How to Win in Commercial Real Estate Investing

How to Win in Commercial Real Estate Investing by Craig Coppola: BOOK REVIEW

I just wrapped Craig Coppola’s book, How to Win in Commercial Real Estate Investing and have listed my top 5 takeaways below.

And, if you want to hear Craig’s best real estate investing advice EVER then check out my interview with him here: https://joefairless.com/blog/podcast/jf209-one-expense-everybody-underestimates-when-buying-office-buildings/

Top 5 Takeaways from How to Win in Commercial Real Estate Investing

1. Be a LOCAL expert. Identify a neighborhood or submarket then make a list of properties you want in that area. Run the #s on them and track their progress. Make offers on those properties when it makes sense.

  • Craig even applied this method when buying his own home. He knew the specific neighborhood he wanted, the house MUST haves and then narrowed it down to a list of just a handful of homes. He then went door-to-door (with his kids) and gave a letter to homeowner saying he wants to buy their house so he can move in with his family.

2. Use the T-Bar. It’s taught by CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) and helps show returns in a simple way. (see picture below)

IMG_3259
3. Don’t just set your goals. Track, monitor and adjust your goals. Do it on a weekly basis, at minimum.

4. In market cycles, residential is always the first to decline and first to rebound. Multifamily follows a little later then retail and commercial.

5. When evaluating deals, the focus is on understanding the potential opportunity then minimize risk.

If you are entering commercial real estate for the first time then I recommend this book because it’s a good overview of the terms and will help you get going. If you want to invest in Office buildings you should DEFINITELY read this book and write a note to Craig to introduce yourself because he’s an Office expert and this book does have a slant towards Office.

You can buy his book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1IjHOs1

P.S. one other thing it inspired me to do is talk to appraisers. They know the market and we should take them to lunch tomorrow!

Very Best Multifamily Books for Every Level

I get asked all the time what are the best books to read on multifamily investing. The answer really depends on the reader’s knowledge level. So, here are books to read for every level…

BEGINNER LEVEL 

investing for dummies

Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies by Peter Harris and Peter Conti

Granted, Peter Harris is a friend of mine but, before I knew him, this was the first book I ready on multifamily investing and it was incredibly helpful in teaching me the basic principles of multifamily investing. Doesn’t go too deep in analysis but gives you all the tools needed to have enough knowledge on the subject so you can have intelligent conversations with people.

 

BEGINNER-TO-MEDIUM LEVEL

compelte guide to buying and selling real estate

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings by Steve Berges 

This is a fantastic book that takes you through case studies and beginner-to-medium-level advice on acquiring multifamily family properties. One of the things I learned in this book is the disadvantage of assuming loans because, typically, you’ll pay more than you would if you put new debt on the property. I recommend this book to everyone I speak to who wants a good multifamily book.

 

ADVANCED LEVEL 

Money pit

How to Take an Apartment Building from Money Pit to Money Maker by Craig Haskell

For anyone who is or wants to purchase apartment buildings that need some work, this book is for you. The advice in this book is practical and tested. You need to read this BEFORE you actually buy the property so you don’t fall into the trap that a lot of investors fall into with a money-pit.

BONUS

If you’re interested in development then read….

development book

Real Estate Development: Principals & Process

Like, whoa daddy. This is a big book. This book is so big that if you shot a bullet at it you’d feel sorry for the bullet. But it is a comprehensive book on real estate development. I really like how it lays out the step-by-step process of development and gives you case studies along the way. (notice a “I love case studies” theme)

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Real Estate Investing Books

I often get asked which books I recommend reading for beginners. I have a rather large library (well, as large as my NYC apartment will hold) of real estate investing books and here is my list of the top three ranked in order of which they should be read.

1.      Investing for Dummies

 

Wait, what? The first book isn’t dedicated to real estate? Correct, my friend. It’s not. It gives you a great overview of the three different types of investing – stocks/bonds, investing in small businesses, and real estate.

And it lists out the pros and cons for each of them. That way you can decide if real estate is the path for you based on the facts.

And, if it is then move on to…

 

2.      Rich Dad, Poor Dad

 

You’ve heard of it and for good reason. My sister mailed me a copy 6ish years ago and I’ve never been so inspired to invest.

Here’s the drawback from the book: it doesn’t go into depth on the deals. And that’s been the knock on the book for years. Also, you might hear people speak negatively about the Rich Dad, Poor Dad seminars. Personally speaking, I’ve been to one and learned a lot but I have friends who said they weren’t worth the money. I think it depends on your instructor – regardless that’s all irrelevant because this book is worth your time.

The advantage is it is absolutely inspirational because it simplifies the investing process and makes it seem accessible (which it is). The principals he teaches in the book set the foundation for being a savvy investor.

 

3.      Equity Happens

 

What a fantastic book written by a couple guys who know real estate investing. The book starts out with a story about two people working at the same company but one is a janitor and the other a high-level executive. The janitor invests in real estate and the sales guy doesn’t. You can probably guess what happens but the story is very insightful despite the predictable ending. The bulk of the book discusses how to generate equity with your real estate purchases. This is a MUST read.

What other books have you read? Feel free to list in the comments below or send me a Tweet – @joefairless.