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17+ must-reads for brand new real estate agents


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Reading books, or at least listening to the audio version, is crucial for real estate agents who are trying to improve their careers. In fact, the average CEO reads four to five books a month, while, according to the Huffington Post, 28 percent of Americans have not read a book in the past year.

If you search real estate books on Amazon there are nearly 70,000 results, with more being published each day. Some of which are great resources, and others are either vanity projects or written to sell you coaching services. It can be tough to separate the fluff from the meat on first glance.

To help navigate the never-ending barrage of real estate books, I’ve compiled this list of must-reads for brand new agents; many veterans could benefit from reading them as well.

The list starts with the fundamentals and then branches out into various titles that will give you a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to succeed in the highly competitive real estate sales business.

Most of these books are also available on Audible, so if you don’t have time to sit down and read, you can listen in the car, at the gym, or my personal favorite, while lying on the beach sipping a margarita.

Dirk Zeller

Your First Year in Real Estate: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional by Dirk Zeller

Having the right CRM isn't the only thing — it's everything 5 things every agent needs from a CRM

This book will teach you the fundamentals of real estate and build a solid foundation for a sustainable successful business.



Jim Jaeckels

The Real Estate Agent Redefined by Jim Jaeckels

Guide to goal setting, business planning and managing day-to-day real estate functions.




Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be! by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

This is perhaps the benchmark that all other real estate books are measured against; after 13 years the principals still hold true though some of the numbers may need to be tweaked for current conditions. While you’re at it, pick up The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results and Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times.


Seth Price and Barry Feldman

The Road to Recognition: The A-to-Z Guide to Personal Branding for Accelerating Your Professional Success in The Age of Digital Media by Seth Price and Barry Feldman

The Road to Recognition is filled with actionable and real advice to get you thinking and taking action to create memorable, intentional branding and marketing. This book easy to read and a valuable reference guide for you to go back to again and again.


Leigh Brown

Outrageous Authenticity: You Are Your Best Sales Weapon by Leigh Brown

What I appreciate about Leigh Brown the most, is that she just tells it how it is. Avoid becoming a cheesy sleaze ball, and learn to present yourself in a professional manner online. Outrageous Authenticity is a straight-forward, easy and entertaining read. I definitely recommend the Audible version, which Brown narrated herself.


Seth Godin

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a master marketer, this book will show you how to set yourself apart from your competition by focusing on what makes you unique.



Larry Kendall

Ninja Selling: Subtle Skills. Big Results. by Larry Kendall

Real estate is a relationship business; the ninja selling system focuses on developing those relationships and asking the right questions to find solutions for your clients.



Gary Vaynerchuk

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk (also read The Thank You Economy)

Gary Vaynerchuk has grown his audience substantially from his days at Wine Library by testing and measuring all types of social media marketing. He is all about creating content you’re passionate about and providing valuable content to those you serve. Be sure to check out his keynote speech from last year’s Inman Connect San Francisco conference.


Dan Norris

Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising by Dan Norris

This book is for agents who want to establish themselves as a local authority or become the “mayor” of their town as Gary Vaynerchuk would say. Norris breaks down how to write valuable content that will attract potential clients to your website.


Katie Lance

#GetSocialSmart: How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy by Katie Lance

Katie Lance is the queen of social media. Read this book, and develop an effective social media strategy to share the great content you’ve created.    



Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

I don’t recall when I first read The Compound Effect, but I recently listened to it again on the plane while heading home from a real estate conference. I was reminded of how all of the little decisions we make in life when added together have a drastic impact on the outcome. On one hand consistently networking has led to great opportunities; on the other all of the craft beers I’ve been drinking have resulted in quite the beer belly. (Hmmm.)


Chris Smith

The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith

This is the ultimate guide for generating and converting online leads. If you’re going to do any sort of online lead generation, whether it’s through your website, third-party platforms, landing pages or Facebook ads, you need to read this book. It will save you thousands.


Kevin Ward

The Book of YES: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide by Kevin Ward

This book is full of great scripts that will help prepare you for any scenario you might run into.



Timothy Ferriss

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

Don’t go thinking real estate is a four-hour-a-week job; it’s anything but that. However, the concepts in this book will help you understand what your most important activities are each day and how you can use systems to operate more efficiently.



Grant Cardone

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

Instead of trying to only work 10 percent of a normal workweek, put in 10-times the effort to get extraordinary results; to succeed in real estate you’ll need to work hard.



Ryan Holiday

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

As you start to achieve success be mindful not to turn into an ego-maniac. This industry is full of companies and agents who claim to be No. 1. Focus on helping your clients, and continue to be a student of the industry — you can always learn more.



Brandon Doyle, Nicholas Dreher and Marshall Saunders

Mindset, Methods & Metrics: Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent by Brandon Doyle, Nicholas Dreher and Marshall Saunders

Now, I may be a little biased on this one, but Mindset, Methods & Metrics will help you outline a path to success by identifying what works for you, measuring the effectiveness of your marketing and quantifying your daily/weekly activities to achieve your goals.

Bonus reading:

Simon Sinek

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This is one of my favorite books; I highly recommend it. I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek. On my way into the office today, I was listening to Leaders Eat Last, which I also recommend.



Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is another one of my favorite authors. If you like Outliers, you should also read The Tipping Point.





Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of  Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

Email Brandon Doyle

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