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Real Estate Books Make Great Holiday Gifts for Investors & Others (Published Saturday Dec. 20th)

December 23, 2008 - Gary Tasman
Real Estate Books Make Great Holiday Gifts for Investors & Others By Gary Tasman

Is there someone on your holiday shopping list who’s interested in commercial real estate? If so, I have some last-minute book suggestions that will make it easy for you to find the perfect gift for the real estate professional, investor or property owner in your life.

Most of these were written this year; all are paperbacks that are available online ( or are two good places to start). And although some are more compelling than others, I believe that all provide good information for anyone interested in commercial real estate investing or management.

•2008 Income/Expense Analysis: Office Buildings (Institute of Real Estate Management Publications; softcover, 274 pages) For properties to perform at their peak, owners need to know where they stand and how their operating expenses compare with those of their competitors and overall marketplace. This report contains detailed analyses of office building operating revenues and expenses for major metropolitan areas and regions in both the United States and Canada. The income and expense data is based on surveys of 2,000+ private-sector office buildings and is presented in dollars per square foot for more than 50 specific categories, broken out by building size, building height and building rental range. This report also examines revenue, expense and vacancy trends, energy consumption analysis, operating ratios and leasing commissions, among other things.

•A Practical Guide to Green Real Estate Management (John Klein, JDM Associates, with Alison Drucker and Kirk Vizzier; softcover, 96 pages) The real estate industry thrives on the use of environmental resources such as land, materials, energy and water. Reducing the impacts of these resources provides opportunities for property managers and owners to increase the market value of their properties, minimize operating costs and better respond to market demands. This timely publication covers the practical benefits of sustainability and offers strategies for going green. For example, it discusses: how to assess your properties for energy consumption; what you can do to minimize energy and water use in buildings; how conservation efforts affect the bottom line; and how to best apply green methods to your properties.

•Managing and Leasing Commercial Properties (Alan A. Alexander, SCSM, and Richard F. Muhlebach, CPM; 793 pages) The voluminous best seller is an essential resource for every manager of any type of commercial property. In thorough detail, its two volumes cover the entire spectrum of managing and leasing commercial properties ranging from office and industrial buildings to shopping centers and medical buildings. Besides sharing valuable insights into commercial management, the authors also provide take-aways sure to assist industry newbies and veterans alike. Topics encompass operational issues, marketing and leasing techniques, property maintenance options, financial concepts/tools and much more.

•Community Associations: A Guide to Successful Management (Stephen Barber, CPM, and Vickie Gaskill, CPM, ARM, MPM) This must-have resource addresses the everyday challenges of community association management and provides the guidelines needed to do it successfully. Readers will learn about the history of common interest developments, the different association types and methods for working and communicating with boards and members. It also discusses how to enhance your accounting, staffing and maintenance practices and generally, how to run a more successful, productive community association management office.

•From Good to Great to Best-in-Class: A Real Estate Leader’s Guide to Optimal Performance (Christopher Lee; softcover, 163 pages) Authored by real estate industry expert Christopher Lee, this insightful report offers strategies to help any real estate organization achieve optimal performance, profitability and a competitive edge. Helpful, up-to-date tables and diagrams accompany its in-depth analysis of important trends and changes affecting real estate management. What’s more, the publication discusses transformational leadership, examines ways to develop a long-range business plan and offers strategies for succession planning. It also makes 50 predictions on events that are likely to occur over the next decade and could have a significant impact on real estate management.

Some topics, such as security and terminology, change little from year to year, although they continue to evolve. While the following books aren’t hot off the press, they’re current enough to be excellent additions to the library of any real estate owner, manager or investor.

•Spotlight on Security for Real Estate Managers, Second Edition (Lawrence J. Fennelly, CPO; published 2005; 289 pages) This latest edition has been expanded and reorganized to offer security information pertinent in today’s market. New chapters cover the relationship between security and fire protection, security in the mailroom, protecting computers and data from viruses and hackers, destruction of confidential documents and records, and security at construction sites. It also broaches the topics of: negligence and liability; crime prevention strategies (including asset protection for residents, retail properties and more); and access control systems, CCTV monitoring and other security measures.

•The Real Estate Manager’s Technical Glossary (Thomas Griffin, CPM; published 1999; 228 pages) Find the right words to effectively communicate your work orders, specs or other information to contractors, plumbers and electricians. Nearly 2,000 terms in nine separate glossaries describe commonly encountered technical terms. These include terms involving: basic engineering and building mechanical systems; life safety and fire protection systems; HVAC and refrigeration systems; water treatment; electrical/lighting/data/telecommunications; elevators and escalators; architecture, construction and project management; and indoor air quality/environmental management.

•Before Disaster Strikes: Developing An Emergency Procedures Manual (Lawrence J. Fennelly, CPO; published 2005; 267-page book & CD) This edition has been updated, expanded and reorganized, to incorporate additional forms and a comprehensive list of resources. Contents include: the scope of emergency planning; the basics of an emergency plan; emergency planning for specific property types; building-specific emergencies (fire, power outages, elevator breakdowns, water leaks, crime); weather-related emergencies (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods); geologic disasters (earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions); hazardous materials incidents; and terrorist acts. The book also includes a glossary, a risk assessment questionnaire and emergency planning forms, which also are on the accompanying CD-ROM.

(Gary Tasman is executive director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Southwest Florida office. For more information, please contact him at (239) 489-3600 or


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