These are my favorite business books & books for real estate agents. I’ve reviewed each of these, and many more so read on!
7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals
by Michael J. Maher
My Review – I actually got my book signed by Michael. The inscription reads “Welcome to the Generosity Generation – Michael” in blue ink, in a slightly sloping to the right cursive writing.
That last little bit of information, about the color of the ink, and the direction of the handwriting may not mean much to you. But after your read the book, and learn about Power Notes, you will understand what this means.
To this very day, I fill in at least one hour every day on my calendar and title it 1&10. That’s another little tip suggested in the book.
This book is written as a story about a depressed Real Estate agent. He isn’t doing as well as he would like to, and there is another agent in his office who is crushing it, that he is jealous of. He meets a guy in a different field who introduces him to Coach who teaches him about the Generosity Generation, and the story unfolds from there, with actionable tips and solid things you can do to make your business prosper. In the end, he becomes successful, and pays it forward.
It’s a quick read, and of all the different Real Estate Books, this is my favorite, and has the most things that you can put to use in your business.
by Seth Godin
My Review: I don’t believe that there are any Real Estate references in this short book, but I still rank this as one of the best books for entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners.
I can summarize this book using my glasses as an example. I wear a very unique pair of glasses (I’m pretty blind without them). They are all metal, a bright chrome color, and the hinges don’t have any screws in them. It is an ingenious design, and I get a lot of comments about them. People remember me, they say, because of my glasses. They are my purple cow.
Let me explain, using an analogy Seth Godin uses in the book. Imagine you are driving down the road, and you see a field of cows. That’s pretty normal, and you might not say anything. But if you saw a purple cow, standing among all the other cows, it would be hard to not make a comment. That’s the jest of it. Be remarkable. Stand out. Get people talking about you, because the best way for your business to grow is by word of mouth.
This is a super short book. You can read it in an hour, with interruptions. But the ideas will stay with you. They did for me.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
I think my Dad made me read this book when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I didn’t get much from it back then (probably because I was much too young), but now I read this book every year.
Written in the 1930’s this book is as relevent today as it was then. The basic principle is treat others with respect. By doing some nice things for others, like simply remembering their name, or making them feel appreciated, you can persuade them to help you out too.
Now, I understand not everyone believes being nice will get you to finish first, but there is more than a little truth to the fact that helping people and being nice to them will endear them to you, a little. And that is the beginning of a relationship. And that is the beginning of a great business.
Sell the Feeling
by Larry Pinci & Phil Glosserman
Sell the feeling is another parable about a businessman who is having a hard time being successful (much like 7L). The point of this story is to listen to clients and learn what they want and need. Then deliver these things to them.
It is very simple in approach, but I can tell you that this works.
So often sales people just push, push, push on to clients. They talk about features, or benefits, and very rarely truly listen to what the buyer really wants. This book teaches you the questions to ask to learn what people really need. Once you figure that out, you can address the concerns and deliver the perfect product to them.
One of the techniques is to listen carefully to people, and then repeat back, usually in a paraphrase, what they just told you they need. The book explains it very well, so I encourage you to read it, and learn from the examples.
This is another easy read, something you can finish in an afternoon.
7 Habbits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
This book was published when I was 20, and I didn’t read it until I was 40 I wish I had picked it up sooner.
Not specifically directed at Real Estate, this book is great for people skills, and self-improvement. I find that when I’m happy, and content, then things go a lot better for me in my business. This is a book that helps with that.
Before the Mr Covey describes the 7 steps, he encourages the reader to look around and change your mindset. He calls it a paradigm shift. Until you begin to look at the world in a different way, you won’t be able to improve, and take full advantage of the 7 steps.
These are not quick fixes – but instead each is a guide to improve your self. Not the easiest book to read, as Mr. Covey gets quite esoteric in his explanations, but after re-reading the book several times and taking notes, I have found it to be very helpful in my success.
The One Thing
By Gary Keller
Here’s a little known fact. Gary Keller, the founder of Keller Williams started out as a regular Real Estate Agent, at a small, local, company in Austin called JB Goodwin. To the regular readers of my blog, you will know that I spent my first years as an agent at the very same company. Of course Mr. Keller left in the mid 70’s, and I didn’t start until 2012. But we have the same beginnings.
Although this book was written by a very successful Real Estate Agent, the main topic isn’t about Realtors. Instead it is about Focus.
Mr. Keller talks about doing one thing, the right thing, and doing it well. The hard part is finding out what that one thing is. But when you do find it, latch on, and don’t let go.
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by this book. I was hoping for more real estate specific advice, as it is written by the leader of Keller Williams, but also because of the way it is formatted. Usually I can get past this, but in this instance there are fake graphs (using made up data), and key points are circled in pencil which is actually printed in the book. I prefer to take my own notes, and not have them told to me.
