Best Multifamily Books and Resources that apply in 2021

20 Replies

Hey everyone,

I have read several multifamily books/resources and am still looking for more to read.  In my experience, many of the books had I ordered/read were very simplistic and skeletal (not much meat and potatoes in them).  Finding new books on the subject that drill down deep has been very difficult, because most of the new books that I have seen are just re-hashing the same books that are out there.  I know that @Brandon Turner just put a two volume set on the subject, but haven't really seen many reviews.  I didn't know if these were more for beginners or not (please take no offense Brandon - I think you, and your beard are great!)

Some of the best I have read are:

- The Hands Off Investor - Brian Burke

- The Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book - Fairless and Hicks

(I realize that the above books are heavily weighted in syndication, but feel these contain valuable information that does apply to MFHs)

So I ask the group, what books about multifamily investing have you read that have made a day to day impact on how you have acquired, financed and/or managed your multifamily properties?  Thanks!

Disclaimer: I have no financial ties to the books listed above.  I'm just an "ordinary joe" :)

The one that has changed the most for me lately is Traction. @Gino Barbaro recommended it when he came on my show a while back, and it has changed a lot about my business.  It's not specifically multifamily, but it is key for anyone looking to scale a business.

Maybe I'll go back and reread it!

@David C.

The Multifamily investor I is more small (single family, duplex, triplex and quadplex) investing like 50 units and less. The Multifamily investor II is everything above that. What are your goals? I've heard both are great. I haven't read them yet, however.

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Multifamily Millions by David Lindahl is the Multifamily Bible I follow religiously as I have repositioned my value play Apartment Complexes to Financial Freedom.  

That is the road map I have followed to become financially free!!

Swanny

@David C.

A few other multifamily focused books I think are must-reads: 

Multifamily Investors Who Dominate by Beau Beery (Finding Deals/Broker Relationships)

Best in Class by Kyle Mitchell and Gary Lipsky (Asset Management)

The Definitive Guide to Multifamily Underwriting by Rob Beardsley (Underwriting)

@David C.

Going off that same thread as @Taylor L. , make sure to check out Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Multifamily is a team sport and knowing how to surround yourself with people who compliment your skill set is essential to being successful.

@David C.

Think about what role you see yourself playing in mutifamily deals.

Real estate is a team sport and that fact is exacerbated 10x in multifamily.

If you’re going to be FINDING deals, consider books on underwriting deals, and analyzing markets. 

If you’re going to be FUNDING deals consider books on raising capital and leveraging other peoples money. There are definitely some legal lines to mind here so do your research. 

If you’re going to be MANAGING assets, look up asset management books in multifamily. A average asset manager can turn a screaming good deal into an average deal. Be above average!😬

Sorry for the generalities, but I’m hoping this helps👍

@Tommy Brant @Will Edwards & @Brent Kawakami

Thanks for the great book suggestions and advice.  I absolutely agree with you regarding it being a team sport.  I have built a great team for my SFHs which include a great lender, several residential brokers, a real estate lawyer and maintenance folks.  Most of the true business learning for SFHs has been "on the job training for me", so I feel that I have a good skill set in that realm.

Switching to MFH just seems to me to be a bit of a "whole new ball of wax", and the rules change a bit.  There are so many more variables that I have come across and the stakes are higher.  That being said, there are still some rules that still apply.  Numbers don't lie, and cashflow and debt work much the same.

As for figuring out someone's role in MFH, I think this really depends upon the size of the property.

For a 2-20 unit deal: I would be the "deal hunter", Financer/Underwriter and property manager all in one.  

For a 25+ unit deal: I might be the "deal hunter", and partial financer (would find a partner) but likely would not be managing.

For a 50-100 unit deal:   I would need either multiple partners or be a GP/LP in a syndication. So that changes things quite a bit.

I think you stretched my brain to come up with this as a possible answer, "Adapt as you go and be prepared to wear different hats for different situations, depending upon the size/makeup of the deal."  

