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How to Get Jobs in Real Estate Development

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An engineer who loves to explore and be involved in the world and human issues

Working in property or  real estate can turn a piece of land, if properly conceptualized and implemented, into an exciting piece of real estate

Working in property or real estate can turn a piece of land, if properly conceptualized and implemented, into an exciting piece of real estate

Real Estate Jobs

Careers in real estate development are exciting as it covers a broad spectrum of the industries. You will be working on land acquisition, concept and planning, design, finance, legal, construction, marketing, sales and operation of the assets.

In the real estate jobs, you will also be working with a team from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary groups such as architects, engineers and financiers.

Real Estate Supports Other Industries

In fact, the real estate development sector covers and supports a broad spectrum of other industries as well. The manufacturers and suppliers of building materials, construction industry, consultancy services, shipping and land transportation sectors, light and heavy machinery sectors, banking industry, and the legal professions are all partly dependant on the real estate sector.

If the real estate industry suffers a downturn, these other sectors will also be affected.

Real Estate Development Course

While there are courses that offer a specialist degree in real estate development, you can still enter the industry even if you are an engineer.

This article reviews all you need to know about jobs in real estate development, the process of real estate development, other job disciplines that are related to property and real estate development, and possible jobs abroad.


  1. What is Real Estate Development?
    • Real Estate Activities
  2. Careers in Real Estate Development
  3. Careers With Indirect Link to Real Estate Development
  4. Real Estate and the Economy
  5. Looking for Real Estate Jobs?
  6. Job That Travel
  7. Jobs Abroad in Real Estate Development
    • Property Jobs in Dubai, the UAE, and Other Middle Eastern Countries
    • Top Recruitment Agencies Based in Dubai
    • Real Estate Jobs in China
    • Property Development Jobs in Other Parts of the World
    • Apply for Jobs in Asia
  8. Career Opportunities in Real Estate Developments

What is Real Estate Development?

Briefly, real estate development is about investment and improvement of land or existing property. By doing so, the developer hopes to create supply and demand of assets that meet the needs of the user or investor's requirement, either for residential, commercial, or industrial properties.

Real Estate Activities

It is a multi-layered business activity related to the built environment and the building industry. Real estate activities will include land acquisition, doing the master plan & design, and getting the necessary approvals from the authorities and the public. It also involves clearing all legal issues, getting financing, constructing, selling, and managing the property.

Careers in Real Estate Development

To have a career in real estate or to be a real estate developer, you need to have good working knowledge in four broad sectors within the industry.

  • Real Estate Development: This is the main and a crucial part of the industry where you are required to know on land matters, building bylaws, design and construction, sales and marketing and finally management of the assets. Having a flair for knowing and anticipating what the market needs, being able to see the potential of a particular asset, and having the ability to come out with awesome design will add value to you as a developer.
  • Real Estate Finance: You also need to understand the finance aspect of doing property development. These will be on fund management, project and mortgage financing, investment banking, hedge funds, real estate investment trust (REIT) and of course real estate and construction cash flow.
  • Project and General Management: An effective project management and people management of your project will ensure completion on time and on budget as well as bring in better profit margins. Negotiation and good communication skills and a good sales and marketing knowledge are other added assets to your management talent.
  • Sustainable Real Estate: You need to understand the issues that are facing the industry such as wastage of construction materials, using renewable energy, being sensitive to the environment, using sustainable development practices not just in the buildings but also in the infrastructures, landscaping and other external works. You need to address any sensitivity that might affect public opinion of your project, if there are any.

Due to the nature of the real estate development process, the property developer will work with several professional counterparts from the conceptual design stage right up to the sales and property management stage.

These will include land surveyors, financiers, urban planners, building architects, landscape architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, interior designers, lawyers, contractors, and property agents.

Looking for Real Estate Jobs?

So, if you want to build a career in real estate development you can be involved either directly or indirectly within that sector.

