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Real Estate By The Numbers: An Essential Book For Every Investor "Real Estate By The Numbers" is a book that answers the right questions, at the right time.

Matt Myre
3 min read
Real Estate By The Numbers: An Essential Book For Every Investor

We’re taught throughout our childhood to answer questions. Questions like what’s two plus two? Who was the first U.S. president? And what’s the equation for photosynthesis?

J Scott opens his latest book alongside co-author Dave Meyer, Real Estate By The Numbers, with a recollection of his younger days and how he cruised through high school and college because of his ability to memorize the answers to “easy” questions. After all, if all you have to do in life is answer questions that have clear answers, what’s to stop you? 

Eventually, J found a mentor he frequently lunched with who challenged his long-time thinking after he asked what equations he used to run his nine-figure investment fund. It turns out, as J learned, that the most successful investors in the world don’t have an arsenal of equations built into the back of their minds that guide them to victory on every deal. No, in reality, the seas are imperfect and rocky. 

The core of investing boils down to not necessarily knowing all of the answers but knowing the right questions to ask.

An Essential Book For Every Investor

Real Estate By The Numbers is an extremely important book. Not because it’s information that’s not available elsewhere (although the combined expertise of Dave Meyer and J Scott are invaluable). Not because it’s going to hold your hand and answer every question you have on a predefined path. Not because you’re going to read or understand all of it in one go. In fact, the book is labeled as a reference guide on the cover.

It’s essential because it’s one of the only books in the real estate world that holds the answers to most of your questions about what makes for a good investment and can be modified for a multitude of scenarios. In deal analysis, no two properties are the same. Therefore, the tools you apply in your analysis will vary. Dave and J do an excellent job at deep-diving into the most important concepts while providing you with enough extra information and guidance to give you the edge in making the right decisions.

As the managing editor of the blog here at BiggerPockets, I can assure you that the content in the book is rigorous and dives deep. Deeper than many of our articles on the same topics. It’s really special.

Deal Analysis For Everyone

Real Estate By The Numbers is broken into five parts: Personal and Business Performance, The Concepts, The Key Return Metrics, Funding and Financing Deals, and Making It Work For You.

Within each of these parts, several chapters break down key concepts with hyper-focused precision, often guiding you through the step-by-step instructions of each. For instance, Part 1, Chapter 2, is about balance sheets. Balance sheets and their analysis is the first lesson you would learn in every Accounting 101 class in the country. Here it is boiled down into nine pages, delivering the most important information and cutting the fluff out.

Net present value (NPV), one of real estate’s most important metrics in determining the quality of an investment, is also explained in nine pages. Along with these concepts come fully fleshed-out scenarios helping you get a hands-on picture of what this looks like in action. Furthermore, most pages feature spreadsheet callouts that take you step-by-step through implementing the information into excel. And it gets even better because these callouts are sorted into a master spreadsheet available as a free download alongside your purchase of the book, something wholly invaluable on its own.

You’ll also get extra content with your purchase, like videos from J Scott that walk you through using three different spreadsheets that cover flipping, exit strategies in flipping, and general rental investing. Plus, templates for financial statements, balance sheets, and more!

A Must-Have

Overall, Real Estate By The Numbers is the definitive book on deal analysis and should be in the libraries, if not on the desks, of every serious investor, whether prospective or 100 deals in. Rookies, pros, and the most elite of investors will find J and Dave’s work to be a master class in investing. 

But unlike other books that might come off as intimidating, Real Estate By The Numbers’ positioning as a reference guide makes it much more approachable and easier to digest. It’s situational. It’s chock-full of answers. And it’s something you can come back to time and time again throughout your investing journey without feeling the pressure to finish and memorize it in one go.

It’s a must-have.

Run Your Numbers Like a Pro!

Deal analysis is one of the first and most critical steps of real estate investing. Maximize your confidence in each deal with this first-ever ultimate guide to deal analysis. Real Estate by the Numbers makes real estate math easy, and makes real estate success inevitable.

real estate by the numbers

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