Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Books & Business Books

Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Books & Business Books

To fully understand and thrive in commercial real estate one has to understand much more than the simple “bricks and mortar” that make up a building. A successful commercial real estate broker (developer, investor, or lender) wears many hats and should have knowledge across a variety of different industries and disciplines. 

We asked a number of top CRE Professionals, “what commercial real estate books and business books have helped you grow in your career?” We compiled a list of the top 25 books based on the feedback we received. Most people in commercial real estate (lenders, investors, brokers, developers) are compensated based on performance, meaning if they don’t produce results (close deals) they earn little to no money. So, its no surprise most people in commercial real estate are entrepreneurial and function like they are operating their own business, even if they are an employee or independent contractor working within an organization. They typically handle their own business development, marketing, contract negotiations, disputes, financing, closings, and everything in the middle.

To be a successful commercial real estate broker, lender, or investor an individual has to know CRE fundamentals, practice diplomacy, have market intel, marketing skills, social media abilities, commercial real estate finance knowledge & connections, be somewhat tech savvy, keep up with current business news, demonstrate strong time management, design and implement a business plan, business development, sales skills, monitor business pipeline, teach/train team members, work well in solo and team settings, properly manage peaks & valleys in business flow (cash-flow), and much more. A fair amount of this knowledge and skillset can be developed or fine-tuned through a number of books.

These books cover a variety of industries, but most share common themes about conducting business, lessons learned via deal stories/company growth, partnerships, building relationships, setbacks & obstacles, tenacity, and remaining optimistic and continuing the fight in downtimes.

Books are not listed in any order or ranking of sorts:

1. Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer

By: John McNellis

Below overview provided by Amazon:

What does it take to be a successful real estate developer? Author John McNellis tells you how, sharing practical tips and advice from his wealth of experience over 35 years in real estate development. Like meeting with a mentor over coffee, McNellis entertains with witty anecdotes, and wisdom on how to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls. Offering humorous insights, the book covers the ins and outs of how to get financing, working with architects, brokers, and other professionals, how to make a good deal, and win approval for your project

2. The Art of the Deal

By: Donald Trump & Tony Schwartz

Below Overview provided by goodreads:

Trump reveals the business secrets that have made him America’s foremost deal maker!

“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”—Donald J. Trump
 
Here is Trump in action—how he runs his business and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and changes the face of the New York City skyline. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated eleven guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest deals; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks—really talks—about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur and an unprecedented education in the practice of deal-making. It’s the most streetwise business book there is—and the ultimate read for anyone interested in achieving money and success, and knowing the man behind the spotlight.

3. Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing

By: Doug Marshall, CCIM

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing is a comprehensive guide about the time-proven principles and common-sense practices for successfully investing in real estate.

Do you want to supplement your current income by investing in commercial real estate? Better yet, would you like to someday quit your day job and devote your energies exclusively to your rental properties? With over 35 years of commercial real estate experience, including a decade of personally investing in rental properties, real estate finance and investment expert Doug Marshall has explored every aspect of the commercial real estate process. Now, he’s sharing his knowledge to show readers how to add to or even replace their current income with commercial real estate investments. Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estates is for both those who are new to investing and those who may need a little help learning investing’s time-proven principles, showing readers how to:

Tap into the six immutable laws of commercial real estate investing to build wealth and grow income fast

Find the best possible loan for their property to optimize the property’s cash flow

Best manage their property to reduce risks and remove pitfalls to keep their investing profitable

When to buy, and when NOT to buy their next rental property, and much, much more!

If you like easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions coupled with solid advice and insight, then you’ll love Doug Marshall’s life-changing, wealth-growing guide to make real estate work for you.

4. The First Billion is the Hardest

By: T. Boone Pickens 

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Both a riveting account of a life spent pulling off improbable triumphs and a report back from the front of the global-energy and natural-resource wars, The First Billion Is the Hardest tells the story of the remarkable late-life comeback that brought the famed oilman and maverick back from bankruptcy and clinical depression. Along the way, the man often called the “Oracle of Oil” shares the insights that have made him a legend–and describes the billion-dollar bets he is now making in hopes of securing America’s energy independence. 

5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answer

By: Ben Horowitz

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

6. Principles: Life and Work

By Ray Dalio

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success.

In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.
Here, from a man who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe” (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you’ll find in the conventional business press.

7. Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk From A Business Rebel 

By: Sam Zell

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The traits that make Sam Zell one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs also make him one of the most surprising, enigmatic, and entertaining mavericks in American business. 
 
