67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2000
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.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2000
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.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2001
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.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2000
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.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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".
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2003
Considering how few books there are on commercial real estate I was happy to find this one. It has plenty of true-life examples and practical advice. The reviews that criticize the book because it assumes you are well-funded large-deal investor are not well taken. With bookstore shelves overflowing with how-to books about getting houses with no money down - books that assume you have no money, no experience and no real estate knowledge - we need some books for people doing large commercial deals. If that's not your focus, then this just isn't your book.
I do think the book would be better off without the real estate "game" angle. It reminds me of something an editor would coax the author to work in as a sort of hook or gimmick, and doesn't add much. But that's minor. Overall, entertaining and informative without covering the same ground as umpteen other texts.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2001
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2003
Harvard Business School Professor and real estate investor William Poorvu has written a book about real estate is far above most real estate books. This book is nowhere near the run of the mill generic real estate book that tries to tell everything about real estate to people who don't have a clue. "The Real Estate Game" is a sophisticated commercial real estate book written by a real estate insider. This is not a book about buying your first house with no down payment.
What this is, is a book about commercial real estate projects from concept, commitment, development, operations, and harvest. The authors bring a behind the scenes and insiders' approach to commercial development. He lays it out in the form of a game with properties, capital markets, players and external environment. One of the stories in the book is that of Bill Zeckendorf's classic assemblage of Swift slaughterhouses into the United Nations property and vicinity. Included in the book is the authors' commercial due diligence checklist. This book would be most interesting to a person involved in commercial real estate, someone interested in commercial real estate or someone interested in the business of commercial real estate. I think that this is the kind of book that you can refer back to time and time again. There is a lot of information in this book and it may even be a book that you will want to read more than once. It has a depth, and quality of information contained far superior to the average mass media real estate book without the dryness of a real estate textbook
40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2001
This book talks about the various factors affecting multi-million-dollar developments. The misleading pictures of Monopoly houses on the cover suggest small-scale residential investing, but the properties under discussion are the size of an entire Boardwalk. Frankly, the whole "game" analogy may sound like fun, but is nothing more than representing economic forces, e.g. the cost to borrow money, as "cards" one draws. Ho hum. If you don't have millionaire investors as friends or a job doing due dilligence for huge developments like shopping centers, warehouses, etc., this scale of this book is much too grand. We're talking buying entire city blocks in Manhatten! Disclaimer: Unlike other reviewers here, I'm not a former student of the Harvard Business School professor. This text may be quite relevant to their careers.
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2001
This book is written for very large investors looking at 10 million dollar plus deals. A good read for those with 10 million dollar bankrolls. Or a good read for students at Harvard who haven't done any real estate investing. But for the midsized investor - doing $500,000 to $1,000,000 deals - the book offers very little pratical knowledge. I thought it too academic.
I have developed a modest real estate portfolio ( approx. 5 million)over ten properties. This book gives none of the "nitty gritty" details I needed to get there.
Some real world topics that might have helped - Lending sources. Leveraging current properties, detecting growth trends.