And your points are spot on - Networking and team building.  Finding that team is the challenge.  Of course, quality resources(books/materials) to educate and sharpen your skills is key.

@David C.  

I recommend reading The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller and Never Lose a Customer again by Joey Coleman. The latter might not be 100% real estate but the methodology offered by Coleman has greatly helped us on how we run our property management business and the company.

I'd suggest Gene Trowbridges books. I haven't read this book in a while, but "It's a whole New Business." is about syndication and was helpful to me years ago when I was getting started. I'd also throw in Yardi. Get into the data of how our cities are changing and growing. Learning the data that is driving the growth is enlightening and lots of trends and forecasting ideas start to stand out. 

Originally posted by @David C. :

As for figuring out someone's role in MFH, I think this really depends upon the size of the property.

For a 2-20 unit deal: I would be the "deal hunter", Financer/Underwriter and property manager all in one.  

For a 25+ unit deal: I might be the "deal hunter", and partial financer (would find a partner) but likely would not be managing.

For a 50-100 unit deal:   I would need either multiple partners or be a GP/LP in a syndication. So that changes things quite a bit.

 David, this makes perfect sense to me. I'm looking at a 19 unit right now and plan to be all 3. If it was much larger though, I'd certainly look at my weaknesses and offload that ASAP. Like you, I wouldn't manage much larger myself. Certainly, though, there are levels of management that you might be involved with. For example, my first off-loading might be a leasing agent or on-call maintenance. I would not likely just go 100% property management for 21 units, for example. 

Thank you to everyone who gave so many good resources here, my homework is to read/apply them. 

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I liked the How to Create Wealth Investing in Real Estate by Grant Cardone. It has some really good points haven't seen in other books. 

How to Create Wealth Investing in real estate: Grant Cardone (Great to get started, and visualize your journey forward), and Lifestyle Investor:Justin Donald (great for mobile home parks and general investment thinking), Am I Being too Subtle: Sam Zell ( Not specific to multifamily, but really good to understand Sam Zells journey spanning a few decades and financial forces which contributed to his great fortune). Both I enjoyed reading, and has unique points. 

@Gino Barbaro

Gino - I love traction.  It is such a great book.

One suggestion that I would humbly make to those who purchase Traction.  Don't become intimidated when some of the examples in the book refer to larger business models or reference companies that make $2MM to $50MM in revenue.  The core concepts still apply to a good business, regardless of the size.  Try to see the forest from the trees, and I think you will like it.

I purchased two books recommended by @Brent Kawakami

Multifamily Investors Who Dominate by Beau Beery (Finding Deals/Broker Relationships) - A fast read, but a great read!

Best in Class by Kyle Mitchell and Gary Lipsky (Asset Management) - About half way through, and really like it.  Thanks for the recommendation Brent!


Keep the book recommendations coming!  Maybe we should have an ongoing thread post for a "Book of the week" recommendation ?

Think of it this way. 97% of everything you need to know is right here. Free. And the other 3% you won't find anywhere because that's the stuff you need to figure out for yourself :)

@Gino Barbaro   That's awesome!  I have reached out to several of my favorite authors, and they are often very generous with their time.  It has really made an impression on me.  They practice what they preach about wanting to help others.  I find that as I expand my network, it is a much smaller world than one might think.  That's one reason why I liked Beau's book so much.

I have Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Brandon Turner's most recent book and I would recommend them. I would also suggest:

- "Crushing It In Apartments and Commercial Real Estate" by Brian Murray 

Non multi-family but team-centric which can be tied to acquired, financed and/or managed would be:

- "Leadership Strategy and Tactics" by Jocko Willink

      Reading on the subject is a good start, but there is nothing like real-world experience.

      I can't begin to tell you all the things we encountered as owner/operators vs what is in books.

      My recommendation is to try to partner with someone who can give you a peak behind the scenes.