Self-made billionaire Sam Zell consistently sees what others don’t. From finding a market for overpriced Playboy magazines among his junior high classmates, to buying real estate on the cheap after a market crash, to investing in often unglamorous industries with long-term value, Zell acts boldly on supply and demand trends to grab the first-mover advantage. And he can find opportunity virtually anywhere—from an arcane piece of legislation to a desert meeting in Abu Dhabi. 

“If everyone is going left, look right,” Zell often says. To him, conventional wisdom is nothing but a reference point. Year after year, deal after deal, he shuts out the noise of the crowd, gathers as much information as possible, then trusts his own instincts. He credits much of his independent thinking to his parents, who were Jewish refugees from World War II. 

Talk to any two people and you might get wild swings in their descriptions of Zell. A media firestorm ensued when the Tribune Company went into bankruptcy a year after he agreed to steward the enterprise. At the same time, his razor-sharp instincts are legendary on Wall Street, and he has sponsored over a dozen IPOs.  He’s known as the Grave Dancer for his strategy of targeting troubled assets, yet he’s created thousands of jobs. Within his own organization, he has an inordinate number of employees at every level who are fiercely loyal and have worked for him for decades. 

Zell’s got a big personality; he is often contrarian, blunt, and irreverent, and always curious and hardworking. This is the guy who started wearing jeans to work in the 1960s, when offices were a sea of gray suits. He’s the guy who told The Wall Street Journal in 1985, “If it ain’t fun, we don’t do it.” He rides motorcycles with his friends, the Zell’s Angels, around the world and he keeps ducks on the deck outside his office. 

As he writes: “I simply don’t buy into many of the made-up rules of social convention. The bottom line is: If you’re really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are.”

Am I Being Too Subtle?—a reference to Zell’s favorite way to underscore a point—takes readers on a ride across his business terrain, sharing with honesty and humor stories of the times he got it right, when he didn’t, and most important, what he learned in the process.  

This is an indispensable guide for the next generation of disrupters, entrepreneurs, and investors. 

*Bonus:Here is the Link to Sam Zell’s 1982 article “The Grave Dancer”

8. Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed

By: Michael D. Eisner with Aaron Cohen

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Dig deep and you will find the most compelling argument for working together: Happiness.

In business there are always unique individual achievers, but pull down the veil and you’ll often find someone alongside them. Michael Eisner does just that in Working Together. Using his own collaboration with Frank Wells at Disney as a launching point for examining other famously successful partnerships, Eisner offers us an intimate and deeply personal look at some of the most rewarding business partnerships, uncovering what makes them tick and offering unconventional wisdom and unexpected insights.

In this essential book for businesspeople everywhere, Eisner shines a light on these startlingly long-lasting and enriching partnerships, weaving together 10 separate narratives – from investment gurus to entertainment impresarios, from fashion designers to big-box retailers – into a larger story about the true nature of achievement in life and in business. Ten stories, ten magical partnerships:

  • Michael D. Eisner and Frank Wells (Disney)
  • Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Berkshire Hathaway)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates (The Gates Foundation)
  • Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (Imagine Entertainment)
  • Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (Valentino)
  • Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell (Studio 54)
  • Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus (The Home Depot)
  • Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (restaurateurs)
  • Joe Torre and Don Zimmer (New York Yankees)
  • John Angelo and Michael Gordon (finance)

Collectively, the stories you’ll hear form a blueprint for building partnerships that matter, that last, and that allow each of us to do our very best work.

9. Liars Poker

By: Michael Lewis

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. 

Liar’s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years—a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.

10. The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine

By: Michael Lewis

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar’s Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.

11. Too Big to Fail

By: Andrew Ross Sorkin

Below overview provided by Amazon:

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin a New York Times columnist and one of the country’s most respected financial reporters delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world’s economy.

12. Good to Great

By: Jim Collins

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The Challenge:
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study: 
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards:
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world’s greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons: The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

The Findings:
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, “fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.

13. Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies

By: Peter Conti

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Thinking about becoming a commercial real estate investor? Commercial Real Estate Investing For Dummies covers the entire process, offering practical advice on negotiation and closing win-win deals and maximizing profit. From office buildings to shopping centers to apartment buildings, it helps you pick the right properties at the right time for the right price.

