How to Start a Real Estate Development Career – A Step-by-Step Guide


Real estate development is one of the most rewarding fields you can choose for your career. It offers an opportunity to take on big challenges and thrive. It’s also a field that requires a lot of time, planning, and money—if you have a passion for real estate, whether buying properties for resale or building communities for people, then becoming a real estate developer might be right for you. Real estate development is challenging but rewarding, as it increases your earning potential and helps you build something meaningful and sustainable over time. 

This article aims to give you the insights necessary to successfully embark on the career path of becoming a real estate developer. Whether you want to become an entry-level real estate developer or progress further into this rewarding field, we’ll cover all your bases. So keep reading our step-by-step guide on how to start a real estate development career.

What is a real estate development career?

Real estate development is the process of creating or improving real estate assets. Real estate assets can include any kind of property that generates income, such as commercial buildings, residential properties, and land. Real estate developers are the people responsible for planning and implementing these projects. 

Real estate development careers can be quite diverse, and they can be found in both the public and private sectors. Real estate development careers can be a great choice for those interested in real estate as an investor or profession. 

Real estate development professionals must understand real estate basics like associated costs, financing, and return on investment. These professionals must also manage a wide variety of responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities include: 

  • managing project schedules
  • managing project budgets 
  • managing project stakeholders 
  • managing project construction
  • managing municipal permitting processes 
  • managing legal issues

Real estate development professionals must have excellent project management and organizational skills and strong problem-solving and time management skills to succeed in this field.

Real Estate Development Career Paths

Real estate development is one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue. With annual average salaries of $74,000 and $94,000 in some cities, it’s a great starting point for many professionals. It’s also an industry that offers many career paths—including opportunities to work as an independent contractor, broker associate, salesperson, project manager, developer, and more. 

Broker Associate

Brokers are licensed professionals who are engaged in real estate sales. To become a licensed broker in some states, one must pass a state’s broker exam, obtain a state license, and complete a period of supervised experience. While experience and training are important, the broker’s license itself is a prerequisite for success as a real estate broker. Having a broker’s license allows one to advertise real estate properties for sale or lease. One can also find property listings and help with marketing by talking to realtors about the properties they’re interested in.


Real estate salespeople help clients buy and sell real estate through direct marketing and advertising. Many real estate salespeople specialize in a particular market or type of property, such as commercial or residential. A career as a real estate salesperson requires good communication skills, the ability to work with a variety of people, and knowledge of real estate laws and practices. Real estate salespeople can work as independent contractors, agents working as employees, or brokers who provide sales services as part of a real estate brokerage.

Independent Contractor

Real estate development projects are often large in scope and require significant amounts of hands-on, on-site work to get the job done. A large majority of real estate development projects are completed through the use of an independent contractor. An independent contractor is a person who completes work under a contract that spells out the rights and responsibilities of both the business and the contractor. It is common for real estate companies to use independent contractors to complete the majority of their work to reduce costs and increase profitability.

Project Manager

Project managers oversee the work done by other real estate development professionals, including architects, engineers, and subcontractors. He ensures the project meets all legal and financial requirements as well as is completed on time and within budget.


A real estate developer is a person that develops property for sale or rent. They are in charge of buying land, building or renovating houses and apartments, and marketing the finished product. Real estate developers can take on many different roles, from overseeing large construction projects to working as a broker to finding the best home for their customers. 

There are many different types of real estate developers. Some specialize in one property type (for example, residential or commercial). Others focus on a particular market (for example, high-end luxury homes in Manhattan). And still, others work across a wide range of markets and properties (like a local general contractor who works in new construction and renovation projects). 

Regardless of the role, all real estate developers must have good project management skills. They need to know how to organize and manage their time, stay on top of deadlines and keep track of finances. Real estate developers also need excellent negotiation skills, as they often have to buy or sell large amounts of land and negotiate with subcontractors and other contractors.

