The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Keller Williams co-founder Gary Keller is one of the best introductions to the real estate business out there. In it, he lays out the key principles and practical actions you need to achieve success investing in real estate. As the tagline of the book says, “Anyone can do it…Not everyone will.”
The book begins with mindset. Keller busts a number of myths that prevent people from investing in real estate or investing at all. At the core of the book is the idea that anyone can learn the skills to become a successful investor. What it requires first and foremost is freedom from fear and self-doubt combined with the ability to think big. Set your sights high and you are more likely to make the ascent to wealth.
In addition to having the right mindset and the right goals, you also need good models. The book provides a number of these as well as worksheets and such, which are quite helpful. While Keller provides different models, the one he develops most focuses on building up a substantial portfolio so that you can eventually live and grow your wealth indefinitely off of cashflow.
Acronyms abound in the book. The most central and practical one is CTN. Criteria, Terms, and Network. Once you have the right mindset and are thinking big, the next step is to actually establish your criteria and the framework within which you will invest in real estate. No one can invest in everything, and it’s better to find a niche in which you can become an expert instead of trying everything.
Then there’s your terms. This will vary depending on context, but Keller’s guiding principle is to never ask “Should I buy this property?” but instead “Is this a deal?” In real estate, you make money going into the deal. Instead of waiting around for the perfect opportunity, you have to know the market and then boldly close on deals when you find them.
To find deals and generate leads, you have to have a good network. This extends from your inner circle of mentors and partners down to property managers and attorneys to court clerks and contractors. You should have connections at every level of what you do and work tirelessly to maintain and expand your network. This enables an investor to find where the good deals are and be able to close on them with greater efficiency.
Another key concept worth mentioning is the Pareto Principle. This idea appears in dozens of books on a wide variety of topics, but here the point is that 80% of your output, will come from 20% of your work. Focus is therefore absolutely essential in terms of both your business model and mindset.
The book concludes with a wide variety of profiles of different real estate investment success stories, showing how the sort of thinking and practical skill advocated by the book plays out in reality.
At 432 pages, it is quite a long book, and some sections feel a bit too heavy on the motivation and too light on actionable advice. It was also written prior to the housing crash of 2008, so the occasional detail can feel dated. That being said, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor remains one of the best books for beginners and experienced investors alike. Every time I go back to it, I find some new insight or perspective.
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is available for purchase here.