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Life-Changing Lessons From 9 Awesome Real Estate Books

Brandon Turner
4 min read
Life-Changing Lessons From 9 Awesome Real Estate Books

What holiday is better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s combined?

That’s right: National Read a Book Day!

Disappointed in my answer?

Consider this: When was the last time a Christmas gift completely changed the direction of your life?

Probably never.

When was the last time a piece of turkey was so good that it made you millions of dollars?

Definitely never.

When was the last time a New Year’s party was so epic it shifted your world view in a permanent way?

That’s what I thought. 

These holidays don’t do much for long-term success, but books can.

Books can change the direction of your life.

Books can help you make millions of dollars.

Books can transform the way you think.

That’s why today matters. That’s why today (September 6), National Read a Book Day, is better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s combined.

So, in honor this amazing holiday, I want to revisit some of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from some of my favorite real estate books.

Related: The Top 12 Business and Real Estate Books as Recommended By BiggerPockets Podcast Guests

1. Real Estate Investing is Diverse

Best real estate book

Book: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing

Author: Josh Dorkin and Brandon Turner

Fun Fact: This book is actually 100% free. Seriously. Read it online now.

Lesson: The primary lesson Josh Dorkin and I wanted to communicate when writing The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing was this: There are a LOT of ways to invest in real estate. You don’t need to become a master at all of them, but simply pick a niche (such as single family houses, multifamily, commercial properties, etc) and then decide what strategy you’ll use to make money with it (Will you flip it? Hold it? Wholesale it?)

2. House Flipping is a Business

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Book: The Book on Flipping Houses 

Author: J Scott

Lesson: When I read “The Book on Flipping Houses” my first thought was, “Oh…I’ve been doing this all wrong for  years.” J Scott showed me what it was like to flip houses like an intelligent business owner. Sure, I had had some success flipping, but I struggled constantly. This book showed how systematized a flipping business could be, and how J Scott could flip dozens of houses with less effort than it took me to flip just one.

3. Estimating Rehab Costs is Not a Mystery


BookThe Book on Estimating Rehab Costs 

Author: J Scott

Lesson: If there is one thing new investors struggle with it’s estimating the cost of rehabbing a property. Once, before I read “The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs,” I blew my budget by almost $30,000. The biggest lesson I took away from this book was that estimating the costs of a project was not a mystery, but simply a process.

4. Creative Finance is Like a Toolbox. What’s in Yours?

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BookThe Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down

Author: Brandon Turner (me!)

Lesson: When I wrote this book, I wanted to communicate one truth above all else: Financing a real estate deal with other people’s money was akin to having a toolbox. If your toolbox contains just one tool, there are very few projects you can work on, but if you have a lot of tools, you can tackle almost anything. The same is true for real estate: If you learn just one creative strategy, it might work for your particular deal or it might not. But if your mental “toolbox” contains numerous strategies, you’ll have the best chance at putting together a creative deal.

5. Make a Plan and Work It

The Book on Rental Property Investing 3D Cover SMALL

BookThe Book on Rental Property Investing

Author: Brandon Turner

Lesson: Rental properties are awesome, but success isn’t an accident. In “The Book on Rental Property Investing,” I sought to communicate that success is found through making a plan, and then working that plan. Yes, things will change and you’ll need to adapt, but so much can be estimated and predicted! For example, you can get a fairly good idea of how much cash flow you’ll be receiving by simply understanding how to analyze a deal. Or you can estimate when you’ll become a millionaire by simply doing some simple math.

Related: 20 Books that Will Change Your Life in 2017

6. You Can Learn How to Be a Successful Landlord

The Book on Managing Rental Properties 3D Cover SMALL No Background copy

BookThe Book on Managing Rental Properties 

Author: Brandon and Heather Turner

Lesson: You don’t become a great juggler, guitar player, or tennis player without learning. What makes you think you can become a good landlord naturally? My wife and I wrote this book because there are a lot of terrible landlords out there who struggle with their tenants. And for good reason: tenants are tough. They’ll take advantage of you every step of the way if you let them. So the biggest lesson my wife and I tried to communicate in this book is to treat your business like a business and establish rules/processes/guidelines to keep your business safe. In other words: Don’t wing it! Be a firm, but fair, landlord, and you’ll find a long, happy, and prosperous relationship with your tenant.

7. The Government Loves Real Estate Investors

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BookThe Book on Tax Strategies for the Savvy Real Estate Investor

Author: Amanda Han

Lesson: As you read this book, you’ll likely get the same feeling I did: “This is unfair… in a really good way.” Because the government really seems to love real estate investors and rewards us in SO MANY ways! From 1031 exchanges to depreciation to all the write-offs, this book shows how to maximize the amount of profit you keep from your investments.

8. You Can Achieve Financial Freedom Fast And Have a Life While Getting There

Set For Life 3D

BookSet for Life 

Author: Scott Trench

Lesson: Scott Trench may only be 27 years old, but he’s one of the smartest real estate investors I know. This book is all about how to position yourself financially to achieve financial freedom faster than you’d ever thought possible. The primary lesson I pulled from this book is that financial freedom is attainable if you simply work toward it, and that doesn’t mean cutting out your favorite Starbucks drink (which is good because I’m addicted.) Instead, Scott argues that there are a few massive levers (housing costs, auto costs, etc.) that will make-or-break your financial freedom goals.

9. If You Want Great Real Estate Deals, Work For Them

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BookFinding and Funding Great Deals

Author: Anson Young

Lesson: Perhaps the biggest complaint I hear from new real estate investors is this: “I can’t find any good deals!” That’s why this book matters so much. The biggest lesson I took from this book is that there are deals out there. Plenty of them! It just takes more work than it used to. Luckily, Anson outlines what a lot of those strategies look like in clear detail. You can find deals if you are willing to work to get them. They are not going to fall into your lap.


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Let me know in the comments below what lessons you’ve learned from any of these books! Let’s get this list from 9 to 100! 

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.