Best Books for Real Estate Agents to Change Your Business and Life in 2021

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A large portion of the most successful people in the world are avid readers. Fast Company says that CEOs of major corporations read an average of a book per week.

When I started my career as a real estate agent, books were a central focus for my growth. There are times when I read a book per week. And there are times when reading gets put aside because I am “too busy”.

The results speak for themselves, I sell more homes when I read more books. Real estate agents should focus on both personal and business development, and these books give you a chance to explore both.

Many top producing agents have said that reading is a pillar of their success. If you are not a big reader, it is never to late to get going. The time to start is now.

Read or Listen?

Different people have different ways of learning and remembering information. Real estate agents spend a large amount of time in their car, so an surprising benefits that other formats do not offer.

So even if you have not read a book in years, be open to the idea of having a book next to your bed at night that you read some from daily.

The Real Estate Agent’s Best Books List

Let’s get right to it.

These books are in no particular order. You can pick out books written specifically for real estate agents, or for a particular challenge you are having in your business.

I have personally read all of the books in this list. So this list will expand as I read powerful books I want to share with you.


The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

By Gary Keller, Dave Jenks & Jay Papasan

You cannot make a list of books geared toward real estate agents without mentioning Gary Keller’s master work. Gary & his colleagues appear on this list multiple times and for good reason. This book goes in depth on lead generation, business systems, building your team, mastering a growth mindset and much more. The ultimate reveal is showing you how to build a business that nets 1 million per year. The book also contains insights from some of the top producing agents in the country who Gary interviewed.

Best for: Every real estate agent should read this book…and if you are building a team, you should read it every year. This is the gold standard for running a real estate sales business.


The Sell: The Secrets Of Selling Anything To Anyone

By Fredrik Eklund

This book is inspiring, and had an immediate impact on my productivity. Fredrik immigrated from Sweden to New York with no network in the city. Only to become a record breaking luxury real estate agent and star of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing. This book is both his story and his sales training that helped him get to the top. You will learn how to be memorable and likeable, find your unique style and master social media to garner more business.

Best for: Great if you are an individual agent who wants to learn how to be more bold and sharpen your networking and sales skills.


The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

By Gary Keller, Dave Jenks & Jay Papasan

This is Keller and company’s book on how to become a successful real estate investor. You might not be a real estate investor (yet). But you will have the chance to represent clients who want to buy investment properties. And you will want to know what you are talking about when that chance comes about. This book will teach you the lingo, strategies, metrics, rentals, flips, estimating, etc. Start your education here.

Best for: If you want to become a real estate investor or specialize in representing clients who are investors. This knowledge comes in handy especially during a buyer’s market.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R Covey

I first read this book at 15. And I still go back to read it again when I need something to give me a jolt. This is the single most important self-improvement book I have ever read. If you make these habits your own, your career can jumpstart. But that is just the beginning. This book can actually help you find the best version of yourself and empower others around you. The best part about the book is it gives you habits to implement right now.

Best for: Everybody should read this book, YOU included.


Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

By Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness

I read this book at a time when I was overworked, overtired, and honestly was struggling with the stress day to day of being a real estate agent. By the time I was done reading, I realized how much I had been neglecting rest. And when I was taking down time, I was doing it totally wrong. Burnout is a real thing. Peak performance dives into how the world’s elite athletes and businesses approach mastering their craft, while avoiding overloading themselves.

Best for: If you are overstressed and are starting to wonder if there is a better way, there is. Real estate agents are notorious for working “all the time”, if you feel like this is you check out this book.


The 4 Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

By Tim Ferriss

This book will show you the immense power of the internet and its transformative effect on business. It may seem like a strange book for real estate agents, because a lot of it talks about remote work and building remote businesses. But their are a ton of gems here, especially if you one day want to build a team you can run from afar.

Best for: Anyone who wants a “why” to build and run a website, this is a great book. It is also good to get the creative juices flowing in your business.


