Real Estate Investing Basics

5 Business Books That Changed My Real Estate Investing Life

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closeup of man in white shirt and blue jeans sitting and reading a paperback book

You know what they say about those who read? They lead.

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In one of my previous articles, “The 21 Best Real Estate Books for Investors,” I talked about all my favorite real estate books and the impact they have had on my life. However, I believe a great real estate investor should read just as many business books as real estate books—if not more.

So I made a concentrated effort to read more business books to help me improve my investing and business life.

The following are the five books that have made a big impact on my life. I think they could dramatically change yours, too. Please let me know in the comments below this post your thoughts on these books and any other book recommendations you think I should check out! I’m always looking for a new book.

The 5 Business Books That Changed My Life

1. Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

jpegAs a real estate investor, your funds will eventually run out.

Bummer.

As I talk a lot about in my book The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, there are likely just too many opportunities and not enough money in your bank account. Therefore, as you progress in your investing business, you’ll need to rely more and more on other people’s money to grow your business.

Whether it’s a bank, a hard money lender, a private lender, a partner, or another source of money, you will eventually need to pitch your project or business to someone who has the money. This is where Pitch Anything comes in so handy.

Pitch Anything, written by master negotiator Oren Klaff, will teach you just that—to pitch anything to anyone, successfully. The tips and tactics that Klaff teaches are borderline genius, and I’ve already seen huge improvements in my personal life and business life based on the lessons learned from this book. You’ll learn how the pitch begins before a single word is said, how to set up and dominate “a frame” so your target will hear every word you say, and how to overcome objections before they ever materialize.

Definitely put this incredibly actionable book on your reading list!

Click here to get it from Amazon!

2. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

jpeg-1I read this book, and then I had to re-read it again because it was just so good. Although The Lean Startup was primarily written for those trying to build a Silicon Valley tech company, I believe the lessons can be painted across the entire canvas of entrepreneurship.

The Lean Startup, written by Eric Ries, is all about starting small and focusing on what the customer/client wants, rather than what you think they might want. It’s about asking questions and continually improving. It’s about letting data speak for the direction of your business rather than letting emotion and opinion drive it.

If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, this is one book you can’t afford not to include in your collection.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

3. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

jpeg-3The 10X Rule was recommended to me by Anson Young. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Although not a real estate book, The 10X Rule was written by a real estate investor and sales coach named Grant Cardone, who encourages the reader to think bigger to achieve far more than you ever thought possible.

Essentially, here’s the idea: If your goal is to make $100,000 in your business this year, the mindset you have and the actions you take will probably get you there—or close. Fact of life. However, if you multiply that goal by 10 (hence the name “The 10X Rule”) and set a goal of $1,000,000 in your business, your mindset and actions change to try and achieve that goal.

The best part is, if you fall short and only hit 50 percent of your goal… you still achieved 5x more than you would have originally with your goal of $100,000! Seems like a great idea to me!

This concept is just one of many that I found life-changing in this book, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this one today.

Get the 10X Rule now on Amazon!

4. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

jpeg-4I’m not a “morning person.” If I could, I would sleep in every day. However, one trait that nearly all successful business owners have is their desire to get up early.

I was turned onto this book by my bud Pat Flynn over at SmartPassiveIncome.com, and was so excited to read it.

If mornings are a struggle for you, and you want launch your business to new places, I highly recommend The Miracle Morning. When I finished this book, I was so excited to put into practice the methodology that was outlined.  I don’t want to wake up each morning with sleepiness, boredom, and grumpiness. I want to pop out of bed each day excited to tackle the world. If you want that feeling also, pick up a copy of The Miracle Morning today!

Click here to buy it on Amazon!

5. The One Thing by Gary Keller

jpeg-5Ah, The One Thing. Hands down the most life-changing book on this list.

Yes, this is the same Gary Keller that brought us The Millionaire Real Estate AgentThe Millionaire Real Estate Investor, Flip, Hold, and Shift. However, unlike those great books, The One Thing doesn’t even mention real estate.

This is bigger than real estate!

After being told by several podcast guests to read this book, I finally picked up a copy and read through it on a plane ride. And for the first time in my life, when I hit the last page of the book, I closed it, sat silent for a moment, and flipped the book over to page one and began reading it for a second time. It was so impactful I had to read it twice just to take it in!

