Tom Ferry: Top Books for Realtors
Here are six of the best books for real estate agents to add to their holiday reading lists.
The end of the year is here. As we walk into 2024, there are three things we need to work on cultivating more than anything else: focus, discipline, and inspiration. And there’s no better way to get all three than by reading books.
Notice that I specified “books,” not a magazine, a blog, or a podcast. All those things have tremendous value, but reading an actual book is an act of commitment. It forces you to slow down, engage with the material on a deeper level, contemplate it, and create a world of focus around the ideas. That’s why you can read all the summaries and SparkNotes you want, but they’ll never make an impact on you like they would’ve if you’d read the book.
Think about it… When was the last time you read a full book? If you say “high school,” then I’m going to freak out on you. Or actually, I’ll just feel sorry for you, because you’re missing out on something beautiful. (The president of my company is on track to read 60 books this year, and if he has time to do it then so do you.)
To help you get back on track and save the time of deciding what books to ask for this holiday season, I put together a list of six books for real estate agents to read in 2024, all of which I’m personally crazy about right now. Pick one (or all six), then let someone special know what’s on your wishlist.
Book No. 1: Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson
Elon Musk is a controversial guy. Everyone who is tapped into the zeitgeist has their opinions on him, and for that reason, it can’t be denied that he is a powerful player in our world who is worth understanding.
He’s a man addicted to risk, someone who launches rockets into space and works endless hours to do the impossible. What I’ve always loved is his ability to have people buy in fully to his grand vision. They believe in the mission and are willing to push themselves to the point of burnout in order to achieve it because everything else seems boring in comparison once they’ve been with him.
Yet, Musk does have a bit of a dark side. This book asks the question: “Can we learn to take the genius, the discipline, and the vision without having to take the darkness too?” Because let’s be fair, not everyone can handle his level of intensity. The lesson here is that he’s a disruptor. He’s addicted to disruption, and while I’m not saying that you should be “addicted” too, you should at least be willing to disrupt when necessary.
There is a lot to learn from Musk, both in what to emulate and what to be cautious about.
Book No. 2: Think Wrong by John Bielenberg, Mike Burn, Greg Galle, & Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson
The subtitle of this book tells you exactly what to expect: “How to Conquer the Status Quo and Do Work That Matters.”
That’s your job, isn’t it? If all the other agents are running the same plays and transactions are down, then you shouldn’t be running those plays! This book will show you that when everyone is marching in one direction, your job is to march in the opposite – and it will show you how to do that.
I just love how this book breaks down how our brains are conspiring against us, and when enough people are thinking in these misinformed ways, our culture actually begins to conspire against us. You need to know what’s going on and why you’re thinking these small thoughts so that you can break through to the bigger ones.
Book No. 3: The 38 Letters from J.D. Rockefeller to His Son
I don’t know if there’s any person more influential in the history of business. J.D. Rockefeller grew up in poverty under the infrequent and manipulative care of his con artist father, yet through a set of principles he developed throughout his life, he became the wealthiest person in American history (or all of modern history).
Could there possibly be anyone better to learn from? This book is a collection of 38 extremely personal letters that J.D. wrote to his son about his life and the lessons he learned along the way that made him who he was.
The beauty of the lessons here is that while he does talk about business and wealth, it’s more about personal character. It’s a testament to the fact that when you have a strong enough character and mindset, business success will come.
Did you ever think that being humble, honest, frugal, and prioritizing civic engagement and charitable giving would be the path to riches? For one of the richest men ever, it looks like it may have been.
Book No. 4: The Fourth Turning by William Strauss & Neil Howe
Here’s another great subtitle: “What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny.”
What do I always say are the two things that determine the real estate market? If you’ve been following my content for a while, you’ll know the answer…
It’s population and cycles. It all comes down to those two things, and this book is all about cycles, which means it should be required reading for you as a real estate agent.
Strauss and Howe have a theory that U.S. history repeats itself every 80 years, with four distinct 20-year cycles. They are the:
Guess which one we’re in right now… Yeah, even if you’re not one for prophecies, you gotta acknowledge that when the authors published this book in 1997, they predicted the next crisis would start in 2008 and last until about 2028…I’ll say it again – this one is ESSENTIAL reading for you.
Book No. 5: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
This book was published in 1903, so it’s a testament to the power of the ideas inside that it still regularly makes it onto lists today. This is one of the original Western classics on the power of mindset.
Allen takes the biblical quote, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” and expands on the profound impact it had on teaching him to master his thoughts – and therefore his life.
Book No. 6: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Your thoughts really are everything because the world you see around you is a reflection of them. By learning to channel your thoughts away from negativity and fear and instead put them on your goals, you’re virtually guaranteed to achieve the life you want. If you haven’t already read this one a dozen times over (it’s short and you can do it in an hour or two), then you’re sadly already behind. This is one I’ve come back to constantly throughout my life.
This is a book list for 2024, so did you seriously think you wouldn’t see a book about marketing on here?
I’ve been saying it and I’ll keep saying it: “2024 will likely be the most important year of your entire career when it comes to marketing.”
If I were you, I’d read this book all the way through in a day and then keep it close at all times. I did and I do.