March 04, 2016

[UPDATE] Must-Read Business Books for Real Estate Agents


A smart guy once said... "The more you read, the more you know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Now, while we all can't take the great Dr. Seuss' advice when it comes to reading for pleasure (but wouldn't we like that time?) it can be worth it to make some time for books when it comes to helping you along in your career.

So we're asking you, when was the last time you read a book that would help you at work? Believe us, the books out there aren't nearly as dull as you might be thinking right now and on top of being great reads, they can help you at work too. And what's better than that? Reading has proved time and time again to reduce stress and we all know that work can often be a huge factor in the stress in our lives. Giving us yet another great reason to indulge in a book or two in our down time...or even as a break in your hectic day at the office!

We've updated our list from early 2015, and yes, we know that these books aren't real estate specific. But best practices for businesses of any type can translate to creating an even better real estate business, so what's holding you back? These books are guaranteed to up your selling game, help you break into the market, and improve your business relationships, which is only going to make your real estate business better in the long run.

Get your bookshelves ready...

10 Must-Read Books for Real Estate Agents

1. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers

Jay Baer and his consulting firm work with some of the biggest names and brands in the world and in his latest book he breaks down why customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business. That applies to just about everyone, because there's very few of us that run a business that don't deal with other people throughout their day. Unhappy customers are all a part of the process and at the end of the day, how we respond to those clients can make or break a deal for you. Baer centers the book around his own research and over 70 exclusive interviews with industry experts to add credibility and good reasons to give those hard to love customers a little extra loving...for the sake of your business.

2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

The Heath brothers explore the art of storytelling and yes that does in fact pertain to business too! When you think about it, every brand has a story, and how that story is told or how well it's told can predict whether the brand will succeed...or flop. Their theory is that some ideas are just 'stickier' than others and that these sticky ideas tend to all follow a particular formula - simple, unexpected, and emotional. It's these sticky ideas that can make a brand a worldwide success (think of all those catchy jingles and Superbowl commercials that you remember for years.) The Heath brothers walk you through creating a story out of your brand or business and why it's so very important.

3. Works Well With Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You.

Yes, the title is a mouthful. But McCammon, an editor at Esquire and etiquette expert and columnist has plenty of insights on the art of navigating a workplace and all the snafus that come with it. If the title didn't give it away, his attitude is flippant but his advice shouldn't be discredited. His tips and tricks apply to pretty much any professional making their way through the work world....because we've all been in that meeting where we've said a little bit too much and didn't realize till it was a bit too late and everyone in the room is yawning. McCammon lets you in on the little secret that almost everyone you come across in the work world is faking it till they make it, and that confusion and overwhelmed feeling you get at the beginning of a new job or project? Everyone has been there. McCammon's experiences are relatable and his advice is easy to follow when you find yourself in the modern business or office environment. Worth the read? We think so.

4. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

One in nine people work in sales these days, but wouldn't you say that a lot of your job can be considered sales work? Whether you're pitching a new idea to your boss or you're convincing investors to take a second look at your company, you're doing some sort of selling. Daniel Pink dives into a new side of selling, the human side, and how you can often make more of an impact in a sales pitch by making an emotional impact and moving people rather than using cold facts. We could all use a little bit more of this kind of insight, especially as more business moves online and less face-to-face. Don't you appreciate meeting with a real human who can speak and appeal to you on an emotional level? Utilizing Pink's methods, you can become more of that business person, an important skill when you're selling someone a emotional experience for most parties involved!

5. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

Yes, we know that Duhigg's book isn't quite out yet...but we're that excited about it. We already are big believers in his book The Power of Habit, and we even give new employees a copy of the book when they join the Contactually team. So what's this one about? Duhigg is digging into the science behind being more productive in your life and in your business. Duhigg's focus is on how you make your choices throughout your day and how it can affect your business in a far bigger way. You better believe we've got this pre-ordered and ready to implement his latest strategies into our day-t0-day.

6. Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds

We love TED talks here at Contactually and we're so often inspired by the poise and grace of those speakers up on the stage. Public-speaking skills are so often underrated and left by the wayside in business settings, but how often do you find yourself needing to speak to a big group or make a presentation at an open house? You may find that you need to utilize public-speaking on a nearly daily basis and haven't received much or even any training for it. Who do you turn to? Gallo interviews some of the top TED speakers in the world for their top tips and tricks for mastering the art of a pro. Whether you're giving a presentation to a big group or spending a weekend doing open house showings, you're guaranteed to take away some points that'll keep you confident and talking!

7. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Don't let the US Army General on the cover scare you away from this one. Inspired by the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2004, McChrystal writes about creating a network of teams rather than one big team. The point? Smaller groups with a goal, figuring out how to reach that goal on their own can be far more affective than the big conglomerate trying to manage everyone within it. This is most likely something you're already well aware of as a Realtor going out there on their own. But, understanding the mechanics and science behind why this is a successful tactic is fascinating.

8. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

In the real estate world, every day could become a negotiation. Are you doing it right? This classic book will walk you through the steps of negotiating or moderating an argument without giving up what you want or need. Understanding the background and technicalities of a major negotiation can be crucial when it comes down to setting up a deal with potential home buyers, even if you're not worried about losing the deal. Move past those people who refuse to play by the rules and become a better negotiator, a skill you'll utilize in both your business and personal life!

9. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

How's your EQ looking? If you're feeling like you need a little extra help in the emotional department, then this is the book for you. Push yourself through the four steps outlined in the book and find yourself far more aware of your emotions and how to best express them in a creative way. Sure, having a high IQ is certainly important, but at the end of the day, when you're constantly in contact with people, it's key to have a high EQ too. Because really, we've all been at the receiving end of a salesperson or in a business situation with someone who may not be emotionally aware and it can lead to....awkwardness. Don't be that awkward guy!

10. The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life

What's better than building a habit of achievement? Roth argues in his book that you can teach yourself how to achieve and then go forth and make a habit of it. Through mindfulness and confidence, you can start achieving too! We can all make use of learning how to form better habits in our lives, and that applies to our work lives as well. When we're working towards achieving big things, and really setting our hearts and minds to do it, chances are you will. So, before you walk by this one and think of it as just another self-improvement book, ask yourself when was the last time you really achieved something big in your work life? It might be time to take some tips from Roth and 'take command' of your life.

Ready, Set, Read

You might be surprised with how these business and sales specific books can positively impact your real estate business. Don't discredit the diverse skills these books can offer up and how you can utilize everything from storytelling to public speaking into your daily life as a real estate agent. What books do you turn to for business advice?