I have been successful in real estate, and I can thank books for much of that success. My father taught me how to flip houses, but books were what taught me about rental properties. While books may not be able to teach you everything you need to know about real estate investing, they can be an amazing resource and help you get started. I have heard from many people who were able to buy multiple rentals or start flipping houses because of the books they read. I also hear from people who don’t have time to read books or the money to buy a book. If you are wondering if books can teach you how to invest in real estate, yes! They can.
How did I learn to invest in real estate from books?
I mentioned that I learned to invest in rental properties from books. My dad flipped houses had a few rentals, but he never talked about his rentals, and I could tell he did not like them much. I never was drawn into rentals until I started to read how to invest my money better. Real estate kept coming up as the best way to invest my money, and I was already an agent and house flipper, so rentals seemed to be perfect for me. I think one of the first books I read about investing was Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was an amazingly motivating book but lacked in actual details on how to invest. I read more of Robert Kiyosaki’s books but still could not find answers on how to actually invest. I began to read other books, and one book that really helped teach me how to invest was Gary Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Investor.
The book taught the fundamentals of real estate investing, but it was also written in 2005, when it was much easier to invest in real estate. It was much easier for an investor to get a loan, although it was not easy to find great rentals in the crazy real estate market. I read more real estate books and developed a strategy for buying rentals:
- Get great deals on properties just like I would with a house flip.
- Make sure the house cash flows after all expenses, and if possible, cash flows $500 per month.
- Invest in single family houses due to the ease of management, the low price points, and that was what I knew best.
- Figure out a way to buy a lot of rentals, not just one or two.
What did other people say about the rental property strategy I learned from books?
I talked to my parents and my sister who both had rentals. I also talked to other real estate agents and friends. I don’t think one person I talked to was excited about my strategy. They all had this negative idea towards rentals (except my sister, but she liked college rentals). Many agents told me rental properties were a bad investment and I was stupid to throw my money away. This was also during and right after the housing crash, so many people had negative feelings towards housing at that time.
After talking to people more and more, I realized none of them had really used my strategy before. Most of them who had bought rentals had purchased houses at retail value with little to no cash flow and simply hoped prices would increase. I ignored all the naysayers and proceeded to move forward with my rental property strategy. I bought my first rental property in 2010 and bought 15 more in the next five years. The properties have been amazing investment creating millions of dollars in equity and thousands of dollars in cash flow each month.
Are rental properties still a good investment?
Do you need a mentor to begin investing in real estate?
I see advertisements all over Facebook and on the radio for real estate mentors and seminars. I think real estate mentors and seminars can be a great learning tool, but do you need them to invest in real estate? I bought my first rental without ever attending any kind of seminar or talking to any mentors. The tricky thing with the seminars is that they often want to charge you tens of thousands of dollars to attend or get that personal mentor (who is actually mentoring many other people at the same time). Before you attend a seminar or pay for a mentor, buy a book and actually read it!
Seminars and mentors can help you expand your business and become more successful, but they can hurt you when you first start investing. They are so expensive that they can put you in a huge financial hole that is tough to get out of. If you happen to find a local mentor who invests in real estate and will help you learn, that is fantastic…but also hard to find.
How do you learn to invest in real estate from books?
Another mistake I see and one I have committed myself is buying a book and never using it. I read a few chapters and forget about it, or it sits on my nightstand for months until my wife puts it away. If you buy a book with the intention of learning from it, read it, and use the book! There are things you can do while reading that will help you learn as well.
- Take notes: when you read a good book that is instructing you on how to do something, do not just read it and forget what you read. Take notes.
- Mark important pages: I mark up my books like crazy. I bend corners, underline important parts, and I go back over those important parts over and over.
- Read the book more than once: if you find a book that is really helpful, read it again and again. Just like a really good movie, we often miss things the first time we watch it. You will learn something new or something to focus on when you re-read a book.
- Be careful with audiobooks: A few of my books are audiobooks because people love them. You have to be careful you are actually listening to them and learning from them, not zoning out. I think I learn more from actually reading books than listening to books.
Can you learn the same things in blogs or videos as you can from books?
