The Real Estate Developer's Handbook: How to Set up, Operate, and Manage a Financially Successful Real Estate Development

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More About This Textbook


Are you the Next Donald Trump? Successful real estate developers can become enormously wealthy. However, the flip side is many developers run out of cash before cashing in. Poor cash flow is the primary cause of business failure for real estate developers. This new book details how to become a successful real estate developer and demonstrates step-by-step how to set up, operate, and manage a financially successful real estate development enterprise.

The book covers the entire process of establishing a small real estate development firm and the ongoing management necessary in an easy-to-understand way, pointing out methods to increase your chances of success, and showing how to avoid the many common mistakes that can doom a start-up. The book focuses on small developments that you can start by yourself featuring both residential and commercial applications. Once the basic skills are learned, the book points out areas of expansion by leveraging your first investment.

While providing detailed instruction and examples, the author leads you through finding your first location that will bring success, learning how to draw up a winning business plan, installing basic cost control systems, assembling your team of experts, generating high profile public relations and publicity, learning low cost marketing ideas and low- and no-cost ways to satisfy customers and build sales, setting up accounting and bookkeeping procedures, and auditing.

There are thousands of great tips and useful guidelines. You will learn the development process, governmental issues, environmental issues, demographics and trends, market research, site selection, feasibility analysis, due diligence, preliminary pro forma, property acquisition, project design/refined pro forma, entitlements, financing/final pro forma, construction, operation, feasibility studies, financing, market analysis, construction, and asset management.  The companion CD-ROM is included with the print version of this book; however is not available for download with the electronic version.  It may be obtained separately by contacting Atlantic Publishing Group at

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601380340
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/9/2007
  • Edition description: Book With CD-Rom
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 413,686
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007

    Real Estate Development: The Professional's Bible

    ¿The Real Estate Developer¿s Handbook¿, (with companion CD ROM, containing all forms demonstrated in the book and a complete sample business plan) by Tanya Davis, is a compact little book, filled with facts and inspiration for anyone who is contemplating a first-time plunge into the world of real estate development or a move from one related professional niche to another. Ms. Davis¿ approach, especially for newcomers, is inviting and inspiring, as she gently peels away fact-packed layers of information on the subject. Who Can Be a Real Estate Developer? Real estate development, according to the author, is ¿one of the few areas that a person with little expertise can become wealthy in a short time (utilizing) business savvy and attention to detail. ¿Development,¿ says Ms. Davis, ¿lets you `invent¿ your own job with an array of endless possibilities.¿ She suggests that successful developers possess certain personal and business traits which work well in the field, such as being a natural multi-tasker without letting go of the overall goal of the project being able to easily interact with key players (working within regulatory channels, political arenas and garnering the approval of neighborhood associations) have good negotiating skills (and a keen amount of self-knowledge) tap creativity (from project conception to its final stages) the ability to create and enter into contracts with buyers, sellers, lenders, contractors, architects, and others. What Does a Real Estate Developer Do? Ms. Davis defines such a person, partnership or entity as one which presents an idea for development, gathers seed capital to begin the project, purchase land or a building and creates the necessary steps for the project to make a profit. A developer can also be someone who purchases an existing property and renovates or revamps it for a use different than what it was originally used for or its original use becomes obsolete through market changes, neighborhood demographics, lack of maintenance, etc. The Facts and Nothing But the Facts The book¿s contents are neatly arranged and conversationally explained, beginning with key factors in becoming a real estate developer, namely(1) locating a parcel (site) of land to be acquired, (2) working with government bodies for project approvals and (3) developing and constructing the project. This, of course, sounds a lot easier than it undoubtedly is, but there is something to be said for laying the facts on the line. Helpful Tools Ms. Davis rounds out her presentation with just about every salient fact associated with real estate development as a career, including education options, a complete list of physical options for development ways to negotiate, create a business plan and a feasibility study deal with necessary forms, documents and professional and service people. Also included is information on creating public/private partnerships and a compilation of sources for information and financing of affordable properties. In short, Tanya Davis¿ ¿The Real Estate Developer¿s Handbook¿ should be aptly sub-titled, ¿The Real Estate Developer¿s Bible¿.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2010

    Real estate how-to?

