2018 Roundup: Top 20 Books For Real Estate Agents

One of the best things you can do as a real estate agent is to keep learning!

There are so many great resources out there for real estate agents, and to close out the year, we’re counting down 2018’s top 20 books for real estate agents.

Many of the books on this list are real estate specific. They offer actionable advice for real estate agents to improve their real estate businesses. But there are also a few books that cover more general business and personal development topics.

We should also note: The books on our list weren’t necessarily published in 2018. But they were popular and useful reads for real estate agents in 2018.

Get ready to read, learn, and enjoy a successful new year in real estate!

Our Top 20 Books For Real Estate Agents

Let’s count ‘em down!

20. This Is Marketing: You Can't be Seen Until You Learn to See

You might know author Seth Godin from modern marketing classics like Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable and Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us . And his new book, This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn to See , deserves a place on your bookshelf next to those classics.

This is Marketing is all about learning and understanding what your customers need, then tailoring your message to address those needs. It’s not a book specifically for real estate agents, but it’s a book for anyone in marketing. And as an agent, you’re in marketing!

You probably already know to sell benefits, not just features. Your buyers aren’t buying a house with big windows because they want big windows. They’re buying a house with big windows because they want lots of light and a great view, right?

Well, this book takes that benefit/feature selling to the next level. It will revolutionize your marketing by giving you a look into the behavioral psychology of your customers.

19. The Honest Real Estate Agent

If you’re new to real estate, Mario Jannatpour’s The Honest Real Estate Agent should be among your first reads.

This book covers a wide range of topics for agents. Topics like negotiation, networking, communication, time management, marketing, professionalism, and integrity. The material is broken down into nearly 30 short chapters, so the information is easy to read and understand.

Plus, there’s a 30-Day Plan of Action to help new agents hit the ground running in their first month on the job!

The Honest Real Estate Agent is wide, rather than deep. The broad overview of the real estate profession is perfect for new agents, but veteran agents may find that they already know much of the information presented.

If you’re a new agent, this is a must-read, but as you progress in your career, you’ll want to find books that go deep on specific topics. And don’t worry, we have plenty of those on this list!

18. Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day: Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed

Karen Briscoe’s Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day is unlike any other book on our list. This book is not the kind of book you sit and read through. Instead, readers are given a mini-lesson to read every day for a year.

That’s right; there are 365 chapters in this book, each one about a 5-minute read.

So unlike the other books on our list, which all aim to give you a comprehensive look at their overall concept, Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day jumps around from topic to topic, with no single unifying theme. And that’s not a bad thing!

It’s like a little shot of motivation every morning. It helps you keep your head in the game by starting every day with a quick lesson in how to be a successful real estate agent.

By the way, if you practice The Miracle Morning (see #4 on this list), Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day is the perfect way to get in your reading every single morning.

17. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Many new agents underestimate the importance of being a skilled negotiator. But you’re literally negotiating at every turn in real estate:

  • Negotiating your commission split with your broker
  • Negotiating the commission with your prospective sellers during your listing presentations
  • Negotiating the list price with your sellers
  • Negotiating price and terms when making the offer on behalf of your buyers or replying to an offer on behalf of your buyers
  • Re-negotiating when issues are uncovered during the home inspection.

You’re basically a professional negotiator! That’s why you should read Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss.

Chris Voss is a former international hostage negotiator. He knows a thing or two about negotiating as if your life depended on it. And while your negotiations will never be so high-stakes, you owe it to your clients to be a world-class negotiator.

16. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

You may have heard author Angela Duckworth on NPR podcasts like Freakonomics and T.E.D. Talks. She’s a professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania who’s proving to the world that success isn’t about raw talent. It’s about the blend of passion and persistence: what we think of as “grit”.

Many new agents are surprised by the realities of a career in real estate. Like the many, varied skill sets required, for example. And many agents get discouraged because they aren’t a “natural” salesperson.

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance , you’ll see that it’s ok to not be a natural. This book will show you how grit can make you even more successful than those agents who seem to be born real estate agents.

15. 6 Steps to 7 Figures: A Real Estate Professional's Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Own Destiny

Money may not be your only motivator for being a real estate agent, but it’s certainly a compelling motivator for many of us. And for those who are willing to work hard and smart, there’s plenty of money to be made in real estate sales!

In 6 Steps to 7 Figures: A Real Estate Professional's Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Own Destiny , Pat Hiban shows you the exact steps required for you to earn BIG in real estate.

These actionable steps are incredibly useful for agents looking to maximize their earnings. But the book goes a step further. Hiban also talks about managing the money you’re making. There’s even a chapter on investing to teach you how to turn your earned income into an ongoing passive income stream.

It’s a smart read for the financially-minded real estate agent.

14. Listing Boss: The Definitive Blueprint for Real Estate Success

Hoss Pratt specializes in sharing tactics to help you generate more leads and convert more of those leads into clients. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with Listing Boss: The Definitive Blueprint for Real Estate Success .

