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» » Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America's Largest Real Estate Empire

Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America's Largest Real Estate Empire by Robert Sobel

Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America's Largest Real Estate Empire
Title:
Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America's Largest Real Estate Empire
Author:
Robert Sobel
ISBN:
0471528633
ISBN13:
978-0471528630
Size fb2:
1710 kb
Size epub:
1135 kb
Publisher:
Wiley; 1 edition (September 24, 1990)
Language:
English
Pages:
272 pages
Other formats:
azw mobi mbr lrf
Rating:
4.8
Votes:
435
Category:
Biographies & Memoris
Subcategory:
Professionals & Academics
Brings alive the story of Trammell Crow--the visionary real estate developer whose brilliant career served to shape the future of the field. Follows Crow from his origins as a small-time real estate dealer to his transformation into a corporate symbol. Discusses the bold methods that Crow used to build the most influential real estate company in America. Includes an examination of how Crow's risky strategy of making all principals partners in his firm and offering equity interest to deal managers paid off with spectacular profits. A lively account of Crow's mission to break all the rules and become the greatest builder of our age.
  • Rishason
Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America’s Largest Real Estate Empire, by Robert Sobel, gets mixed reviews. The late Texas real estate developer is certainly worthy of a biography and, to be sure, author Sobel provides a good overview of the maverick businessman. But in other ways this biography falls short, so prospective purchasers should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s start with the good parts. Trammell Crow (1914-2009) led a Horatio Alger life, and Sobel does a good job in establishing why he became a legend. For example, Sobel takes the reader through Crow’s impoverished early years; teenage work experiences during the Great Depression; night school training to become a certified public accountant; wartime service as a U.S. Navy fiscal control officer and, by age 33, his ventures into real estate. So you as a reader get to learn who Trammell Crow was, and the attributes that enabled him to develop a huge real estate empire.

Despite the above-noted accomplishments, there are three significant problems that permeate the book. For one thing, there are very few first person accounts from co-workers, competitors, lenders or investors. The lack of interviews, original quotes, or presence of outsiders who might offer a different perspective of events, make this book a different read. Likewise, the minimal amount of factual data or detailed analysis of any major project or episode produces a narrative that borders on the superficial. So while the reader learns a little bit about Crow’s involvement in (e.g.) the Dallas Market Center, the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco and the Peachtree Center in Atlanta, there’s very little meat on the bones.

What I regard as the third failure no doubt derives from the relationship of the author to the story. As was properly disclosed in the Introduction, the author was hired by The Winthrop Group to write this book. While the author was apparently promised independence with regards to his opinions, his work was nonetheless vetted by his employer and a four-person management committee at the Trammell Crow Company. So while these two highly regarded companies were no doubt vigilant regarding factual accuracy, could such an arrangement assure scholarly independence? That becomes a concern because, at least in my mind, the narrative almost seems to been written for company stakeholders or other interested parties. That may sound harsh, but that’s how I regard it.

Despite the disappointments, students of business and anyone with an interest in real estate or entrepreneurship might find this book to be a useful source of information. And some might enjoy it more than I did. Rating this book isn’t easy, but after considerable soul searching I will give it three stars.
  • Tygralbine
Arrived on time and it exactly what I wanted.
  • Peles
This book is a fun and easy read that provides an indepth background pertaining to the commercial real estate market progession throughout the 20th century US and especially Dallas, TX. It describes Trammell's non traditional approach and how the company evolved from a random assortment of non-connected LLC's into a corporate institutional player.
  • Moswyn
The best book on Trammell Crow, and one of the best biographies of a real estate developer I have ever read.
  • Onnell
Trammell Crow

Trammell Crow; Master Builder, The Story of Americas Largest Real Estate Empire by Robert Sobel

The book brings you through Trammell's life from his early years doing odd jobs such as, plucking chickens for 15 cents an hour in the early 1930's to his eventual start in real estate at the age of 33. By 1975 Crow was involved in 604 partnerships and 132 corporations.

The most memorable concept that Crow embraced was making almost every key employee a partner in his deals. I believe this kept him going though the tough times because partners as opposed to employees will go the extra mile in a squeeze. And Crow went through some tough times! He was loaded with dirt, (land) during a downturn and as you can imagine, dirt does not generate cash flow. So, as so many real estate giants do, he ran into cash flow problems during a downturn. The book walks you through his remarkable restructuring and how everyone involved with him pulled together and unified to get through the cash crunch.

It's a tremendously insightful concept that our company, Delking has embraced, by making key employees partners in deals. We hope this will increase longevity and keep them focused and exhilarated as it did for Trammell Crow.

I enjoyed the ability to peer into the life of a truly charged real estate operator and was able to walk away with some key concepts that will stay with me for life.

By Kevin Kingston, author of, "A 20,000% Gain in Real Estate"

[...]
  • Iesha
Classic Tale about Trammell Crow - one of the Best in the real estate Business. In the early 80's, fresh out of college, I had the opportunity to work for one of the divisions, Crow Development Company. The lessons learned in identifying properties, valuation, strategy, and negotiations were priceless! Many I still apply to my business and life today. Karen Briscoe, author, concept creator and podcast host "5 Minute Success"
  • Agalen
Fascinating story of how Trammell Crow built a Real estate empire! Amazing