    Upon first examination, the book is very well organized. The table of contents is easy to read, making the book easy to navigate. The language of the book is simple enough and gets point across. Overall, the book flows well. There are also many examples of sample contracts, checklists, financial statements, and other documents that act as helpful aids throughout the book. I especially found the glossary a wonderful bonus. However, the book does a bad job with road mapping which makes it hard to follow at times. Sometimes the author outlines steps, but you forget if you've read a new section or still on one of the steps because there's no numbers or any signposting indications in headings. Much to my dismay, case studies do not go into detail on how person came about his suggestions. Instead, they seem more like impressive bios of the showcased realtor. Emphasis should be put more on specific instances, for example when Craig realized real estate involved politics, rather than how many lots he's got developing in Oregon. (Craig does give a short anecdote at the very end of his case study, but it's not followed by any message. I guess you're supposed to figure it out yourself.) A long list of advice quoted in paragraph form (Donna Jones' bio is replaced by a rant of her regrets without any specifics for support) as a whole case study doesn't help much either.

    Case studies aside, the substance of the book is exemplary. The reader will get the basics of business management, law, finance, and marketing without ever having to sit in one of the undergraduate-level business classes. Plus you get to learn it in relation to what you're actually going to be needing. "Traits of developer" (drive to succeed, flexibility, preparedness, attention to detail, able to accept disappointment, common sense, and ability to continue learning knowing that you're not perfect) and "personal skills for success" (being schedule-oriented, treating public with respect, being able to negotiate, assessing long-term results) can be applied to any field, and general success in life. The persuasion strategies given throughout the book can probably come in handy elsewhere too. Of course, specialized skills (marketing, finance, basics in architecture, etc.) are also included.

    After reading this book, should have pretty good idea of what real estate developing is and how to do it. The book claims to save time and money spent on years of training and education (70% of learning) by revealing the secrets of real estate. I'm not sure how secretive these skills are, but you will certainly save tons of time and money from trying to figure this all out by yourself. The book not only gives you the basics, but also a good in-depth knowledge of real estate development. If you're serious about real estate, this book is a great way to start. If you're not, buy it anyway; the skills and tips here can be well applied to many other aspects of life. And to top it off, buying the book will save animals. You can feel that you contributed to a good cause because a portion of your purchase will go to The Humane Society of United States).

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Real Estate Developer's Handbook

    The Real Estate Developer's Handbook: How to Set Up, Operate, and Manage a Financially Successful Real Estate Development by Tanya Davis is a thorough and serious book which presents material, which would take a novice developer seasons to learn. First of all, the author explains what developers do and outlines the traits that developers should possess to be successful in the business. How to create a business plan, market study, and understand the impact that demographic trends have on real estate development are some of the topics that the author addresses in this book.
    Any individual or corporation working in any aspect of real estate development whether it is predevelopment, operations, management or finance could benefit from this book. The author provides scenarios that a real estate developer may encounter with suggestions for possible resolutions. Lists of real estate opportunities and suggestions on how to describe products and services and set feasibility studies are furnished as well. The end is not neglected because Tanya Davis includes a section on how to manage a property once it has been developed or redeveloped.
    Local regulations, community and political issues are considered in a comprehensive objective manner. One completes the book with a better understanding of real estate development and respect for the role that developers have in all aspects of community life whether it is environmental, social, financial or political. I give the book five out of five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    With the proliferation and popularity of shows dedicated to real-estate pros and real estate development, there is an ever-growing audience of people wondering how to break into that same field. This book provides an outstanding overview of real estate development, and should be found on the desk of anyone even considering entering this field. This well-written treatise on real estate development explains all the necessary skills and possible pitfalls for a would-be developer, and helps explain the behind-the-scenes work that characterizes most successful real estate deals. Throughout the book, Davis stresses the need for drive, determination, and tenacity. She does not gloss over the possibility of disaster for those who are not prepared to dedicate the necessary time and attention to keep their projects moving forward, but she makes it clear that the rewards for that tenacity can be great. By presenting such an honest view of real estate development, Davis does a service to the industry by hopefully convincing some people that they should limit their involvement to real estate investment rather than development. I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering a new career in real estate development, and recommend they read it ready to honestly assess their ability to cope with the pitfalls of the industry. All-in-all, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in real estate development.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2007

    Is this the career for you?

