Insights Jul 10, 2018

15 Books We are Reading This Summer

Summer is in full swing. Longer days and nice weather mean it’s a great time to catch up on your reading list. These are the top 15 most influential books we are reading this summer about commercial real estate, business and entrepreneurship.  Pack a few of these to make the most of your time off!

Commercial Real Estate Books

Want to catch up on some of the industry’s trends and institutional knowledge? Check out these books on commercial real estate.

Brokers Who Dominate: 8 Traits of Top Producers

by Rod Santomassimo

Learn from the best of the best with this book full of advice from top North American commercial real estate brokers. This book has strategies, tactics, advice and lessons learned from brokers across the industry. It’s a great place to start if you’re just entering the commercial real estate market or looking to break through to the next level of lending.

Value Added, Successful Strategies for Listing & Selling Investment Real Estate

by Brad Umansky

If you’re a bit further along in your career as a commercial real estate broker, check out Umansky’s guide on skills and strategies for finding success in commercial real estate. Umansky is an expert in the field, having brokered over 600 commercial real estate transactions since 1992. He gives you good advice for selling everything from shopping centers to industrial buildings, offices and hotels.

(7L) The Seven Levels of Communication

by Michael J. Maher

Rick Masters was a real estate agent struggling to recover from the crash in 2008 when he met a mortgage professional who had built her successful business – without advertising or personal promotion. Curious, Masters asks for information to understand how she grew her business with virtually no formal marketing. He learns strategies that are far more significant than he expected. It’s a great story of how to evolve your real estate business in a way that is both personally and financially rewarding.

The Real Estate Game

by Williams Poorvu

A classic, Poorvu’s collection of stories in the industry make this comprehensive guide both interesting and useful. One of the few guides to commercial real estate that doesn’t use dry, technical language, this book shows how all the different players, properties, and markets in this industry come together to make a real estate deal. This is a good framework for understanding different real estate investments, concepts, and commitments through the lens of people who actually do it.

How to Succeed In Commercial Real Estate

by John L. Bowman

New to commercial real estate? Start here. This handbook gives you everything you need to know about the CRE industry – and how to position yourself for maximum success. In a complicated industry with many paths and opportunities, this is a good resource for sorting out where you might fit in.

Business and Entrepreneurship Books

These are the five business books we’re excited to read this summer.

Dream Teams: Working Together without Falling Apart

by Shane Snow

Shane Snow is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist who uses the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and business to investigate what makes teams work. He uses historic examples from the Wu-Tang Clan to soccer clubs, startups to the Wright Brothers, even gangs of pirates and famous marriages to draw his conclusions. These interesting stories and insights are sure to have big implications for today’s collaborative workplace.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

Theranos was once regarded as one of the hottest, most promising companies in Silicon Valley with technology that promised to revolutionize the medical industry. At one point, the company was valued at $9 billion, making its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest self-made female billionaire. The only problem? The biotech didn’t work. John Carreyrou gives a definitive, thrilling account of what happened inside Theranos, and how the company collapsed under lies and secrecy.

Black Edge

by Sheelah Kolhatkar

Fans of Wolf of Wall Street and HBO’s Billions might be interested in this story of investor Steve Cohen’s hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. In 2014, SAC Capital was investigated and convicted of insider training. Even as the company pled guilty, Cohen was never charged and was able to start publicly trading again in January of this year. Black Edge recounts the Justice Department’s investigation leading to the conviction, and it reads like a thriller. Enjoy this read for a fascinating commentary on power, wealth, and the grey area where Wall Street insiders can find a way to thrive.

Applied Empathy

by Michael Ventura

The title sounds like one of those cater-to-millennials, new-agey leadership manuals, but Ventura’s book on powerful leadership goes a lot deeper than that. Ventura draws on his experience working with Google and the United Nations (among other big-name organizations) to outline real strategies for evolving your business and strengthening your culture. Diverse teams are better teams, and empathy can be the tool that empowers diverse teams to understand customers, communicate better, and innovate to new heights. Reviewers say it’s a good pick no matter what stage you are in your career.

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

by Annie Duke

Annie Duke is a former World Series Poker champion, and now as a consultant, she uses what she learned as a player to transform the way leaders can think about risk and uncertainty. This bestseller will teach you how to shift your thinking to assess your knowns, unknowns, and be cognizant of the emotions and biases that can wreak havoc on your decision-making. As Duke learned in her poker career, there’s always an element of luck you can’t control: instead of stressing over the uncontrollable, thinking in bets can lead you to feel more calm and confident.

General Interest Books

Many people recharge by stepping away from reading books about work. If you want something unrelated to your career, try some of these picks.

Educated: A Memoir

by Tara Westover

This incredible true story will leave you inspired! Tara Westover was born into a survivalist family, meaning she spent the first seventeen years of her life in the mountains of Idaho planning for the end of the world. To say she was isolated would be an understatement – Tara never saw a doctor or nurse, and taught herself math, grammar and science until she left home for Brigham Young University. From there, she entered mainstream society for the first time, and experienced the world without her family’s inhibitions. It’s a fascinating story that takes you from backcountry Idaho to Cambridge University and beyond.


by Andrew Sean Greer

We would be remiss if we didn’t include one novel on this list – it’s summer vacation, after all. We’re excited to read this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, which follows the story of Arthur Less, a gay man and failed, aging novelist who decides to take a trip across the world in something of a midlife crisis. This satire will surely have you grinning as you read about an American trying to find himself far outside of his comfort zone abroad.

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