How to Get a Job in Real Estate Development | Property Development

Working in property or  real estate can help turn a piece of land, if properly conceptualized and implemented, into an exciting piece of real estate
Working in property or real estate can help turn a piece of land, if properly conceptualized and implemented, into an exciting piece of real estate | Source

Real Estate Jobs

Careers in real estate development are exciting as it covers a broad spectrum of the industry. You will be working on land acquisition, concept and planning, design, finance, legal, construction, marketing, sales and operation of the assets.

You will also be working with a team from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary groups such as architects, engineers and financiers.

Real Estate Supports Other Industries

In fact, the real estate development sector covers and supports a broad spectrum of other industries as well. The manufacturers and suppliers of building materials, construction industry, the consultancy services, shipping and land transportation sectors, light and heavy machinery sectors, banking industry and the legal professions are all partly dependant on the real estate sector. Should it suffer a downturn; these other sectors will also be affected.

While there are courses that offer a specialist degree in real estate development, you may still enter the industry even if you are an engineer.


What is Real Estate Development?

Briefly, real estate development is about investment and improvement to land or existing property. By doing so, the developer hopes to create supply and demand of assets that will meet the needs of the user or investor's requirement, either for residential, commercial or industrial properties.

It is a multi-layered business activities related to the built environment and the building industry. Its activities will include land acquisition, doing the master plan & design and getting the necessary approvals from the authorities and the public. It also involves clearing all legal issues, getting financing, constructing, selling and managing the property.


Careers in Real Estate

To have a career in real estate or to be a real estate developer, you will need to have a good working knowledge in four broad sectors within the industry.

  • Real Estate Development: This is the main and a crucial part of the industry where you are required to know on land matters, building bylaws, design and construction, sales and marketing and finally management of the assets. Having a flair for knowing and anticipating what the market needs, able to see the potential of a particular asset, ability to come out with awesome design; will add value to you as a developer.
  • Real Estate Finance: You also need to understand the finance aspect of doing property development. These will be on fund management, project and mortgage financing, investment banking, hedge funds, real estate investment trust (REIT) and of course cash flow.
  • Project and General Management: An effective project management and people management of your project will not only ensure completion on time and on budget, but will also bring in better profit margins. Negotiation & good communication skills and a good sales and marketing knowledge are other added assets to your management talent.
  • Sustainable Real Estate: You will need to understand the issues that are facing the industry such as wastage of construction materials, using renewable energy, being sensitive to the environment, using sustainable development practices not just in the buildings but also in the infrastructures, landscaping and other external works. You will need to address any sensitivity that might affect public opinion of your project, if there are any.

Some property development may raise public concern, so as a property developer, you need to manage this sensitivity.
Some property development may raise public concern, so as a property developer, you need to manage this sensitivity. | Source

Careers that have Indirect Link to Real Estate Development

Due to the nature of the work process, property or real estate developers will be working with several counterparts, from the conceptual stage right up to sales and property management stage.

They will include financiers, urban planners, architects and engineers, amongst others.

Real Estate Facts

Real estate developments and the construction of these properties is labor intensive. If there is a downturn in the real estate sector, there will be a big drop in employment.

Real estate, in any recession, will therefore contribute to a high unemployment rate.

Looking for Jobs in Property?

So if you want to build a career in real estate development, you can be involved either directly or indirectly within that sector.

Careers that have indirect links to real estate development are in:

  • Urban & Country Planning: Optimizing the efficiency of land use and infrastructure in relation to economic, financial, environmental and social needs.
  • Architecture: Designing of buildings and other structures for the aesthetic, functional and economic return. It has to cater to the needs of the developer and the end user.
  • Engineering: The engineering team comprises mainly of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers who will be responsible for the foundation and structural design and for all the mechanical and electrical components of the building.
  • Finance: Evaluating project viability for project financing to developers and providing mortgage financing to buyers
  • Legal: Will look at all legal issues relating to all aspects of the development, from land matters, on construction, on sales and right through to property management
  • Landscaping: Landscape Architect or Designer will plan, design and monitor the construction and maintenance of soft and hard landscaping to the properties including open spaces and public parks
  • Interior Design: Complementing the works of an Architect by transforming the interior spaces into a style and functionality that suits the user's need.
  • Land Surveying: Land & property titles and land surveying works as in the demarcation of property lines for construction, land division and titles.
  • Estimator/Quantity Surveying: Contractual matters and preparation of contract documents with contractors and suppliers, estimating project cost and preparation of Bill of Quantities.
  • Specialized Services: These services will vary with each project depending on the complexity or nature of the project. The shopping center project will bring in retail specialist, a hospitality project such as a hotel or golf and hotel resorts, will have hotel Management Company and golf course consultant in the project team.


Residential is the bread and butter in real estate development, usually undertaken by both small and big developers
Residential is the bread and butter in real estate development, usually undertaken by both small and big developers | Source

Jobs Abroad in Real Estate Development

Is the job market in real estate development stagnant in your country? Or are you keen to explore the world and be a global worker?

Working abroad offer both exciting and challenging moments that await you. If you have what it takes to live and work abroad, then wait no further.

Real estate development includes not just housing, commercial, industrial but also resorts development
Real estate development includes not just housing, commercial, industrial but also resorts development | Source

Property Jobs in Dubai, the UAE and other Middle Eastern Countries

Dubai used to be the most popular and most sought after overseas real estate jobs in the world. The salary and perks were good and life in Dubai was yours to enjoy. However, after the property market crashed in 2008, jobs are few and the market forecast is still pessimistic.

