Gaining new knowledge is a key ingredient for growth as a business owner and in your personal life. Developing your business knowledge, communication skills, and organization methods are all integral parts of a successful professional.

At Rentec Direct we love to learn and improve every day. As any successful landlord or investor knows, staying competitive in the real estate industry and the professional world at large requires a willingness to learn from other experts.

Since we know that these values are often the keys to our client’s success, we thought we would share some of the professional books our team has recently read. Books on real estate, marketing or communication, and productivity can be excellent teaching tools for your whole team, so don’t be afraid to set aside time to have your whole team read and discuss a book together. Not only will your management team learn a lot; it can be an excellent team-building activity!

Rentec Reads:

Raving Fans

Ken Blanchard (coauthor of The One Minute Manager) and Sheldon Bowles team up to create Raving Fans, a book written in a parable style as advice given to a new Area Manager on his first day. This simple-to-follow book walks the Area Manager, and in turn the reader, through the modern crisis of customer service and how their business can easily stand out. When poor customer service has become the standard in most businesses, Blanchard and Bowles offer a few simple insights to guarantee “raving fans”–customers who are not just satisfied, but loyal and rave about your business.

Why reading it could benefit you as a landlord or property manager:

Every business opportunity’s success is as strong as its customer base. Great customer service is often the key to standing out from the competition. The rental industry is no exception. Renters are customers who need their needs met in the form of both housing and excellent customer service. Great communication and an emphasis on improving the landlord-tenant relationship can keep great tenants with you long-term.

This book is a quick read making it a great team read option that won’t detract from your daily tasks.

Build a Brand Like Trader Joe’s

Mark Gardiner’s career path may seem confusing at a glance. He was an award-winning Copywriter and Creative Director, the VP of Marketing at one of Canada’s best-loved retail chains, and ran his own ad agency only to take a $12 an hour job at Trader Joe’s. Since few businesses have a cult following quite like Trader Joe’s, Gardiner couldn’t help but wonder what created it. During his time with the company, Gardiner assessed what allowed Trader Joe’s to build a brand all without traditional advertising. The answers can help any business owner be more successful at brand-building with intention.

Why reading it could benefit you as a landlord or property manager:

While the book focuses on grocery store management and branding, there are certainly takeaways that any business owner or professional can benefit from. Building a brand is far more than finding a good logo and a color pallet you like–it’s about the culture and service that your team provides. This book offers small snippets of great insight into creating a culture and brand that customers feel connected to and want to participate in. Key takeaways from this book may help you and your management team foster better connections with your owners.

This book is quick and easy to read, making it another great option for a team read.

Atomic Habits

No matter your goals, James Clear offers expert insight on habit formation (the good and the bad) and reveals practical tips to help you form better habits that will lead to impressive results. Many goal setters focus on the outcome when setting out to achieve success, but Clear outlines the reasons that strategy leads to disappointment. Atomic Habits dives into the framework of goal setting and its reliance on simple and tiny behaviors. Clear helps readers identify the “atomic habits” that can serve as the building blocks of their goals, and offers numerous true stories from people who use them to become the top in their field.

Why reading it could benefit you as a landlord or property manager:

Whether you’re a property manager hoping to expand your business, or a landlord and investor hoping to grow your portfolio, there is no doubt that great habits and savvy systems will be key to achieving your goals. Atomic Habits outlines how important daily strategies are to success, and this is true across all areas of life. As the book outlines, bad habits are hard to avoid simply because people have the wrong system for change. Atomic Habits emphasizes the importance of creating great systems and small habits that lead to achievement–regardless of what your goals may be.

This book is moderately long; plan to read it in small snippets over a longer period of time or save it for a few days when you have the extra bandwidth.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

David Allen originally published the 1st edition of his influential book Getting Things Done in 2001. Since then, Allen updated his book with additional insights essential to the new landscape of the workplace. Getting Things Done shows readers in detail how to overcome the feelings of overwhelm that modern schedules and tools can create, his tried-and-true methods help readers to apply the “GTD” method to every possible task on their to-do and goal list. Allen goes over the reasons our brains are not optimized for constant information overload and how to ensure you never have that nagging feeling to remember a future task again. Unlike many books dedicated to goal achievement, Getting Things Done walks you through creating the structures and systems that will lead to your everyday success in your personal and professional life.

Why reading it could benefit you as a landlord or property manager:

Landlords and property managers know that there’s never a lull from the demands on your time. While a great landlord software can help you stay organized when it comes to your business and rental management tasks, the scope of to-do’s go a lot further in your day-to-day. From tasks like “list Apple Street property” to “call the dentist to make an appointment” even to simply figuring out your shopping list for the next week, we all have a lot of things that need to be done. Many organization success books are geared only to address one aspect of your life, the “GTD” method allows you to incorporate your existing software and reminder solutions while ensuring stress-free productivity in all areas of your life.

While insightful, this book is a longer read that will require you to slow down while reading to truly absorb the information. Additionally, the systems suggested within the book can require dedicated bandwidth to successfully implement. Plan on additional time to improve your current organization while reading.

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