Looking for the best real estate books to transform your mindset, knowledge, and career? We know you’re busy, so we’ve compiled this list of real estate books that are worth your time and will help you learn, grow, and be inspired this year.
These are the 28 books that have motivated us in everything from real estate to starting The Close. Some may be familiar titles, others might be more unexpected, but each is a worth a read in 2022.
Best Real Estate Books About Sales + Lead Generation: How to Close That Next Deal
No matter how much you’re crushing your sales game, you can always learn more. That’s what people love about sales: it’s an endlessly creative, engaging, constantly evolving skill. This collection of beloved classics and new thought leadership all work toward the goal of keeping you sharp, motivated, and ahead of the competition.
What happens when someone asks you to help them get married in the Vatican? Or set up a meeting with Elon Musk, or arrange a private Andrea Bocelli concert? If you’re Steve Sims, you say, sure, what time?
Sims, the consummate “fixer,” offers lessons that apply to business and life. You’ll enjoy his pithy writing (he titles chapters, “you don’t drown from falling in water, you drown from staying there” and “the worst picture of me ever taken”), but you’re also guaranteed memorable takeaways and fantastic storytelling.
The Transformational Consumer
If you want to be successful in real estate, you have to learn how to turn one-time buyers and sellers into clients for life. Nelson’s premise here is simple: your actions and attention can forge a relationship with a client that’s as strong as iron.
Though the idea is easy enough, the execution can be tricky, which is why this book is so valuable. Nelson has a master’s degree in psychology from the University of California and a Juris Doctor from Berkley, but what really makes the book pop are her real-world experiences as a vice president (VP) of marketing at major athletic and tech brands.
National Association of Realtors (NAR) keynote speaker, Leigh Brown, challenges us to find our authentic selves and present that self to the world. Known as the “No Bull**** Realtor, Brown uses own life experiences to package actionable and practical advice on how to find lasting success in sales. We all know selling can be exhausting, so if you need a mental kick in the butt or an inspiring reset, Leigh Brown is the one to turn to.
What to Do When You Lose Your Motivation as a Realtor
The Seven Levels of Communication
This is a great resource if you’re just starting out and don’t have a huge network of referrals. It’s all about networking, building relationships, and turning relationships into referrals. New real estate agents will be able to learn from and easily implement Maher’s straightforward “seven-level formula.”
Exactly What to Say
Over the course of your career, you’ll encounter a wide variety of personalities: the “know-it-all” clients who ignore your recommendations, micromanagers who need to hear from you every two hours, or clients who leave you in the dark. Whatever the situation, objection, or personality, this book will help you prepare for those tough conversations that you will inevitably face as an agent.
16 Strategies for Sales
Sean is one of the foremost experts on leveraging one’s signature personality to find success in sales. He’s done endless research on the various personality types and tests and developed an entire coaching system. His book, which outlines 16 strategies in detail, gives hope to those of us not naturally gifted with a “sales” personality. Instead, we learn there is no perfect “sales” personality and how to use our own unique gifts to find a path to real estate success.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
You’ve probably heard of this book, but if you haven’t read it yet, consider this your time. Believe it or not, becoming more likable and trustworthy are skills that can be honed. The principles outlined in this book can help you learn how to lead people with sincerity and earn their trust. At its heart, it’s a real lesson on how we can do sales without being too “salesy.”
Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!)
Sales and networking are critical components of success as a professional real estate agent. It doesn’t matter how much you know about real estate—if you can’t persuade people to work with you, you won’t survive long. We know cold calling isn’t everyone’s favorite, but if you’re hoping to hone that skill and gain practical, actionable advice, this is a great resource.
4 Real Estate Cold Calling Scripts + Tips to Conquer Your Fears
According to our own expert real estate sales coach, Sean Moudry, “If you are looking for the Ph.D. of sales books, then look no further. ‘Rainmaking Conversations’ guides the reader through professional sales techniques, like building rapport, creating a unique value proposition, and overcoming objections. This is a must for any salesperson, real estate professionals especially.”
Best Real Estate Books About Leadership: Develop Skills to Take Charge & Inspire
You don’t have to be a managing broker or even a real estate team leader to get a lot of value from these picks. As real estate professionals, we are leaders in so many ways; we lead our clients through transactions, we lead other industry professionals (like mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers), and we are leaders in our communities.
