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Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Win in High-Stakes Commercial Real Estate: What it Takes to Win in High-Stakes Commercial Real Estate [Kindle Edition]

Jim Randel
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A front row seat into the world of high-stakes commercial real estate investing

“A must-read book … one of the best real estate investment books I have ever read. On my scale of 1 to 10, this unique book rates an off-the-charts 12.” ---Robert Bruss

Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur is for the individual who is ready to get serious about investing. Not a rah-rah or get-rich-quick book, this book is for someone who is prepared to think about what he or she wants to accomplish. James Randel provides the how and why.

James Randel has been a successful investor and educator for 25 years. He teaches investing through stories and anecdotes – bringing to the limelight not just his successes (and there are some amazing stories of these) but also his mistakes. His candor is instructive and entertaining.

It is said that “those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” James Randel is a rare exception as he is both a highly successful investor as well as an excellent teacher. As said by Jeff Dunne, Vice Chairman of the largest real estate company in the world, CB Richard Ellis:

“I’ve tracked Jimmy’s incredible run of successful real estate investments for 20 years and more recently invested very profitably with him. His new book is a must read for anyone interested in real estate investing.”

If you are tired of the “same old, same old” and prepared to play in the big leagues, this book is calling your name.

Editorial Reviews


One of Robert Bruss'Top 10 Real Estate Books of 2006

“This book's theme is 'add value' to real estate, whether you invest in raw land, houses, run-down factory buildings with rezoning potential, or fixer-upper apartments and offices. The self-deprecating author shares his mistakes and his successes, along with his advice to invest with as little of your own cash as possible so profits can be maximized.”

(Bruss, Robert J. San Francisco Chronicle.)

From the Back Cover

Insider Secrets to Better Ventures and Bigger Returns in Commercial Real Estate

If you're ready to move beyond basic buy-and-hold or fix-and-flip investing, Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur is for you. Full of real-world wisdom from successful investor James Randel, this insider's guide is packed with detailed examples of real-life deals, demonstrating strategies to help you you avoid the mistakes that Randel and other investors learned the hard way. You'll learn about:

  • Due diligence and researching properties
  • Financing strategies that maximize your buying power
  • Legal terms, issues, and conditions you should understand
  • Profiting through option agreements
  • The thirteen vital skills for real estate success

"Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur provides all the tools for analyzing, buying, improving and profiting from the investment in income producing properties."--Jeff Dunne, Vice Chairman, CB Richard Ellis

"Jim's focus on the building blocks, the creativity, and the strategy of deal making gives readers a front row seat into this high stakes, and richly rewarding game."--Jim Fagan, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Product Details

  • File Size: 1801 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0071467939
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 19, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FWIJB4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for begining and intermediate investors August 14, 2006
I have over 100 RE books in my library and I would rank this in the top 5. It's very different from most books you will read - how many authors admit to, and document their mistakes? I have a Master's in RE, done some development projects and I still learned alot from this book.

Note: It's not a book for a pure beginner. For them I recommend one of the non-no money down books to learn the basics of LTV, cap rates, etc. Then study this book over and over.

Doing that will save you years in your real estate education. It's cost me over $100,000 in life "lessons" to learn what you will learn in this book.

Thanks Mr Randel.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! January 18, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just received this book today and am only about 40 pages into it, but it is so great that I had to stop and post my praise.

I own about a half-dozen various books on real estate and have looked at dozens. I've owned a couple investment properties and am going to get back into the game very soon.

This is certainly the best book on real estate that I have seen or read.

The author is a real investor who wants to share the ins and outs of the biz with other people, and he does a fantastic job.

The author doesn't just say something empty like, "real estate is a great investment with many tax benefits. You can do it if you put your mind to it, so get out there and get it done!" nor does he give other inspiring but utterly meaningless "advice" or information like so many books on the shelf.

Instead, this author talks about how the real estate game actually works in real life, gives you examples which are drawn from real deals he's done, and then (are you ready for this?) he actually explains everything in layman's terms that anyone who graduated high school can understand!

He is certainly not condescending, he just explains things thoroughly and clearly. While many authors make an attempt at doing this, they either can't drop their jargon long enough to explain something or they only give a cursory explanation that still leaves you in the fog.

I'm educated and intelligent, but the reason I'm reading books like these is to learn about things I don't already know (obviously). With many (if not most) other real estate books, you are forced to look up many of the terms or ideas or read other real estate books in order to clarify what was said in the first one.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
James Randel shares great concepts that were acquired over 25 years of deal making that are well worth anyone's time who has any interest in real estate. I've been on Wall St. for 11 years and doing real estate deals for 6 and must say I agree with 100% of what is in this book. He gives you the play by play on a few multi million dollar deals that have worked out well and surprisingly enough on some that have not. A few great lines:

"Never believe your own press clippings"

"Never take anything for granted"

He lists 13 "Success Skills" and says, "I do not believe success is an accident" The 1st skill is PASSION, where he says, "A small difference in energy can sometimes be the difference between success and failure."

Next is "Work Ethic" I love this one, "If you're not willing to work hard at the real estate game, do not come out of the dugout."