I have written over 500 articles on real estate investing about rentals, flips, and being an agent. I have a ton of information that people can learn from. However, it is not easy to piece together 5oo articles on different subjects. That is why I created my books to help people learn quickly and easily about real estate investing, whether it is about flipping, buying, rentals, becoming an agent, or even a successful attitude. It is also hard to take notes or mark important topics when reading an article . I know I have always learned best when I have something physical to read that I can hold in my hands. It is also tough for me to learn from videos for the same reason. Although, I know different people learn different ways and prefer videos. I created a lot of videos on my YouTube channel for people who learn that way.
What are the best real estate investing books?
I am very biased on this subject because I have written 6 paperback books on real estate and real estate investing. I wrote my books like I write my blog: to-the-point in an instructional fashion. I wrote my books how I would want to read them if I was trying to learn something new or improve my strategies. They are not for everyone, but I have had a lot of great feedback from people who bought them, learned from them, and invested in real estate because of them. The books are listed below:
Build a Rental Property Empire: The No-Nonsense Book on Finding Deals, Financing the Right Way, and Managing Wisely
I wrote this book to go over my strategies for buying rentals with information on how to find, buy, finance, manage, repair, and sell rental properties. I don’t go over how to just buy one rental but how to buy more and more rentals using different finance and purchasing strategies. You can find the book on Amazon here as a paperback, audiobook, or eBook.
How to Make it Big as a Real Estate Agent
I wrote this book to go over how I became successful as a real estate agent. I made most of the income that I invested in rentals from being an agent. Most real estate agents fail in their first year in the business. This book goes over exactly how to be a successful agent even before you get your license. You can get it here as a Paperback or eBook: Amazon
Fix and Flip Your Way to Financial Freedom
I have flipped over 155 houses, and I flipped 26 houses in 2017. I have flipped through good, bad, and steady markets. I have had up to 22 house flips going at once and talk all about it in this book: how to find the deals, how to finance them, how to repair them, and how to scale the business. Find it here on Amazon as a paperback, audiobook, or eBook. Amazon
The Book on Negotiating Real Estate: Expert Strategies for Getting the Best Deals When Buying & Selling Investment Property
I wrote this book with J Scott who has written many other great books as well. We wanted to write a book that went into more detail on how to get great deals. Whether you are buying an off-market property or from the MLS, we discuss how to negotiate to get the best deal in this book. Find it here on Amazon as a paperback, audiobook, or eBook. Amazon
How to Buy a House: What Everyone Should Know Before They Buy or Sell a Home
A house is the biggest purchase most people will ever make, but most people don’t know the best way to buy a house. The book covers everything you need to know about the house buying and selling process, from inspections, financing, appraisals, to closings. Many people want to invest in real estate but do not know the basics of buying a house. Find it here on Amazon as a paperback or eBook. Amazon
How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Huge Success
I wrote this book to teach people about the techniques I use to stay positive and be successful. I have a lot going on with my rentals, the flips, a real estate brokerage, and the blog. I still work less than 40 hours per week. It was not chance that I am able to do this; I live my life a certain way. I have learned many of these techniques from other great authors like Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, and more. Find it here as a paperback or eBook: Amazon
What if you do not have the time or money to read a book?
I talk to a lot of people who refuse to read. They don’t have the time or the money. If you are already successful, I cannot argue with you, but if you cannot afford to buy a book, you are most likely in need of money. I find that most people who say these things don’t want to read and are looking for excuses. If you really have these problems, here are some solutions:
- Go to a library! Some of my books are in libraries, and I know may other real estate books are as well. A library is free, so you have no excuse.
- If you don’t have time to read, you are in trouble. I am guessing there is time to read but you would rather do other things. Do you watch television? Do you commute to work? Do you have lunch breaks? These are all times you could be reading.
- If you really have no time, you can listen to audiobooks in the car. It is better than nothing.
Books can be an amazing resource for anyone. They are cheap, readily available, and a great learning tool. Everyone should be able to fit them into their schedule if they really want to. I list my books here, but there are many other great real estate books out there. Not every book will be what you are looking for, but you should be able to learn at least one thing from every book you read.