Success in real estate as a buyer, seller, broker, investor, or all of the above comes with effort, patience, and growing your networks and knowledge. That can even include good old-fashioned book learning.
The educational process for real estate professionals doesn't stop with earning their license and the occasional continuing education webinar, nor is it just about making money. The ever-changing real estate market also involves keeping up with the times, including technology, social media, and social skills to expand your personal horizons.
We talked to some established professionals in diverse parts of the real estate industry to come up with this lineup of must-read books to help get you started and continue along the way to your personal fulfillment and professional success.
How to be a good real estate agent
Nate Smoyer, director of marketing for Chicago-based Avail.co, a provider of rental property software and other services to do-it-yourself landlords and tenants, told Millionacres there are two must-read books he considers "absolutely critical" for real estate professionals. They are:
Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be! by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, and Jay Papasan
This title, first published in 2004, is such a standard text for the trade that it has a nickname: the Red Book. "There's so much that goes into starting a business as a real estate agent, and that's what this book helps manage. It breaks everything down into small, organized segments, making the book very readable and applicable," says Smoyer, himself a former Keller Williams agent. He's also host of the Tech Nest podcast. (Here's a link to other podcasts that real estate professionals might want to follow.)
Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling by Jeb Blount
Lead generation on steroids is what's being taught in this 2015 tome. "Jeb is the coach you never knew you needed," Smoyer says. "His book is the best at motivating and giving applicable advice to the agent who wants to increase production. It's been said in real estate that if you say the right things to the right people enough times, you'll have success. Jeb reminds us that sometimes it's just one more call, one more email, one more postcard. Never stop prospecting!"
Non-real estate books for real estate agents
These next three recommendations are from Nicole Beauchamp, a global real estate advisor with Engel & Volkers in New York City. She specializes in sales and leasing for co-ops, condos, and townhouses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her three recommendations are not about finding success or simply making money in the real estate industry but more broadly about business, marketing, and technology. Sounds perfect for summer reading!
The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey, first published in 2006
"I read this book for the first time I want to say about 10 years ago or so, and then I had an opportunity to hear the author speak at an event in NYC," Beauchamp says in an email to Millionacres. "It's an incredible book for any business but perhaps much more so for someone in real estate, whether starting out or a veteran. It's probably much more important of a read now. In fact, I pulled it off my shelf as I was writing this to spend some time with it again in the coming days as I reflect, refine, and revise advisory strategies going forward."
Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals by Zvi Band
About this book that came out in 2019, Beauchamp says, "People often say that real estate is a relationship business, and the author really focuses on the importance of relationship capital in business. This can be a great road map for the experienced agent to refocus on their relationships and expand or for the newbie just beginning to understand the existing relationships they have and how to leverage that to build their real estate business."
Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience by Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli
Of this 2019 work, Beauchamp says, "When I initially read this book shortly after it was published, I found it helpful in getting me closer toward integrating video into my real estate marketing strategy. That's something I have personally struggled with for the better part of the last decade. The use of technology and video is really becoming central not only to the way we work but the way in which we live. This book would be an excellent guide for the new agent or experienced agent to make video a part of their strategy going forward."
Book views from Beantown
Anthony Lamacchia is the owner of Lamacchia Realty, based in the Boston suburb of Watertown with about 300 agents in the real estate market in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
When asked by Millionacres for his book recommendations, Lamacchia doubled up on the earlier recommendation of Millionaire Real Estate Agent as one of them. "It's extremely good, full of practical, real things that agents can do to make themselves successful," he says.
The veteran broker and agent also recommends The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes. "It's probably the best, most practical book about selling of any kind," Lamacchia says. "It talks a lot about educating people to come to you, and that's basically my whole premise, too. Reading it really gave me a kick in the butt to do more of that."
Real estate summer reading list
Folks interested in real estate investing and entrepreneurship in general also should consider the works of boom-bust-and-boom businessman Gary Vaynerchuk, including Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence -- and How You Can, Too.Also worth checking out: Jennifer Allen-Hagedorn's The Exceptional Real Estate Agent: Because Competence Gives You Confidence.
Aspiring or accomplished real estate professionals, including buyer's agents and commercial real estate specialists, along with the real estate investor who wants to learn more, can benefit from the books mentioned above.
Consider these recommendations a real estate summer reading list for any time of the year, a way to spend productive time on self-improvement instead of simply indulging in personal social media while daydreaming about selling that next single-family home.
After all, as any millionaire real estate agent can tell you, the real estate industry is not static. That's why there's a mini-industry in continuing education for the real estate professionals. Technology and tactics change, and the learning must go on.
As Lamacchia says, "It's very important to keep expanding your horizons. To look at new things. That will help you make it through the ups and downs you see throughout the year and every year."
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