Developments are still going on, albeit at a much slower pace. The more active area is the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Companies are still recruiting new staffs, but will pay a lower salary and with less perks, compared to its heyday.

If you are keen to work in this region, do a continuous search for job opportunities not just in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also for other Middle Eastern countries like Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

Real Estate Jobs in China

The China property market is still active despite fear of it being overheated. Demand for housing in China is strong and the government's priority for public housing is one of the key factors for a strong property outlook.

Hence, job opportunities in real estate development in China are good. The best way for anyone interested to take up this challenge is to go to a job placement agency. Do your research on-line and work with a reputable international organization.

Besides working full time or part time in China, other opportunities are internship programs for architectural and engineering students. These are usually available in the bigger cities of Shanghai and Beijing.

Singapore with its well-developed property market is a good place to find real estate jobs
Singapore with its well-developed property market is a good place to find real estate jobs | Source

Property Development Jobs in Other Parts of the World

With the Eurozone confidence down, Europe may be a difficult if not impossible place to find real estate jobs.

India has already opened up its property market to foreign property developers to help increase and improve its housing, commercial and hospitality sectors. Working with these foreign developers may give you an opportunity to work in India.

Job opportunities are better in Asia compared to other parts of the world. Another Asian country that is worth checking out is Singapore. With its highly developed property market, they are recruiting people in the retail and in hospitality sectors.

Career Opportunities in Real Estate Developments

However, career opportunities in real estate developments are everywhere. It's a matter of how often we do our search for these openings. The best way is to register with each of the regional job placement or search consultants for jobs in your desired country.

Good Luck!

© 2012 Mazlan

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Comments 20 comments

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

Thanks for the read and comment. I was working in real estate development for most of my career life & to me; it is one of the most exciting careers, esp. when it comes to planning and designing the scheme.


dhimanreena profile image

dhimanreena 2 years ago

Thanks to describe the real estate industry. Now i am able to understand this industry and think about career in this.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 3 years ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Hady Chahine, thanks for your input. I believe each sector of the real estate has its own potential. The only shortfall with land development, at least in my country, is the long process before you can start to sell. These range from land acquisition, land conversion (if any) planning and building approval, sales approval etc. Your initial investment in the land will be stuck for at least 2 years before you can start to see sales. The risk is higher.


Hady Chahine profile image

Hady Chahine 3 years ago from Manhattan Beach

Excellent summary of real estate related job opportunities. Land development, in particular, I prefer due to the earning potential relative to risk exposure. However, buying and selling residential and commercial properties is another great way to generate income. ~ Voted up!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@superpipoy Thanks for the visit, and sharing.


superpipoy profile image

superpipoy 4 years ago

Taking a career in Real Estate is a very rewarding job. It pays good salary. But not all people are very fortunate enough to get a degree in Real Estate due to some circumstances. But there is already a solution to that and that is taking through online training courses. Here you can see several online courses that you can take for your career promotion.

http://www.trainingcoursesonline.blogspot.com/


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Simone, Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Looking forward to more critiques from you.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I love how interdisciplinary of a field real estate development is. It must be a fun realm to work in! Very interesting insights on the various places where the industry is picking up and dropping off. Thanks for sharing your insights!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@teaches12345. Thanks for highlighting the turnaround in the property market in South Florida. Maybe now is the time to buy, then sell a few months later?


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Robert, Thanks for the compliment and the Share.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I see that the market is slowly building some momentum in South Florida. It is a career that helps others to build lives and homes of their dreams.


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

This is an excellent article! I not only enjoyed it, but shared it with my followers. Real estate is fascinating and I enjoyed how you pointed out the large variety of jobs options there are within the industry. Thanks for writing!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@superpipoy. I am glad you find this article informative. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@lindacee, Thanks. Finding the right images takes time and with 7 more articles to go, I hope I will not be too critical of the photos. I sometimes spend almost a day or more, just browsing for photos!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Om. Thanks and appreciate that. I was in Real estate development and I really enjoy this work as I like to conceptualize and plan projects. My approach is looking at the end user's perspective, which some project fails to do. Thanks for dropping by.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@leahlefler Yes you are right, environmental issues are affecting real estate developers and if not properly designed and implemented, may delay the project and eats into the profit margin. Almost all developed countries have very stringent environmental protection laws put in place, but not in developing countries. However some are now slowly implementing this. After the great tsunami that hits Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and parts of Malaysia, development along coastline esp. if it involved the clearing of mangrove tress, will not be approved.

Thanks for the visit and commenting.


superpipoy profile image

superpipoy 4 years ago

Great and very informative hub! Thanks for sharing! ????


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

Great Hub, greatstuff. Looks like you have covered all the bases for someone interested in pursuing a career in RE development. Really enjoyed reading about opportunities in the Middle East and Asia.

Good formatting and images. An enjoyable read!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Although I've never thought about pursuing a career in real estate development, I did enjoy this hub very much. It's very informative and interesting. I'll pass it along to some of my friends who might be interested in real estate careers.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

This is such a fantastic article! I know that where we used to live, real estate developers had to contend with stringent environmental protection laws - particularly with respect to desert tortoises. I had a friend who used to work in environmental engineering and his job was to literally go out to the job sites and "babysit" any tortoises on site!

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