It’s hard to describe exactly why it affected me so much other than to say “it gave me clarity.” Here’s the gist: succeeding at anything in life is like lining up dominoes that get progressively larger. Each domino can knock over the next larger domino until you are knocking over dominos that are thousands of feet tall—and it starts with just tipping over the small domino in front of you.

By tackling business in this matter—focusing 100 percent of your efforts on the “one thing” that is next in your row of dominoes—you are able to quickly and effectively scale your business to amazing new heights.

I can’t say it enough: This book was simply awesome. Do yourself, your family, your business, and your world a favor and pick up this book today, read it twice like I did, and get ready to conquer the world.

Click here to pick up The One Thing on Amazon!

So what about you? What books changed your life this year? Have any thoughts on the books above?  

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 4 years ago
    You forgot Twilight
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hahaha I was hoping someone would notice that 😉
    Lisa McClendon
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I am reading Sell or be Sold right now~I can’t look away.. It’s on point!!
    Brett Synicky Residential Real Estate Agent from Orange , California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great topic, and cute picture of you in a robe.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Brett. It made me laugh!
    Seth Williams Specialist from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I’ve got 3 of these on my “To Read” list right now – thanks for the great suggestions Brandon!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Seth! Let me know what you think when you read ’em!
    ilhan
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Funny pic….I read 10X and pitch anything and both were game changers for me….I am ordering the rest now on amazon. They say the average CEO reads 60 books a year. One thing I learned is that When i Read business or real estate books and I pick up a new concept, I get the “aha” feeling. Thanks for sharing Brandon,
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Ilhan! I should keep track of how many books I read each year. I doubt it’s 60 – probably 1/3 of that. But that is my goal!
    Christian bors
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article. Looks like I can add a couple more books to my list. Another suggestion is the “cold hard truth” by Kevin oleary (mr wonderful) from shark tank. First, I love that show. Second I wanted to learn how they all made their money. And third, it’s a good book, easy read and I couldn’t put it down. I’m also a huge Kevin oleary on most of his philosophies. For example the Kevin oleary funds are based on a philosophy from his mother, always invest in stocks that pay dividends. Simple, but successful when you look at the numbers.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Christian, thanks so much! I’ll check that one out!
    Chris Clothier Rental Property Investor from memphis, TN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Brandon – Great picks for readers to add to their list. 10X, The Lean Startup and Pitch Anything are essential books for any investor in my opinion. Success is all about mindset. I am going to add The Miracle Morning to my bookshelf as soon as stores open tomorrow. Thanks for the recommendation! I won’t bust your chops too much for the Twilight book since Scott already pointed it out, but I did start chuckling when I first opened the email and saw that picture. Have a great New Year. Chris
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Chris! Yeah, I think you’ll like the Miracle Morning. I’m on day 3 of it… and it’s been amazing. It’s currently 7:51 in the morning, I’ve already worked out, read for half hour, cleaned the house, worked on a side project, got through email, and now I’m writing a blog post. I feel like I could shut down for the day and still accomplished more than I usually do in a day!
    Brandon Sturgill Real Estate Broker from Columbus, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks, Brandon. I dig the picture too…
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Lol thanks Brandon!
    Dennis Lanni
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Wow “The One Thing” that was a strong plug I will read it. Hey you should really pick up “A Fofortune at your feet” A.D. Kessler, it’s really awesome.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Dennis, thanks for the suggestion – I’ll add it to my Amazon wishlist! And yeah, you’ll love “The One Thing!”
    Bruce May Lender from San Diego, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great selection of book Brandon. Earlier this year I received Networking Is A Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney from a friend of mine in my mastermind group. I found this to be a great book because it emphasizes that being successful at almost anything we do starts with successful networking. I’d recommend this to you if you haven’t already read it.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey thanks Bruce – i’ll check it out!
