Life-Changing Lessons From 9 Awesome Real Estate Books
What holiday is better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s combined?
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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?
When was the last time a piece of turkey was so good that it made you millions of dollars?
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.
1. Real Estate Investing is Diverse
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
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
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?
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
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.
6. You Can Learn How to Be a Successful Landlord
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
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
Book: Set 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
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.
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!