What I've Learned Developing Land

As many of you know, about five months ago I made the decision to shift my focus away from just working with buyers and sellers, and instead focus on building homes.  In those past five months, I have learned a lot.  It has been challenging, rewarding, and everything in between. 

As of today, the homes are not quite at the building or fully developed stages, but I’m currently working on a number of different land projects that are all at various design stages. Given that doing all of this from a new construction standpoint versus a remodel standpoint is very new to me, I’ve had to take in quite a bit of information and completely change the way I go about processing things.  And it’s been a major learning experience.  

For anyone looking to get into development, know that it’s a tedious, and sometimes slow, road to the finish line. There are a lot of small details that, if missed, can derail your entire project. But in the end, it’s all worth it.

It’s a bit like a puzzle – one of those puzzles that depict a scene like Times Square where there’s a million different shapes and images, many of which look a bit alike. You open the box – it’s a brand new puzzle with the plastic wrap still intact – and then you take out the 10,000 pieces and dump them on the table. You start to spread out the pieces, trying to make sense of patterns or colors that you can group together to start making progress. As you stare at the pile in front of you, you know it’s not going to all get done in an hour. It’s going to take days, maybe weeks or months, depending on how much time you have to devote to it and how much help you get along the way.

But then you start to put the pieces together and narrow down what you need to do. Slowly, the pile gets smaller and smaller and a picture starts to emerge until finally, you place the very last piece and the puzzle is complete.

Whether you’re developing a vacant piece of land, or tearing down an existing house to build a new one, it’s all the same. It’s a puzzle. And the pieces slowly come together over time.

I can easily say that this has been one of the most interesting experiences for me and I feel like I’ve gained a lot of skills in the process that will be practical not only in my work but in my personal life as well. I hope that I can also help others learn about the process and help them build – because the more we work together, the quicker that final picture emerges.