Real Estate Articles, Books, Courses

Professor Pilzer was an Adjunct Professor at New York University from 1979-2000, where he chaired the Department of Real Estate Finance and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in real estate, finance, and economics. He also authored and taught real estate courses and seminars licensed to meet for continuing education requirements. During this period he was a Contributing Editor of Real Estate Review (NYU) and a Contributing Editor of The Real Estate Finance Journal (Wharton Business School), for which he wrote approximately 35 academic articles on real estate investing  (see below).

The material for many of these articles came from Professor Pilzer’s role as the principal advisor in more than $2 billion of commercial real estate investments, including being the Co-Managing Partner of Zane May Interests along with Alan M. May. From 1981 – 1991, Zane May Interests acquired, developed, and managed 66 commercial properties totaling $300 million in value serving thousands of tenants. (See Financial Enterprise–The Magazine of GE Capital, Fall 1987).


“Converting Shopping Centers Into College Campuses,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Spring 1993 (pdf).

Despite the misleading title and the age of the article, this article is really about the greatest single need in our economy today, and opportunity for real estate entrepreneurs tomorrow–matching employers with job-seekers and retraining employees for tomorrow’s jobs.  New retail methods (i.e. online shopping, Costco) will decimate traditional shopping centers and the space can be re-tooled to greatly reduce structural unemployment for the betterment of all.


“Real Estate and Technological Obsolescence,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Fall 1989 (pdf).

This seminal article explains the true value of real estate in our economy as what the architect Le Corbusier called “machines for living,” and thus provides a template for understanding what makes a property appreciate (or depreciate) in value over time.


Why the Volume of Institutional Real Estate Sales has Declined,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Summer 1988 (pdf).

This article examines the three functional reasons for a property sale: (1) Utility (e.g. moving); (2) Management; and (3) Financial; and explains how many “listed” properties are really only for sale only at prices far above their true value.


“Real Estate Tax Benefits and Reforms: The Long View,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Fall 1985 (pdf).

This article explains the history of real estate tax benefits and their role in national policy making, leading up the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  It was written as a primer for the U.S. Senate at the request of Senator Robert Packwood, then-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which was considering real estate tax reform.


“Holding On to Prime Real Estate,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Winter 1986 (pdf).

This article explains the three situations when private equity investors should sell their prime real estate, and also examines why business are (still today) forced under current accounting rules to eventually sell their best properties.


“Taking Uncle Sam for a $200 Billion Ride,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Summer 1986 (pdf).

This article exposed the then-ongoing S&L Crisis and was a precursor to Other People’s Money (Simon & Schuster,1989). The article is taken largely from Professor Pilzer’s testimony of the same name before Congress at the “Bush Task Force on Financial Reform” hearings in 1985.


“A Below Market Lease Buyout Creates Value,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Summer 1985 (pdf).

This brief article examines how to buy-up leases to create value for the real estate entrepreneur wishing to sell or refinance.


“Bringing Real Estate Into the Business World” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Fall 1987 (pdf).

This brief article, written soon after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 greatly reduced real estate tax benefits, explains how the new key to real estate investment success lies in operations, marketing and management versus just syndicating the tax benefits and waiting for inflation.


“Structuring Real Property Acquisitions for Syndicaiton,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Summer 1984 (pdf).

This quantitative, technical article explains how to analyze and structure real estate partnerships for syndication to individual investors.


“Characteristics of Properties Suitable for Syndication,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Review, Winter 1985 (pdf).

This article examines what types of properties are best suited for syndication to individual investors and how to find them.


“Sheltering Subsidies,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Finance Journal, Summer 1985 (pdf).

In this public policy article, written during the debate over real estate tax shelter abuses that culminated in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Professor Pilzer argues that we need more enforcement of current regulations rather than the elimination of real estate tax benefits. Under the tutelage of President Ronald Reagan, Pilzer changed his view and became a supporter of TRA 1986 which greatly reduced or eliminated real estate tax benefits (see REFJ, Summer 1986, below).


“Ahead to the Past,” by Paul Zane Pilzer, Real Estate Finance Journal, Summer 1986 (pdf).

In this public policy article, written just before passage of TRA 1986, Professor Pilzer argues that success in real estate investing needs to come now from improving marketing and operations rather than from syndicating inflation-protection and tax benefits.

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