Start With Why
Simon Sinek, famous for his TED Talk (57+ million views at the time of publication), asks why because he knows that’s what all great leaders ask. They focus less on the how and the what—it’s the why that inspires and drives them. The same is true with customers; we won’t buy in until we understand why we should.
While some argue that this book could be edited down, or that the TED Talk does the job, many find inspiration as Sinek expounds on his initial thesis. As we work hard day after day, we never want to lose the why.
19 Most Inspiring & Life Changing TED Talks for Realtors
Leaders Eat Last
After Sinek’s TED Talk fame, he wanted to explore why some team members will literally put their life on the line for each other, and some teams face endless fragmentation and distrust.
His title (and thesis) come from a conversation Sinek had with a Marine Corps general, who explained that in his world, leaders eat last. Leaders willing to put their own comforts, or in the extreme, their own lives, behind the needs of others, are the ones who command loyalty.
The best organizations build trust within their teams because their leaders create, as Sinek puts it, a “Circle of Safety.” These are especially helpful lessons for brokers and team leaders, but really, for life.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Horowitz, a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and investor, focuses on the tough decisions he has made as a CEO and leader. While most business books detail the steps entrepreneurs take to be profitable and successful, Horowitz looks at the potential challenges and pitfalls, such as layoffs, internal politics, hiring the right people, and eventually selling the business. He prepares readers for the “hard things” and offers thoughtful strategies when things don’t go as planned.
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
Chapman and White break down how to best communicate appreciation to colleagues and direct reports using a “language of appreciation.” Understanding how people crave and receive appreciation will improve morale in any workplace. Recognizing how to best show the people around you (customers, clients, friends, colleagues, family members) that you appreciate them strengthens your sphere of influence.
Are You a Lousy Team Leader? 7 Reasons You May Be Struggling
Liz Wiseman, head of the leadership and development firm The Wiseman Group (whose clients include Apple, AT&T, Disney, Facebook, Google, Nike, Tesla, and many others), makes the case for being a leader who makes everyone else in the room feel smarter.
We’ve all been around people who seem to drain the energy, enthusiasm, and capability from the people around them. If you’re lucky, you’ve also been in a room with someone who amplifies those things, who turns on the lightbulb above your head. Wiseman lays out the path to be the latter in an easy-to-read business book all real estate professionals should have on their shelves.
Best Real Estate Books About Social Impact: How Far We’ve Come & Work Left to Do
The real estate industry plays a vital role in our communities and in society as a whole. That’s why it’s crucial to understand past and present inequalities and how we can move toward a more equitable future.
The Color of Law
This book is a must-read for every real estate professional. Essentially a historical exposé, it details the deliberate systems put into place to discriminate and reinforce racial segregation.
It won (or was a finalist for) just about every award possible when published in 2017, so if you missed it when it first came out, give this one a good read. It’s essential to understand where we’ve all come from to see clearly where we’re going.
Korver-Glenn, a professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico, examines the Houston real estate market and finds it rife with opportunities for deliberate racial segregation. It’s an important read as we work toward ending injustice in every corner where we encounter it. There’s a lot to take in here, and it’s not a happy read, but it will leave you asking questions, wanting to learn more, and striving to work for a better world.
Race for Profit
If you think you know all about the history of housing discrimination in the United States, think again. This is an incredibly thoughtful and well-researched analysis of the policies that kept many Black families on the outside looking in. Both heartbreaking and captivating, Taylor manages to strike a fine balance between encyclopedic knowledge and engaging storytelling.
Her work features real people fighting a system set up to defeat them—the result is a book that will keep you up at night and spur many dinner table conversations.
The Big Short
Lewis continues to be one of the wittiest observers of economics in America in our time. “The Big Short” tells the tale of the 2008 housing crisis, but even better, Lewis explains what led to it. He presents a narrative full of colorful characters and makes complex, sometimes dry material approachable and entertaining. This is a wonderful read regardless of your industry, but for real estate professionals, it’s a must.
This is a challenging work penned by Paul Knowlton, a JD, and Aaron Hedges, who has an MBA (both have Masters of Divinity). They present a hopeful path forward for our economic system—one that is more mindful, deliberate, and equitable.
