HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 3:38 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago, USA
Posts: 1,163
Guide: How to Become a Developer

Exactly what are some of the ways to become a developer? Would majoring in architecture be a good way to get into this field or would it be best to major in a strictly business field?

Last edited by ChiTownCity; Dec 12, 2010 at 12:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 4:08 PM
Zerton's Avatar
Zerton Zerton is offline
Ω
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Exactly what are some of the ways to become a developer? Would majoring in architecture be a good way to get into this field or would it be best to major in a strictly business field?
I don't think an architecture education would be overly helpful. I would definitely recommend a business education, ruthlessness, and maybe an inheritance of a few million.
__________________
If all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became truth. -Orwell
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 5:15 PM
Busy Bee's Avatar
Busy Bee Busy Bee is offline
Leftist Correctist
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spaceship Earth
Posts: 5,474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerton View Post
I don't think an architecture education would be overly helpful. I would definitely recommend a business education, ruthlessness, and maybe an inheritance of a few million.
Having a keen eye for an opportunity is a must. Seeing value and potential where other may not (yet). This 'vision' will give a developer an edge over the others. You just have to be careful not to make the wrong bet or you'll find yourself and your company bankrupt.

Developer wish list:

1) great taste in architecture

2) not a greedy a*hole

3) won't cheapen out on the materials that often make or break a development

4) doesn't settle for the path of least resistance. Sticks with their vision and convinces the unconvincible

5) not evil

6) has a thorough understand of what is good urban design and bad urban design, even if those of authority don't

7) passionate not just about doubling or tripling their investment, but genuinely wants to improve the public sphere and the standards of the business

8) not a greedy a*hole

9) not a greedy a*hole

10) not a greedy a*hole
__________________
You slip me the cash and I'll slip you the wiener. <><><><><><>IMPEACHMENT NOW!

For me it can be reduced to this: For every personal freedom we gained from the automobile, we lost in social cohesion.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 5:32 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago, USA
Posts: 1,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Having a keen eye for an opportunity is a must. Seeing value and potential where other may not (yet). This 'vision' will give a developer an edge over the others. You just have to be careful not to make the wrong bet or you'll find yourself and your company bankrupt.

Developer wish list:

1) great taste in architecture

2) not a greedy a*hole

3) won't cheapen out on the materials that often make or break a development

4) doesn't settle for the path of least resistance. Sticks with their vision and convinces the unconvincible

5) not evil

6) has a thorough understand of what is good urban design and bad urban design, even if those of authority don't

7) passionate not just about doubling or tripling their investment, but genuinely wants to improve the public sphere and the standards of the business

8) not a greedy a*hole

9) not a greedy a*hole

10) not a greedy a*hole
well that sounds like me . I know that it would make more sense to get a business major but I was thinking that if I major in architecture then I'll have a better understanding about what it is that I'm actually trying to build (better knowledge about materials and all that stuff). I'm definitely not trying to get into this field for money. Also if I had experience as an architect then wouldn't it be possible for me to design some of my own projects? or would that be too much? Thanks for the response in advance, sorry for taking this thread off topic...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 11:19 PM
richb richb is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
well that sounds like me . I know that it would make more sense to get a business major but I was thinking that if I major in architecture then I'll have a better understanding about what it is that I'm actually trying to build (better knowledge about materials and all that stuff). I'm definitely not trying to get into this field for money. Also if I had experience as an architect then wouldn't it be possible for me to design some of my own projects? or would that be too much? Thanks for the response in advance, sorry for taking this thread off topic...

If you are wanting to just build houses, that actually would make you a home builder, not a developer. At least at the beginning anyway, because you would likely buy lots from existing land developers or just finding empty lots. Developing is buying land, dividing it, and going though all the processes of getting a project approved. An expensive process that requires very deep pockets. Not for a beginner.

I am working on entering the development/ home building business myself. I am doing it via being a realtor. A college degree doesn't count for much in the real estate business especially if you are working for yourself. Being in the business of real estate will give you a far better sense of where you could build a real business, no school can do that.

