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Best Real Estate Investing Books and Apps for Beginners 

The real estate investing industry is so fragmented and layered that even expert investors must refine their knowledge constantly. In fact, some people make it their full-time job to monitor it. So, it’s only natural that many people ask; how is a total newcomer supposed to enter this field?  

It may seem impossible and daunting for beginners to navigate the real estate investing world. But it doesn’t have to be. Luckily, there are tools at your disposal that can bring you up to speed, resources leaders have developed from years of experience, trial, and error. Their wisdom can now be yours. 

That’s precisely what we’re going to talk about today. Continue reading as we help you discover the very best real estate investing books, apps, software, and podcasts for real estate investors and property managers in Washington, D.C. 

5 Best Real Estate Investing Books for Beginners 

The 5 best real estate investing books have been vetted by Business Insider itself. The iconic site had Dan Lane, host of “The Rental Income Podcast” and investor in six properties, curate a booklist especially for those just starting in the real estate investment industry. There are so many books, articles, and blogs available for newcomers, but let’s take a look at what Dan Lane says are the best!  

  1. How I Turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate by William Nickerson 
  2. Investing in Retail Properties: A Guide to Structuring Partnerships For Sharing Capital Appreciation and Cash Flow by Gary D. Rappaport 
  3. From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight 
  4. HOLD: How to Find, Buy, and Rent Houses for Wealth by Steve Chader 
  5. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller 

How I Turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate by William Nickerson 

This helpful book by William Nickerson provides new investors with a step-by-step guide to buying their first low-cost property. From there, it details tips for renovating to flip or scale your portfolio. Interested in holding onto your property as a rental investment? If so, this book has essential tips for collecting rent and navigating tax advantages to maximize savings.

Lane’s Review: “This is an older book, and some of the advice is a bit outdated, (like looking at classified ads), but if you can look past that, the concepts in this book are timeless. The book gives a good roadmap to follow to build a real estate portfolio.” 

Investing in Retail Properties: A Guide to Structuring Partnerships For Sharing Capital Appreciation and Cash Flow by Gary D. Rappaport 

Gary D. Rappaport is one of the most successful and respected real estate investors in the US. If the commercial sector appeals to you, then this is one of the best real estate investment books for beginners. “Investing in Retail Properties” walks investors through the key aspects of structuring partnerships and helps you understand how to share cash flows with other investors. 

Lane’s Review: “I like this book, because it’s written by one of the most successful real-estate investors in the country. Gary breaks down how to invest in a very easy-to-understand way. The book is about retail investing, but the concepts apply to just about any investment.” 

From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight 

Steve McKnight is a real estate success in his own right, and he shares his story along with industry insight in his book, From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years. Some of the most important lessons new investors can learn from is real world experience. McKnight offers a comprehensive guide to how he built and grew his portfolio with actionable steps any investor can take. 

Lane’s Review: ”I like real stories of how people have been successful investing in real estate. In this book, Steve shares his story. He talks about what and where to buy and the metrics he uses.”  

HOLD: How to Find, Buy, and Rent Houses for Wealth by Steve Chader 

Financial freedom and the opportunity for passive income is a common reason why investors turn to the real estate sector. In this book, Steve Chader takes readers through the process of finding deals and how to best manage them to attain financial freedom. It is truly a must-read and is widely regarded as one of the best real estate investment books for beginners.

Lane’s Review: ”This book is a great place to start if you are interested in investing in rentals. Steve shares all the basics to getting started. This book is a pretty good reference as you get started on your real estate-investing journey.” 

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller 

Have you ever heard of Keller Williams? Well, the very successful founder of the real estate firm, Gary Keller, shares his unique industry insight in this helpful book. His connections offer readers the chance to see advice from interviews with over 100 millionaire real estate investors. Their proven track records are now something every novice investor can benefit from!

Why Lane says it’s a must read: ”I agree with pretty much everything that Gary Keller writes in this book. I really like that he says to treat real-estate investing as a business. I think too many investors treat their investments like a hobby.” 

