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Real estate is the single largest market in the United States; Americans have most of their wealth tied to the value of real estate. And commercial real estate is needed by nearly every business and government service. This makes real estate development one of the steadiest and most in-demand forms of entrepreneurship.

But the business can seem overwhelming to someone on the outside. How can someone get into a field that often requires million-plus dollar capital outlays? To people who have never earned much more than an average wage, how people can put together million-dollar real estate deals seems like a great mystery of the universe.

But as this article demonstrates, there are a few key things that anyone can follow to successfully get into the real estate development business. Let’s take a look at a few of the rules that great property developers follow to put together winning projects.

Build desirable properties, but always keep costs in mind

This is admittedly easier said than done. But once a real estate professional gets a good feel for the type of properties that generate high demand and the cost of bringing those properties into existence, the process becomes almost like second nature.

But it is imperative to know that the best real estate developers always strike a balance between creating aesthetically great properties that will be highly desirable for the target market and always keeping a close eye on costs, minimizing total costs at every possible turn, right down to the light switches and drywall.

View the property as a means to sell investors, not just clients

The vast majority of new-construction real estate developments in the United States are the result of multiple investors being brought together to form a single group. Because you will almost certainly need outside capital to complete your first real estate projects, it’s important to keep every aspect of the project investor friendly. This means that any design decision should be easily justifiable regarding return on capital.

Start building relationships today

One of the best ways to ensure long-term success in the real estate development game is finding solid and reliable people that you can work with and profit from. Having a great working relationship with the best electrical contractors or floor installers in town can save you massive amounts of money, headaches, and missed deadlines.