Yes, there is a fun and easy way to break into commercial real estate, and this is it. This comprehensive handbook has it all. You’ll learn how to find great properties, size up sellers, finance your investments, protect your assets, and increase your property’s value. You’ll discover the upsides and downsides of the various types of investments, learn the five biggest myths of commercial real estate investment, find out how to recession-proof your investment portfolio, and more. Discover how to:

  • Get leads on commercial property investments
  • Determine what a property is worth
  • Find the right financing for you
  • Handle inspections and fix problems
  • Make big money in land development
  • Manage your properties or hire a pro
  • Exploit the tax advantages of commercial real estate
  • Find out what offer a seller really-really wants
  • Perform due diligence before you make a deal
  • Raise capital by forming partnerships

Investing in commercial property can make you rich in any economy. Get Commercial Real Estate For Dummies, and find out how.

14. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value

By: Benjamin Graham

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.

Vital and indispensable, this Harper Business Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.

15. Steve Jobs

By: Walter Isaacson

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.  

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

16. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

By: Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

Below overview provided by Amazon:

An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Now with an excerpt from the authors’ new book, THE DICHOTOMY OF LEADERSHIP.

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launched a company, Echelon Front, to teach those same leadership principles to leaders in businesses, companies, and organizations across the civilian sector. Since that time, they have trained countless leaders and worked with hundreds of companies in virtually every industry across the U.S. and internationally, teaching them how to develop their own high-performance teams and most effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields.

Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required reading for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.

17. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

By: Paul Allen

Below overview provided by Amazon:

By his early thirties, Paul Allen was a world-famous billionaire-and that was just the beginning. 

In 2007 and 2008, Time named Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, one of the hundred most influential people in the world. Since he made his fortune, his impact has been felt in science, technology, business, medicine, sports, music, and philanthropy. His passion, curiosity, and intellectual rigor-combined with the resources to launch and support new initiatives-have literally changed the world. 

In 2009 Allen discovered that he had lymphoma, lending urgency to his desire to share his story for the first time. In this classic memoir, Allen explains how he solved problems, what he learned from his many endeavors-both the triumphs and the failures-and his compelling vision for the future. He reflects candidly on an extraordinary life. 

The book also features previously untold stories about everything from the true origins of Microsoft to Allen’s role in the dawn of private space travel (with SpaceShipOne) and in discoveries at the frontiers of brain science. With honesty, humor, and insight, Allen tells the story of a life of ideas made real.

18. The 7 habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

By: Stephen Covey

Below overview provided by Amazon:

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s cherished classic commemorates the timeless wisdom of the 7 Habits.

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.

19. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible

By: Brian Tracy

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Double and triple your sales—in any market.

The purpose of this book is to give you a series of ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that you can use immediately to make more sales, faster and easier than ever before.

It’s a promise of prosperity that sales guru Brian Tracy has seen fulfilled again and again. More sales people have become millionaires as a result of listening to and applying his ideas than from any other sales training process ever developed.

20. Real Estate Finance & Investments

By: William B. Brueggeman

Below overview provided by Amazon:

The Fifteenth Edition of Real Estate Finance and Investments prepares students to understand the risks and rewards associated with investing in and financing both residential and commercial real estate. Concepts and techniques included in the chapters and problem sets are used in many careers related to real estate. The material in this edition is also relevant to individuals who want to better understand real estate for their own personal investment and financing decisions.

21. Secrets of Closing the Sale

By: Zig Ziglar

Below overview provided by Amazon:

Whether presenting a product or principle, service or idea, we all engage in sales. Zig Ziglar presents winning techniques for getting a positive response and establishing dynamic relationships. Readers discover how to:

  • Project warmth, enthusiasm, and integrity 
  • Effectively use 100 creative closes 
  • Increase productivity and professionalism
  • Overcome the five basic reasons people will not buy
  • Deal respectfully with challenging prospects

22. Value Added, Successful Strategies for Listing & Selling Investment Real Estate

By: Brad Umansky 

Below overview provided by author:

Great brokers possess the ability to acquire listings, market these listings and close the transaction. Value Added takes you through the steps in developing each of these skills within the framework of the commercial real estate investment sales world.

This book teaches you about selecting your market, building your database, presenting a listing proposal, underwriting a property, creating a great marketing package, managing the escrow process, avoiding a “commissionectomy,” managing your team, choosing your brokerage firm, and so much more.

Every concept and story contained in this book come from the author’s actual experience in building his successful investment sales brokerage business. This book provides you with the step-by-step actions that successful commercial real estate sales professionals have utilized to build and grow their business.  

23. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

By: Nir Eyal 

Below overview provided by Amazon:

How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.

Eyal provides readers with:

  • Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
  • Actionable steps for building products people love.
  • Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.