Pratt presents twelve essentials for real estate success, and he delivers actionable steps to help you implement each of those twelve essentials into your real estate business.

The essentials include things like: Maximize your time and effort, Deploy a marketing arsenal, Leverage systems and tools, and Get buyers to take action.

And Listing Boss is all about action. This isn’t a concept book. It will give you the exact steps to take. Then you just have to get out there and take them!

13. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success brought the concept of “fixed mindset versus growth mindset” to the masses. In a fixed mindset, you are limited by nature. You’re either smart or you’re not. You’re ambitious or you’re not. You’re a good salesperson or you’re not.

In a growth mindset, you can become anything you want as long as you’re willing to try every day to be better. You can become a smart and ambitious salesperson even if none of those things come naturally to you. You just need to work at these things each day to grow into being that person.

Dr. Dweck presents interesting academic studies to prove the point that simply cultivating a growth mindset leads to far greater successes in life than limiting yourself with a fixed mindset. And Mindset offers practice advice for adjusting your own mindset until anything is possible!

It’s a hopeful and motivating read for anyone and everyone.

12. The Million Dollar Listing Social Media: The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Real Estate Professionals!

If you want to run your real estate business without social media, then you’re going to need a time machine so you can launch your business in the 90s.

In 2019, operating without social media instantly cuts you out of a HUGE market segment. Buyers and sellers are looking for homes online. They’re sharing homes and discussing buying and selling experiences on social media. You need to be a part of this discussion!

So check out Sebastian Acosta’s The Million Dollar Listing Social Media: The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Real Estate Professionals !

This book outlines the best strategies for different social media platforms like: Instagram Reddit Facebook Pinterest Twitter YouTube

You’ll learn what techniques are most effective on each unique platform to help you generate quality leads for multiple social sources.

You’ll also get instructions on how to create your accounts, publish posts, and gain followers on each platform.

Whether you’re new to social media for business use or new to social media period, The Million Dollar Listing Social Media can teach you how to turn social media into leads.

11. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

That which gets measured gets improved, right? So we need to be measuring the right things.

Today’s social media world is full of vanity metrics; Number of views, number of likes...these don’t matter if you’re not converting prospects to clients and clients to closings.

In Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs , John Doerr presents his goal-setting system of “Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)”, and shows how this system allowed some of the most recognizable brands in the world to achieve unprecedented levels of growth.

And, more importantly, Doerr explains how you can implement these same principles in your business. How much growth could your real estate business experience if you could identify the right metrics and focus on measuring and growing those?

Read Measure What Matters and find out!

10. The Book of YES: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide

If you’ve been in the industry for any length of time, you know the power of scripts. And if you’re brand new, you’ll learn soon enough!

Scripts tell you exactly what to say to achieve your desired sales result. For example, what exactly should you say when: You’re trying to secure a listing appointment? A seller objects to your 3% commission? * A buyer is on the fence about a home?

Kevin Ward has spent years perfecting scripts for these scenarios in his own multi-million dollar real estate business. And in The Book of YES: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide , he’s sharing all of his scripts with you!

There are over 25 scripts in The Book of YES , all designed to minimize the number of No’s you have to hear and maximize the number of Yes’s you get.

You’re going to want to keep this book nearby for reference at all times.

9. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too

Gary Vaynerchuk is a next-level personality in the entrepreneurial space. He gets entrepreneurs pumped to get out there every day and crush it!

And as a real estate agent, that’s exactly what you are: an entrepreneur!

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too is largely about personal branding. How to brand yourself (and your business) and how to make your brand recognizable.

This book contains several big-picture concepts, as well as some specifics on the logistics of building a recognizable brand. There are also some specifics about things like social media, since social media has become such a big component in personal branding for modern entrepreneurs.

If you want a high-energy read that will inspire you, Crushing It is a solid read.

8. Winning Secrets No One Tells New Real Estate Agents: How To Go Solo without Going Broke

A few of the books on this list have touched on the idea that you’re not an employee as a real estate agent. You’re an entrepreneur.

You don’t have the comfort of a consistent paycheck, employer-sponsored retirement plans, employer-sponsored insurance policies, or sick days. E. Theodore Aranda tackles this hurdle head-on in Winning Secrets No One Tells New Real Estate Agents: How To Go Solo without Going Broke .

Much of this book is about getting your mind right when moving from employee to real estate agent. About the shifts you’ll need to make in the ways you think about your “job”. If you’re in the process of making this transition (or will be soon) Winning Secrets is for you.

7. How to be a GREAT Salesperson...By Monday Morning!

You’re a real estate salesperson , right? So mastering the art of sales should be at the very top of your list of priorities. And Dave Cook’s How to be a GREAT Salesperson...By Monday Morning! Is your shortcut to becoming a great salesperson. Cook is a respected authority on the art of sales.