As of this point I won't be a developer for a long time. I will do one house at a time for the time being. Building individuals houses and land developing really are different things, but moving from house building to more and bigger projects is the way to go. Experience counts for a lot.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2011, 8:49 AM
Flavia123 Flavia123 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
I really agree with your opinion. The architecture education isn´t key for this kind of business. You have to offer rich business skills, perspective contacts and huge input capital to the business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerton View Post
I don't think an architecture education would be overly helpful. I would definitely recommend a business education, ruthlessness, and maybe an inheritance of a few million.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2011, 3:50 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pungent Onion, Illinois
Posts: 8,492
^^^ As my father always says, no matter what field you work in, your field is business...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
^You should really get around to posting those pics. I'm interested in seeing your work.
I will soon. I want to post the pictures of my attic level that I just gut rehabbed. I spent the entire summer on it and did the entire thing by myself with the sole exception of charging the new AC units which I was about to buy the equipment to do.

The shocking part about this is that it actually looks really damn good...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 4:21 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago, USA
Posts: 1,163
^just for houses not highrises
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 6:21 PM
Busy Bee's Avatar
Busy Bee Busy Bee is offline
Leftist Correctist
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spaceship Earth
Posts: 5,474
Architect - developers is kind of the final frontier. Unfortunately I think both fields are resistant to it, because it dilutes their "mission," especially the architecture. But I say the hell with it. I'm a huge supporter of the concept - especially in housing development where the design could be developed and managed by an individual or very small firm, unlike a complex commercial development that requires an entire firm 2 years to carry out a design program.
__________________
You slip me the cash and I'll slip you the wiener. <><><><><><>IMPEACHMENT NOW!

For me it can be reduced to this: For every personal freedom we gained from the automobile, we lost in social cohesion.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 7:14 PM
a chicago bearcat's Avatar
a chicago bearcat a chicago bearcat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 328
as an architecture & urban design graduate, I'd suggest you get a business degree, with a minor in urban studies. Then you can choose to do grad school in architecture or in real estate. Architecture is much more art oriented in undergraduate, & becomes more technical in grad school.

Focus on getting educated in:
understanding housing markets
community development
complex financing
transit oriented development
marketing
management

then get yourself a creative partner for your developments, & act as the ying to their yang
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:07 AM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago, USA
Posts: 1,163
Thanks Busy Bee, A Chicago Bearcat, & Richb. That will definitely come in handy. I'm currently finishing up getting my credits to transfer (finals next week) and definitely needed to get a good idea on where to go to first. I know becoming an actual developer would be decades down the road for me.

My plan is to start on individual homes and lots and basically gradually move up from there to the point where I can purchase lots in prime areas. Seeing the developmental patterns that have been going on for quite a while now in this city (from an architectural standpoint ie whole blocks of prairie fields where beautiful rowhomes once stood) really made me concerned for the city as a whole and I would like to reverse the direction its currently heading in (aside from more affluent neighborhoods).

I currently have a connection to a small architect firm and not sure how long that would last that's why I was thinking getting the bachelors in architecture first would be good .

Well after I finish this semester I'll be able to transfer to a four year school, got all summer to figure out exactly each step from here. Getting a business degree first won't exactly put me in the playing field though opposed to working on an internship in a firm where I can ask questions and get credible answers... Idk Thanks for the responses once again....

Last edited by ChiTownCity; Jan 4, 2011 at 4:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:35 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pungent Onion, Illinois
Posts: 8,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Exactly what are some of the ways to become a developer? Would majoring in architecture be a good way to get into this field or would it be best to major in a strictly business field?
Do business and take as many courses on real estate that they offer. I am currently working on this myself. I got myself a good job during college working at a Real Estate Law Firm that taught me a ton and worked there for two plus years. Worked for a while at a tech start up which was a complete distraction from my real passion for real estate. I recently moved over to doing a combination of brokerage and consulting on corporate accounts. I am now in the process of buying my first building which is a two flat. I intend to live downtstairs and rent the top while I save up to rennovate the whole thing and sell it. Given the fact that its selling for about $150k in a market where a renovated two flat went for $500k to $750 three years ago, that should give me enough capital to really get going and either use it as collateral on other loans or just sell it to an investor and leverage the capital on other deals. Its going to take time and a lot of work, but I'm so close I can taste it.

