Seven Must-Read Books for Real Estate Investors

by Brandon · 24 comments

Real estate investors disagree on many topics, but one that nearly all agree on is the necessity of investing in yourself. There are literally thousands of books out there that deal with real estate investing, and I’ve probably read most of them! The following list is the top of my top.  Without further suspense, I give you my Top Books For Real Estate Investors:

The Best Books for Real Estate:

The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down by Brandon Turner

f8e37d4f-no-money-3d-book-cover-png_0aj0f60aj0f6000000Looking to get started using other people’s money? Struggling to find out how to pay for your first (or next) property?  This is the one book on this list you CAN’T afford to miss (see what I did there?!)  Usually the term “no money down” is synonymous with the late night TV gurus with big hair, big smiles, and big promises – but this book is different. It’s not about one “secret” strategy – it’s about numerous strategies used  by real investors in today’s market – both newbies and advanced.   Of course I’m a little biased on how awesome this book is – because I wrote it, but being one of the top real estate books on Amazon definitely validates my bias!If you want to pick up a copy of this (either digital, physical, audio – or all three) head over to BiggerPockets.com/nomoney and get it!

The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing by Spencer Strauss

The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate InvestingSimply put, this book is amazing. From making a plan, buying your first property, fixing things up, managing property, to selling for premium prices  – it’s all here.  This book was the inspiration for the real estate strategy that I used in my life to grow my portfolio, and also the inspiration for my other short (free) book “7 Years to 7 Figure Wealth” which you can get for free later on this list!Overall, this book is an excellent summary of the whole process of buying an investment property.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor DadThere may be a lot of hype and motivational talk in this book (not to mention the Rich Dad marketing machine you see everywhere), but this classic among investors contains an unbelievable amount of life-changing, thought-provoking content. Rich Dad is all about opening our minds to the possibilities of letting our money earn money, rather than our time. Kiyosaki does an excellent job of putting to words what I had been feeling in my heart for a long time.

Rich Dad’s ABC’s of Real Estate Investing and Rich Dad’s Advanced Guide to Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy.

Rich Dad's ABC's of Real Estate Investing
These are two books that work as a team to teach one huge method of investing in real estate – multifamily investing.  These two are the best books on “big picture” real estate investing through apartments I’ve read.

If you want to start making serious money in real estate, check these two books out.  Also, these books contain the best descriptions and examples of harnessing the power of cap rates while investing in real estate.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The Four Hour WorkweekWhile not about Real Estate at all, The Four Hour Workweek is still an excellent book on living outside the “status quo” of slave, save, retire, die. It transformed the way I look at the world, retirement, money, etc.  I recommend this book to almost every person in any field.

might be turned off by Ferriss’ “personality” and bravado but I find the information and motivation invaluable. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and the busyness of it, don’t skip this one. I think you’ll like it.

Landlording on AutoPilot by Mike Butler

 Landlording on AutoPilotMike Butler’s book is hands down the best book on being a landlord for single family homes. There is so much good information in this book about dealing with tenants it is insane. This single book helped me dramatically to improve my landlording business and make my business so much

If you are struggling at all with being a landlord or fearful of jumping into real estate because of the thought of being a landlord, read this book.

BiggerPockets.com
BiggerPockets

Okay, Bigger Pockets may not be a physical book.  It’s actually the world’s largest real estate community.  However, anything you could ever learn in a book is found on this site.  Tons of investors, lots of info, amazing stuff. Really, this site taught me a lot about real estate investing. Now I am one of their contributors to their blog (which is super-duper cool). Seriously any question you have about real estate (besides asking me, which you totally can and should!) you can ask in the forums and you’ll get a bazillion seasoned real estate investors to answer you. It’s a living book. I love it.

7 Years to 7 Figure Wealth by … me!

7 Years to 7 Figure Wealth

  Ok, it’s a shameless plug, but I had to include this book in the list! If you want to check it out, it’s 100% free and you can download it right now.  This book is a complete summary of my investment strategy and one avenue to earn a million dollars in real estate purchasing only five properties in seven years with almost no money.

Other Great Real Estate Books: Honorable Mentions

What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know about Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures by Frank Gallinelli.  This book is about math, and making that math easy. If you don’t understand the principles discussed in this book, you will never be successful in real estate or any business, period.  If you want to understand it fully, devour this book and keep it on your shelf. This is definitely not a “check out from the library” sort of book.  (Also, read “The Buy and Hold Guys’” interview with Frank Gallinelli here)

Investing in Duplexes, Triplexes, and Quads: The Fastest and Safest Way to Real Estate Wealth by Larry Loftis. This book, as the title suggests, is my favorite book dealing with small multifamily properties. Being one of the first investment books I read, it really opened my eyes to what is possible out there, and caused me to buy my first duplex – which still brings me almost $400 per month in cashflow. I owe that purchase and success to this book.  If you are just starting out, I highly recommend this book.
How to Manage Residential Property for Maximum Cash Flow and Resale Value – By John T Reed. This hard-to-find book (he doesn’t sell on Amazon – just on his website) is really like an encyclopedia on managing large multifamily properties. Known for his straight-forward, no-fluff attitude, Reed has thousands and thousands of tips on managing larger properties. I re-read this book at least twice a year and learn new things every time.  I have not (yet) read his other real estate books, but if they are anything like this one, they will be amazing.