Before you think this book might be too feel-good or idealistic, consider what Tony Reid, a former Senior Vice President of Marriott International, argues: “This is an eloquent and articulate reminder of the importance of understanding economics in the context of our communities, country, and roles as business leaders.”
Best Real Estate Books About Success: What It Looks Like Today
Business is constantly changing, especially in 2022. Each book in this section offers practical and useful knowledge on the future of work, fundamentals of finance, definitions of success, and paths for creating the type of business that inspires and motivates you.
Good to Great
Data geeks, this one’s for you. Jim Collins, who wrote “Built to Last,” looks at what made 11 companies (out of the roughly 1,400 on the Fortune 500) jump from “goodness” to absolute “greatness.” He first defined greatness: 15 years of steadily increasing profits after 10 years of stagnation, and then he assembled a team of researchers to learn how they did it.
After five years, collecting 384 megabytes of data, 2,000 pages of interview transcripts, and pouring over 6,000 articles, they put their research together. Their findings, Collins argues, are pretty astounding. And it’s not what you think.
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller
If you want to bring home a million dollars next year, read this book for inspiration. Many new real estate agents forget that most of your hard-earned commission doesn’t go into your pocket. This book distinguishes between net and gross earnings and gives you an economic blueprint to minimize costs and maximize take-home pay.
If you’re new to the business, this book is worthwhile. Full of step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and many “how-to” lessons, this book should be on every new agent’s reading list.
Do you dream of owning a profitable real estate brokerage one day? If so, you’re going to have to get comfortable with the financial side of the real estate business. While accounting and finances may be less exciting than closing a million-dollar listing, you’ll never succeed without a solid understanding of how profit really works.
While “Profit First” was written for general business owners and entrepreneurs, the techniques in this book are essential for real estate agents.
If you’re nervous about taking the plunge and starting your own team or brokerage, then Barbara Corcoran’s “Shark Tales” is essential reading. In the book, she recounts her amazing success story—from growing up poor in a large family to using her wits to dominate the cutthroat world of Manhattan real estate.
Best Real Estate Books About Perseverance + Mindset
You can read every business book on the market, but if you’re not in a healthy, productive mindset, you won’t be successful. These five books outline tips and strategies for finding strength when times are tough, setting up habits that foster success, and ensuring that you are the best professional (and person!) you can be.
Can’t Hurt Me
David Goggins is the self-proclaimed “baddest mother-******” on the planet, and after reading this book, it’s easy to see why. Rising up from a brutal childhood, he built his mental and emotional strength while testing the limits of his physical strength. A retired Navy Seal, he also completed the U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He’s retired from the armed services but fills his time with ultra-marathons, ultra-triathlons, and setting records right and left.
“Can’t Hurt Me” is one of those rare motivational books you can’t put down. You’ll finish this one with a firm belief that pain, fear, and doubt should never get in the way of achieving your dreams.
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
You probably won’t find this book on other real estate book lists, but “Psycho-Cybernetics” is a classic read about reaching your goals and preparing your mind for success.
As a new real estate agent, you can expect to be working hard every day. You’ll work weekends, you’ll probably take client calls after hours, and you’ll have to grind to build the relationships that lead to referrals. Through all of the hustle and bustle, you can easily lose track of your goals and burn out. But if you apply the theories outlined here, you can be sure that you’ll keep your mind calm and centered.
The Magic of Thinking Big
In a nutshell, this is about believing in yourself. The lessons apply to nearly all aspects of life, but they’re particularly relevant to careers and leadership. Schwartz advocates for maintaining your relationships and quality of life during your early years as a real estate agent. If you have big goals and aspirations, don’t skip this one.
7 Tips for Building Your Sphere of Influence in Real Estate (+ Script)
With so much competition out there, believing that hard work beats talent isn’t easy. That’s why we loved “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. Here, she lays out the case that perseverance is the key to success and offers the hard science to prove it.
You’ve read how to crush sales, become a remarkable leader, communicate effectively, understand your role in our greater socio-economic world, and stand tall in the face of adversity. But how do you put it all into place?
That’s where James Clear comes in. He argues that often, the problem isn’t you—it’s your systems. He presents actionable solutions to common challenges that will leave you feeling like with a few tweaks and improved habits, you can conquer your world.
Over to You
What are some of the best real estate books that you’ve found helpful in your career? Let us know in the comments.