Millionaire Real Estate Agent
By Gary Keller
This was the very first book I bought when I got my Real Estate License. I was so excited to get first hand information from Gary Keller, the founder of Keller Williams. At first I wasn’t disappointed, but over time, I learned that this was an old business model, and although it still still has valuable information in it, it no longer works for the world with the internet.
Let me be more specific.
There is a great piece of information in this book, a golden nugget, that I try to use every day. It is: Find people you don’t know, and make them people you do know. This is great advice, and if you follow it, you will become very successful in life and business. I know, because I do this.
However, the rest of the book isn’t quite as useful.
There are basically 3 parts to this book. The first part which is hype about success, the second part (the shortest part) which is about becoming a good individual agent, and the final and longest part which is about starting a real estate team and growing your business.
All of the techniques used to be effective, but nowhere in the book is there anything about the biggest piece of marketing today, the Internet. It uses what I call the “old style” of business, which still works in some areas, but overall is a dying technique.
BiggerPockets Presents: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing
By Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner
If this book wasn’t free, I wouldn’t buy it.
Instead subscribe to, and listen to the Bigger Pockets Podcast.
This book is basically one big advertisement for the writer’s very successful and popular website. The reason it is free is because it isn’t a printed book, but a digital one, and it has TONS of links to their website.
There is a bit of information about the topic of investing in Real Estate. But the ideas are very basic, and simplistic, and I can tell you from experience that if you follow only the ideas presented, you will quickly loose your shirt to more savvy investors who will take advantage of you.
Get it because it is free, but realize that there is way more to real estate investing than this book provides. Maybe I’ll write a real book on my investing experiences – hmmmm there’s a good idea.
By Malcolm Gladwell
I was reading Malcom Gladwell’s writing long before I was ever a Real Estate Agent. I think I have more of his books than any other author in my bookshelves (except maybe Hemmingway).
Outliers is, perhaps, of all of Gladwell’s books my favorite. In this book, he talks about 10,000 hours being a magic number. That’s the number of hours devoted to their area of expertise experts put in before they become proficient.
If you do the math, 10,000 hours is roughly 5 years of work (at a regular full time 40-hour per week job).
Gladwell also takes a unique approach and says that being successful is indeed lucky. It’s being exposed to the right opportunities at the right time, and of course being proficient enough to take advantage of them.
I very much like the way he writes, and his books are full of well-researched stories that he uses very successfully to make his point.
The Tipping Point
By Malcolm Gladwell
Have you ever wondered what makes something go viral? Is it just by chance, or is it something that can be controlled?
Once again Malcom Gladwell takes you, the reader through several well thought out stories – each talking about how a simple thing like a shoe style becomes popular.
I won’t give the answer to the idea that virality can be controlled, you will have to buy the book to learn his thoughts, but let me say that they will surprise you.
Think and Grow Rich
By Naploeon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is another oldie but goodie. Not specifically directed at Real Estate, this was written in the 1930’s and is as valid today as it was then.
It seems like every modern motivational speaker and ‘guru’ takes this book and uses it to create their courses. When a book contains as much good information for life as this one does, it’s not hard too, either.
For me, the biggest is the idea of the “Positive Mental Attitude”, also often called the power of positive thinking, this is the same idea that the Secret, and so many other motivational books are based on.
But why go to those books, when this one is the first and the original. And if I dare say, so, the best.
by Malcolm Gladwell
Let me ask you this: What is better, using your intuition (your gut feeling) or doing careful, analytical research.
In this book Malcom Gladwell talks about that snap judgement we all do. The way we make decisions in the blink of an eye. And how often they are right.
This is an easy to read book – full of lots of little stories that he is so good at researching and writing to tell his story and make his point.
You might be asking how this can help you in your real estate career. Let me explain. People, especially clients, make up their minds about a house in the first few moments they walk into it. By learning the process they use to make these decisions, you can address them even before they happen, and become a better sales person and real estate agent in the process. A must read.
David and Goliath
by Malcolm Gladwell
Once again, I have to recommend a Gladwell book. I just love his writing style – lots of short little stories (each making up a chapter or so) that he uses to illustrate his point. In this case it is “does having a disadvantage make you better at something”
Think about it for a minute – there are so many inspirational stories about underdogs – people who aren’t expected to win, but do. How do they do it? Can it happen to me?
I think it can, if you use the ideas that Malcolm puts forward in this book. Get a copy and read about how having a broken home, or a learning disability has make some of the biggest business leaders successful.
Whenever I read a new book, and find it good enough to recommend, I’ll add it to this list. Full disclosure, each of these books links to Amazon.com. If you buy the book from the link I get a little kick-back which helps pay my website costs.