Real-estate developers are those who make improvements to any sorts of real property to elevate its value. Legally, developers work either as individuals, corporation or a partnership. Any person who is associated with these kinds of transactions can be regarded as a property developer. Real-estate development can be categorised as either land development or building development.
Land Developers: The land developers try to get hold of raw land otherwise known as real property without developments or infrastructure and develop it with covenants, roads, earth grading and utility connections. The basic development of the infrastructure helps to create a platform for further built improvements.
Building Developers: The building developers buy the improved land, or the re-developable property to make constructions. Then they either sell the buildings as a whole or in parts to other buyers to generate a cash flow through rentals. A lot of building developers have designing and construction departments of their own. However, there are other small-scale developers that give these works to other external parties.
Commercial Real Estate Development
Real-estate development can be classified as a cash flow business. It is a non-liquid asset that requires a huge expenditure and at times may be very difficult to sell off. During the development process, external expenses are also required for added improvements, which are known as hard costs as well as the fees of the different sundry consultants that are required to get work done smoothly.
These are known as soft costs. Investment in the real estate is intrinsically risky as the costs are very high and it is very difficult to sell off. Moreover, the return on the investment comes very late.
Real-estate development requires large amounts of initial investment. Therefore, most of the real estate developments are aided with big quantities of debt leverage. A large amount of leverage raises the potential profit but at the same time it multiplies the risks and accumulates in a negative cash flow over the periods of time.
The profits will only become visible if the upfront commitment of the money is maintained to the lowest level and the projects will soon generate a positive cash flow that will be adequate to fully cover the debt service. Real-estate development projects can be financed in a number of ways yet most of the financing arrangements can be categorised as either private investors, public investors, private debts, public debts, private grants or public grants.
Private investors get aided with the help of pension funds, joint ventures, insurance funds or by wealthy individuals whereas the public investors get their finances from the REITs, public-private partnerships or share offerings. It is possible to arrange private debts through individual loans, construction loans or bank mortgages. Public debts are offered by redevelopment loans.
Those real estate developers who become successful can turn very wealthy since large amounts of money are transacted and they control the prices of the assets. As the assets are illiquid the real estate developers are sometimes cash-poor. One of the biggest causes of failure for the developers is the incapability to be cash-solvent.
The Real Estate Development Process: Real estate development processes differs from one project to the next. Although there are a few stages of development, which can be put into categories such as market research, site selection, property acquisition, project design, entitlements acquisition, financing, construction, sales and finally operation where the developers decide whether to sell off or to keep the property for rentals
Real Estate Development Education: Real estate finance is taught in particular educational institutes, which mostly emphasize on development. However, most of the real estate developers move to the real-estate business from related professional areas such as construction, accounting, architecture, engineering and law. In order to get an employment at a well-established development firm, one needs to have at least a degree or a diploma in finance. However, a lot of development company managers come from fields such as construction or engineering.