One of the most unusual and best real estate books I have read is “Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received” by Donald J. Trump. The reason it is so good is it is filled with advice from 100 successful real estate entrepreneurs. Each contributor shares how he or she succeeded in real estate investing, brokerage and/or speculating. I was fortunate to be part of this esteemed group.

While reading the 100 chapters, I asked myself, “What do all these successful real estate entrepreneurs have in common?” Each individual took a different realty road to profits.

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But the one thing they all have in common, including “The Donald,” is they each add value to real estate either by developing, improving or marketing properties. Perhaps Trump’s famous first “Apprentice” Bill Ransic said it best: “Learn to recognize value.”

My favorite “best advice” in the book, modestly excluding my own contribution, is from famous New York City real estate brokerage tycooness Barbara Corcoran. She shares how she got started in real estate brokerage with just $1,000. Her first apartment rental “listing” was a typical New York one-bedroom. However, her listing was competing with 1,246 one-bedroom rental ads in the New York Times.

Realizing she had to make her one-bedroom apartment rental listing stand out on a very limited advertising budget, Corcoran convinced the building owner to install a wall dividing the apartment’s large living room into two rooms. The next week she advertised the same apartment at a $20 per month higher rent as “One Bedroom Plus Den.” She was swamped with phone calls, quickly rented the apartment, and was on her way to real estate marketing success.

The book is filled with two basic types of real estate advice from a very diverse group of contributors. My favorite type of advice includes personal stories and their guiding principles. Readers can easily relate to these entrepreneurs who share how they got started and succeeded.

The second type of real estate advice can best be called general success principles. These are short, usually one page. Either the contributor didn’t want to share more than a few realty success basics, or was too busy to reveal the story behind their success.

An example is Donald Trump Jr. who said, “The best advice I have ever received is ‘There is no substitute for passion.’ ” Then he explained the key is to find something you enjoy doing and do it better than anyone else. His sister, Ivanka, was equally brief when she said, “Start building your reputation from the very beginning. Take your reputation very seriously, as it is one of the most essential elements you can exert control over.”

But the book has a major flaw. The advice from a wide variety of unknown and well-known real estate entrepreneurs offers many diverse routes to success, and Trump’s personal contribution was too short. Although his earlier books have revealed most of his personal success principles, he could have taken a chapter to remind readers of what factors he deems most important to becoming a successful real estate businessperson.

The book’s second flaw is the chapters are far too short. As I read the revelations of some major real estate tycoons, I almost started yelling, “Tell me more!” Many of these contributors should write their own books to share more of their personal success stories and real estate advice.

This unique book should be read by every person considering a real estate career, whether it be as a sales agent, developer or investor. It offers guidance for “mom and pop” investors, as well as big-time realty tycoons. Especially impressive is the wide variety of real estate advice. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10.

“Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received,” by Donald J. Trump (Thomas Nelson Publishers-Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville), 2006, $19.99, 273 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and www.Amazon.com.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

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