    Tanya Davis covers everything from basic business, to the nuts and bolts of running a real estate development. She gives you all the ¿have-to-do¿ items as well as all the things you should avoid or watch out for. 'Loved the list of negotiation tactics that can get in the way! They apply to lots of conversations outside of business.' I liked the easy to navigate chapters and headings, and the glossary was excellent, but my favorite things about the book are all the checklists and examples that she gives. They really make you focus on each aspect of the deal: your personal skills, the business atmosphere you¿re operating in, and concrete details about the property you¿re considering. It¿s actually a bit intimidating. They do help you take a hard look at all aspects of your project, though, and that is important. Unfortunately, the checklists don¿t have a separate listing in the table of contents or index. They are set off in grey boxes, you can find them if you flip around, but it¿s kind of a pain if you are looking for a specific one and can¿t remember which section it¿s in. That¿s one reason I wouldn¿t buy this book just to dip into as a reference. I think it would be less effective that way, anyway. By reading it from beginning to end you walk through the process of starting a real estate development venture, without any of the risks of actually bidding on property. It allows you to get an overview of what needs to happen, as well as what the pitfalls are. Normally, I rate a how-to book based one whether it makes me feel like I could get the job done. This book definitely left me with the knowledge that this job is not for me. Not because the book couldn¿t explain it, but there were aspects of the job I¿m just not suited for. So I initially figured I¿d give it a 4. However, after thinking it over, I realized that when there is a lot of money at stake, I don¿t want a book that is going to make it seem to easy. That¿s how people get in over their heads. So this book gets a 5, because if you are thinking of getting into real estate development, it will help you decide if you have what it takes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2007

    Comprehensive and thorough book

    This book covers almost every facet of what being a real estate developer entails, from examining yourself to see if you possess the necessary characteristics of a developer to how to successfully operate your business once it¿s up and running. The book essentially serves as a step by step guide of how to get involved with real estate development 'there are many ways, ranging from obvious choices like multi-unit buildings to more subtle opportunities such as developing warehouse distribution buildings'. I found the sections on preparation particularly helpful to me. Though becoming involved with real estate development is obviously not an easy venture, I was surprised to learn just how much pre-preparation is required if success is to be achieved. The author did a phenomenal job of walking me through this preliminary process step by step, from the initial research phase to the creation of a top notch business plan 'including how to project cash flow'. I also really benefited from the section that lists many of the real estate development educational programs across the country. The author did a great job of compiling links for many schools in the United States 'along with several international schools' that offer programs or training in the field of real estate development. I also thought that the sample worksheets designed to track and record startup costs and other financial information was helpful. My only complaint with the book 'which is a very minor one compared to all of the useful information contained in the book' is that I wish there would have been a few more detailed ideas on how to actually produce the money to invest in your first development project. There were some ideas in a couple of chapters 'such as using a bank or even money from a savings account', but I would have loved to see a chapter dedicated solely to how to specifically approach the initial money-raising phase of launching a successful career in real estate development.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    The 'Go-To Guide' for Real Estate Development

