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December 18, 2023 | read

18 of the Best Books on Real Estate Investing

Thomas Castelli

When it comes to learning about real estate investing, there’s no shortage of material for aspiring investors to choose from. There are books, podcasts, online resources, courses, mentors, and more. Together, they cover everything from investing in your first rental property to raising money for larger deals. 

With such a sprawling mass of content, one of the biggest challenges investors face is discerning the signal from the noise. There’s a lot of advice out there, and let’s be clear: not all of it is good. Identifying successful real estate investors, and focusing primarily on their content is key to learning the strategies for success. You can only do that if you know what (and who) to read. 

Today, we’re sharing 18 of our team’s favorite books on real estate investing. They cover a wide variety of topics, and each is written by experts with a proven track record in their respective fields. 

Reading these books will stand you in good stead and give you the knowledge you need to succeed. That’s true regardless of whether you’re an experienced real estate professional or an aspiring investor looking to get your start in the real estate market. 

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1. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures

This book, from Frank Gallinelli, is indispensable for investors who are new to the real estate industry. It covers a wide range of real estate financial metrics in great detail, including foundational concepts like discounted cash flows and calculating return on equity. 

“Real estate investing is a numbers game, and the purpose of this book is to show you how to ‘do the numbers’. This task is not difficult, but it is absolutely essential to your success. This book is not about how to make millions while starting off with no money, no credit, and no time. Instead, you’ll learn here about cash flow, rates of return, property value, financing guidelines, and a few dozen other key measures.”

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2. Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book

Author Joe Fairless manages over half a billion dollars worth of multifamily real estate, and in Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book, he shares his four-step strategy for raising money from investors and acquiring apartment buildings. Here’s a short excerpt:

“This book gives you an advantage in apartment syndication that nobody has ever had before. Further, it gives you the potential to create generational wealth. To go from making what you earn now to becoming a multi-millionaire and beyond.”

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3. The Hands-Off Investor: An Insider’s Guide to Investing in Passive Real Estate Syndications

Brian Burke has decades of experience managing real estate syndication funds, and in this book, he shares how investors can best find, evaluate, and manage sponsors. You’ll discover how to underwrite investments, learn how deals are typically structured, and get access to all of Brian’s insider tips and tricks.

“A real estate syndication is a structure or relationship between a company, called a ‘sponsor’, and multiple investors who pool their money to invest in real estate. The investors are passive, and the sponsor oversees buying, operating, and ultimately selling the property… In essence, you invest your money and a real estate expert does all the work.”

Get the book here

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4. The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth with Intelligent Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing 

Rental properties are often one of the first investments that new real estate investors make: whether that’s a short-term rental or a long-term. In this book––which has sold over half a million copies––Brandon Turner shares proven strategies that detail how you can scale your portfolio from your first rental property to owning hundreds of units. 

“My goal with this book is to create the single greatest guide on rental property investing ever written… Whether you are just getting started or already own hundreds of units, I hope this book will help you make more income, retire sooner, unlock more free time, amass more units, or achieve whatever other goals you might have.” 

This book is part of the Bigger Pockets Rental Kit series and is available for purchase here

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5. Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing: The Blueprint To Quitting Your Job With Real Estate – Even Without Experience Or Cash

Many budding real estate investors dream of quitting their job, and in this book, real estate investment expert Michael Blank shares a blueprint readers can use to create a path to quitting their jobs within just 3-5 years of their first investment. The book focuses on investing in apartment buildings, and shares tactics for finding properties, analyzing opportunities, and raising capital.

“The entrepreneurs who achieve financial freedom are just like you and me… Unlike most real estate investors who attend their local REIA meeting each month, these entrepreneurs have discovered a particular kind of real estate strategy that has allowed them to quit their job in three to five years.” 

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6. More Than Cashflow: The Real Risks & Rewards of Profitable Real Estate Investing

Many books focus on the upside of real estate investing, often promising a foolproof road map to financial freedom. This book, by author Julie Broad, takes a more balanced approach, exploring both the risks and rewards associated with real estate investing. Broad offers a refreshing take and gives aspiring real estate investors the perspective they need to decide whether real estate investing is right for them. 

“I am not promising you secrets that will make you rich, and I am not guaranteeing this book will make you a successful real estate investor. However, I believe that, armed with an honest account of what it’s like to be a real estate investor, you will make better decisions.” 

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7. Retire Early With Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9-5 Grind and Do More of What Matters

This book, from Chad Carson, is packed with actionable strategies and processes that you can put to work to unlock an early retirement. There are more than 20 case studies of everyday investors who used real estate investing to achieve financial independence and retire decades ahead of schedule.  

“Real estate investing has always been a mystery to me. It’s daunting, confusing. This book shines a light in the darkness. Chad Carson carefully explains not only different approaches to building a real-estate empire, but also how to use that empire to achieve your financial goals. If you’re at all curious about getting started with real estate, this book is a must-read.”

— Review from JD Roth, founder of

You can buy the book here

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8. Timing the Real Estate Market

In real estate, it’s crucial to buy low and sell high. Doing that successfully requires that you develop the skills to time the market and that’s what this book from Craig Hall focuses on. Hall explores the major trends that drive real estate prices, shares tips to survive in a downturn, and covers the fundamentals of market analysis.

“Even after many years in the business, I found Craig Hall’s book to be full of useful and valuable industry insight… The advice and real life examples from both his successes and challenges can be helpful to anyone seeking knowledge on real estate timing.”

–– Review from Rich Pogue

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9. Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas

It’s often said that real estate investing is all about location, location, location. This book from David Lindahl, founder of the Lindahl Group, encourages investors to look outside their home markets and prioritize investments into up and coming markets. By using these strategies investors can buy low and sell high to deliver outsized profits. 