 ***Update – Check out the sequel to this post titled, “Seven MORE Must Read Books for Real Estate Investors”  ***

What are your favorite real estate investing books? List them in the comments below!

About Brandon

has written 85 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the BiggerPockets.com Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of RealEstateInYourTwenties.com. He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

The Buy and Hold Guys June 6, 2012 at 1:50 am

Nice list!

Have you ever read William Nickerson’s, How I turned $1000 into 5 Million in my spare time? It’s a little dated, but the fundamentals he talks about are still pretty applicable, especially for cash-flow investors.

I’ll have checkout the Butler textbook and BTW – your ebook rocks! I’m going to add it to the book list on my site.

4 hour work week – love that one too!!

AG

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Brandon June 6, 2012 at 2:14 am

I have not read that one, but I’ve heard of it. I’ll put it on my list! And thanks! Get working on your ebook! ;)

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Al Williamson June 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Yup, Tim Ferriss’ book is dangerous. Life ain’t the same after reading it. Nice list my friend.

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Brandon June 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Thanks Al!

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Kerry September 6, 2012 at 8:40 am

Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Investor has charts of best-practice buying, i.e. if you want x amount of cash flow (or equity) in x amount of years, here is what you do. It has been invaluable for us to figure out what comes next. Also has the meat of making money, interviews with millionaires, showing which methods they use and action steps to use it all yourself. I have a few other JT Reed books, which are pretty good, including his book on surviving another depression. He has a few nuggets that I hadn’t read elsewhere, and I have a big re library. Nickerson’s book itself is an investment, going up to crazy prices on ebay. Good article.

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Brandon September 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I’ve read Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Investor and it is an excellent resource! I’d love to read more of Reed’s books, but still haven’t. Thanks for the addition Kerry! Keep in touch!

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Shelby Reed April 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Gary Keller’s books are amazing! The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is one of those books I like to read, and then pick back up and re-read in another month or so. Very inspirational for both REI and living the life you choose.

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Brandon April 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I agree, The Millionaire RE Investor is awesome! Thanks Shelby!

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Marc September 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

The Four Hour Work Week is a gem for real…It is really popular amongst interntet marketers, but you are right however, it fits anyone with the burning desire to succeed.

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Haim MP September 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

I love your blog and its content and your list is great. I’d suggest Work the System by Sam Carpenter.

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Brandon September 29, 2012 at 4:26 am

Thanks a lot! And I’ll check that one out!

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Buy Apartments In Colombo November 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

A lot of good information you have provided. Your post will help many people to invest their money in real estate market.

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experimentalinvestor.com December 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Wicked website Brandon!

Another book on real estate investing which I have found really useful is:

“The 7 Biggest Mistakes made by Property Investors and How to Avoid Them” by Nick Carlile and Steve Bolton.

Good list nonetheless, and many of those you list would also make my top ten!

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Alok @ Constuction software December 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I have gone through one of the real estate book thanks for sharing all this book with us. It will help to me to lot.

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ane January 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

ncy list. read some and will check on others

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Thomas August 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

NIce list you have here Brandon! I have read a few of these but not the 7 years to 7 figures by yours truly! I need to check that one out! So much information Ill be spinning if I keep reading.

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Brandon August 22, 2013 at 5:12 am

Hey Thomas, thanks – and you definitely need to check out that 7 Years book ;)

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marcosius August 10, 2013 at 8:35 am

Agree~..this blog is really awesome & fires up desires to be rich in real estate

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Raymond August 22, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thanks for sharing your list of books. I think it’s funny how you’ve added Tim Ferris’ book into the list despite it not being really related to real estate per se but it actually puts a lot of emphasis on lifestyle changes and doing things with unconventional ways. Nonetheless, it’s still a pretty good read.

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Brandon August 22, 2013 at 5:11 am

Hey Raymond, thanks for the comment! Yeah, you know – I decided rather than simply making a “best real estate books” post, I’d make a “best books for real estate investors” post – which has a subtle but important distinction. I think The 4 Hour WorkWeek is important for investors to learn how to be more productive and to learn what’s really important in life vs. what’s just a facade! Thanks Raymond!

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Ashlee August 29, 2013 at 2:08 am

Hi Brandon,

I love your list! And I have found your posts inspiring! I am looking forward to reading all of these books as I am new to the investing/cash flowing world =P Have you even read a book called The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton? I have heard good things about that book and I’ve also heard he wrote a sequel.

Thanks again,
Ashlee

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MarkHay Rep November 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Wow, that’s an interesting list. Though i’ve read the The Four Hour Workweek, but being a real-estate-carzy, now I am only spoilt of choices for which one to read first.

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