What Does a Real Estate Developer Do? Why?

Jul 11, 2018

If you have seen Caddyshack, you may remember Al Czervik. An obnoxious man of ample wealth and few morals, Czervik threatens to buy Bushwood Country Club and convert the land into condominiums. His character and ambitions reinforce a stigma that clouds the way people think about real estate developers and development. While there are bad apples in every industry, few people truly understand what developers do and what their motives are.

What does a real estate developer do?

In short, real estate developers are individuals and companies that are responsible for taking a vision for a site and making it come to fruition. This is easier said than done. Bringing a building project to life involves a great deal of risk, time, patience, and collaboration. The overall process of development may look something like this:

  1. Purchase land or an existing property.
  2. Establish a building program and design.  First, establish a purpose for  the building. Should it be residential? Commercial? Then, collaborate with the architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, etc. to establish a design.
  3. Obtain the necessary public approval and financing.
  4. Build.
  5. Rent, Lease or Sell.

What are a developer’s motives?

Al Czervik and unethical real estate developers in the news may lead people to believe that developers are money-hungry and heartless, but these ideas are ill-founded. It is true that if done correctly, real estate development can be highly profitable. However, in order to be successful in the industry, developers must understand that investing wholeheartedly in a project means also investing in future users and the surrounding community. Developers must be motivated by money, as they too need to make ends meet and turn a profit, but the best developers must be equally as motivated by making the world a better, more beautiful place.

At Horton Group, in the acquisition and development of a property, our vision extends beyond property lines. While we are invested in what we do, we are equally as invested in the people and communities we do it for.