    Daniel Ryu Specialist from Irvine, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I really liked the ONE THING as well. It changed how I organized my TO DO List. That’s plus the 12 Week Year – to organize around 3 month goals instead of annual goals – used together is extremely powerful way to stay focused and accomplish goals. At the beginning of 2014, I had 0 experience in real estate and 0 networks. Now, 1 year later, thanks to BiggerPockets and good books like the ones you’ve mentioned, I should be closing on my first house on Dec 30 ^^ It’s been quite a journey. Looking forward to talking with you virtually at the MeetUp! Thanks Brandon.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Daniel, that’s awesome! I love to hear it. And I’ll check out The 12 Week Year. I’d heard the name before but never looked into it. Looking forward to meeting on Skype soon also!
    Patrick D.
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The One Thing is really a game changer. It’s so simple yet so powerful. I’m sure a lot of other people are like me – trying to do too many things at once, prioritizing the wrong things, etc. The One Thing is all about focusing on the one thing (duh) that has the most impact on your business and that lets you drill down from there. What’s the one thing I should be focusing on? Answer: for most of us it should be raising money to scale our businesses. What’s the one thing I should accomplish to do the previous task? What’s the one thing that would have the most impact today? Such a simple but powerful book.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Agreed 1000% Patrick! Thanks for the comment!
    Deanna Opgenort Rental Property Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    “The One Thing” sounds sort of like Dave Ramsey’s “debt snowball” idea applied to moving forward (as opposed to fixing past mistakes). Both that and Miracle Morning sound like books I could really use, as I tend to get scattered & distracted as the day progresses.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Lissa!
    Andrew Hofing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The link to sign up for the webinar appears to be broken.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Andrew- it seems to be working for me. Or maybe I’m looking at the wrong link. Which one is not working for you?
    Sean Hurwiz
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Nice one Brandon! Thanks for the info. Lookin’ forward to reading some of these books on the road in 2015! Happy New Year Sean
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Sean! I think you’ll love em!
    Bianca S
    Replied over 4 years ago
    This is awesome! Thank You. I highly recommend looking out for a recent book from Dan Waldschmidt called EDGY Conversations. Not strictly a business book but more of a self-help, motivational guide. It’s no exaggeration to say that the book has transformed my life this year. I really needed a bit of a kick and change of mindset. Reading EDGY Conversations was exactly what I needed in my life at the perfect time. Well worth taking a moment to check it out and read some of the reviews. http://edgyconversations.com/
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Bianca. I just ordered on Kindle thanks to your recommendation!
    Bianca S
    Replied over 4 years ago
    This is awesome! Thank You. I highly recommend looking out for a recent book from Dan Waldschmidt called EDGY Conversations. Not strictly a business book but more of a self-help, motivational guide. It’s no exaggeration to say that the book has transformed my life this year. I really needed a bit of a kick and change of mindset. Reading EDGY Conversations was exactly what I needed in my life at the perfect time. Well worth taking a moment to check it out and read some of the reviews. http://edgyconversations.com/ Reply Report comment
    Jimmy Moncrief from Chattanooga, TN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great recommendations! I am surprised Essentialism didn’t make the list!? http://www.amazon.com/Essentialism-The-Disciplined-Pursuit-Less/dp/0804137382 This was my top book of 2014 by a wide margin!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Jimmy – never even heard of it! But I’ll order it right now. I trust your judgement!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Oh! That’s the one Pat Flynn recommended. I actually asked for it for Christmas but didn’t get that one. I’ll order it right now!
    Paul A. Rental Property Investor from Syracuse NY
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the list, I’ve ordered The Miracle Morning, will check it out. 10X is a great book!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I hope you love it Paul! I did 🙂
    Greg Baker from Rochester, New York
    Replied over 4 years ago
    (Quick tip!) This may be obvious for some, but I’ve been wanting to read through all of the recommended texts on BP but have been too frugal to buy them all off Amazon. Today, I had the epiphany to go to my local library, I checked out Millionaire next door and 4 hour work week for free and have ABCs of REI, Essentialism, The One Thing, and Think and Grow Rich on the way to my local library for the whopping fee of $0.50 each.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I love it Greg! That’s actually what I did at the beginning. The first year I was into real estate I borrowed over 100 books from the local library system, all about real estate. I read SO much that year, all for free!
    Lutonya
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hahaha. LOL CUTE PICTURE…
    Lutonya
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hahaha. LOL CUTE PICTURE…
    Lutonya
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hahaha. LOL CUTE PICTURE…
    Aaron