24. The Due Diligence Handbook for Commercial Real Estate: A Proven System to Save Time, Money, Headaches and Create Value When Buying Commercial Real Estate

By: Brian Hennessey

Below overview provided by Amazon:
There’s a HUGE problem in the commercial real estate business that nobody is talking about—DUE DILIGENCE. Failure proof your real estate investing by learning these essential principles.
This book is a #1 Best Seller in commercial real estate books on Amazon. It is an easy-to-follow, proven step-by-step system that investors and real estate professionals use regularly while conducting their due diligence. It will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions when deciding whether to buy or NOT buy. You will learn how to avoid mistakes with costly consequences, create more value, and take decades off your learning curve with this essential information for buying investment property.

Adhering to a proven system allows you to conduct due diligence faster, easier, and more efficiently, and you’re less likely to miss something. Here are just a few of the lessons you’ll learn:

  • Negotiating the purchase and sale agreement – Discover what you MUST include in order to maximize your opportunities to negotiate further with the seller. (Super important to know.)
  • Reviewing the leases – Not knowing what provisions to watch for could cost you dearly once you own it. Don’t leave it up to chance that it will “work out.”
  • Uncovering hidden problems and issues – Sellers will NOT disclose these, so you need to know where to look for them. They will not “hand you a list of problems” about the property. Many of these issues could make or break your investment.
  • Critical factors to consider during your financial analysis – A list of essential questions that MUST be addressed is included. Leaving these questions unanswered can be potentially devastating to an investment.
  • Not over-paying – Make sure you’re getting all you deserve by getting credited fairly for items on the closing statement. This includes specific items to review with instructions on what to ask for to minimize your chances of getting taken advantage of and potentially losing big money.

These fundamentals remain the same and are all applicable whether they are residential rental properties, industrial, retail, or office buildings. This system will help reduce risk and create value for all of them.

In addition, the handbook includes:

  • Physical and mechanical Inspection photos that show you what to look for and how to assess issues.
  • Due diligence checklist
  • Due diligence document checklist
  • Sample tenant questionnaire – Lists essential questions that you should ask when conducting a tenant interview. This provides a wealth of information when done properly. Learn this or lose out.

By having this valuable system, you will be more prepared and confident in your ability to negotiate, going up against ANY seller. 
Most investors, real estate brokers and commercial real estate professionals barely scratch the surface conducting their due diligence. Mainly because “they don’t know what they don’t know.” I’ve spent over 30 years helping investors buy and sell over 9 million square feet of property and witnessed the practices of professional and small investors. It wasn’t until I became an acquisition executive and learned some humiliating, expensive lessons that “I didn’t know what I didn’t know”. 

As a pilot uses a pre-flight checklist prior to each flight, you’ll want to refer to this handbook every time you buy an investment property. There are too many things to remember. We need reminding as much as we need learning! Warren Buffet said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Having a proven system in place helps you know what you’re doing. 

25. Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate

By: Spencer Rascoff

Below overview provided by Amazon:

How do you spot an area poised for gentrification? Is spring or winter the best time to put your house on the market? Will a house on Swamp Road sell for less than one on Gingerbread Lane? The fact is that the rules of real estate have changed drastically over the past five years. To understand real estate in our fast-paced, technology-driven world, we need to toss out all of the outdated truisms and embrace today’s brand new information. But how?

Enter Zillow, the nation’s #1 real estate website and mobile app. Thanks to its treasure trove of proprietary data and army of statisticians and data scientists, led by chief economist Stan Humphries, Zillow has been able to spot the trends and truths of today’s housing market while acknowledging that a home is more than an economic asset. In ZILLOW TALK, Humphries and CEO Spencer Rascoff explain the science behind where and how we live now and reveal practical, data-driven insights about buying, selling, renting and financing real estate. Read this book to find out why:

It’s better to remodel your bathroom than your kitchen
-Putting the word “cute” in your listing could cost you thousands of dollars
-You shouldn’t buy the worst house in the best neighborhood
-You should never list your house for $444,000
-You shouldn’t list your house for sale before March Madness or after the Masters 

Densely packed with entertaining anecdotes and invaluable how-to advice, ZILLOW TALK is poised to be the real estate almanac for the next generation.

A special thanks to the following people, for their contributions to this article/book list:

Dave Wilson Executive Vice President at Transwestern, Sean Lyons Founding Partner at Triad Real Estate Partners, and David Perlmutter CEO/Founder at Perlmutter Properties and QuantumListing.

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