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A College Perspective of Development

David Marshall is an intern that has joined our team here at Kima Commercial – Keller Williams and below is his perspective as a college student in regards to development. 

In college we begin to learn about development in different ways. Some of the ways we begin to learn about development are through reading books, listening to lectures, surfing the internet, and working in the building industry. The best way for a beginner to start learning about development is to research development and what it really means to develop commercially and residentially.

image1The very first step I have observed in development is building a team that works well together. A team that works well together will be able to bounce ideas off of each other and give needed criticism to the ideas and the decisions that these ideas could lead to. These individuals should be able to research different properties for design builds, or research different opportunities for renovations. The team should also be equipped with people that can get through every step of the development process. The development process would start by picking different jobs to bid on. Once the group has picked a few different jobs that they believe are worth bidding on, they will start working on the final bid. To bid on the project there are several different aspects that need to be figured in. The bid should include anything that will cost money on the project and the estimated completion date of the project. There are normally a few people in the assembled group who know how to estimate the price of the job, and a few people who know how plan and schedule jobs to get an estimated completion date. Once the team has decided on their final bid they will submit the bid to the owner of the project. Once a decision is made on the job and the team has gotten their bid in on the job then it is time to wait and see if they will get the contract for the bid that they submitted. When the owner of the project sees the estimate they can either say yes, no, or most of the time they will want to talk with you and negotiate the price a little bit. If the owner is then happy after the negotiation or with the original bid, then the group of developers could possibly get the job. Once the group of developers get the job, it is time to finish the design process of the development.

The design for project can take as little as a couple of month, or can last as long as a couple of years. The time frame really depends on the size of the project and the cooperation that you get from the owner of the project on the crucial decisions. The design process of the development ranges from what the building is going to be structurally and what finishes are going to be used where in the project. Once all of the crucial decisions are made it is time to find subcontractors to do the work on the building. These subcontractors range from people who dig footings, to people who put on the exterior finishes, and everything in between. After getting all of the subcontractors in order it is time to begin ordering products and materials for the project. Depending on the size of the project and the materials being ordered it could take a couple of weeks to get the products in, or it could take a couple of months to get the products in. When figuring the estimated completion date of the project, it is crucial to figure in how long it will take to get these products and materials ordered and delivered to the job site. Once you are ready to begin the erection of your building or your demolition stage of the remodel, it is time to manage the process. This person will be in charge of keeping the project on track and meeting deadlines so that the project will be finished as close to the estimated completion date as possible. It is also very important to remember that the estimated completion date is not set in stone. This date will always fluctuate depending on the weather, materials on site, and the pace of the project. The project could finish ahead or behind schedule depending on those factors, and those are just a few out of a long list of factors that affect development projects. Once the erection of the building has finished or once the remodel has finished, it is time to commission the building. This will be the very last stage in the development process. After the development process is over it is time to restart the process and begin to find another project to bid on, but most of the time developers are working on numerous projects as once and will start other projects while different projects are underway.

So how does all of this happen? It all begins with commercial real estate and the real estate agents. These agencies and the agents within them are critical tools for development and the development process. The commercial real estate agent is the one who is going to figure out how you will acquire the land to erect a building on. The agent will also help you figure out if the location is going to help or combat what you are trying to achieve with your build. The agents will be very familiar with the sites that they give you to choose from. The agent has already done their research and picked the best options for what you as the client are trying to accomplish with your building. This is also a team process. The team in commercial real estate, just like the development team, all have to be on the same page and work well together in order to get the best options to the client. These teams may consist of a researcher, a coordinator, an agent, and the client.

The researcher will be the one will find sites that are for sale or lease in a particular area that the client has specified. They will find out information on the local economy and the local population and see how good of a fit it is for the proposed building. Once the researcher thinks that they have found a few good options they will give the options to the coordinator. The coordinator will be the middle man between the researcher and the agent. This coordinator’s job is to make sure that all of the information on the proposed sites for the building is presented to the agent so that the agent will be able to sell the site to the client in order for the building process to begin. The agent’s job is to help the client throughout the process of obtaining the land and the essential paperwork to put the dead in the client’s name. Once the client has taken control of the land it is time to pull the correct permits so that the erection portion of the development process as described earlier can begin.

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