I started investing in real estate more than 10 years ago. Like many others, I got curious about this, and eventually I decided to buy my first property, and then my second, and many years later I have 21 units that I own along with my wife and I have passively invested in 9 different syndications (I will explain what that is), that own upwards of 1500 units combined.
Before I get to the book list, let me explain that there are several ways to invest in real estate, you can be an active investor or a passive one. An active investor is directly involved in activities related to running or managing the property: you can buy a house and rent it, or you can put together a group of investors that look for a bigger size deal, put it under contract, gather another group of investors (passive) and buy and run the deal. This is commonly referred as a syndication, and it is a profitable way to invest.
Now to the list. I have read many real estate related books, and a friend asked me recently which books would I recommend to someone getting started in this journey, my list may be missing some good books, but I can tell you that the ones mentioned are worth every penny, and if you want to be an informed investor you must read at least a few of them. If there are books you have read that are not mentioned here, please put them in the comments section.
1.- Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Without a doubt this is a classic, and if you ask among real estate investors, I would bet more than 90% have read this book and is perhaps the one that got them started in the business. I am not sure if the rich and poor dad are real, but the book is full of practical advice and inspiration.
2.- What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cashflow: This book is full of formulas and examples on key financial metrics related to real estate. Many investors buy real estate banking on appreciation, and it is likely the property will appreciate, my advice is that any property you buy must cashflow. This book is a must for any aspiring investor.
3.- The Hands-Off Investor: I just recently read this book, and I can tell you that the price you pay is a bargain compared to the value delivered. I have been a member of an active mentorship group, where I have paid a good amount of money to learn, and I wish I would I have read this book earlier. The author (Brian Burke), does an excellent job explaining how multifamily syndications work.
4.- The Weekend Millionaire's Secrets to Investing in Real Estate: How to Become Wealthy in Your Spare Time: Getting started in real estate can be overwhelming, and this is like the saying: “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. This book does exactly that, it simplifies the process and gives actionable advice on how to get started.
5.- Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book: This book is written by Joe Fairless and Theo Hicks. They have a podcast with the same name, and furthermore, Joe runs a very successful syndication company and I have invested in a number of his offerings. The book perhaps repeats some of the same concepts you will read about in other books, but it does it in a very easy to digest manner.
6.- The Geometry of Wealth: Although this is not necessarily a real estate book, you must read this book to understand your reasons for getting into real estate. Real estate can be a very profitable business, but your why must go beyond just making money. A meaningful life in the end is what we all aspire to, and this book contains plenty of food for thought.
7.- Crushing it in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate: Another great book, told from a different perspective. It has a mix of personal stories, financial concepts, and tactics to get started.
8.- The Book on Rental Property Investing: My list would not be complete without a book from the bigger pockets library. If you have not stumbled on it, Bigger Pockets is an excellent website, with tons of free content.
9.- The Complete Guide to Investing in Rental Properties: This one of the first few books I read, and it gave me a good blueprint on how to get started. This book is more appropriate for those seeking to buy their first small property (less than 5 units). The concepts are applicable across and you will not go wrong making this one of your first reads.
10.- The Millionaire Real Estate Investor: Written by Gary Keller of world fame. This book is full of actionable advice from a legend.
This concludes my top 10 list. I still recall my wife telling me that she would not allow me to get into this business if I did not read at least 1 or 2 books before. Many years and books later, I realize how right she was, in order to be successful in this business, I would recommend that you read as many books as you can get your hands on. Best of Luck!!