Do You Have What it Takes to be a Successful Property Developer?

Being a successful property developer requires an abundance of skill, including drive and determination. However, in the current economic climate, with the process of Brexit starting and a housing crisis looming, you need a certain je ne sais quoi to stand the pressure and keep your head up. Here’s a five-minute outline of what you’ll require in order to make it in the property world.

What does a property developer do?

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you aren’t a successful property developer yet, but you have the aspirations to get there. Well, no matter how small your experience so far, are you absolutely sure you know what you’re getting yourself into? As a developer, unless you have a lot of money behind you, you will be spending a lot of your time in credit on loans and mortgages until you can make the money back on the property development you’re working on. If you aren’t comfortable with debt, then it’s probably not something for you.

Once acquiring a property, whether it’s business plots, houses, or just land, it’s up to you as a property developer to make a profit by improving it into something people will want to buy. Here you will need knowledge of the property industry, an imagination and plenty of contacts and skills to actually get the work done.

What skills does a property developer need?

It would be brave to go head first into property development without any experience, and it’s probably been done in the past. However, to have a better chance at success it’s sensible to get a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in land and property development. Other subjects that are relevant include surveying, business studies, economics and estate management.

Qualifications achieved, you need excellent communication skills for negotiations to build up contacts and carry out presentations to potential benefactors and planners. You will need excellent maths skills so that you can work out figures and profits on the spot. You will also need to be able to carry out lots of research and have the IT skills to make plans, spread sheets, presentations and invoices. As you’ll be advising clients about important financial and legal matters as well as building your own funds from investment companies and development agencies, you are going to need excellent networking skills too.

What else?

Experience will get you a long way, so before you take the plunge yourself it would be well worth your time to speak to a professional who has been there and done it. Partners Jason Harris and Daniel Goldberg have been in the industry for nearly over 30 years, 25 of which have been building their own empire, First Urban, so they would be good people to reach out to. Turning to experts for guidance will build knowledge and experience.

As long as you go into property development with the right attitude and work hard at it, you can succeed and prosper.


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