Commercial real estate is not just retail, office, or industrial property, it is also multifamily property over 5 units. But this review will focus primarily on books for commercial real estate with no residential uses.
It’s different than residential real estate in so many ways – appraised differently, sold/bought differently, operated differently, etc.
Why Commercial Real Estate?
There are a ton of reasons why you might choose commercial real estate:
- No residential tenants (and no tenant law related to that).
- More professional tenant base
- Can do NNN leases (and pass ALL expenses to the tenant)
- Evictions are a lot more straightforward
So, let’s dive right in and take a look at the best commercial real estate investing books!
1. Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate: How a Small Investor Can Make It Big
By Brian Murray
Brian was originally a teacher just trying to hustle for some side money. He wasn’t a real estate pro, he didn’t even know much about real estate.
He was passionate though. He had street smarts and common sense.
So, he developed a simple investing approach that he still uses to this day in his huge real estate company (it’s a multi-million dollar company).
In this book, Brian takes a role like his old teaching days where he shoes a beginner how to invest based on the knowledge and experience has has gained over the years.
You’ll follow him on his journey from complete newbie to major CEO.
His “secrets to success” are taught in an actionable and fairly straight forward approach. Regardless if you take this as the “guide” or just learn a thing or two, you’ll be way better off.
Here’s some of what he covers:
- Finding and finance commercial property (creative finance too).
- How to grow a portfolio without getting outside (passive) investors or taking on a ton of debt.
- How being a small investor actually gives you a competitive advantage over large corporate investors.
- How to keep costs low and profits high in a simple fashion
Scattered throughout, he also shows some of his real stories that show how he grew his large company. He holds nothing back and shares those tough lessons no one likes to talk about.
This book is good for new or experienced investors who want to grow larger.
2. Buying NNN Retail Properties: Your 1031 Acquisitions Guide
By Jonathan Florin
NNN simply means triple net. You are renting to a tenant net of all taxes, insurance, and property maintenance.
This is a rather new and unique structure for investors and it is almost entirely passive for commercial real estate investors.
Johnathan is a NNN focused commercial real estate investor and he’s done over $600m in transactions. Not a small number, is it?
In this book, he is going to cover the benefits of NNN property as well as the buying process as an investment or as part of a 1031 exchange.
This commercial real estate books starts with the advantages of buying Triple net Properties.
Then he goes into the acquisition process, due diligence, financing, and 1031 exchanges.
It’s important to use a good NNN team, so he also covers that as well as selection criteria and all of the various terminology you need to fully understand NNN transactions.
NNN is a very interesting way to invest in commercial real estate with out any of the typical headaches associated with real estate investing!
3. How to Invest in Self-Storage
By Scott Duffy
Self storage is one of the coolest ways to invest in commercial real estate. That’s because it has one of the highest rental rates per square foot along with one of the lowest operational costs!
This commercial real estate investing book on self-storage is a pretty easy to read book that is filled with information and advice that is amazingly valuable.
If you’re considering a business in self storage or simply to invest in this kind of real estate, you’ll want to read this book.
This book looks at the industry from the earliest all the way up to the current market.
It considers the reasons to get into self-storage but also goes into the common myths that surround the entire industry as a whole.
Finally, you’ll get a step-by-step guide for developing or acquiring your own facility.
4. The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze Any Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property
By Steve Berges
Steve ends up on a lot of my real estate investing book lists, and commercial real estate is no different.
That’s because he’s done just about everything in the industry and written about it all too!
This book is super practical and gives a ton of real-world advice to investors.
It gives you all the tools you need as it’s written for professionals and newbies alike.
This commercial real estate guide walks you step by step through every stage of property analysis.
So, whether you are buying or selling, investing in huge apartment complexes or something small, this book is perfect for you.
In this book you’ll cover:
- How to value a property along with various valuation techiques
- Tips on financing a variety of different property types
- How different financing strategies affect your investments
- How to structure leverage, debt, equity, partnerships etc.
- All the ratios you need to know about including cap rates, GRM, etc
- Future and present value analysis
- How appraisals work
- Reading and understanding financial statements which include income, balance, and cash flow sheets.
- Various case studies on single-family rentals, multifamily conversions, apartment complexes, and commercial office space
- A consolidated glossary of all of the important real estate terms and phrases
Why Read Books on Commercial Real Estate?
They say that by reading 5 books on any one subject, you will know more than 90% of people. They also say that you need to practice 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.
So, which is it?
Regardless, 90% isn’t good enough for me, but it’s a good start. Actually, it’s a great start.
You don’t even know what you don’t know until you’ve read enough on it first. Then you’ll know enough to engage in a decent conversation and start to learn that last 10%.
Commercial real estate isn’t much different. It’s completely different than residential real estate, so it’s even more important to know what’s going on before getting started.
This is a collection of the best commercial real estate investing books and I’ve tried to include at least one book on every property type.
Additionally, we’ve look at hundreds of different books, software, etc and compiled it right here on this website. Check out some other real estate investing books.
Eric Bowlin has 15 years of experience in the real estate industry and is a real estate investor, author, speaker, real estate agent, and coach. He focuses on multifamily, house flipping. and wholesaling and has owned over 470 units of multifamily.
Eric spends his time with his family, growing his businesses, diversifying his income, and teaching others how to achieve financial independence through real estate.
You may have seen Eric on Forbes, Bigger Pockets, Trulia, WiseBread, TheStreet, Inc, The Texan, Dallas Morning News, dozens of podcasts, and many others.