All the best books for real estate investing have one thing in common. They are easy-to-digest guides that can bring you up to speed efficiently, yet thoroughly. You can get a world-class course in real estate 101 for a fraction of the cost.  

4 Best Real Estate Software Options for Investors 

Real estate investment holds the promise of financial freedom for many investors. However, that doesn’t mean that investing in or managing real estate is easy. More and more, investors are turning to technology to help maintain their passive income properties. Just like the best real estate investment books for beginners, there are certain apps and services that are better than others. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites below!

  1. AppFolio 
  2. Buildium 
  3. Propertyware 
  4. RentRedi 


Appfolio is a top-of-the-line real estate investor software for many reasons, but one key aspect is versatility. The software boasts accounting, marketing, leasing, and reporting modes. It also caters to multiple property types, such as single-family, multi-family, and student housing. Additionally, it has online rent collection and payment tracking, training, and built-in marketing tools. For the cost, it is truly one of the best options for beginners or seasoned investors alike. 


Buildium is a user-friendly platform that covers all the little details of real estate investing. The essentials include tenant screening services, vacancy listing, and lead-to-lease cycle management. But that’s not all! Buildium also provides users with a free marketing website, property inspections, and business analytics. Furthermore, it streamlines most aspects of the investing process, so you don’t have to.  


Propertyware is another user-friendly application notable for its focus on single-family property management. Users can take advantage of its accounting services, unlimited storage, and vendor portals.  Also, it offers maintenance tracking and global customization and reports.  


RentRedi is known for its all-inclusive suite of features. These include the ability to perform background checks, receive mobile payments, and communicate with tenants through the RentRedi app. Users can even send automated rent reminders and receipts. In addition, subscribers can list their properties on Doorstep, Realtor.com, and RentRedi for free. People have unlimited access to these properties, as well as units and tenants. The feature that makes RentRedi really stand out, though, is its 24/7, customized user support.  

4 Best Real Estate Investing Apps 

Nowadays, convenience is king and investors on the go need access to their investment 24/7. Real estate investing is more than just buying and flipping homes or renting out a physical space. In fact, some investing doesn’t involve buying a property at all. Nasdaq has narrowed down the four best apps available in the real estate space. They praised Happy Nest, DiversyFund, Groundfloor, and CrowdStreet for their premier features. Let’s dive in a little deeper on these 4 options. 

Happy Nest 

Happy Nest enables people to link their credit or debit cards to its app and make purchases. Furthermore, it invests in CVS, FedEx, and other Fortune 100 companies, as well as smaller industrial and multi-family properties. This allows users to have immediate connections to bigger and better properties. Best of all, it requires only $10 to set up an account. 


DiversyFund has zoomed in on multi-family assets in six states. These investments have garnered $175 million in estimated value, 12 multifamily assets, and 1 million square feet of rentable storage. Minimum investments start at just $500. Furthermore, it requires no management or transaction fees. It even has a handy portfolio auto-invest element.  


Groundfloor has the whole package. This user-friendly app specializes in residential real estate, with many customizable options. When people use the app, they can focus on either single renovation projects or automatic investments. Users can also access loans to a first-rate real estate-backed investment account, among other accounts. The price of entry is only $10. The biggest bonus, though, is that they repay investments at around 10% every four to twelve months.   


CrowdStreet, a commercial real estate app, brings you a selection of sponsored real estate listings directly at your fingertips. Even more, you can independently invest in listings and own them together with other investors. This app has raised over $3.93 billion, jumpstarted over 661 deals, and given out an 18.5% internal return rate. CrowdStreet’s fees are simple. They require investors to compensate listing sponsors for listing access.  

Manage Your Investment Properties with Ease 

After you have explored the best real estate investor software, apps, and books, worked hard, and secured an investment, we can enter the picture. Bay Property Management Group specializes in property management, and we can handle the day to day tasks so you don’t have to! Our team of professionals can handle the tedious details like move-in and out reports, maintenance issues, rent collection, and rental registrations. Call Bay Property Management Group today to spend less time on property management and more time finding your next great deal!