September 6th (Labor Day) was also National Read a Book Day across the United States. In honor of that day and because I really do like to read and listen to audio books when I am out and about, I’ve compiled a list of 5 of my favorite business books for real estate professionals. You’ll be surprised, not all of them are actually about business in the way you might think that they are.
5 Best Business Reads for Real Estate Agents
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss. After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. In this book, he shares what he learned from hostage negotiation and how it can be applied in a business environment. Great negotiation tips for real estate professionals.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. In this fascinating book, the author takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”—the best and the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful. He asks the question: What makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: That is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. While not overtly about real estate, this book has some amazing lessons that help us to understand others (such as clients and colleagues) and ourselves.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with why. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the why behind it. Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way – and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. An excellent read from which you may be able to apply some nuggets of wisdom to your current career.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? An interesting defense of capitalism and entrepreneurial thought which may urge you to see the benefits of free thought and creativity.
Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes. Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada. While definitely not about business, you will definitely be inspired to push yourself beyond your personal limits when you read or listen to this excellent book.
Got any books to add to the list? Feel free to share them in the comments down below.