Personally I am a big fan of knowing the business I work in and the process of education and learning never stops, no matter how experienced you are.
Whether it’s getting inside the numbers or else having a reminder of processes that could avoid a tragic mistake later in the project the following are four books any developer should have –
Kicking things off would be Real Estate Development – Principles and Process by Mike Miles, Marc Weiss, Mark Eppli and Gayle Barens. Major steps in the project formation are covered from the onset of the idea, through feasibility, contracting, pre-development, construction and property management.
The book is full of complete explanations, detailed charts, case examples and anecdotal story lines. For anyone looking to get back to backs and work form solid fundamentals, it’s a very good resource.
Next up is William Brueggeman’s Real Estate Finance and Investments. This is an essential tool to look at the metrics of risk and return using the numbers.
One key area here are a deep dive on financial ratios used in analyzing both residential and commercial properties. This resource is important for wide range of readers be they developers, brokers, consultants or investors.
Yet another is Professional Real Estate Development: The ULI Guide to the Business written by Richard Peiser and David Hamilton. The book is published by the prestigious leading property organization the Urban Land Institute.
Perhaps the most prominent feature here are a number of useful and relevant case studies that can provide insight into how to pattern success for a project. Also of importance are the different classes of product covered from single houses, condominiums and apartments though to large-scale projects.
Last but not least is the Dictionary of Real Estate Terms. This well respected resource was compiled by Jack Friedman and is an invaluable desktop resource. I’ve had one for years and the best thing I can say is that no dust has gathered on it.
Whether you are looking for a quick fix to a document, or else researching a project, this guide is a must have if you are working in the property game.
It’s useful to be reminded there the real estate world is a wide and evolving industry and there are a number of notable other publications out there so I’d encourage you to get off the couch and start knowing more about the trade.