Also key for people to understand is how NOI (Net Operating Income) affects the price of a property, and how improvements in the net can boost the price of a property even if nothing else has changed.

Interestingly he talks about South Florida where my partner and I have also had tremendous success. He's hot on "North Beach" which is just north of South Beach in Miami. We are a bit further North in Hollywood Beach, but none the less our premise is the same as his; the wave of growth is heading north.

By Kevin Kingston author of, A 20,000% Gain in Real Estate

My Blog
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kick Start Your Brain May 30, 2008
If you are looking for a step by step buy a house, rehab it, and get rich, please find another book. If you are looking for a dull textbook type presentation you should also pass.

If you are looking for clear explanations of concepts and illustrated with some small case studies to kick start your brain, then this might be just the thing to get you from dreaming to doing.

Although I knew almost all the concepts presented, this book made them much more concrete. I have already begun the process of actually doing instead of sitting on my butt thinking about doing!

Thank You!!
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old Rhetoric April 8, 2006
It would appear as though I am in the minority as the previous reviews all seem to tout this book as the go-to guide for for anyone with an interest in real estate investing. I have my doubts that Randel's sophisticated guide to making money in the real estate business will leave any serious Investor scratching his head asking "Why didn't I think of that?" For someone who is so internationally acclaimed I found it odd that in my 34+ years in the real estate business I have never once heard of him, but then I have never lectured at Harvard either.
While I have no doubt there are a select few that may be able to glean some useful information from Randel's book, I'm afraid the "Priceless Lessons" that the book description provides are little more than common sense. Spend the extra 2 cents and pick up a copy of Real Estate Investing for Dummies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it.
If you've ever day dreamed of owning either residential or commercial real estate, or even wondered how people make money doing it, this book is for you.
Published 15 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, recommended, full of specific examples
Great book, definitely recommended. Shows specific strategies for a variety of real life deals including the financials. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Volunteering Vin
5.0 out of 5 stars best commercial real estate book ever
Amazing well told story. I was enthralled. Author is a serious add value real estate investor and this book has helped me a lot getting into commercial. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Excellent book. Very inspiring and down to earth. The balance of his stories, good and bad, helps make any deal seem possible.
Published 2 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, full of examples and street smart tactics.
Great Book, full of examples and street smart tactics.
I've read Jim's book about three times and every time it's an enlightening experience. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alexander Mikhaylov
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny
If you want to learn about investing from real life experiences this book is for you.
Nothing but sound logic, common sense, and examples to help the reader understand.
Published 10 months ago by jared ackerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I have been reading a lot about Real Estate. This book is a masterpiece, best book regarding Investing in Real Estate that I have read.
Published 11 months ago by Dennys Silva
3.0 out of 5 stars More shelf filler really
It's not good or bad, just more in one's education to some degree. If you can find others to fill in blanks here and there, then you would not really be missing anything from not... Read more
Published 12 months ago by DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Deal Book
This book is real time real world stuff. Having been a real estate investor and agent myself for 30 years, I so much enjoyed the reality of this book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Randal Colling
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read
And VERY useful information. It is good for the novice RE investor. I highly recommend. Very valuable information in this book.
Published 13 months ago by Gisselle Nunez
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More About the Author

Jim Randel, a graduate of the Columbia University College and Law School, has made his living as an entrepreneur. During his 30-year career, Jim has been the lead investor in many real estate and business deals. He has been a guest speaker at Harvard and NYU Business Schools, annual conventions for national organizations, and investor sessions in every large city in the United States. He has also appeared on numerous networks as an expert on investing. Recent engagements include ABC, CBS, Fox, Fox Business and

Throughout his career, Jim's passion has been to teach and write. His first book, The Real Estate Game (CCH), was published in 1986 and received national recognition from investors and critics. From 1988 to 1990 he was a daily commentator on the Financial News Network (now CNBC). In 2006 he wrote Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur (McGraw-Hill) which reached #1 in several Amazon categories.

In 2008 Jim founded Rand Media Co, which, under the imprint The Skinny On™, publishes a revolutionary line of illustrated non-fiction books.

The first book in this series, The Skinny on the Housing Crisis, was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Robert Bruss Real Estate Book competition sponsored by NAREE, a group of 600 journalists who cover business and finance. This was quickly followed by 8 more titles: The Skinny on Willpower, The Skinny on Credit Cards, The Skinny on Success, The Skinny on Real Estate Investing, The Skinny on Direct Sales (also available in Spanish as The Skinny on Venta Directa), The Skinny on Time Management, The Skinny on the Art of Persuasion, and the newest in the series, The Skinny on Networking.

Jim lives and works in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Carol. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.

For more information on Jim Randel, go to:
For more information about the Skinny on series, go to:


Topic From this Discussion
are these customer reviews real?
Yeah, I had the same feeling, almost 50 five star reviews and only 3 poor reviews, something is awry here. I have not read the book, so I have no idea. Here is a link to a review of the book by investor John Reed, might give you a better idea:
Nov 18, 2007 by Tart Green Apple |  See all 4 posts
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