5 out of 5 stars
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As a real estate agent, operator, or aspirant, can you see "beyond the building", beyond just managing real estate? If the idea of operating a technological, data-driven firm that deals in real estate products makes sense to you, then I recommend that you pick up Beyond the Building: How to Use Innovation to Create and Grow Your Commercial Real Estate Portfolio, written by Rob Finlay. Readers will learn, among other things, the relevance of data and analytics in starting and growing a real estate firm that can survive the modern, sophisticated competition and the right course of action to drive your real estate firm forward, depending on its growth level (emerging, midmarket, or corporate).
The first thing I noticed in this book was the practical nature of the discourse. Rob happens to come from a family that is heavily involved in the real estate business, and he has succeeded in drawing from his experiences growing up in this background, working in various firms, and starting his own real estate company to write a financial handbook that is actionable and easy to follow. It was easy for me to understand his position on why old strategies of running real estate businesses can no longer work in this modern period and why we have to embrace new realities to remain in business. I also noticed the impact of such commercial real estate superstars as Andy Stone, Greta Guggenheim, and Brian Harris on the topics covered in this book.
I enjoyed reading the author's notes on innovation, data, analytics, OKRs (objectives and key results), and KPIs (key performance indicators). The real estate business, just like any other business type, is saturated and fiercely competitive, and it's not hard for any management who cares to figure out that one of the best ways to gain an advantage is to be miles ahead of others. To successfully do this, there is a need to employ competent hands to source and analyze relevant data, which should enable the firm to see opportunities where others see threats and figure out future trends and market forces long before others even begin to notice or think about them.
The three levels of business growth—emerging, midmarket, and corporate—were comprehensively covered, and their general and specialized modes of operation and management (including essential positions for hiring) are very clear. Furthermore, I appreciated the discussion on understanding and meeting customer wants, needs, and fears, in which analyzing customer demographics and psychographics is key. The need to build effective leadership and a team open to learning and adapting to emerging trends was also noted. Enough references were made to illustrate these points.
I found just one grammatical error in this book, which shows that it was well-edited. There is no complaint to report about this book, and given the aforementioned merits, I rate it five out of five stars.
Beyond the Building
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