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Making it in Real Estate
Making it in Real Estate

Making it in Real Estate

Starting Out as a Developer


180 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $26.95)

Publication Date: October 2020

ISBN 9780874204575

Rights: WOR

Urban Land Institute (Oct 2020)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $19.95


What does it take to be a successful real estate developer? Author John McNellis tells you how, sharing practical tips and advice from his wealth of experience over 35 years in real estate development. Like meeting with a mentor over coffee, McNellis entertains with witty anecdotes and wisdom on how to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls. Offering humorous insights, the book covers the ins and outs of how to get financing; how to work with architects, brokers, and other professionals; how to make a good deal; and how to win approval for your project. This updated and expanded edition includes 25 new chapters covering leadership, investment decisions, the regulatory environment, and guidance on how to survive a downturn.


"Best damn book on development I've ever read." —Preston Butcher, chairman, Legacy Partners

"John McNellis's book on real estate development and investment is extraordinarily insightful and full of wisdom. His wit makes it an easy read. I would highly recommend this book to both experienced and beginning real estate developers and investors." —George M. Marcus, chairman of the board, Marcus & Millichap Inc. and Essex Property Trust Inc.

"John McNellis fills his book with rich insight, great advice, humor, and inspiration—sharing his deep experience and wisdom, helping us think more clearly about real estate and assorted business issues. A must-read." —Mark L. Myers, head of commercial real estate, Wells Fargo & Company

"Your book is hands down the best real estate book that I have read and I recommend it to everyone (novice and veteran) in the industry." —Lucas Joseph, Berkeley Capital Advisors, one of the top producing US-investment sales brokerage firms

Author Biography

John McNellis is a principal with McNellis Partners, a commercial development firm he cofounded in the mid-1980s in northern California. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law, McNellis began his career as a lawyer in San Francisco. Always more interested in business than in law, he started fixing up houses in his spare time and gradually worked his way to more complicated projects. At 28, he formed a partnership with an older client and began his career as a retail developer.