Happy #WellTailoredWednesday! As 2018 winds down, I’ve been thinking about my goals for next year. One of them is to get involved with commercial real estate investing (CREI) in some capacity. Maybe it’s actually owning a building outright. Or simply investing in a REIT. Whatever the case is, I just want to jump into this asset class. I’ve been reading a few books and listening to a TON of podcasts on real estate investing (more on those in another post!) and one of those books is this one—Commercial Real Estate Investing For Dummies by Peter Conti and Peter Harris. Let’s dive in!

An Overview of Commercial Real Estate Investing

Like many of the other “For Dummies” books, this one is designed as sort of like a manual of commercial real estate investing. There are chapters that talk about the benefits of CREI and how to get started finding and making deals. The book also highlights the nitty gritty details of financing and owning and operating the investments. Lastly, there is emphasis on how investors can scale their business to be sustainable for the long-term.

Commercial real estate investing can be very lucrative and CRE tycoons often make the news: many of us have heard of some of the more [in?]famous real estate investors such as Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best-selling “Rich Dad, Poor Dad“, Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center, and of course, Donald Trump, developer and current U.S. president. There’s a reason why the rich love real estate: it can offer a diversified stream of income outside of the stock market, it can be a tax shelter, and it can be bought using leverage. These same reasons also make commercial real estate investing alluring to the average Joe Snehann!

Useful Advice and Tangible Tips

What I really enjoyed about this book was that the authors support their advice with reason, statistics, and real-world examples. For example, there are some great tips on building and maintaining a rolodex of potential investors, including a word-for-word script readers can use to build their own network (Pg. 78). It all sounds so easy…but the authors make it clear to readers that building that rolodex comes from a lot of hard work spent on networking and maintaining relationships.

There are even moments throughout the book where the authors talk about mistakes they made and how they lost a lot of money because they failed to educate themselves properly. And it’s not just the authors. The book features short parables of other investors who lost money and recovered by following the straightforward advice provided.

Education is key. And one of the real-world tips the authors talk about is around the 1031 exchange (Pg. 303), which can be very useful to commercial real estate investors, but only if they’re very meticulous about its strict requirements. Such advice is refreshing from that of the other real estate “gurus”, who promise prospective investors a life of sipping margaritas on a beach…just as long as those investors pay $50,000 to sign up for their course! It’s reassuring to know that even though the authors are both successful investors, they went through their series of mistakes.

Peter Harris, co-author of Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies, gives an overview of the book.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. While I found some sections to be a bit dry, most of the book was very informative and digestible. For these reasons, I would give it a rating of 4.5/5.

Read If You:

  • Would like a 101 of the different opportunities in commercial real estate investing
  • Currently invest in single family housing and would like to expand into commercial investing
  • Read one of Peter Conti’s or Peter Harris’s other books (review coming shortly!)

Don’t Read If You:

  • Are an intermediate or experienced commercial real estate investor looking for more advanced strategies
  • Like the “traditional” vehicles of investing, such as stocks and bonds, or the speculative vehicles, such as crypto or private companies and are unwilling to change your opinion on why CREI is “too risky”
  • Are not willing to put in the time and hard work into learning the ins-and-outs of commercial real estate investing. If you think CREI will immediately lead you to sipping margaritas on a beach, stay far away from this book!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments’ section below!

4.5Overall Score

Happy #WellTailoredWednesday! As 2018 winds down, I've been thinking about my goals for next year. One of them is to get involved with commercial real estate investing (CREI) in some capacity. ...

  • Applicability
  • Theoretical
  • Ease of Reading
  • Book Length