For real estate investors, there is no exact playbook. From evaluating a potential investment property to managing finances to dealing with real estate attorneys, there’s a lot on your shoulders with no black and white approaches. It’s often overwhelming for new investors and even for experienced investors, things can be overlooked or you can fall into the trap of just going through the motions and not optimizing your strategies and portfolio.
A great allegory from one of the books recommended below is one of three blind travelers who come across an elephant. They each find different parts of the animal to tell them what it is — one thinks it’s a snake because of the trunk, one thinks it’s a large tree because of its leg, and the third thinks it’s a wall because of the size of its body. Real estate is similar, in that we all enter the industry with our own limited vision, experiences, and biases that inform how we think about problems. Because of this, we all see real estate (and even investing as a concept) very differently but can struggle to see the big picture. Here is where learning from others around us, such as experts in the field, can help everyone from beginners to veterans get a clearer and more informed picture of real estate investing.
Real estate is about learning
No matter what amount of experience you have with investing in real estate, learning is a part of the game. As markets, people, the economy, and more shift and change, so must you. By constantly learning and keeping up to date on what’s happening in the real estate investing world, you can maintain a successful portfolio of properties. Whether you’re a beginner investor considering buying your first vacation rental, or have an extensive list of commercial real estate that you manage, hearing different perspectives and strategies will give you new ideas and keep you ahead of the curve.
Real estate investing books for beginners
For those with little to no experience in real estate, there are plenty of books out there to explain the basics, show you how to think about the business, and much more. Here are some of our favorites that we think are the most impactful and helpful:
Rich Dad Poor Dad
While this isn’t a real estate investing book, it’s widely recommended for anyone who’s looking to get started with any type of investing (or just trying to improve their personal finances). Rich Dad Poor Dad is a fantastic entry point into how you should think about your investments and financial opportunities that is easy to understand. Find it here
The ABCs of Real Estate Investing
With a much larger focus on real estate investing, this book is another great entry point for those looking to learn the ropes and basic strategies for buy and hold real estate. Ken McElroy not only covers finding a property with potential for profit, but also how you should negotiate deals and approach managing a property to ensure positive cash flow. Find it here
The Book on Rental Property Investing
This book is one of the best examples of guides that include actionable strategies (as well as real-world examples) for you to pick up and use immediately. It covers everything from tax strategies and tips to the biggest mistakes to avoid for new real estate investors. Find it here
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor
The authors of this book took the approach of collecting the stories of more than 100 millionaire investors to help you learn from what made them successful. See how they built their businesses and use the book's recommendations and wisdom to start your real estate journey. Find it here
Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing
While most real estate investing books focus on residential and vacation properties, commercial real estate can also be very profitable for those who know what they’re doing. This book discusses the differences between commercial and residential real estate, in addition to laying out six rules of investing that help to determine the right timing for purchasing a commercial property. Find it here
How to Invest in Real Estate: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Getting Started
Another book from Brandon Turner, this entry provides a comprehensive overview of real estate investing that’s great for getting you up to speed. While it won’t provide specific strategies like some other books, it is an invaluable resource for understanding the industry and landscape.
Real Estate Investing QuickStart Guide
This guide to basic real estate investing covers residential and commercial real estate, managing daily activities as either a landlord or passive investor, and much more. Every step of the process is covered by this handbook for getting started with real estate investing.
Real estate investing books for experienced investors
Even if you’ve been investing in real estate for years, there’s always more to learn or more perspectives to hear. Whether it’s a new tax benefit you haven’t been taking advantage of, or maybe a way to streamline your rehab cost estimations, hearing from industry experts can supplement your experience. You’ll gain even more insight and awareness (like the elephant story) of topics and tools you may have never seen, all of which will help you optimize your processes and portfolio. Here are some of our top recommendations for veteran investors:
Mastering the Market Cycle
Similar to Rich Dad Poor Dad in the previous section, this book doesn’t primarily focus on real estate investing. However, it’s an incredibly applicable tool for evaluating risks, which is extremely relevant to real estate investing (some strategies more than others). It walks the reader through identifying trends and market cycles that you can apply to your investments.
Buy It, Rent It, Profit!
If you’re a landlord or property manager, this is an insightful deep-dive into how you can maximize your money and time while doing so. It covers property marketing, dealing with tenants, and even sample legal forms such as contracts. Find it here
The Book on Tax Strategies for the Savvy Real Estate Investor
Both authors of this book are certified CPAs and familiar with how real estate-specific taxes work — and how to take advantage or minimize them. Tax codes are incredibly complex, so having an easy-to-understand explanation of different strategies and tips (such as using your retirement accounts to fund your investments) is good to have in your toolbox. Find it here
The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs
Judging how much a potential investment’s fixing, restoration, and maintenance will cost is one of the most critical points of whether you make money or lose money on a property. That can be difficult without extensive experience in other disciplines, but this book breaks the process down into components and checklists that are easy to follow and understand. Find it here
Timing the Real Estate Market
An important factor that sometimes gets overlooked, even by veteran real estate investors, is timing. This includes not only things like seasons, but also longer-term trends or patterns that can affect when you buy or sell and how much money a property will make. By having a better idea of how to predict market trends and timing, you could have an advantage over other experienced investors. Find it here
Emerging Real Estate Markets
Another book about honing your understanding of markets and industry demand, Dave Lindahl tells you how to look ahead and find areas that are on the rise and could lead to large profits. Finding pockets of high potential and capitalizing on them can often be the difference between a good investor and a great investor.
Loopholes of Real Estate
If you’re looking for lesser-known strategies and ideas for maximizing your odds of success, this book covers a wide range of useful information. Even for more seasoned investors, these tips and tricks might be new to you and give you some ideas to improve your business model.
Expand your understanding & portfolio today
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