I know this question has been posed in it’s variations, so here’s another:
I’d like to eventually become a developer, probably partnering with someone. That’s down the road. I need experience, knowledge, a reputation, and contacts. So that’s what I’m working on and have been set up a little more quickly than anticipated.
I met with a high-profile developer this morning who does commercial and condos, to discuss his projects, the business, just talk basically. I felt ill-prepared because I didn’t know what to tell him I wanted to do, and what I was immediately looking for. I basically want to get in the business, learn as much as I can, from the operational and financial sides to working with the GCs and everything in between. I wound up just showing an interest in project management, just to not come off as a total idiot. I have some (very little, but more than the general public for sure) experience with developing through past businesses, relatives who were developers, and have sold residential real estate, and stay as on top of local development issues as much as I can. I’m learning as much as I can on my own, but that’s not going to put me on track, nor put food on the table. I’m presently looking to do this as a career.
He is going to introduce me to one of, if not the most, high-profile and oldest developers in this part of my state, as well as the owner of the largest and highest-end real estate firm (I don’t want to sell again, but they do a lot of deals and projects) in this part of the state, as well as a few other influential people in the business here. It’s a huge opportunity. I don’t want to blow it.
I really need to be able to explain what I want to do and what they can do for me. I need a path and to be able to explain in no uncertain terms where one of them may be able to place me to give me a shot. I’ll do anything from making copies and going to pick up plans to getting coffee, but realistically, I need something a little more concrete and to show I have a plan and how I can fit into their life.
Can anyone suggest what might be some good “point A”'s, to get me to “point Z?” Project management? Commercial sales? Errand boy? Where did you start and learn the biz? If you were/are in these people’s shoes I’m going to meet, what would impress you, who would be someone you would take on, and in what capacity? What is/are good positions to start the wheels turning? I’m 37 and have owned my own business and have degrees in Business and English, but am also brand new to the city I live in and have scarce contacts. This is a total career change. I’m learning as much as I can about how the development/zoning/annexation/etc…procedures work around here as well as any project being done and who’s doing them. I just really don’t want to blow a HUGE opportunity like this.
Any suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated.