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What is a career in property development like?

What is a career in property development like?

October 12, 2022

Interested in knowing what a career in property development is like?

The best way to find this out would be to ask someone who has decades of experience at the top of the profession.

ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation) lecturer Sam Cuccurullo’s credentials in the property industry are unquestionable.

His wealth of knowledge and experience gained globally over four decades in the property industry provide a useful snapshot of what to expect from a career in property development.

Here’s what Sam Cuccurullo had to say about what a career in property development is like:

* You need to be driven and resilient

“The people who are in Property Development are driven by the excitement and the potential to create something that meets the market and that has the potential for financial success. They love it. Not everyone makes a financial success of property development, there are many that have failed many times. The ones who are driven are back on their financial feet and try again.”

* Local knowledge of an area is priceless

“In my experience I have seen the best developers are people that have grown up in or are living in the suburb that a site is being developed. They know the market and know the target for the development. Generally, they have many years or decades of experience. They know the values and what the development can sell for and take less risks.”

* A fulfilling and sought-after career

“To answer the question, ‘what is a career in property development like?’, I would have to say that it is not easy but once a person obtains the experience it is extremely fulfilling and one of the best facets of the property industry. As a lecturer, I ask each class that I teach at the first week what each person would like to do in the industry and almost a third of the class answer that they want to be a property developer!”

So you want to make Property Development your career.
What qualities do you need?

According to Cuccurullo, property development is “not for everyone. It requires strong skills and organised processes that not all people can manage”.

These include:

  • The ability to manage a project. There are many facets to development and managing all the elements is seen as a skill. It is called project management.
  • A sound knowledge of planning processes.
  • Knowing your target market. Gathering data that will allow you to understand demographics of the area and what people are looking for in a development. For example, it is no use to have a high-end product that does match the needs of the people in the area.
  • Patience is required as after buying the block or site you will need to apply for a development application from Council and it may take a long time to approve (especially for larger projects). After that, the process from the feasibility study to approval can be long, even years, in some cases.
  • The developer must have a passion for property and the ability to create a project that is the highest and best use for the site.
  • Relationships and communications with Planning Departments at Councils, builders and contractors are important, as is the team around the property developer. This trusted team includes, as a minimum, an architect, town planner, funding institution and analyst.
  • Lastly, but as important as any other skill or process is the need to obtain funding for the development. No funding no development unless the developer does the development which is not normally the case. Developers use bank or other financial institutions to fund the project.

* Study property development with the best at ICMS

A bachelor degree that develops and cultivates these skillsets is an excellent starting point to a career in property development.

The ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation) gives both an academic understanding of the industry as well as industry training and mentoring from lecturers who are industry leaders. Connections formed during the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) stage of the degree could pave a way to your career in property development as you work with property development players before you even graduate.

For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation), click here.

For more information on the ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program, click here.

Watch Sam Cuccurullo explain more about the ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment & Valuation):

* About ICMS lecturer Sam Cuccurullo:

From packing shelves at a local supermarket as a student to being recognised as CBRE Australasian “Professional of the Year” in 2000, before going on to spend decades with two of the world’s largest global property firms, CBRE and Cushman and Wakefield, Cuccurullo is well placed to know exactly what a career in property development is like.

Cuccurullo has been a licenced real estate agent since 1981, is a Fellow of Australian Property Institute (FAPI) and a Fellow of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS). At various points in his illustrious career he has been a director an owner of a Real Estate Agency in Mosman, NSW, the Head of NSW Investment Management, Jones, Laing LaSalle, and the Executive Managing Director, Asset Services, APAC, CBRE working from Australia and Hong Kong, responsible for 6,000 people in 14 countries across Asia Pacific. Before retiring from corporate business in 2020, Cuccurullo was the Head of Property & Asset Management APAC, Cushman & Wakefield, working from Australia, Singapore and India, responsible for 3,500 people across 10 Countries in Asia Pacific.

Since moving on from corporate business in 2020, Cuccurullo co-founded Prop Tech Three Pty Ltd, a vehicle for investment into technologies that enhance or disrupt the property industry, is an independent director-board member of Urbanise (ASX Listed), and also passes on his wealth of knowledge to ICMS students as a property lecturer and developer of subject content.




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