Its funny, I was asking the exact same question on here four years ago so the advice I have for you works. Remember the following:

1. Be prepared to work your ass off
2. Be willing to take a risk. You have nothing to lose.
3. NETWORK at all possible opportunities. Real Estate is all about who you know
4. LEARN. Get yourself an internship or job at a real estate law firm, consultant, developer, or brokerage. Reference point one here. If you can't find a paying position or get a job through a connection, then approach local real estate people and offer to work for three. You can't do points 1-3 without number four. Most of Real Estate is something you can't learn in school, its good to have a education that gives you chops with numbers, but you need to have hands on experience.
5. Get your brokers license and do it as fast as possible. Its impressive to people if you have a license and a college degree at a young age. It also proves that you aren't just another business student groping everywhere they can looking for just another job to hold them over. It also only costs $600, but you can get the Illinois Realtors Association scholarship for college students who are interested in real estate.


If you do points 1-5 you will find yourself knowing what steps you have to take to become a developer in a couple years. I can't tell you how to become one because everyone does it differently, but I can tell you that if you do the above, you will figure it out yourself if you really have a passion for it.



PS: I double majored in Economics and Finance and graduated in 3.5 years so I could get a jump start on my goal.

PSS: The only developers that I know of who have an architecture degree are David Hovey and Antonvich. Architecture is a very uncommon way to get into the business.

To be honest if you are young, be aggressive and just throw yourself out there for every developer, consultant, REIT, and real estate law firm in the city and be willing to work your ass off for little to nothing. You will never have another opportunity in your life again where you won't need a fully paying job and there are a lot of REITS and developers right now that are ramping up their operation and running lean and mean in this environment. Getting a some college kid to do their admin work and pick up their lunch so they can work all day without stopping will be extremely tempting to them.

Also its not necessarily decades off, I will be officially a small time developer as soon as this deal closes in January meaning I went from punk ass college kid to "developer" (albeit small scale right now) in less than 5 years. And I'm still only 23...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 4:42 PM
spyguy's Avatar
spyguy spyguy is offline
THAT Guy
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
PSS: The only developers that I know of who have an architecture degree are David Hovey and Antonvich. Architecture is a very uncommon way to get into the business.
Roszak, although that's more of a cautionary tale.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2012, 2:12 AM
untitledreality untitledreality is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
PSS: The only developers that I know of who have an architecture degree are David Hovey and Antonvich. Architecture is a very uncommon way to get into the business.
Agreed that it is uncommon, but there is nothing stopping anyone who is an architect from becoming a developer, other than themselves. It just seems that many architects feel uncomfortable by the notion of development, by taking on risk. Its really quite sad.

Other notable Architect/Developers are Johnathan Segal, Sebastian Mariscal, Onion Flats and Alloy in NYC. They have all gone beyond the point of dabbling in development like so many architects frequently do and have found great balance between the demands of finances and design.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 3:35 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pungent Onion, Illinois
Posts: 8,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by siunate2324 View Post
@nowhereman
I've taken some of your past posts in this thread and tried to apply as much as I really can at my stage. I just founded a real estate club on campus for students so I'm hoping that will help for grad school/jobs with a good leadership item for my resume. This is should be a good chance for me to maybe land an internship because I'll be dealing with many local brokers, RE law firms, etc. on a personal level. Also planning a trip to STL to hopefully have our group talk to a handful of development companies around there and try and gain as much knowledge from that as possible.

Also have you heard anything about ULI (Urban Land Institute). I think I'm going to join for year and see how that is along with getting my license after I graduate.
Sounds like you've gotten a good start. Are you going to school in Chicago?

I've read a lot of the reports/research that comes out of ULI. The do good work. Could be a good place to check for internships as well.


