First, do you even need to read books if you are a real estate agent? I want to give you a sense of what is going on in other industries. If you are a computer science major and working in your field you know you need to read every day to sharpen your skills and stay current. If you are a lawyer and want to excel in your profession, you make sure to read every day, If you are a good doctor, you read all the time. In other words, if you consider yourself a professional, you read. A typical American reads 4 book per year, contrast that with an average American CEO that reads 50 to 60 books per year. A couple of observations from what I am saying. One, if you consider yourself a professional, reading is a part of your daily routine. Two, there is a correlation between how many books you read and your income level. Gooks is not the only determinant of your income, but they are a very important consideration. Just like the exercise, reading is good for you.
What categories of books do you need to read as a real estate agent? Business, marketing, self-improvement, finance, investments, economics, real estate, fiction, etc. I can’t single out a subject that is better than all other options. All these categories are interconnected and all will broaden your thinking and influence your actions to achieve what you want.
With that being said, I want to cover a few books that were transformational in how we run our business and I hope you will find them equally impactful. The list is in no particular order and the books appearing higher on the list are no more important than the ones appearing lower.
- Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Garry Keller: This is a foundational book that every real estate agent should read at least once. It helps you understand what is involved in this business and it gives you snippets of actionable wisdom from successful agents from all over North America.
- Principles by Ray Dalio: Principles is a must read for all new hires at Bridgewater Associates - company that Ray Dalio founded. This books is simple and profound at the same time. The discussion is on the specific methods for making optimal decisions in your life and in your business/work.
- Atomic Habits by James Clear: Practical guide to creating habits that stick. If your road to success is hinging on you executing on a number specific daily activities, this book will help you stay the course.
- Crush it! by Garry Vaynerchuk (also consider reading Crushing It!): Pure inspiration by one of the most energetic, direct and thoughtful authors in the self-help, business development and marketing areas. It is a short book that covers a lot of subjects. It will provide you with ideas and motivation for developing your brand and daily execution.
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser: It is a certainty that at many points in your career you will be involved in written communication. Whether you are preparing a presentation, crafting a memo or writing an email, this classic book will improve your writing style and persuasiveness and will make it easier to establish a connection with your reader.
- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson: This book delivers on the promise of a very ambitious title. Written by one of the best known Canadian public intellectuals, it discusses rules for conducting yourself and structuring your life in a way that allows you to grow and become a better person for yourself and for others.
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber: Real estate is a business that sucks you into a 24/7 work routine, where you are the only person responsible for everything from coming up with ideas to vetting their viability to executing them. In this book you will find great practical advise on how to step away from being a business operator and transition into becoming a business owner.
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris: This book will give you a set of unusual options on structuring your work and your business, so that you can enjoy your life now, instead of thinking you can only start enjoying it when you retire. Tim Ferris gives you the tools to adjust your work/life balance, so you can get what you want out of it.
- Think and Grow Rich: You know this book. It is a classic. You may think the language is archaic and the ideas in the book will not work in the modern society. However, if you can get over your scepticism, this might become the most practical guide on how to move towards your goals, specifically your financial goals.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport: It is written by a young and accomplished academic. Great ideas on organizing your work life in a way that would help you achieve very ambitious, complex and long term projects.
You will notice that many books in the list above are on self-improvement. They talk about changing your daily routines, habits and consistency with which you approach your work. They will give you the audacity to dream bigger, confidence to turn your dreams into goals and tools to map out the path to achieve them. You will find that the more you read and integrate the material into what you do, the more you will learn about what else might interest you. The more you read the longer the list of books you have not yet read is going to grow. The more you read, the more consistent you will be on executing your road map that will get you where you want to go. You will become a better conversationalist, grow your knowledge base and dial up your persuasiveness. Reading consistently to improve yourself, your business and your life will also have a side effect of you starting to enjoy the process of reading, if you have not enjoyed it before. You will be looking forward to your daily reading sessions and to applying the lessons you learn from your books.