“Sometimes there may be small pockets of emerging market opportunity that only stretch for a few blocks. Other times, you’ll be surrounded by miles of opportunity! Different markets require different techniques and actions.”

Get the book here

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10. The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings

This book is now close to twenty years old, but you’ll be hard pushed to find a guide that goes into more detail on how to successfully buy and sell apartment buildings. Author Steve Berges shares a framework investors can use to make the transition from buying single-family homes to successfully investing in multifamily properties. There are tips on creating value, locating properties, exit strategies, and much more. 

“This book is intended as a guide to developing a format for a thorough examination of each and every property you are considering. This format, when properly applied, will provide you with a significant competitive edge.”

You can purchase The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings here

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11. Wheelbarrow Profits

Wheelbarrow Profits, co-authored by Gino Barbaro and Jake Stenziano, explores how early-stage real estate investors can grow their portfolio from a single property into multiple cash-flowing properties. The authors cover three key steps: buying right, financing right, and managing right. 

“Very straightforward, no nonsense information for starting in multifamily property investments. Provides basic concepts on financing, due diligence, repositioning, and management.”

– Review from Jeffrey Smith

Want to learn more? Check out the Wheelbarrow Profits Podcast.

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12. Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat: The BRRRR Rental Property Investment Strategy Made Simple

In this book, best-selling author David Greene deconstructs the Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat model of real estate investing. It’s an alternative approach to real estate investing that gives investors the tools they need to rapidly scale the number of properties they invest in, offering significantly accelerated returns when executed right. 

“The BRRRR method will teach you how to become a black belt real estate investor and get the most out of your capital, time, effort, energy, and resources. Mastering BRRRR is mastering real estate… My goal is not just to teach you how to grow your wealth at a consistent rate. I want to show you how to do it at an exponential rate.”

Buy the book here

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13. Recession-Proof Real Estate Investing: How to Survive (and Thrive!) During Any Phase of the Economic Cycle

Author J. Scott has written multiple books on real estate investment strategy. In this one, he shares the lessons he learned from the 2008 Great Recession. The book explores how real estate investors can not only survive an economic downturn but can plan for it and adapt their strategies to succeed even in challenging macro environments. 

“Successful investors are flexible. They understand that to succeed they need to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way… It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are ways to make money during every phase of the real estate cycle.”

Get the book here

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14. The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide To Decision-Making And Investment

Written by Harvard Business School Professor William J. Poorvu, this seminal real estate book is one of the most comprehensive guides to real estate investing. The book explores the various players in the real estate market, educates readers about the different classes of real estate investments, and offers tools that readers can use to analyze potential investments. 

“In my experience, real estate entrepreneurs don’t perceive of themselves as great risk takers, but instead as risk managers. In fact, they believe (rightly or wrongly) that they can calculate and deal with the many types of risk inherent in most real estate projects.”

Buy the book here

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15. Loopholes of Real Estate

This book takes a different tack than many of the others featured here. Instead of focusing on general real estate investment strategy, author Garrett Sutton takes an in-depth look at the tax and legal loopholes used by successful real estate investors to maximize wealth creation and minimize the legal risks associated with owning real estate. 

“You don’t have to be a genius to understand and apply these loopholes. You just have to be willing to follow a proven path toward success. Basically, you need to be smart about following what others have used to their advantage before you.”

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16. Buy It, Rent It, Profit!: Make Money as a Landlord in ANY Real Estate Market

In this book, author Bryan Chavis provides an overview of how real estate investors can build wealth by investing in rental properties. Unlike other authors, Chavis goes into depth on how investors can be successful landlords for short term rentals or other rental properties, with chapters on everything from techniques to attract high-quality tenants to negotiating lease agreements. 

“In order to be successful, you don’t have to have 100 units––a single-family home or duplex is just as viable for your first move as a rental investor… The beauty of rental investing is that you can choose the steps you want to take and decide when you are ready to take them.”

Learn more about Buy It, Rent It, Profit! here.   


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17. How to Invest in Real Estate: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

If you’re just starting out in the real estate investment world, this book is a great resource. Authors Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner clearly cover the fundamentals of real estate investing from the perspective of complete beginners. The book covers a variety of different niches and investing strategies, and features more than forty case studies from successful real estate investors around the country. 

“The 50 percent rule states that, on average and over time, half of the income a property generates is spent on operating expenses”

Get the book here

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18. Real Estate Investing QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Securing Financing, Closing Your First Deal, and Building Wealth Through Real Estate

This best-selling book from author Symon He is part of the QuickStart Guides Finance series and offers a comprehensive beginner-level guide to investing in real estate in the post-pandemic economy. The book is practical in nature and comes with a range of additional tools including spreadsheets that help readers analyze potential real estate investments. 

“Real estate investors have three advantages at their disposal: accessible leverage, rental income, and control over the investment… Even average real estate investors can outperform the stock market’s benchmark of 7 percent returns.”

Resources From The Real Estate CPA

Books are far from the only learning resources available to real estate investors. These days, there’s more free content available than ever before, and you can find lots of it right here on our site. 

Visit our blog to read the latest tax and accounting articles for real estate investors. Alternatively, join 60,000 others and subscribe to our Tax Smart Real Estate Investors Podcast for a weekly deep dive on all things real estate investment. 

Looking to find a community of successful real estate investors? Our Tax Smart Investors program offers tax advice from real estate tax experts at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one tax planning. Sign up now to get insider access.

If you need personalized service, our advisors are available to assist with tax planning strategies, accounting needs, and more. Just reach out to the team today to learn more about working with our specialized real estate tax experts.