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The Real Estate Game is a comprehensive guide to successful real estate investment from one of the masters in the field. Drawing upon four decades of experience developing, owning, and managing properties and on almost thirty years of teaching at the Harvard Business School, William J. Poorvu offers an insider's perspective on how to make smart decisions about real estate.
The real estate “game” is played by people, and it’s the stories of real people that make Poorvu’s introduction to the industry colorful and interesting. You will meet players ranging from real estate moguls to small-scale developers to individual investors in exotic investment instruments. Their stories evolve throughout the book and illustrate how these people—with all their complicated needs, talents, and motives—fit into the larger process and context.
In clear and nontechnical language, Poorvu explains how variables—players, properties, capital markets, and the external environment—come together to influence the shape and outcome of a real estate deal. He explains the time frame for different kinds of real estate investments and walks the reader through the key “periods of play” in the real estate game: concept, commitment, development, operation, reward, and reinvestment.
The Real Estate Game introduces a simple but powerful “back-of-the-envelope” technique for analyzing the financial implications of a potential deal. Using this tool and others, 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.
Offering unique insight into the ways that developers and investors can create value, The Real Estate Game is both a perfect introduction for the novice and an invaluable overview for the experienced professional.
About the Author
William J. Poorvu is a successful real estate investor and developer and heads the real estate program at the Harvard Business School as Class of 1961 Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship. His research has been in the areas of the entrepreneurial process in real estate companies, international real estate and capital formation for real estate. From 1968 to 1977, Poorvu was Senior Lecturer for Harvard Graduate School of Design's Department of City Planning.
Poorvu has been managing partner in a number of real estate companies and Chairman of the Board of Advisors for The Baupost Group, L.L.C., an investment firm. He is a Trustee/Director of the Massachusetts Financial Services Group of Mutual Funds and a Trustee of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. He was formerly a director of Connecticut General Mortgage and Realty Investments, Trammell Crow Realty Investors, and Sonesta International Corporation. He was a member of the Yale University investment committee. Poorvu has also served as a consultant for various organizations in the private and public sectors.
In 1963, Poorvu became one of the founders and owners of WCVB-TV, Channel 5 in Boston, where he served as Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, President and Director until the sale of the station in 1982.
Poorvu serves on the board of numerous nonprofit and community groups including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the National Public Radio Foundation.
In addition to authoring many articles in various professional publications, Poorvu is the author of Real Estate: A Case Study Approach (Prentice Hall, 1992) and The Real Estate Challenge: Capitalizing on Change (Prentice Hall, 1996).
Poorvu earned his BA from Yale University in 1956 and his MBA from Harvard University in 1958. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Mike E. Miles Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investments and author of The Real Estate Development Process The perfect first book to read if you want to learn about real estate.
Claude Ballard Limited Partner, Goldman Sachs & Company Almost anyone who wants to play in the real estate market should read this.
Donald A. Brown JBG Real Estate Companies None of us who know Bill Poorvu and his extensive real estate and teaching background are surprised that his new book is both interesting and essential reading for real estate investors on every level. The use of actual cases to illustrate real estate principles adds meaning to each concept. The result is a combination of a good read and valuable insight; this book should be a "must" on every real estate entrepreneur's list.
Seth A. Klarman President, The Baupost Group L.L.C. and author of Margin of Safety In The Real Estate Game, Bill Poorvu has called on four decades of experience developing, owning and managing properties and on over thirty years of drawing lessons from those experiences in his HBS classroom. Whether you are a real estate novice or an experienced practitioner, you will benefit from Poorvu's practical advice.
John H. Vogel, Jr. Adjunct Associate Professor, Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College My real estate students should read this book. So should yours.
Ellen Shuman Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Carnegie Corporation of New York The Real Estate Game is the book I wish I had written; the content I wish I had taught. It's simple and clear, yet comprehensive. It's also exactly what people need to know.
Joel Peterson former Managing Partner, Trammell Crow Company and Professor, Stanford Business School A fun and informative read, with the credibility of one who's been there.
--Charles G. Field former Staff Vice President, National Association of Home Builders and Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland The Real Estate Game is one of the best books written for the private investor. Poorvu and Cruikshank give insightful, sophisticated and risk-reducing advice in a most readable form. Read it before entering into real estate investments, and then keep it on the table while negotiating the sale, obtaining the financing, and managing the property.
Dorn C. McGrath, Jr. Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, George Washington University This unusual book provides a rare glimpse of the practical demands implicit in the opportunities available to the enlightened real estate developer. It transcends the mundane procedural aspects of traditional real estate practice. Urban planning professionals, local politicians, and graduate students need to read The Real Estate Game.
Richard B. Peiser Michael D. Spear Professor of Real Estate Development, Harvard University Graduate School of Design After more than thirty years at Harvard Business School, Bill Poorvu has trained many of the most successful real estate developers and managers in the business. With war stories that are hard to put down, The Real Estate Game reminds everyone from beginners to the most jaded professionals about the pitfalls to look for and how to avoid them.