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

By Brené Brown

OK, this is clearly not the traditional business book. This is a book about the things that hold us back in life that nobody really wants to talk about. Brené has created a following around her research around vulnerability & shame. Her TED Talk on the subject has over 15 million views. Check that out, and then buy her book. It is a bestseller for good reason: it helps you address that feeling of not being “good enough”.

Best for: If you feel as if you “don’t deserve” success, or will never be able to achieve it. Sometimes, there are things that hold us back in our business. The more you dive in, the more you can move forward.


Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

By Roger Fisher, William L. Ury & Bruce Patton

As a real estate agent, problem solving and getting agreement between parties are foundational pieces of the job. This book was written by the original heads of the Harvard Negotiation Project, which was created by the University to study issues of negotiation and conflict resolution. This is THE book on negotiating the right way, without damaging relationships and causing gridlock between parties.

Best for: If you feel like your negotiating skills are lacking or even if you just want to sharpen them. This book will give you a new perspective on getting deals done and representing your clients in the best possible way.


The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)

By Hal Elrod

It has been said “win the morning, win the day”. This book is laser focused on showing you how to win the morning. Hal puts together a blueprint made up of 6 tasks that will give you purpose to your morning routine. Practiced diligently, these can be transformative in getting you on track for more productive days and a more productive career. He also wrote a version of the book specific for real estate agents. I like the original better but both are good.

Best for: If you feel like you get off to a slow start, feel scattered during the day and feel like you need more direction, this is your book. After the routine is done you will attack the rest of the day with high energy and purpose.


How To Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

Originally published in 1936, this is one of the best selling books of all time. And for good reason. After reading this book, you will be better at growing a network and building a stronger sphere of influence.

Best for: This is one of the books I believe all real estate agents (and everyone in business and dealing with people) should read. Especially if you want to expand your network.


Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

By Adam Grant

There is something to be said for sticking with what works. But small innovations and new ideas are what keep companies and real estate teams alive. This is a fun fast paced book about some of the ideas that changed the way a business is run (and some that did not).

Best for: If you feel like your business needs an injection of creativity, this is a great way to get the ideas flowing. It is also a fun read for anyone who is a fan of going against the grain to get things done.


7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals

By Michael J Maher

This book follows the fictional Rick Masters, a real estate agent who is in need of a boost to his business. While reading about Rick, you will learn about nurturing and mastering a pillar of the real estate business: referrals.

Best if: You want to focus on boosting your referral business. Every real estate agent gets referral business, but the ones who really focus on relationships may not need to look anywhere else.


Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

By Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey made a name for himself by being a champion of being debt free, building investments and then giving back to the community. I read this book at a time when I overleveraged both personally and in my business. My coach at the time suggested I follow the suggestions in the book, and it has some great tips for managing money.

Best for: If you are an overspender, your debt is impacting your business and/or life, find yourself running out of money, etc…this is like a boot camp for you and your finances. Personally, I only followed the steps for 18 months. But I still use many lessons from Dave in both my business and personal finances.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

By Robert T. Kiyosaki

This is a classic book, and was the catalyst for me becoming a real estate agent. The book is straightforward, entertaining and easy to follow. Although I am not a fan of his courses, the book has some solid principles on investing in real estate and wealth building.

Best for: The beginner investor or real estate agent, it is a motivating book when getting started. For a deeper dive into these topics, I like Gary Keller’s books.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

By Charles Duhigg

This book was an eye opener for me. It breaks down how habits are formed, how they affect our behavior and most importantly how to transform your habits to get more results in your life and business. How powerful are habits? The answer will shock you.

Best for: If you are not as productive as you would like to be and want to find out how to remove negative habits and replace them with positive ones. If we are being honest, this is most of us.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

By Cal Newport

If I had not read this book, my site would not exist. Cal dives into a subject that has been negatively affected by leaps in technology: deep, focused and continued effort on a task with minimum distractions. The effects of deep focus can have a profound impact on certain tasks in your business.

Best for: If you feel frantic and have the feeling that you are just “putting out fires” all day, this book will help. Especially if you have tasks that you are putting off, such as working on systems or building a website.


SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

By Gary Keller, Dave Jenks & Jay Papasan

Another book by GK, this book was born from the financial crisis of 2008 that left many real estate agents reeling. This is the instruction manual for how to survive (and even thrive) in a slow real estate market.

Best for: If the market that you are selling in starts to go through a downturn, buy this book. Even better, read it during the good times so you are ahead of the curve. If you take the content to heart, you will be ready to sell in any market.


Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

By Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vee has become an icon in the world of social media & marketing. He was an early adopter of what later became household platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other media giants. Crush It! is the ultimate book on building a personal brand using the power of the internet. Although it was written in 2009, many of the principles still apply, although the tech has changed. Gary is also a wildly entertaining guy and will motivate you to hustle after your goals.

Best for: If you want to build an online presence, strengthen your personal brand or just want an entertaining read by a “pure bred” entrepreneur, this is a book you should buy.


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Grit is a powerful and eye opening look into what it takes to succeed. This is a scientifically written book, so you won’t find a whole lot of fluff in Angela’s work. What you will find is data driven, study backed theories on why persistence, not natural talent, are what high achievers have in common.

Best for: If you want inspiration but are looking for something more academic and thorough, this is one to add to the list. The common saying goes, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. This book hammers that point home and will cement in your mind that you need to become an expert in your field, not just dip your toes in.


The Traveler’s Gift

By Andy Andrews

This is a wildly entertaining book that is also filled with insight that you can apply to your life and business right now. The book follows a man down on his luck who then is transported to crucial points throughout history, learning 7 lessons (decisions) from the heroes at each time.

Best for: If you are going through a tough spot and beginning to feel the “why me” voice in your head, this is the perfect read. However, it is also a great read for anyone who wants to take charge of their life and success. Andy is also a very good story teller so it is a fast and engaging story.


The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

By Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

What if there was just ONE thing in your business (or relationship, etc.) that needed your best efforts, and the rest you could fill in around it? That is the wild, yet convincing idea behind this book. It is a complement to Covey’s quadrant concept in ‘7 Habits’ (read that first). This book is laser focused on cutting through the noise, figuring out the important task and then putting all your energy towards that task.

Best for: When you finish your day, did you find that you dealt with interruptions and distractions pretty much start to finish? You are not alone. This book will help you become disciplined at finding and DOING the one thing in your real estate business that will bring you success (i.e, generating future business).


The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

By Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth is an iconic book for anyone starting or running a business. And in case you didn’t realize yet, as a real estate agent you are running a business. This book goes in depth about why businesses fail and how you can succeed. A great book for mastering systems and processes.

Best for: If the term “working on your business, not in your business” has no meaning to you, check out Gerber’s book. Even if you are a savvy business person already, The E-Myth is full of little gems to implement.


Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

By Susan Jeffers

This is a classic self development book about not letting your anxiety and negative thoughts get in the way of your goals and dreams. The book is essentially a how-to-guide to getting outside of your comfort zone, and why you should be pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Best for: Have you ever made a plan to do something challenging (door knocking, anyone?), and then “changed your mind” or come up with excuses to avoid it? Then you will want to read this. Learning to go against fear is essential for real estate agents to grow, and this book teaches you that fear is often misplaced.


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

By Phil Knight

Before Nike was a household name, they were a unknown brand of Japanese shoes sold by a former University of Oregon track runner out of the trunk of his car. ‘Shoe Dog’ is an incredible autobiography of adversity, perseverance and eventually triumph.

Best for: This is a riveting story and a great read to show how to deal with business obstacles, hustle and grow your dreams into reality.


Conclusion

Selling real estate is competitive, so agents like us should sharpen our minds with books every chance we get. Do you have a book you want to recommend? Do you want to connect about your career? Send me a message below.

Will Rodgers

Will is an award winning real estate agent, author and high tech marketing expert. Adopting a consultative approach he has helped hundreds of clients meet their real estate goals in the Northern VA real estate market.