Opportunity, On the job training or Not?

7 Replies

A developer has purchased my next door neighbors house and plans to demo the house and build a small condo development. Yesterday while walking my dog the developer approached me, introduced himself and explained to me what he was doing. I told him about my interest in real estate investing and development. We walked the property, chatted a bit he then offered me a "job". The job for now consist of managing the details of prepare the house for demo: Arranging the clean out, having the utilities disconnected, obtaining parking permits, etc. He also offered to show me the biz from his perspective and would be open to partner on some wholesale deals.  

A little background:

I live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC. It has been a hotbed of renovation, flipping and now small condo development as the area has been gentrifying over that last few years. The condo developments are usually a converted rowhouse with an addition to the rear and sometimes vertically to yield 3-6 units.

  My neighbor was a little old who's family has owned the house and the land around it for 100 yrs!  I'm kicking myself right now for not asking her if she was going to sell. The area consists mainly of rowhouses (most are at partially attached), lowrise apartments and few highrises. 

A contractor friend advised me that this guy may have decided its better to win me to his side now rather than have to fight me later, when problems arise. I don't think that's untrue, but saw a possible opportunity to learn something and make connections, both with the developer, his network and vendors. 

I have zero development experience, but I have mortgage experience primarily residential with a few retail commercial deals.

What say you BP? Would you do it or nah?

Comments and questions are appreciated, Thanks 


I think you probably want to work out a reasonable hourly rate for your services.  The hourly compensation isn't the main goal, but it should help you avoid the developer taking advantage of the situation.  


A mentor is a great opportunity 

Man O man I would love to have an opportunity like that, its a "OPPORTUNITY" Jump on it, as long as your not losing money whats the worst case scenario 

If It was me this is how I would approach it.

1st We need to have an up front understanding, so later there is no misunderstanding. In writing if possible (CYA)

2nd, question to ask your self and maybe him, does he normally have inexperienced Project Managers run his projects, Whats in it for him. (CYA)

Then one needs to understand to make money for self, you need to make money for others. How are you helping him make money.

whats his expectations

Who's making the schedule  

How are you getting compensated and when

Meet with him everyday if possible even if its for a quick coffee, get to know him personally, create at a relationship, ask questions, then listen.

Do more then is expected and ask for nothing in return, you will get compensated for that later (Maybe) 

Get your hands on anything you can about Project management and read it. lots of info on the web.

Read How to win friend and influence people, BY Dale Carnegie and Think and go rich by Napoleon Hill 

Don't be afraid to speak with and ask question of the trades, suppliers, city officials and whom ever is involved, they have been there and done that in there area of expertise, most of the time they know the best way to get it done, just ask, What do you think is the best way, then take notes, you get them on your side they might do a little more if asked.

The only thing I can guarantee is, if you don't try, nothing will happen

This might lead to some cool stuff, one never knows.

Good luck


I forgot to mention, there also might be some truth to Jesse T. statement. but who cares it still might be a great opportunity.  

Quick Update:

The project is currently stalled due to a dispute with the other adjacent property owners. Also the city is requesting changes to the building design because of zoning compliance. 

Jump on it, developers who takes you under their wing aren't easy to find. Who knows, after this you might want to develop a row house on your own since you already got pre- and post-construction things covered (finding, buying, and selling). To me that's the hard part. The project will come back, in 1-3 months, just be prepared.

I would do it. Great experience. I live in DC and would love to get a better understanding of the project management side. Let me know if you want any help. Cheers

This sounds like a good opportunity to learn a lot about the business, I'd jump all over it. 

Don't worry about the hourly rate, even if he uses you a bit use him, the knowledge is whats valuable here.

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