Are you cut out to be a property developer? The role and responsibilities

Being a property developer looks like a pretty glamorous way to make money. No need to work in a boring office, instead it’s all about choosing wallpapers and planning kitchens, right?

Well, property developing certainly does have its good points, but it can be a risky business too. Let’s find out if it’s for you…

Good points

No entry requirements – you don’t need any particular qualifications, there’s no need for interviews and pretty much anyone can do it.

Potential– if everything goes well, people make a lot of money through property development, and the more you make, the more you can develop!

Reward– renovating a house and selling it or renting it out can be very satisfying – your achievements are tangible, visible, and all down to you.


Big risks– making the wrong decisions can mean you lose money instead of making it. Sometimes houses have hidden, expensive problems that need addressing as part of the renovations. Or the ever-changing housing market means that you can’t sell a property for your target price.

Financial backing – the key requirement in property development is money! You need enough behind you to afford a deposit and mortgage, and then the additional budget to fund renovations. And whatever your budget is, allow another 50 per cent for problems and overspend.

Ideal characteristics

If you’re not put off by the drawbacks that’s a great start! To be a successful property developer there are a few characteristics you’ll need:

Risk tolerance – if you lie awake at night worrying about your bills, this career is probably not for you. You need to be able to manage challenges – usually unexpected ones – without them affecting your health.

Decision making – upgrading a property is all about decisions. From architectural options to interior design, you need to be able to make good decisions quickly and stand by them.

Organisation– there are lots of spinning plates in property development. The purchase of a property alone can be complex, time-consuming and requires your input to go smoothly. Once you’re renovating you need to keep track of the different jobs that need doing, the timing of everything and how much you’re spending.

Taste– it is not the best time to start experimenting with ‘interesting’ décor ideas when selling a development property. The finished development needs to appeal to buyers so that it sells quickly and for a good price.  It’s much better to be a bit bland and ‘neutral’than to paint every wall in a vibrant colour with clashing curtains and furniture!

We hope this helps outline the responsibilities of property development. If you’re looking to take the plunge, then why not connect with our Sourcing & Development Manager, Adam Seal who’s our resident expert.

Telephone: 01733 293900