Real estate is a business. And yes, there are some great books specifically on real estate that every investor should read (like the 10 I mentioned earlier), but there are also some great business books that investors should put on their list. My top 10 list is as follows:
10. Who– Geoff Smart and Randy Street
This is easily the best book on hiring that I have found. Most employers will “go with their gut” and at best, that leads to a success maybe 50 percent of the time. Smart and Street outline a fantastic, thorough and practical approach to finding great employees.
9. Good to Great – Jim Collins
How do companies become great? That's the question Jim Collins asks in this wonderful book. He looks at 15 companies that did average for 15 years and then, all of a sudden, skyrocketed to beat the Dow average by at least 300% for 15 years. Only a handful of companies met such a criteria and when compared to other similar companies that didn't do as well, Collins finds similar behaviors that lead companies to becoming great (whether they are real estate companies or not).
8. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill's classic work is a great place to start for someone who wants to think (and act) like a millionaire.
7. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
In Stephen Covey's extremely popular book, he outlines the best habits to work to instill in oneself in order to become successful. This is sort of the end-all, be-all of personal improvement books and for a good reason. It’s where the idea of a “paradigm shift” came from. And while buzzwords can be annoying, learning how to view the world differently and more positively, instead of just trying to change one’s attitude, can have tremendous results.
6. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit explores the uncomfortable fact that we are creatures of habit more so than conscious thought. These habits can be good (or necessary to life, such as breathing) or they can be very bad. Recognizing these habits and understanding the best known approaches to change them is critically important.
5. Willpower – Roy Baumeister and John Tierney
What exactly is willpower and how do we increase our supply of it? Well, it turns out that willpower is real and is best thought of as gasoline in your own personal willpower gas tank. Use it too much without taking a break and you run out. Luckily, there are ways to improve your willpower including simple things like practicing sitting up straight as well as some insights from the number one book on this list.
4. Getting to Yes – Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton
The go-to-guide on negotiating is a must read for anyone who negotiates a lot, which rumor has it that real estate investors do. The approach is to look for opportunities to find collaborative solutions whenever possible. Using this method reduces the animosity and mistrust between the parties and increases the possibility of finding a mutually beneficial solution.
3. Getting Things Done – David Allen
Being organized is one of the best ways to improve your willpower as well as obviously being able to keep track of everything you’re doing. David Allen has put together a marvelous and flexible system that I personally use and could not recommend more. He also offers seminars which can be very helpful since the book by itself can be a bit overwhelming, but it is most certainly worth the effort.
2. The E-Myth – Michael Gerber
Regardless of whether you are just getting started or are already quite successful, every business should create systems. Act like you are franchising your business and need to put in place a system for others to be able to pick up and go with. Gerber shows why this approach is so much more effective as well as how to do it.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Never have I read a book with such simple advice that is so commonly ignored. Despite the manipulative sounding title, this classic shows that the only real way to get people to do something is to make them want to do it. And the only way to get them to like you is, shockingly, to like them and behave accordingly. Smile, say thank you, apologize, remember people’s names, etc. All these things can completely change your luck with people professionally and personally.