How to become a Property Developer in Australia

How to become a Property Developer in Australia

A Property Developer works in the real estate industry, constructing or renovating commercial or residential buildings with the aim of improving their value and leasing or selling them. They research and identify land and property opportunities, then evaluate the feasibility and profitability of a project. Property Developers assess and determine the most lucrative use for the land or existing property, liaising with architects, building professionals and local councils to devise a plan for the project, including design, budget and schedule.
A Property Developer is involved in all aspects of the development process, from identifying profitable opportunities, researching market needs and meeting with councils to gain permits and approvals, to overseeing the design and construction process and ultimately selling or leasing the property upon completion. Property Developers typically finance the project themselves, either with their own capital, development loans or by attracting investors, so they need to be aware of all the financial risks involved and ensure that they monitor all stages of the development to guarantee the quality of the final result.

Are you a master of planning, investment and organisation? If you think you have the drive and vision it takes to become a Property Developer then here are some of the steps you can take to get you started.

Step 1: Complete a Certificate IV
Although there are no specific education requirements to become a Property Developer, it is recommended that you complete a course in either business, real estate or another related field. This will give you a valuable understanding of some of the key concepts in property development, such as estimating cost and value, conducting market research and gaining and managing finances.

Step 2: Study Property Development
The next step you should take is to study a bachelor’s degree in property, real estate or development. There are many courses available so make sure you do your research before applying. Some of the areas of education that will be valuable to you are building construction, commercial valuation and investment and finance. It is also recommended that you undertake some independent study such as reading books on property development, joining forums and researching successful Property Developers online to gain some industry tips and tricks.

Step 3: Research and identify
Now that you have completed your education and have some idea of what is involved in property development, it is time for you to find your first project. It is recommended that you start with a small, achievable project. You will need to decide on your budget, whether you are going to construct a new building, renovate an existing one or simply buy a piece of land and subdivide it. In order to be successful in your first venture you will need to conduct extensive research of the housing market, locations and building costs, so be prepared to put a lot of time into the selection process.

Step 4: Build up some capital
Probably the hardest and most daunting step for a new Property Developer is raising the capital required to undertake your first project. There are a number of different ways you can achieve this. Many budding developers start by taking money from an existing mortgage on their own home, although this comes with obvious risks. You can apply for a loan from a bank or other lender, or you can try and entice some investors to back your project, though this is less likely to happen until you have a proven track record.

What does a Property Developer do?
A Property Developer conducts research to identify land and real estate opportunities that they can develop or improve in order to profit from either the sale or leasing of the property. They assess and evaluate feasibility, determine the most profitable use of the property or land and devise a plan for the development process. Property Developers work closely with builders, architects and other professionals to outline the design, budget and schedule of a project based on their research and valuation of the property. They obtain planning permits and permissions, organise or supply finance for the project, monitor the construction progress and manage the final sale or leasing of the completed property.


  • Researching and identifying development opportunities.
  • Negotiating purchase of land and property.
  • Developing designs, budgets and schedules for the project.
  • Obtaining planning permits and permissions.
  • Generating or supplying finance.
  • Monitoring and maintaining work schedule and quality control.
  • Managing the sale or leasing of completed properties.

Skills for Success
Property Developers need to be organised, methodical and excellent planners in order to coordinate all the aspects of the development process. They need to possess vision and great intuition to be able to spot investment and development opportunities that others might not see. A Property Developer needs excellent research and negotiation skills as well as the ability to communicate with all types of people. They must be great problem-solvers, have sound judgement and be decisive when faced with choices. A great Property Developer needs to understand risk but not be afraid to take chances where necessary. They must be great with money, and able to inspire and motivate those who work on their projects in order to get the best value for their investment.

Skills & Attributes

  • Vision and intuition.
  • Leadership and management skills.
  • Aptitude for research.
  • Great communication skills.
  • Strong negotiation abilities.
  • Planning and project management skills.
  • Salesmanship.

Average Salaries

What is the salary of a Property Developer in Australia?
In Australia, the average salary for a Property Developer is around $107,029 per year. This varies greatly depending on a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 03/18

min $60 K
max $203 K
av $107 K