Magazine article Real Estate Issues

The Advisor's Guide to Commercial Real Estate Investment

Magazine article Real Estate Issues

The Advisor's Guide to Commercial Real Estate Investment

Article excerpt

THERE ARE LOTS OF GOOD books (and some bad books) on real estate investment, but the market has been waiting for a topflight book written by senior practitioners who are also gifted explainers to convey the essentials of this ever-vital field concisely, clearly and authoritatively to a wide audience.

The Advisor's Guide to Commercial Real Estate Investment is written by a galaxy of stars, including a constellation of CREs--lead author David Lynn, Peter Burley, Victor Calanog, Howard Gelbtuch, Ken Riggs, and Roy Schneiderman. It has the kind of clarity that only practitioners with decades of experience who know what is really important in real estate, and who have a strong sense of graphics, can offer. Because it is clear, the book is a great way for students and others unfamiliar with real estate investment to learn about the field. But because it is written by highly experienced practitioners, even advanced real estate investment professionals can learn a lot from it.

The book takes a standard "four quadrants," public/private, equity/debt approach to conveying the range of real estate investment and capital markets vehicles. In describing the four quadrants and each chapter of the book so as to convey the essence of real estate investment with a kind of aesthetic simplicity, the eight-page introduction alone is worth the price of admission.

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While all of the chapters are at the very least solid, several are outstanding.

Chapter 1, "Why Real Estate as an Investment," gets the book off to a good start and answers this question quickly and with verve. This chapter, and the other chapters with David Lynn as the lead author, are particularly straightforward and exhibit the same kind of focus and grace as Lynn's earlier books on real estate private equity.

In Chapter 4, "Tax Considerations for Real Estate Investments," William Byrnes and Robert Bloink elucidate the basics of real estate tax for tax-inexpert real estate professionals in about as appealing a manner as possible, with a particularly good rundown of Section 1031 exchanges.

In Chapter 9, "Private Equity Real Estate," Jacques Gordon and Richard Kleinman have collected a handy list of "Key Performance Metrics" in Figure 9.3.

Glen Mueller's Chapter 13, "Investing in REITs," is particularly strong at conveying how RE1Ts pass through the real estate business cycle.

Anatole Pevnev's Chapter 16, "The Importance of Yield," is a particularly sophisticated and creative effort to explain cap rates, and particularly to address the complicated issue of conveying how cap rates change over time. His "3-D" graphics make a strong effort to capture the dynamism of cap rates, although you may have to stare at them for hours to truly grasp Pevnev's arguments.

For such a concise work, this book is extraordinarily comprehensive, at least touching upon all significant aspects of real estate investment. Admirably, the book addresses international real estate in a robust fashion (chapters 11 and 14). Perhaps the only significant topic missing is investing in corporate real estate, although there is at least brief allusion to even this (page 277).

Generally, this book is well-edited. Though each chapter is written by one or more authors, for example, the sequencing and logic of chapters makes it read mostly as if there were a single author, and there is relatively little repetition among the chapters--unlike many multi-author works of this kind. …

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