Careers that have indirect links to real estate developments are in:

  • Urban & Country Planning: Optimizing the efficiency of land use and infrastructure in relation to economic, financial, environmental, and social needs.
  • Architecture: Designing buildings and other structures for the aesthetic, functional, and economic return. It has to cater to the needs of the developer and the end-user.
  • Engineering: The engineering team comprises mainly the geotechnical, civil, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineers who will be responsible for the soil engineering, infrastructures, foundation, structural design, for all the mechanical and electrical components of the building, and issues relating to environmental problems.
  • Finance: Evaluating project viability for project financing to developers and providing mortgage financing to buyers
  • Legal: Will look at all legal issues relating to all aspects of the development, from land matters, on construction, on sales and right through to property management
  • Landscaping: Landscape Architect or Designer will plan, design and monitor the construction and maintenance of soft and hard landscaping to the properties including open spaces and public parks
  • Interior Design: Complementing the works of an Architect by transforming the interior spaces into a style and functionality that suits the user's need.
  • Land Surveying: Land & property titles and land surveying works as in the demarcation of property lines for construction, land division and titles.
  • Estimator/Quantity Surveying: Contractual matters and preparation of contract documents with contractors and suppliers, estimating project cost and preparation of Bill of Quantities.
  • Specialized Services: These services will vary with each project depending on the complexity or nature of the project. The shopping center project will bring in retail specialists, the hospitality project as in hotel and golf will have a hotel management company and golf course consultant in the project team.
  • Registered Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers: Responsible for the land or property valuation, acquisition and disposal of land or property, market and project viability studies of the proposed project site, selling, leasing of properties, and management of the completed project.
Jobs with the indirect link to real estate dvelopment

Jobs with the indirect link to real estate dvelopment

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Job That Travel

If you are the type of person who prefers a mix of working from home, in-office days and a bit of travel then a real estate development job will suit you well.

Depending on your responsibilities, you will travel to the project site, attend project site meetings, go to the local authorities' offices, liaise with other team members such as the project consultants either at the site or the consultant's office.

In some cases, you will travel out of town or states depending on your project location. Some could be overseas.

These scenarios might change as the pandemic has put in place a culture of online meetings and a mix of working remotely from home and office. Travel restrictions have also reduced traveling demands. How long will this new norm be practiced depends on the economy but it will likely go back to the old way of doing things.

Finding Jobs Abroad in Real Estate Development

Is the job market in real estate development stagnant in your country? Or are you keen to explore the world and be a global worker?

When there is a slump in the economy, real estate will be one of the few industries that will rise, when the economy picks up. So, do your job searches now.

Working abroad offer both exciting and challenging moments that await you. If you have what it takes to live and work abroad then wait no further.

Real estate development includes not just housing, commercial, and industrial but also resorts development

Real estate development includes not just housing, commercial, and industrial but also resorts development

Property Jobs in Dubai, the UAE, and Other Middle Eastern Countries

Dubai used to be the most popular and most sought-after overseas real estate job in the world. The salary and perks were good and life in Dubai was yours to enjoy. After the property market crashed in 2008, jobs are few and the market forecast is still pessimistic. It has now recovered but is again hit by the pandemic. However, it will rise again.

Developments are still going on, albeit at a much slower pace. The more active area is the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Companies are still recruiting new staff but will pay a lower salary and with fewer perks, compared to its heydays.

If you are keen to work in this region, do a continuous search for job opportunities not just in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also for other Middle Eastern countries like Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Top Recruitment Agencies Based in Dubai

Some of the bigger recruitment agencies with a presence in Dubai and other major cities in the Middle East that you can write to are:

  • Adecco Middle East -
  • Charterhouse -
  • Cooper Fitch -
  • Hays -
  • Mackenzie Jones -
  • ManpowerGroup -
  • Michael Page -

Real Estate Jobs in China

The China property market is still active despite the fear of it being overheated. Demand for housing in China is strong and the government's priority for public housing is one of the key factors for a strong property outlook.

Hence, job opportunities in real estate development in China are good. The best way for anyone interested to take up this challenge is with a job placement agency. Do your research online and work with a reputable international organization.

Besides working full-time or part-time in China, other opportunities are internship programs for architectural and engineering students. These are usually available in the bigger cities of Shanghai and Beijing but your knowledge of spoken Mandarin is a must.

Property Development Jobs in Other Parts of the World

The lockdowns, travel movement controls, health restrictions, vaccination requirements, and homeworking have completely changed the office and housing demand all over the world. This includes Europe, so Europe may be a difficult if not impossible place to find real estate jobs.

Apply for Jobs in Asia

When India opened up its property market to foreign property developers to help increase and improve its real estate sectors, job opportunities in real estate especially were promising. Especially with foreign developers but the scenario has also changed.

