The Handbook of Commercial Real Estate Investing

Article excerpt

The Handbook of Commercial Real Estate Investing, John McMahan, 393 pages, McGraw-Hill, 2006.

John McMahan's The Handbook of Commercial Real Estate Investing sets out with a lofty goal to offer ". . .a comprehensive 'best practices' approach to commercial real estate investments, designed to minimize adverse consequences and standardize the real estate investment process." McMahan's suggested best practice methods and analysis are supported by his extensive career both in real estate investment advisory and consulting (including chairman of two public REITs), and in academics as a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and adjunct faculty at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.

The book is not a real estate finance or economic textbook; it does not compete with, or cover the same specific topics as Brueggeman and Fisher's or Miller and Geltner's textbooks. Rather, the book clearly emphasizes the investment process, as opposed to the development process, which was the focus of McMahan's previous book on development. Two of the major distinguishing features of the book are its emphasis on industry "best practices" (Sections II and III) and management of real estate organizations (Section IV)-unique topics generally not covered in undergraduate or graduate textbooks.

There are three target audiences for the book. The first is graduate students in real estate-oriented MBA and MS in real estate programs, and graduate students in construction management, finance, architecture, and planning degree programs. Second, the book is also appropriate as a supplement for upper level undergraduate courses with students who have completed typical real estate finance, law, and management courses. The book's practical and applied nature is excellent reading and education for students seeking independent study and research, or for preparing students for internships with real estate firms. Furthermore, as real estate programs and universities increasingly engage their students in regional and national real estate competitions such as Hines' or NAIOP's, students would be well served to understand the general business real estate principles in the book. Third, the book is an appropriate resource for training real estate industry professionals, whether individual firms with new hires or staff early in their career development, or for national and international real estate associations who continually search for new ideas for workshops, seminars, or continued education courses.

The absence of complex models and equations generally included in real estate textbooks facilitates a focus on the contents of the book-the practical applications and recommended industry standards. The book is organized around four subject areas:

I. Real estate investment process

II. Transaction management

III. Asset management

IV. Enterprise management

Although the book can be used as a stand-alone course book; there is additional value if used to supplement standard textbooks for courses such as real estate finance, real estate development, or appraisal. …