Article: Books and TV Shows for Agents

zBuyer Newsletter_168_IMAGEMASTER

Zbuyer’s Viewing-Reading Guide for Real Estate Professionals
With the proliferation of on-demand TV, hundreds of channels available even on basic cable plans and an e-reader, Audible and Amazon Prime available on every nightstand (and in every car), we’ve never before had so many options for entertainment.
But for the self-improving real estate agent, it can’t be all The Walking Dead all the time, can it? Sometimes we need the things our brains consume to improve us professionally (which is why you’re reading this now, right? … Right?).
But where to start?

5 Must-Read Books
On the real estate literary market, it seems like everyone who has made more than a dime in the real estate industry has a book offering sage advice, if not big results. In addition to the “top books for agents” series that we run on our Facebook page, Amazon’s deep customer-review system would seemingly offer a good guide.

1. Judging by our unscientific search query, the most five-star reviews for a real-estate-specific book is The Book of Yes: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide, by Kevin Ward. Published in 2016, it’s an up-to-date bible of common agent scripts. Yes, we know that reviews can be gamed, but the feedback is genuinely glowing and a nearly complete lack of 1-3 star reviews seems pretty solid. And at 152 pages, this can be finished in a night, or consulted as situations dictate.

2. Real Estate Treasure Map, by Tim and Julie Harris, focuses more on the investing side and is a play-by-play guide to accumulating wealth through real estate. Published in 2014, it’s still current enough to be a good guide to the business, and at 90 pages more than worth your time investment. Additionally, we’re excited to report that we will be featuring an interview with Tim and Julie in the next few weeks to share their expertise. Stay tuned!

3. Care to laugh (and who doesn’t need a laugh these days)? Terrible Real Estate Photos, a book brought to you by the popular website terriblerealestatephotos.com
This would make an excellent gift for the agent in your life, or your boss with a sense of humor, or yourself for those nights when the wine glass hits the coffee table at 5:05 p.m.
4. Sure, there’s a real estate magnate in the White House these days with billions of words written about him, but we’d suggest leaving that copy of The Art of the Deal on the shelf for now, and checking out Zeckendorf, an autobiography by William Zeckendorf, the head of Webb & Knapp who (according to the synopsis) played a real-life game of Monopoly and won, developing large swaths of major cities from New York to Montreal to Dallas before going bankrupt… a single act that made Wall Street wobble.
5. Falling in the more “general business” category,   The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz, is a leadership guide for anyone looking to rise to the top, in any industry. A favorite of the young tech community, it mixes the entrepreneurial mindset and the pop culture sensibilities (think rap lyrics) of Millennials with the timeless advice of someone those who have gone into business for themselves, and come out the other side with something valuable to say.
Are Television Shows Worth Our Time?
Unfortunately, “reality shows” about renovating or selling homes are often anything but realistic. Agents and clients are usually chosen for their looks or personalities, and even if the dude who only cares about having a ceiling fan in every room is serious about his need to eliminate night sweats, it’s not a very good representation of the home-buying process.

Money Under 30 does a nice job of  breaking down some of the myths that popular real estate shows try to pass of as truth In real life there are a lot more homes considered, the money made often doesn’t add up and sometimes the clients never actually close on the home they “fall in love with.” It’s worth a read.

So where to start? A good rule of thumb is to check what channel you’re on, or who is producing the content. More general entertainment stations like Bravo and TLC are probably more into the personalities and drama (real or fakes) surrounding the business, while more focused stations like HGTV, arguably, will keep it a little more real. PBS’s This Old House is another good example of pretty straightforward storytelling, though even these sources play up the highs and lows rather than the nuts and bolts of selling or renovating a home.
Investopedia offers a nice list of shows available on Netflix that pass their sniff test,
 and before you give up on a list that features a show starring Vanilla Ice (The Vanilla Ice Project), give it a shot. The show My First Place, particularly, seems to combine the thrill of house-hunting with the realities of financing, an aspect typically overlooked in real-estate pop culture. The list is balanced by popular programs like Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop, with a one-season design show from cable-show stalwart Genevieve Gorder thrown in for the NYC crowd.