Despite all these, job opportunities are better in Asia compared to other parts of the world. Another Asian country that is worth checking out, is Singapore. With its highly developed property market, they are recruiting people in the retail and hospitality sectors.

Career Opportunities in Real Estate Developments

However, career opportunities in real estate developments are everywhere. It's a matter of how often we do our searches for these openings. The best way is to register with each of the regional job placement or search consultants for jobs in your desired country. The economy will pick up and openings for this job will rise.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Mazlan A


Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on September 18, 2014:

Thanks for the read and comment. I was working in real estate development for most of my career life & to me; it is one of the most exciting careers, esp. when it comes to planning and designing the scheme.

Reena Dhiman on September 16, 2014:

Thanks to describe the real estate industry. Now i am able to understand this industry and think about career in this.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on November 14, 2013:

Hi Hady Chahine, thanks for your input. I believe each sector of the real estate has its own potential. The only shortfall with land development, at least in my country, is the long process before you can start to sell. These range from land acquisition, land conversion (if any) planning and building approval, sales approval etc. Your initial investment in the land will be stuck for at least 2 years before you can start to see sales. The risk is higher.

Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on November 12, 2013:

Excellent summary of real estate related job opportunities. Land development, in particular, I prefer due to the earning potential relative to risk exposure. However, buying and selling residential and commercial properties is another great way to generate income. ~ Voted up!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2012:

@superpipoy Thanks for the visit, and sharing.

superpipoy on June 05, 2012:

Taking a career in Real Estate is a very rewarding job. It pays good salary. But not all people are very fortunate enough to get a degree in Real Estate due to some circumstances. But there is already a solution to that and that is taking through online training courses. Here you can see several online courses that you can take for your career promotion.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 04, 2012:

@Simone, Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Looking forward to more critiques from you.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 04, 2012:

I love how interdisciplinary of a field real estate development is. It must be a fun realm to work in! Very interesting insights on the various places where the industry is picking up and dropping off. Thanks for sharing your insights!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@teaches12345. Thanks for highlighting the turnaround in the property market in South Florida. Maybe now is the time to buy, then sell a few months later?

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@Robert, Thanks for the compliment and the Share.

Dianna Mendez on June 03, 2012:

I see that the market is slowly building some momentum in South Florida. It is a career that helps others to build lives and homes of their dreams.

Robert Erich from California on June 03, 2012:

This is an excellent article! I not only enjoyed it, but shared it with my followers. Real estate is fascinating and I enjoyed how you pointed out the large variety of jobs options there are within the industry. Thanks for writing!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 02, 2012:

@superpipoy. I am glad you find this article informative. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 02, 2012:

@lindacee, Thanks. Finding the right images takes time and with 7 more articles to go, I hope I will not be too critical of the photos. I sometimes spend almost a day or more, just browsing for photos!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 02, 2012:

@Om. Thanks and appreciate that. I was in Real estate development and I really enjoy this work as I like to conceptualize and plan projects. My approach is looking at the end user's perspective, which some project fails to do. Thanks for dropping by.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 02, 2012:

@leahlefler Yes you are right, environmental issues are affecting real estate developers and if not properly designed and implemented, may delay the project and eats into the profit margin. Almost all developed countries have very stringent environmental protection laws put in place, but not in developing countries. However some are now slowly implementing this. After the great tsunami that hits Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and parts of Malaysia, development along coastline esp. if it involved the clearing of mangrove tress, will not be approved.

Thanks for the visit and commenting.

superpipoy on June 02, 2012:

Great and very informative hub! Thanks for sharing! ????

Linda Chechar from Arizona on June 02, 2012:

Great Hub, greatstuff. Looks like you have covered all the bases for someone interested in pursuing a career in RE development. Really enjoyed reading about opportunities in the Middle East and Asia.

Good formatting and images. An enjoyable read!

Om Paramapoonya on June 02, 2012:

Although I've never thought about pursuing a career in real estate development, I did enjoy this hub very much. It's very informative and interesting. I'll pass it along to some of my friends who might be interested in real estate careers.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on June 02, 2012:

This is such a fantastic article! I know that where we used to live, real estate developers had to contend with stringent environmental protection laws - particularly with respect to desert tortoises. I had a friend who used to work in environmental engineering and his job was to literally go out to the job sites and "babysit" any tortoises on site!

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