Real estate development is a tough business to get into regardless of which locale you live in. The DC area is no exception. While it might seem like just another desk job, there are tons of skills you need in order to make all of the deals in an effective manner. Here are the top three:
1. Relationships, relationships, relationships.
Having good relationships is crucial to a successful real estate development firm. Bankers, attorneys, tenants, equity sources, civil engineers, contractors, and real estate brokers. A successful developer like Frank Haney is much like a movie producer who brings everyone together for a successful project.
2. Managing risk.
Real estate developers know how to manage risk and mitigate” it. However, there is going to be some degree of risk involved in any project, and sometimes it could be a huge gamble. Can you sleep at night knowing your whole net worth could be riding on a project? Doing well under pressure is a must for a real estate development professional.
3. Problem solving.
Finally, real estate development requires a huge amount of problem solving skills. There will be a lot of speed bumps and roadblocks along the way. There could be problems with zoning, adjacent land owners, and site planning are all things that must be taken into account. To be able to do all of this on time and under budget is the mark of a solid real estate development firm.
With that being said, there are a number of good real estate development firms in the D.C. area that have built up a solid track record. Peterson Companies has leased and developed more than 30,000 residential units including locations in DC, Maryland and Virginia. They also done numerous office projects as well.
Finally, Douglas Development has administered 180 successful development projects, and has specialized in revitalizing historic buildings in the D.C. area for a number of years. Some of their current development projects include the Coliseum, the Wonderbread Factory, the Hecht Warehouse District, Tenley View, and 655 K Street Northwest. They also took an effective leadership role in redeveloping the historic Chinatown district in D.C. as well.
These and other development firms in the D.C. have had their mettle tested and they came out solid on the other side. It is by no means an easy business. It takes a lot of perseverance to perform it well. These companies have proven they have what it takes.