It used to surprise me when people would ask me how to become a real estate developer. After all, Christina and I aren’t exactly what you think of when you think of real estate developers. We don’t plan and invest in new commercial properties or planned communities, but, on a smaller scale, we actually are developers. Think about it this way. Every time we take a trashed, vacant house and turn it into an attractive property with new buyers living in it, we do a little bit to develop its neighborhood and the community around it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as we’ve worked on more expensive properties and started to really grow our business. If you keep up with our show, you know that we’ve taken on larger rehabs with much bigger budgets as the seasons have progressed. Those projects have felt more and more like we’re really developing the properties and helping the communities around them than just rehabbing them. That got me thinking about how flipping and development are alike and the traits you have to have if you’re going to become a real estate developer or a house flipper.
Do You Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Real Estate?
First of all, if you want to be a developer, you have to be a real expert on real estate. If you haven’t already gotten your real estate license, you should be actively working toward that goal. You should also be constantly learning about the markets in your area and considering how you can improve them.
Do You Think Like an Entrepreneur?
How do you approach problems in your life and your career? Are you the kind of person who’s always looking for better ways to do things, or are you pretty okay with the status quo? If you’re always looking for better ways to put the puzzle of your life and your career together, then you’re thinking like an entrepreneur. That’ll get you a long way as a real estate developer. Sticking with the status quo won’t get you very far at all.
Do You Always Have an Exit Strategy?
Whether you’re rehabbing a flip, renovating a shopping mall, or developing a new multi-use complex, a successful real estate investor will always have exit strategies. You’ve done your homework on what can go wrong and how, and you have an exit strategy ready for any situation, from selling your property to an enthusiastic buyer to cutting your losses with a rehab that’s just going to be too expensive.
Do You Have Good Marketing Skills, or Do You Know Someone Who Does?
You don’t have to be a natural-born marketing whiz to be a really successful developer or investor, but it does help. If you don’t know your way around online and in-person marketing, are you savvy enough to realize it and call an expert for help? Do you already have someone in mind as you read this? The real estate business is built on relationships and reputation, so if you already have the relationships established to take care of the points I’m making here, you’re definitely on the right path.
Can You See the Beauty and Potential in a Rundown Property?
Finally, whether you’re flipping houses or repurposing shopping centers, if you want to become a real estate developer, you really need to have an eye for properties’ potential. Where other people see a moldy, dilapidated building, do you see a potentially gorgeous property that could attract a great price if it got the right rehabs? Then congratulations, you’re already on your way to becoming a real estate developer!