Architect Interested in Changing to Real Estate Developer
What would you recommend for an architect that is very interested in getting involved with large scale real estate developing?
I have worked for years on projects in emerging markets and am looking to be at the other end of the table as a developer.
I have about 10 years of experience in major global projects, but only experience working for developers as my clients.
I am interested in joining a large outfit (Tishman Speyer, etc) and am wondering if the best way to enter might be through an MBA with a Real Estate concentration as opposed to entry level type paths.
Where do you see transferable skills with architecture within the realm of developing outside of working as an architect for a developer?
Thanks very much,
All of your architectural training and experience is very valuable and puits you ahead of many others who want to enter real estate development.
Having said that, I would ask you to assess your attitude to doing business and I say this knowing your role as an architect.
Developers are very commercial beasts with a great facility for finding development opportunities, managing people and resources and marketing.
I would never suggest that anyone rejects the opportunity of further higher education. I have not completed a Degree in real estate development and so cannot advise you on that.
However I do know, that over the past eight years of my e-books being available to those interested in development, that many have been bought by Degree level students of real estate development.
I have been curious that this is so and have asked many of these people, why they would buy my material after completing a higher degree in Real Estate Development and while their answers vary, the essence of what they say is, "but I need to know what to do on my first day," and that's where I come in.
The development world is all about producing from day one and the theory that is taught in degree courses is hard to apply in real Monday to Sunday development life.
Our working life is really not that sophisticated, however we need to know a lot of stuff.
Like in your market product category - what is selling NOW and at what price; what is being provided in the currrent product and can I do better that what is being produced.
Remember we only provide what the market wants. We don't provide what 'we want' to provide and of course it has to be better that our competitors.
How do we do market research that is better honed to the market research of others; how do we establish to our satisfaction the correct land value in an area we intend buying for development; what about our knowledge of finance and many other items.
On the issue of architectural skill transfer to development, I would say just about all are applicable from an knowledge point of view.
But remember you will not use then in a professional manner in development. We employ specialists to do the work and it is our job to get them to perform within 'time & cost' parameters we have set. So you are a manager, as I said above.
So we are in a fantastic industry that I have enjoyed and in essence it comes down to the individual and his adaptability to its rules.
As I am the only developer who has ever written a course, it would be remiss of me not to suggest that you read one or all of them and see how the amalgam of information I provide appeals to you as a work lifestyle.
Hope this helps.