivots in your career.  Just bring hard work and positive attitude to whatever you do.

For the record...I got a Masters in Urban Planning (for Pete's sake) solely because my university's Real Estate program was housed in that department.  I feel your pain, when options are limited. All the best!

Originally posted by @Karl Dela Cruz :

Hello,

I am currently on my last year of University to obtain a degree in business focused on Finance. I am currently in an internship in commercial real estate but I can't imagine myself managing portfolios forever or working in the corporate setting. I want to do acquisitions and build. Be out there not in the office.

 I do not know how to start but I have done a few wholesale deals and just closed my first rental while balancing a full time paid internship and full time school (Hectic). Based on these experiences, I enjoyed the hustle of finding off market deals and also seeing my hard work pay off from watching my rental transform from ugly to beauty.

Now, I have been in school for 5 years... They don't teach development nor real estate in uni. 

Should I apply for a school that focuses on real estate development after I graduate? I have connected with developers but they are small local developers. I want to eventually move into commercial and learn from someone who is well experienced but i'm not sure how to do this.

How do I start the path of development, any books, paths or direction to start? How can I obtain a mentor and how do I provide value for them to even consider mentoring me? 

Scary how it is my last year of uni and i've worked so hard but realizing now that I don't want a corporate job. I tasted it and DO NOT LIKE IT. Any developers, please help. 

I have been interviewed on podcasts and made a lot of videos on this topic. I would recommend getting your MBA in development if you have the capacity and resources. There are lots of great programs and they also help place you after completion. If you want to jump right in you can find a job with a development firm as an assistant Superintendent, assistant PM or as an analyst and work your way up. If you are willing to relocate that will help as construction is booming across the country and builders and developers are looking for talent.

 

@Karl Dela Cruz

Congrats on your accomplishments.

My advice is going to be a little different from everyone else.

I too started where you are....I wanted to get into development, but didn’t know where to start, so I jumped in head first. Needless to say....my first project failed and I lost $30k. Why did the project fail? I “hired” someone who was supposed to be “experienced” in development, when actually he was really a con artist. First lesson I learned- always maintain control over your projects.

Now, my second time trying to get into development, I found a mentor like everyone suggested I do. You can take this path...but it’s still going to slow down the process. Why? Well, one the mentor made me sign an NDA and non-compete for a 2 yr period. Also, they were not willing to pay me anything for properties that I sourced myself and put under contract. I didn’t think that was fair because it was basically an unpaid internship.

So, I decided to do it on my own. With zero real development experience. I saved excessively until I was able to buy a small infill. I put the property under contract and don’t have to close until I receive all entitlements.

Now I’m in the design phase and working with the architect to design the homes. I’m building 4 townhomes ground-up. If everything goes will- I’ll submit the site plan on 12/6 and I’ll meet with the planning dept Jan 2021.

I’m the sole developer on the project. My plan is to find all pre-development cost- then bring on investors for the financing piece.

So- if you really want to be a developer, then be a developer. Visit your local zoning department website- they should have zoning documentation available. Start here. Read the comprehension plan to understand what the area needs/wants in terms of development.

The biggest thing that helped me is talking to people in the zoning department. I would call and say- “Hey, I’m thinking about purchasing vacant land in xyz area...can you tell me the steps I need to take to build an apartment, house, etc.

Also, ULI has a great textbook around development. It’s basically my bible. I refer to it often.

Book title: Professional Real Estate Development- The ULI guide to the business.

Don’t let your inexperience deter you if this is really what you want to do and don’t wait around for a mentor....you do need one. The biggest issues new developers run into is obtaining financing, but there is always a solution if the numbers make sense.

I hope this helps.

Feel free to reach out any time if you want to discuss further.

Best,

Canesha

Originally posted by @Karl Dela Cruz :

Hello,

I am currently on my last year of University to obtain a degree in business focused on Finance. I am currently in an internship in commercial real estate but I can't imagine myself managing portfolios forever or working in the corporate setting. I want to do acquisitions and build. Be out there not in the office.

 I do not know how to start but I have done a few wholesale deals and just closed my first rental while balancing a full time paid internship and full time school (Hectic). Based on these experiences, I enjoyed the hustle of finding off market deals and also seeing my hard work pay off from watching my rental transform from ugly to beauty.

Now, I have been in school for 5 years... They don't teach development nor real estate in uni. 

Should I apply for a school that focuses on real estate development after I graduate? I have connected with developers but they are small local developers. I want to eventually move into commercial and learn from someone who is well experienced but i'm not sure how to do this.

How do I start the path of development, any books, paths or direction to start? How can I obtain a mentor and how do I provide value for them to even consider mentoring me? 

Scary how it is my last year of uni and i've worked so hard but realizing now that I don't want a corporate job. I tasted it and DO NOT LIKE IT. Any developers, please help. 

Hi Karl,

To be a developer you're going to need a bankroll of investable/spendable cash as well as a business model.

Developer is a huge encompassing term. Home builder, community builder, refreshing dated strip malls, or like Donald Trump does--building huge high end skyscrapers.

To find a business model that you are passionate about, think about two or three things that seem like they are for you, and go out and make some business friends with people who are doing that.

Then when your with them, ask questions as they come to your mind.

As far as the bankroll goes, your going to have to figure that one out for yourself, because as they say "If you have no dough--you have no go".

Good Luck!

 

@Karl Dela Cruz

If you don’t want to have a corporate career do not get additional education - it would be pointless.

If you want to get hands on in the field experience look into getting a job for a general contractor or a developer that does their general contracting in-house. Understanding construction is invaluable as a developer. Some amazing opportunities are on Craigslist.

Lastly, patience is key. If you are like me you want the world and want it now, unfortunately life is not like that. Great things take time to build. Live super frugally and save as much money as possible. As you gain experience and connections use these resources and knowledge to build your own portfolio. This may require having a 9-5 job for a few years. You need money to make money! Especially in real estate.

It seems like you are already killing it and on the path to success. Keep getting after it!