A Fresh Take on CRE

Your CRE To-Read List

Everyone wants to read more, but with busy work schedules and even busier personal lives, it’s hard to find the time. CompStak talked to several CRE professionals and influencers about their favorite reads and why they’re worth your time. Here are 12 books that can get you ahead and in the know.

Michael Mandel, Co-Founder and CEO of CompStak @CompStakCEO


Recommended read:
Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

What you’ll learn: An innovative approach to sales, detailing the groundbreaking process that led to Salesforce.com nearly doubling their enterprise growth in a few short years.

Why he recommends it: “As a broker, I handled the entire sales process from soup to nuts…after working hard for several months on deals, I would find myself in a rut with no active leads…at CompStak, we follow the Predictable Revenue model, which takes the ‘lumpiness’ out of sales and ensures that we have a constant flow of leads to our sales team at all times.”

Duke Long, CRE writer and Broker/Owner of the Duke Long Agency @dukelong



Recommended read:
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

What you’ll learn: Everything you need to be at the forefront of innovation: how to think for yourself, how to find value in new ways, and how to create for tomorrow.

Why he recommends it: “This is how companies are being built today. This is how they think. It’s quoted to me at least once a day by many startup companies.”

Howard Kline, CEO, Host, and Editor-in-Chief at CRE Radio and Owner of Law Offices of Howard F. Kline @CREradio


Recommended read:
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

What you’ll learn: The reasons certain people and certain companies command greater loyalty and remain more successful and powerful than their competitors. Hint: It starts with, “Why?”

Why he recommends it: “It is an absolutely fabulous book and I often give it as a gift to business people I know.”

Barbi Reuter, COO at Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR and Director at CREW Network @BarbiReuter



Recommended read:
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

What you’ll learn: How any company can achieve lasting greatness – regardless of how they started out.

Why she recommends it: “gave our leadership team at Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR a framework to align in a big and meaningful way, and we rolled it out to the entire firm. We did the work 10 years ago, and it’s alive today. It pushes readers to think seriously about the ‘three circles’: Defining your passion, identifying what you’re best at, and pegging your economic driver. A great exercise at the individual, team, and corporate levels.”

Michael Bull, Host and Producer of the Commercial Real Estate Show and CEO of Bull Realty @BullRealty


Recommended reads:
Soft Selling in a Hard World: Plain Talk on the Art of Persuasion by Jerry Vass;

Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases by Martin I. Zankel

What you’ll learn: Vass’s book teaches readers how to become the best salespeople they can be in today’s competitive business world, while Zankel’s details the underlying processes that go into each and every lease, as seen from both sides (tenant and landlord).

Why he recommends them: “Sales skills are very important in our business. Learning the best practices to sell in our industry is key to success,” and understanding why clauses are important to each side “helps an advisor get a completed lease.”

Mike Cobb, Senior VP at Colliers International @MikeCobbCRE



Recommended reads:
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson;

Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America’s Largest Real Estate Empire by Robert Sobel;

The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper by Kate Ascher;

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long Distance Swimmer by Lynne Cox

What you’ll learn: How real-life stories from all different industries can apply to the CRE world – from logistics and shipping to the perseverance of extreme athletes.

Why he recommends them:

The Box: First half of my career, I was an Industrial broker. Shipping and logistics are interesting.

Trammel Crow: “Read this AGES ago, but it’s still in my bookshelf. Old school CRE guy- great story.”

The Heights: There aren’t a lot of skyscrapers in my market (I represent one of the few), but this is a great book for a broker to thumb through.

Swimming to Antarctica: “Some of it is real in-the-weeds stuff that probably only appeals to swimmers, but reading about her challenges and her amazing tenacity should appeal to a lot of brokers.”

  1. Joe Stampone, Vice President of Investments at Atlas Real Estate Partners
    @joestampone1

    Recommended reads:
    Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi;

    The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

    What you’ll learn: How relationships can lead to enduring success and influence, and the ways checklists can bring about vital improvements in industries that range from medicine to skyscraper construction.

    Why he recommends them: “Real estate is a relationship-driven business and Keith Ferrazzi’s book teaches you how to build meaningful relationships in today’s fast-paced business environment… Networking is one of those things that everyone knows how to do, but very few do well. Gawande’s book, on the other hand, reflects one of my success habits – the use of checklists. In line with what Gawande sees in the medical world, the real estate world has its own culture of ego and confidence that sometimes can result in basic errors.”

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