Quote:
Also from my grad school research I tended to notice mostly the value of a degree. I really really wanted to get an MRED degree cuz its so real estate related and I'm still looking into applying for a couple even though I need to focus on graduating this year. But also I've heard from credible people that a MBA focusing on RE AND finance would be excellent, and obviously the better the university the greater the value. Plus like I said earlier you walk away with more flexibility as well. I really would prefer DePaul or UW Madison (GPA aint getting me into NW).
I think you might find that grad programs aren't as focused on GPA as you fear. The MUCH more important factor to grad programs is your resume. You could have graduated with a 2.0 from a community college and get into University of Chicago if you are the CEO of a $50 million company you built from scratch. That's why building your resume by doing things like starting a real estate club is so important.

Also, I think you'll find that UW Madison is just as picky as NW, especially for their business programs as they have a similarly selective program to NW. Madison and NW have two of the finest Real Estate MBA programs around.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 6:50 AM
siunate2324 siunate2324 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 30
Hope it's a good start, lol I've done research on the web the last few years trying to get as much knowledge as possible so I hope it pays off as I feel like I finally found the right path. No I am a senior at SIU down south. I switched from architecture to management to finance (real estate) an seems like it was the right way to get into development. Also noticed thru MRED n grad school research they put emphasis on leadership and having a genuine interest in RE, which is why I hope things like my club/ULI present not only resume boosters but hopefully opportunities.

Yeah ULI looked like a good chance to get some real knowledge on how the industry works and since it's my last semester to get it as a student I am planning on it getting it anytime.

I never looked at GPA and admittance into grad school like that but I guess you are probably right. I think me trying to be admitted into grad right after I graduate is prly unrealistic even though it'd be nice...but I guess if it can help earn a better degree getting good experience right away can only help. I def feel like if I can somehow pull off getting UW, NW, or now I'm looking at Depaul more extensively I'll be set for a good career. Depaul has gone up my list since all I've heard lately is the importance of gaining connections where you intend on working and also they offer opportunities for students to work and attend grad programs concurrently. We'll see what happens the real world is coming pretty quick...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:35 AM
Rizzo Rizzo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 6,852
I knew alot of people who intend to become developers / working for developers at the moment. Actually all of them don't have architecture degrees. They went into an urban studies program, took real estate development courses, some cross disciplinary law courses (not really necessary), and some business classes. If you are not in it for the money I wouldn't go that route....because each of these professions is so particularly focused on what they do. Money and cost vs high quality design. Heck certainly, I'd love the role of architect and developer, but I think I'd end up broke trying to make my vision reality. Point is, don't spread your interests too thin. On one hand it's great having alot of academic experience in different areas, but it can also be hassle when employers want someone very focused in their career.

Sorry I got off topic as well. Actually this discussion would make a really great new thread if the mods are interested in relocating the posts.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:43 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago, USA
Posts: 1,163
^ Thanks NowhereMan now that'll definitely help me out! I work much more aggressively when I get clear descriptions. I currently know a couple people personally that work in the real estate department (not sure exactly what do they do but I'll ask). I also currently own a property (not mines but my mom's and we were renovating it but started accumulating too much debt. Currently renting out another one), so I'll have 1 property to work on when I get this ball rolling. Do you have any recommendations for schools that may be a good choice? Where did you graduate from? I would still like to head to NY for school, but now it doesn't seem like that'll be a good idea...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 4:36 PM
VivaLFuego's Avatar
VivaLFuego VivaLFuego is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,386
^ I'd advise being VERY careful accumulating any student loan debt. $50-100k in student loans (both the debt on your credit report and the monthly payments from your budget) will be a substantial hindrance when you're trying to get loans for multi-unit buildings, put down cash to pick up a vacant lot, and so on.

In general, I think the advice has been sound: start small, building a portfolio of smaller rental properties. These act as collateral and as cash flow to support you gradually moving to bigger and bigger projects.

Balance your "free work" (which youre doing for fun and your own advancement) with the fact that you will actually need some income to get in the game --- you'll need some cash for those vacant lots, and as a down payment on that first three-flat.

Last edited by VivaLFuego; Dec 7, 2010 at 4:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 7:17 PM
wrab's Avatar
wrab wrab is offline
Deerhoof Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,664
^ Also, Lowenberg of Magellan (he's an MIT grad).
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 6:37 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.