Tips and Tricks for Becoming a Real Estate Developer

Seek out training and education programs

Real estate development professionals typically require a bachelor’s degree, and some states require a license or certification. Investing the time in obtaining formal education and training can help you succeed in a real estate development career. If you don’t have time to join a formal class or haven’t had a degree, don’t worry; there are various online certification courses approved by federal states which you can take sitting in your home at the ease of your scheduled time.

Start your own project

Real estate development is a very lucrative career path that can help you become a real estate developer. Many people choose to start their own real estate development project because it lets them control the business aspect of the deal. However, it’s important to note that becoming a real estate developer isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

When you start, you should do as much research as possible. Know the market conditions, zoning laws and other regulations that affect your project. You should also consider the type of building you want to construct and the style of architecture. Once you have decided on a site and an overall design, you can begin obtaining permits and starting construction. This will take time and energy, but you can build something amazing if you keep at it.

Work for a real estate development company 

There are various challenges while starting your own real estate project, so it would be better to join a job in a real estate development company. It will give you a chance to learn from others’ mistakes and succeed, and you have enough experience to work independently can start your own development company.

Take your time and learn as you go

Real estate development is an inherently risky business. It is crucial to take your time and learn as you go. You can’t rush this process and expect immediate success. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to real estate development. Each project is unique and requires specialized skill sets. So, initially, it’s better to hire a consulting agency and learn from their experience while working with them.

Network like crazy

Networking is the key to success in every industry. Real estate development is no different. You can’t succeed in this field without networking with other real estate professionals. You need to build relationships with lenders, real estate agents, brokerages, lawyers, contractors, and others in the industry. 

Networking is important because you can get referrals, find sources for your business, learn from others, and get guidance from those that have been in the industry longer than yourself. Real estate professionals are always looking for ways to grow their businesses, so you can use this opportunity to get their support. 

Real estate developers often have to jump through numerous hoops in order to get their licenses and certificates. You can’t do it all on your own. You will need to partner with government officials, lenders, and other professionals. Networking can help you find connections in the real estate development industry and expedite the process of getting those licenses and certificates.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Real estate development is all about surprises. You can’t plan for everything and expect to succeed. Sometimes your plans will go awry, and you will be stuck with an unexpected problem. This happens a lot in real estate development. Expect the unexpected. When things don’t go according to plan in real estate development, you need to be prepared to adapt and change your plans. 

The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to be flexible and open to changing your plans. Real estate development is a fluid process where the rules are constantly changing, and you need to be open to making adjustments quickly. The property market is always changing, and you need to be ready to adapt to those changes. 

Real estate developers need to have good problem-solving skills and be able to look at a problem and come up with a solution. If you are stuck on a problem, you need to be able to ask yourself what problem you are trying to solve. Real estate is all about solving problems, and you need to be able to look at them from different angles until you come up with a solution.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. Real estate development is a very demanding and stressful, and risky field. There is a lot to learn, and you need to be ready to learn it all on your own. You can learn from the mistakes of others and apply what you learn to avoid repeating their errors. Real estate development is a challenging field, and you will make mistakes. So it’s better to learn from other’s mistakes rather than making your own mistake to avoid unforeseeable future losses 

Know your market and benchmark regularly

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Be realistic about your goals and what you hope to achieve. If you have unrealistic expectations, you are more likely to get discouraged and give up. Real estate development is a challenging field, and there will be times when you will encounter challenges. The best way to deal with those challenges is to be realistic and prepare for them. 

“No one succeeds in real estate development without formal education and training. It’s a challenging but rewarding career path – don’t give up on your dreams!” says John Myers, An Albuquerque-based real estate agent.

Final Words

Real estate development careers are one of the most sought-after and lucrative careers in business. While they can be daunting and challenging, they also present many personal and financial growth opportunities. With perseverance and dedication, you can become a successful real estate developer.

Author Bio: Bobbin D’silva is an SEO Consultant and Blogger from India. He loves to listen Pop music in free time. You can connect him on linkedin or follow him on twitter.