Property Developer jobs(Also known as Property Developer)
Property developers are perhaps best seen as 'conductors'. A Property Developer is likely to engage in a wide range of property related activities - finding the best locations, sourcing funds, obtaining planning permission, building on raw land, organising renovations or repairs or leasing property, all with the end goal of making a profit on a particular project. Within the UK, 'development' is formally defined by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as 'the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land'. Property development can thus refer to a wide range of directly and indirectly related activities; however, for most people the key theme is making money! It is perhaps easiest to understand the role by considering a chronological sequence of events: Research The first stage to becoming a successful developer is to research the market. This may involve liaising with a range of business contacts or property agents to ascertain what trends are developing in the market. You may look at
- social demographics
- supply and demand factors
- macroeconomic and local economic factors
- statutory developments
SalaryAlthough there are a number of large scale property development companies a lot of developers choose to be self-employed as the rewards can be much greater. Some of the wealthiest individuals in the world made their money through property development. You could earn in excess of £100,000 a year if you are successful; however, the rewards will ultimately depend upon the size and nature of the project. A bad project can result in a substantial loss whilst a successful project may reap many millions of pounds. The property market is also highly correlated to the general state of the economy. Take a look at our award winning housepricecrash website for more details of factors influencing the UK property market.
ResponsibilitiesThere is a huge range of areas you may be expected to cover and it will vary greatly depending on the scale of the development and also the nature of the project e.g. office, retail, commercial or residential. Property development in general is likely to involve:
- Identifying an attractive development opportunity.
- Responding to Requests For Proposals ("RFPs") for redevelopment projects.
- Working with lawyers, agents and other professionals to draft contracts.
- Obtaining financing.
- Assembling development teams including architects, engineers, marketers, agents, builders etc.
- Project managing the development and overseeing any construction work to make sure it is delivered to deadline.
- Negotiating and obtaining planning permission and licences and keeping abreast of general industry developments and building regulations.
- Ensuring that health and safety requirements are satisfied.
- Negotiating prices for the purchase and sale of land and establishing base prices for publicly owned land.
- Assisting in the marketing of the development.
- Managing the property including organising day-to-day repairs or security, negotiating leases and contracts or hiring individuals to manage the property on your behalf.
QualificationsThere are no prerequisite qualifications needed to become a property developer. You will, however, need to have sufficient capital to make an initial purchase. There is now a range of qualifications available to prospective developers, which includes:
- University courses including MSc in Property Development. Take a look at the UCAS website for further details.
- National Federation of Property Professionals ("NFOPP") - the NFOPP offers a series of property related qualifications, including awards in property assessment and residential and commercial letting.
- Awarding Body for the Built Environment ("ABBE") - the ABBE offers a wide range of qualifications including property assessment, construction site management, surveying and valuation techniques.
- EDEXCEL - offer qualifications including residential property management and sales.
SkillsA Property Developer needs to have a wide range of skills and abilities. Good attributes would be:
- Flexibility and the ability to work on a range of different projects.
- An ability to work and function in high pressure environments.
- An understanding and solid grasp of numbers and financial information. You will have to produce projections for financiers and update them on costs and investment capital provisions.
- Technical knowledge. You will need to be able to complete applications for planning permissions and obtain relevant licences.
- Excellent communication and managerial skills.
- Marketing and sales skills.
- Excellent project management skills including an ability to evaluate a variety of factors.
- A keen knowledge of costs and the ability to monitor and control expense.
- A willingness to work long hours, both in the office and on-site.
- Team work and management skills.
- An entrepreneurial flair.
Working ConditionsDue to the nature of the role, you are likely to spend considerable time working on and finalising a project. This can be a high stress job and you will spend considerable time on-site, meeting with contractors and clients, financiers, investors and suppliers. You may spend considerable time travelling, possibly including overnight trips. As with any work involving construction, health and safety considerations need to be taken into account. There may be significant structural work involved and you may have to organise for contractors and employees to have appropriate protective equipment.
ExperienceThe recent financial crisis has significantly affected the UK property market and many developers have struggled to source finance or sell properties at projected prices. This has been testament to the importance of understanding the marketplace. While no experience as such is needed, you should make sure that you have a solid understanding of the property sector and be business savvy.
EmployersLarge listed companies - it is possible to work for a major property developer. Some companies are listed. Examples include Hammerson, British Land, Land Securities, and Vinci Construction UK. Consultancies - skilled property developers will normally be able to source work with consultancies such as ARUP. Self Employed - property as an asset class is relatively accessible (finance permitting) and many individuals choose to build and develop personal property portfolios, either employing teams of construction experts or completing works themselves.
Career ProgressionIf you are a successful property developer you will probably dedicate yourself to finding new development projects.
Zane Singh is a property developer. He tells us what it's really like..