    From a distance, Real Estate Development would seem to be a difficult industry to ¿break into¿ for those with few contacts or experience. The Real Estate Developers Handbook dispels these myths by providing an inside look at what it takes to get in and make money in the field. As an alternative to years spent working up through the ranks, the author¿s provide a fast track into the world of Real Estate Development by taking you through all the steps in the process: from locating land to working with government officials permitting to construction. Often the best advice is provided by those who have made mistakes along the way. Davis saves you money and time by identifying potential hazards and pitfalls in the industry. While the subject is complex, the material is broken down in a manner that is easily understood, even by those without an extensive background in the field. Upfront, the author discusses personality traits of successful Real Estate Developers and gives a description of actual job functions. The case studies scattered throughout give specific examples from experts in the field. Be warned, this is not a book for those with a passing interest in the field - it goes into great detail. Demographics, financials, due diligence and market trends don¿t make for an exciting beach read, but for those with a serious desire to enter into Real Estate Development, it leaves no stone unturned and is a fantastic ¿go to¿ guide.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2007

    A Must-Have for Anyone Interested in Property Development

    This book is a must-have for anyone starting off in property development or interested in this risky but profitable business. All the tools are here to guide you through all aspects of the profession and business. What kind of person should a developer be? This book goes into detail about the necessary personal characteristics such as being a negotiator and being very detailed (and after reading the book you¿ll see why). The predevelopment stage is covered in detail everything from creating a tight business plan to performing market research. There is an entire chapter dedicated to your first development which is understandably where most of the mistakes usually occur. Through checklists and expert advice this chapter goes through the ¿must do¿s¿ and outlines the pitfalls to look out for. Formulas are provided for determining costs and potential profits. The accompanying CD-ROM has a number of templates that are invaluable and make it easy to determine investment amounts and forecasting profits. Sample documents such as leases and a business plan are also provided to get you started in the development field. Davis is full of expert first hand advice which is backed up by quotes from professionals in the property development field. For such a technical and complex topic her writing is conversational and easy to understand. Whether thinking of starting small or big, developing residential properties, retail, or entire communities, this book will help get you started and be a must-have reference guide.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    A Thorough and Useful Guide

    It requires some business sense and skills, but becoming a real estate developer is an endeavor that people from all backgrounds are capable of doing. However it¿s not always as easy as it looks to find a piece of property and turn it into a success. This is where Tanya Davis has provided an excellent resource to help make sure your investment can go places. The Real Estate Developer¿s Handbook offers experienced advice to help guide a new developer as they begin their quest for success. The many areas that are covered in great detail were once before just secrets among the most successful. Now the information is available for everyone and will save countless hours and ¿learning experiences¿ along the way. Davis covers it all from finding your first property to the necessities of quality managing and marketing and the finances to pay for all of it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in becoming a real estate developer as both an overview of the many steps in the process as well as a guide to use as you go.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    a treasure trove of useful information

    This book offers a wealth of information for those who are seriously considering getting into the business of real estate development. It¿s an easy read, with lots of solid advice to help the first-time developer avoid the many pitfalls involved in starting a business of this kind. Anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of the real estate development business is sure to gain some insight here. Not sure how to prepare for that first-time project? Or are you simply interested in finding out more about the business? Look no further. Here are some highly practical tips on how to prepare oneself adequately prior to starting a development project, how to develop an effective business plan, how to place successful bids on land and properties at auctions, and how to conduct a thorough market study. Here, you¿ll also find out how to view development plans from the eyes of the prospective owner or tenant, how to prepare pro forma statements and conduct a financial feasibility study, how to create a good process of due diligence, how to avoid stepping on toes by building positive relationships that can help surmount the environmental, legal, and social challenges that are likely to present themselves during the development process, and much, much more! Environmentally-sensitive readers, in particular, will be interested to know that this book is especially current in its discussion of environmental liability issues and environmental insurance policies, not to mention its references to the ¿green building¿ standards that have begun to pop up in some cities and to the ¿smart growth¿ communities which are quickly becoming the norm. Whether looking to get into redevelopment/revitalization or development, and whatever the type of project (residential, multifamily, affordable housing, commercial, retail), this book may be just what you need, as it covers virtually every issue relative to effective management of a real estate development business, right down to the nitty-gritty of hiring the right contractors, employees, and property management.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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