Who Are First-Time Developers?

I talked about “rookie developers” in another post, and I guess I should apologize. I did not mean it in a disrespectful way. Here is a more serious definition of what I mean by “first-time developers.”

First time real estate developers are a diverse group of people who share a common goal: to create value from their land or property. They are not complete novices, but they are the ones who tackle their biggest project to date. They face many challenges and risks, such as financing, permitting, design, construction, marketing, and management. They also have to deal with the uncertainty and volatility of the real estate market.

Some of them are immigrants or foreign nationals who do not have a local track record and experience. They may have to overcome cultural and language barriers, as well as legal and regulatory hurdles. They may also face discrimination or bias from lenders, contractors, or customers. They may have to rely on their personal networks or partnerships to access resources and opportunities.

We once signed a contract with a foreign developer who at signing asked us if we can visit the following day to take pictures of the groundbreaking. The building was not even designed or permitted at the time but the architect had generated a few concept ideas. He thought that by the time they dig the dirt, the design will be done because that was what he was used to back at home.

Others are professionals in related fields, such as architects, engineers, lawyers, or accountants. They may have the technical skills and knowledge to develop a project, but they may lack the business acumen or entrepreneurial mindset. They may also have to balance their professional obligations with their personal aspirations. They may have to learn new skills or hire experts to fill the gaps in their expertise.

Still others are the ones who inherited the land and want to develop it instead of selling it. They may have sentimental or emotional attachment to the land, or they may see it as a legacy or an investment. They may have to deal with family issues or conflicts, such as inheritance rights, succession planning, or division of assets. They may also have to deal with environmental or social issues, such as preservation, conservation, or community involvement. Of course, “inherited land” could be used literally or figuratively.

These are some of the profiles of first time real estate developers, who are driven by passion, ambition, or necessity. They are the ones who shape the landscape and the skyline of our cities and towns. They are the ones who create spaces and places for people to live, work, play, and enjoy.