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Land Developer: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Land developers acquire property and oversee construction of residential, commercial and industrial structures. They work with local governments to ensure land is developed in compliance with zoning ordinances and regulations.

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Job Description for a Land Developer

Land developers oversee the acquisition of property and the subsequent planning and construction for specific use of the land. Real estate organizations may specialize in developing one type of property, which include:

  • Residential
  • Retail
  • Office
  • Industrial
  • Medical

Land developers take into account property value, economic trends and zoning ordinances when assessing land for potential projects. They may apply to localities and work with regional planners to rezone or subdivide a parcel of land.

Land development encompasses a number of job titles and specialties. Some professionals handle administrative and regulatory duties such as zone ordinances and construction permits. Others may focus on market analysis or manage the entire real estate portfolio for a development firm.

Duties of a Land Developer

Land developers research zoning ordinances, construction regulations and environmental restrictions when considering property. They make projections that assess potential profitability based on population growth, traffic patterns, local taxes and other factors. For example, the research arm of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, states in a 2009 report that demand for office space increased proportionally to employment rates within a metro region (www.naiop.org).

Developers must negotiate the purchase of land and manage the work of architects, construction companies and property managers. They apply to localities to rezone land, perform impact analyses and receive building construction permits. They may also perform, or request the locality to perform, environmental and safety reviews.

Salary for Land Developers

Wages vary depending on a professional's role within the land development process. According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for an entry-level land support agent, who handles land transaction records, was $37,458 as of November 2013, while land administration managers earned $127,747.

Salary.com also reported that, as of November 2013, the median wage for property acquisition managers was $99,767. Community development managers with 10 years of experience earned $116,335. Real estate and relocation directors, who oversee all real estate activity for a company, had a median salary of $135,842.

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