Property development is a popular occupation amongst those with capital to purchase the property and invest in its conversion/renovation.
It is becoming more difficult at the lower end of the market, where there is high demand for older 'affordable' homes, but the market is still a lucrative one and, therefore, an attractive one.
There is no ‘set’ background for those wishing to enter property development. The skills we regularly witness are project management, business acumen (i.e. running the project like a business as opposed to a personal goal) a creative eye and perseverance.
If you have the analytical thinking background which is ideal for project management, you may not feel comfortable making design decisions for your property renovation or conversion project. The BBC have an excellent online resource for creating design schematics and giving design inspiration [more].
If you are entering the property market from a creative viewpoint, there are lots of opportunities to succeed and make profit from good architectural and interior design. Most ‘creative’ clients tend to hire a project manager to manage the sub-contractors for major alterations to property. This gives them the scope to think about the larger design decisions.
Developing in your spare time (i.e. when not at work) can be a major extra revenue of income and is probably more popular than you think. The obvious downside to this extra revenue is the potential to lose control of your work/play balance; it is important for your own motivation (and to get buy-in from friends and loved ones) to always take time-out for other people.
‘Painting Parties’, ‘Garden Planting Parties’ and the like are not unusual social gatherings, and reward your friends and family’s contribution (i.e. laying turf, painting a wall etc) with a barbecue or dinner event [more].
Financing a property renovation, conversion or development project is not always easy the first few times. You will need sound financial advice from someone with experience or a financial professional; these people may be able to point you in the right direction to secure the extra capital required to complete the building works.
Good luck with your property development project.