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The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide To Decisionmaking And Investment Hardcover – September 13, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (September 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068485550X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684855509
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Real estate is as much about people as it is about property, and, after location, success in real estate depends upon understanding the motives of those who play the game, because many critical decisions revolve around what real estate people think, how they act and why. The Real Estate Game, by William J. Poorvu and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank, is a clear, comprehensive overview illustrated with real-life experiences about individual investors, small developers, and moguls. Poorvu has developed and managed real estate and taught real estate investing at the Harvard Business School for over 35 years. This book is drawn from his course, and is designed to help investors make the right decisions derived from the right assumptions and to provide an insider's perspective on how to spot risks and develop strategies that provide protection and adequate investment returns.

The book uses the analogy of a game to illustrate some of the intricate and unpredictable interactions in real estate deals, and it lays out the rules of the game, including identification of the key players and periods of play: concept, commitment, development, operation, reward, and reinvestment. Readers are taught to be "value investors," ready to buy at the right price at the right time, because the best opportunities come from buying at a discount-to-replacement cost. The value investor must be prepared to sell at the right juncture, and must not be compelled to be in the game when conditions make the game not worth playing.

The case studies that run through the book show how to evaluate, develop, and operate all kinds of real estate investments from the points of view of all involved in the process. There's an extensive appendix covering the different property types, and the authors' "back-of-the-envelope" method for analyzing the financial implications of a potential deal is probably worth the book's weight in gold. --Scott Harrison

From Booklist

Poorvu is a Boston real-estate developer who teaches an elective course in real estate at the Harvard Business School. Like his earlier collection of case studies, The Real Estate Challenge (1996), this new book comprises course material. To emphasize the competitive aspects of real estate, Poorvu compares the business to a game. With an informal style, he outlines the components that determine the rules of this game: capital markets, the players, properties, and the external environment. After explaining the basic financial analyses necessary to make decisions, Poorvu contrasts four ways to invest in real estate: buying property directly, investing in private syndications, multiproperty funds, and public real-estate securities. He also compares the more challenging development phase of real estate with the nuts-and-bolts aspects of the operations phase. Finally, he recommends how and when to "harvest" or recoup value that has been added to a deal. Grounded in theory and practice, Poorvu's advice stands out in a category filled with superficial, get-rich-quick guides. David Rouse

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Customer Reviews

I found it very intersting and very insightful.
Tbolt
I would recommend this book to anyone who is in the real estate industry, thinking of buying or selling a property, or have an interest in how the industry works.
macktheknife
Harvard Business School Professor and real estate investor William Poorvu has written a book about real estate is far above most real estate books.
Real Estate Investor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By thomasoneill, realtor on January 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Real Estate Game is well written, using simple easy to understand terms. It's a must read for the professional, the amateur, the investor and anyone else thinking of buying and selling either commercial or residential property. Most enjoyable is the view of the real estate process from all angles. You get to see how all those involved, the buyer, seller, contractor, manager, attorney and lender fit into the picture. The real life examples and case studies help explain what can be very complicated situations. As primarily a residential realtor I gained new insight into the commercial end of the field. It always amazes me how the entrepreneurs in real estate often took great chances on a hunch that what were bargain basement deals would eventually turn into gems. The stories about these men and women are particularly fascinating. The authors, Poorvu and Cruikshank, offer a world of advice and first-hand knowledge to anyone involved in any way in Real estate. This should be required reading for all brokers, realtors and advisors to anyone getting into the real estate game.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Neil H. Shah on May 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Poorvu shares a career's worth of development, investment, and advisory experience with his readers. I have read many books on real estate, but none have been as concise, savvy, and empowering as this one. Its reliance on 'back of the envelope' financial analysis and a more qualitative examination of the underlying cyclicality of real estate leaves the reader feeling surprisingly wise and shrewd upon completion. Rather than offering checklists, templates, and other tools like other books on the topic, this one cuts to the heart of the matter leaving readers w. a more complete understanding of real estate fundamentals.
I am fortunate to have had Prof. Poorvu in the classroom at HBS, but I think that all interested readers will share my sentiments upon completion of the book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tbolt on March 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Most books on Real Estate are very similar in content. Some stand out, as this one does. This is more for the person that is involved in the industry and wants to further their career/hobby. I found it very intersting and very insightful. These authors are very experienced in the commercial side of real estate. I highly recommend this book for those that are in the biz, and not just readers looking for a motivational push. I have a large library on this topic and this is the only review I have ever written. I own and run a Real Estate investment company.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By macktheknife on December 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a rookie real estate consultant, I had wanted to brush up on some knowledge concerning the industry, so I decided to read William Poorvu's "The Real Estate Game." To my pleasant surprise, Poorvu had managed to provide a clear and thorough introduction on how the real estate industry works and how deals are made. This book has a wonderful section on identifying the major developments in the industry: REITs (real estate investment trusts), CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities), etc. Poorvu (and his co-author Jeffery Cruikshank) also writes in a style that is accessible and lively--touched with a good sense of humor. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in the real estate industry, thinking of buying or selling a property, or have an interest in how the industry works. A wonderful book. Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Daily VINE VOICE on July 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
one of my two all-time favorite real estate books(the other is the Idiots Guide to Real Estate Investment). It covers real estate from a professional angle. It covers how to study the macro-environment in real estate and how it influences everyone in r.e. from the entrepreneur to the reit professional.
It's premise in analyzing properties is the "back of envelope" analysis. There is time to use a spreadsheet and do a thorough analysis later, but when presented an oppurtunity you need to act quick. B.O.E. analysis is a super quick, easy, first step number crunching technique that uses raw data to give you a basis to decide to either pursue or not pursue a certain investment. Instead of focusing on "location, location, location" it follows the premise of "learn the dynamics of how locations change, and figure out how that knowledge can help you buy and sell properties."
From the jacket, "Poorvu shows readers how to use direct investments, syndicates, and REITS to get into the real estate game across a broad range of property types: residential, office, hotel, industrial and retail." Not the "buy single family residential rental properties type of book," but an actual practical, professional look at real estate for those wanting to go more "big time".
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First, no one real estate book is going to give you all the information you need. You have to buy a couple for reference and instruction. Second, there are two general types of real estate books on the market: the hype "real estate made me rich books and the practical, formula driven books for the professions. The book takes about 20-30/70-80 ratio between the two extremes. If you know that people are making money in real estate and need to kn0ow how you want a more practical book. This strikes a nice balance without being too dry. The writer is graduate business real estate professor who uses real life examples (case studies) to teach. The book is full of them and they are interesting without being dry and academic. Furthermore, this book shows you the meat and potatos: how to do the (simple) math to see if the property is good investment!! If you are looking at real estate, you don't need a book telling the somehow, somewhere people are making money in real estate! I don't care how much others are making. How can I get started. Yes, the book does focus on larger transactions. But remember, the principles are the same. Just the scale is different. I have brought seven copies of this book for my friends a family. I recommond two books:this one and William Pivar's book Real Estate Investing A to Z(more catergory one) for the more fluff and chatty background. Buy this book for more of the practical. Just two books and you are well on your way. And no, I am not a former student of the author.
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