You know you should Always Be Closing. But do you know how to close? This book will give you multiple techniques so you’re always ready with the most effective close for whatever situation you find yourself in.

How to be a GREAT Salesperson will also show you how to interpret your clients’ questions, how to create urgency, and how to handle the all-important follow-up.

This book is basically a weekend-long salesperson boot camp.

6. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”

This quote from Author Will Durant (and not Aristotle as most people mistakenly believe), is incredibly motivating. It reminds us that we are the sum of our actions. And since we decide on which actions to take, we’re in control of who we are and who we will become.

Now, how do we make sure we’re consistently taking the correct actions to become people of excellence?

Enter James Clear’s Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones . This book is all about making small changes. One small habit change here, one small habit change there, and before you know it, you’ve built habits of excellence and have completely changed your life.

Atomic Habits will give you a clear path to creating new habits that will boost your productivity, your health, and your happiness. Who doesn’t want that?

5. 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals

Real estate is a business of relationships. The sooner you focus on building a referral-based business, the easier your life will be. You won’t have to cold call for leads, you’ll have leads coming to you because of the stellar service you provided to your previous clients. And these new leads already have a favorable impression of you, thanks to the person who recommended you, which is a much easier relationship to enter than one from a cold calls lead!

This is why 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals by Michael J. Maher is such an important book for agents of any experience level. This book will teach you how to communicate with your clients to nurture your professional relationship (and earn referral business!).

Once your business is built on referrals, you’ll never have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from.

4. The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents

Back in 2012, Hal Elrod published the revolutionary book, The Miracle Morning . And it changed the way entrepreneurs, leaders, and average Joes thought about mornings and started their days.

Then in 2014, Elrod partnered with real estate experts (like Michael J. Maher, who we just mentioned as the 7L author!) to create The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents .

The basic idea is that starting every morning with a routine of meditation, affirmations, visualization, reading, writing, and getting your blood pumping ultimately leads to a more focused, more energized, and more satisfying life.

The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents walks you through the exact morning routine of some of the top-producing real estate agents in the industry. And it shows you how to emulate their routines for your own success.

It’s a must-read for all agents, regardless of what phase of your career you’re in.

3. Mindset, Model and Marketing!: The Proven Strategies to Transform and Grow Your Real Estate Business

Mindset, Model and Marketing!: The Proven Strategies to Transform and Grow Your Real Estate Business is the latest and greatest from real estate guru, Tom Ferry. And it shares tips and tricks for handling the nitty-gritty details of the real estate industry.

Tom Ferry isn’t afraid to share specific strategies. For example, Mindset, Model and Marketing dedicates a whole chapter to open house strategies. And another to holiday marketing strategies. There’s even a chapter on how to create your own Mastermind group to keep yourself accountable and elevate your real estate business.

Whether you’ve been in the industry for one week or ten years, you’ll find something valuable in this hack-packed book.

2. Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

It’s no secret that the real estate market is slowing down across most of the country. We just experienced years of low interest rates, motivated buyers, low DOM (Days on Market), and increasing home prices. Naturally, the market can’t keep that pace forever, so the market is correcting itself to a slower, more sustainable pace.

Many agents worry about this since there will be fewer real estate transactions to go around. But there are several great things about a slower market: The “hobby” agents will leave the business since there isn’t low hanging fruit for them to grab, so the remaining agents will be those who are committed to the profession. You won’t have to deal with competing offers to get your buyer’s offer accepted. * The slow-down prevents home prices from escalating out of affordable ranges.

You don’t have to fear a shifting market. You just need to shift with it.

And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times by Gary Keller. Shift offers concrete tactics for successfully navigating the changing market.

You’ll learn how to change your business operations to do more with lower expenses, how to create urgency when inventory is slow to move, and how to take advantage of some of the real estate opportunities you’ll only find in a slow market.

It’s a timely read for agents looking forward to 2019.

1. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be!

Gary Keller’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is a perennial favorite in the real estate industry. It’s as relevant today as the day it was written. And while many authors have tried to publish a single book that encompasses the keys to real estate success, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent still does it best.

The structure of this book takes you from thinking about a million dollars to actually realizing that million in four stages: Stage 1 - Think a Million: Learn to think big-picture and set millionaire goals Stage 2 - Earn a Million: The exact models for you to follow to gross a million Stage 3 - Net a Million: Using the three L’s (Listings, Leads, and Leverage) to grow your business to net a million. Stage 4: Receive a Million: Taking your business to a level most agents never even think about by creating passive income streams and a succession plan for the business you’ve built.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is the single most comprehensive guide to real estate success we’ve found. If you’re going to read any book on our list, make it this one.

Happy reading!

Image sources in order of appearance: Unsplash , Pixabay , Pexels , Unsplash , Unsplash

Krista Doyle
Learn more about real estate licensing and get exclusive offers