One of the greatest thing an aspiring real estate investor can do is read and absorb the knowledge and actionable lessons that can be found in books. If you research any great entrepreneur, business leader, or investor (real estate included), a commonality you will find is many attribute reading as a factor in their success. You don’t have to be a beginner either; I’ve found that I can always gain a couple key insights from a new book that can help me grow my skills or make some money down the road. Keeping yourself in a learning mindset can help keep you sharp and ahead of the game as a real estate investor, even if you have a lot of experience.
There are too many real estate and investing/finance books to count and more are always on the way. I want to share a few of my favorites that have helped me learn and are worth the time investment.
- The Book On Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner. This is a great primer on real estate investing with a specific focus on rental property investing. It teaches the fundamentals of rental property investing, and walks you through a step by step guide on how to purchase your first property. It focuses on teaching the fundamentals but isn’t overly dry or technical. I think this is a great start because of its readability, straightforward and specific instructions and information, and it’s focus on investing for cash flow rather than speculating in the markets. This book is published by Bigger Pockets, which is a great real estate website and community for investors I recommend participating in.
- Investing in Duplexes, Triplexes & Quads by Larry B Loftis. This book is about my favorite real estate niche: small multi-family. Our portfolio consists of mostly multi family 10 units or under, and have found the most success in this category. This book is about exactly what the title describes, investing in 4 unit and under multi family. It gives specific examples and case studies and even gives real world stories from the authors experience. There is also plenty of tips and chapters on how to find, value, and how to do the math on investing in these properties.
- What Every Real Estate Investor Needs To Know About Cash Flow And 36 Other Key Financial Measures by Frank Gallinelli. This book is for more of a novice or intermediate level investor as it does get into technical details and financial metrics. It’s well worth it’s price as it breaks down pretty much every formula and metric you would need to know to invest in real estate. This is the book I refer back to the most when I’m doing analysis of deals or projections of properties. It explains the concepts simply and provides helpful examples and case studies as to not overwhelm the reader with numbers. Pay special attention to the sections on calculating CAP rates, cash flow and cash on cash returns, NOI, NPV, and IRR. Those ratios and formulas provide the bedrock on which real estate analysis is done.
- The Advanced Guide To Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy. This book is for the serious real estate investor who wants to take their skills to the next level. This author has published a series of books on real estate and investing and has had a lot of success in real estate and real world experience to share. It provides great insight on valuing deals, how to maximize cash flow, and the strategies for leveraging money and maximizing your buying power through methods like cash out refinance, 1031 exchanges, and more. My favorite sections are the ones about how to analyze a local market, how to identify trending or hot future markets and spot key trends and economic indicators that are relevant to you as an investor. It gets in depth into multi family and apartment building investing also which we are bullish on.
- Mastering Real Estate Investment Examples, Metrics, and Case Studies by Frank Gallinelli. This is the second book on this list by the same author. This book made the list because it’s split into two parts, discussing key financial metrics and analysis, and then discussing them with specific examples and case studies. The second part of this book not only provides case studies and examples, but it gives examples for multiple different categories of real estate. It includes simple investments like a single family house all the way to shopping centers and large commercial properties. It’s insightful to see how different types of real estates are valued and analyzed. This might help you decide what kind of real estate nice or asset class you want to invest in, and spark new ideas on how to diversify your portfolio.
These five books will benefit any skill or experience level investor. They’ve helped me gain a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time while thinking and sounding like a professional. I will continue to dust off my bookshelves and come up with more book recommendations in future posts that can provide value to us real estate pros.