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I heard you and Josh talking about Pitch Anything and it is sitting on my nightstand now. I finally got around to reading What Every Investor Needs To Know About Cash Flow and I’m enjoying the heck out of it so thanks for recommending it in the past. I read The One Thing and it changed the way I see what I need to do on a daily basis in my business. The way it gives focus is like the difference between a flashlight and a laser. That was my best book pick of 2014. I refuse to read Miracle Morning because I don’t want to know what I’m missing out on by sleeping until… OK, 10:30 every day – Yes, that is horrible, but one doesn’t miss what one never had! LOL The 10X Rule is going in my shopping cart tonight along with your Book on Investing in Real Estate With No (And Low) Money Down – my favorite way to buy! I’m also going to grab Edgy Conversations. Looks interesting. Thanks for the list. I may or may not bring some of these to India with me (I try not to think about work when I’m on vacation), but some sound too good to let sit until I get back.
    Deanna Opgenort Rental Property Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    LOL. A fellow night owl! Look at the time stamp on this–’nuff said!
    Tebogo
    Replied over 4 years ago
    That’s a great informative article and thanks am looking forward to learning from these books.
    Ruben Aguirre Real Estate Investor from El Paso, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for this list Brandon! I usually munch on 2 books a month and have been thinking of which ones to get this year!
    Judie Williams Investor from Woodridge, IL
    Replied over 4 years ago
    What is the story with “Twilight”? And anything by Gary Keller is definitely worth the reading … probably before 8:00 AM!
    Matthew Recore Flipper/Rehabber from Sacramento
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The Miracle Morning is a game changer!
    Steve James
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I just finished day 3 of The Miracle Morning and have to agree, it’s a must read. Can’t wait to check out The One Thing and The 10X Rule, put them on my wishlist. Thank you! I also recently read Joe Sweeney’s second book Moving the Needle, another I would add to your list. http://www.joesweeney.com/books/moving-the-needle-executive-summary
    Robert Leonard Specialist from Lafayette/Baton Rouge, LA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Wow! I’m not necessarily looking for agreement in what I do, but I have the same top 5 for 2014 and I’m about half way through The Miracle Morning now! I don’t know if I’ve ever read another book that caused me to take action and do things different with every chapter I read! I think 2015 will be a break out year for me because of this book!
    Stephen Dallas from Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the list. The One Thing and Miracle Morning will be added to my list. The book Barefoot to Billionaire by Jon Huntsman was very helpful. One of his points is the value of FLEXIBILITY when making deals. The seller must get something from the deal, but of greater value is the buyers ability to create alternatives so that the seller’s needs may be satisfied. Other points are integrity and reliability.
    Annette Paulsson from Bend, Oregon
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Well since it’s a quarter to 5AM and I haven’t been to sleep yet. I guess the Miracle Morning needs to move to the top of my list. It will be good reading on my flight to Texas on Thursday. Thanks for the list and everyones added comments.
    Bryan Otteson
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I am currently reading The One Thing and was glad to see it on this list. Now that I’ve learned how to remove the restrictions from Kindle books I’ve finally started buying e-books! I’ve put them all on my wishlist. Thanks for the article!
    Rob Shepherd
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Found your post over on your blog then came over here. Great information and glad these are all available on my kindle. Thanks!
    Bradley Spears
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great Article, but I think Zero to One should have been in that list! “Competition is for losers, create a monopoly”
    Bradley Spears
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great Article, but I think Zero to One should have been in that list! “Competition is for losers, create a monopoly”
    Bradley Spears
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great Article, but I think Zero to One should have been in that list! “Competition is for losers, create a monopoly” Reply Report comment
    James Green Wholesaler from Waldorf, Maryland
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    @BRANDON TURNER do you ever get “Reading A.D.D.”? I love to read, but it seems like I try to read 2-4 books at the same time. Or start & stop, when something else “great” pops up that interests me.
    Reginald Clay Sr from Cincinnati, Ohio
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I’m new to this I’m going to give this a shot
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 year ago
    I’ve read 3-5, all great books. I’ll have to check out 1 and 2. Thanks Brandon!
    Kingshuk Banerjee
    Replied 12 months ago
    Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen this could be very relevant to a real estate business to keep track of various dependencies, communications, projects.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Very good list Brandon, although The 10X Rule is meh IMO
    Matthew Adair Rental Property Investor from Chicago, IL
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Strong list. I read Miracle Morning Millionaires by Hal Elrod and David Osborn, as well as the original Miracle Morning. I found Hal and David's version even better than the original. Same messaging, bolstered by even more examples and experiences.