Whether you are a first-time syndication investor or looking to become a sponsor yourself, the more knowledge you have, the more likely you will make smart moves in the real estate industry. New investors have a deep pool of resources to create a foundation of knowledge about real estate syndications. This article highlights some of the best books about real estate syndications, and, just as importantly, how to think like a successful syndicator and investor.

Kent Ritter is an experienced multifamily investor and entrepreneur empowering you to build real wealth through real estate syndication. Learn More.

1. Principles of Real Estate Syndication by Samuel K. Freshman

For those just starting out, Freshman’s book acts as a primer on the basics of syndication. However, even if you have done some online research, this is an excellent place to start for an in-depth look at the mechanics of a real estate project.

This book is just a stepping stone toward more advanced principles, and its real value is in introducing those new to syndication, to many ideas and concepts to keep on their radar. 

Keep in mind that the contracts included in the book, and all the books on this list, are boilerplate examples to provide context to the scenarios and descriptions in the book and are not a substitute for tailored legal advice. Contract best practices vary by state based on the laws and legal precedent applicable to that jurisdiction.

2. Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book by Joe Fairless

Fairless, prolific author and co-founder of Ashcroft Capital, provides his own step-by-step process for becoming a real estate syndicator in this combination primer and how-to book.  

Fairless excels at giving new syndicators usable information about some of the more abstract concepts, like evaluating markets, establishing a brand, and choosing a business plan to attract investors. 

Fairless has a large fan base of normal people-turned multifamily property investors and is even endorsed by Shark Tank shark Barbara Corcoran. 

3. The Definitive Guide to Underwriting Multifamily Acquisitions: Develop the skills to confidently analyze and invest in multifamily real estate by Robert Beardsley

If you break down a real estate syndication to its most basic building blocks, a project’s success relies on the sponsor’s skill and the property’s potential. Beardsley breaks down the elements of researching and analyzing a property to find one with the potential to make you money. 

Beardsley, who has a history of many successful acquisitions, shares his own model for analyzing a property and provides many factors, formulas, and analyses to consider when underwriting a property. 

Those with no underwriting experience may find themselves Googling some concepts for background knowledge. Or, alternatively, tackle this one after completing one of the two introductory books described above. As of writing this article, Beardsley’s book is available for free with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription. But for more ways to calculate the value of an apartment building, you can take a look at my guide here. 

4. The Guide to Due Diligence: “any deal, any size, any location” by Nathan Tabor

The due diligence process provides information that is critical to evaluating the potential profit of a project, but it can also be like drinking from a fire hose. The fast and furious process can leave an inexperienced syndicator with information but no way to process it. Tabor tackles that issue in his guide to due diligence.

Use this book to learn what to expect and what to look for in the due diligence process. And, if you doubt the importance of this part of the vetting process, read through Tabor’s personal stories of what can go wrong with a building. 

5. A Millennial’s Guide to Investing in Cash Flowing Rental Properties by Antoine Martel

Martel offers strategies and tips with a Millennial investor in mind, but this book can be helpful to older generations as well. It focuses on investing in income-producing rental properties and the challenges of investing in properties that are outside of an investor’s home state.

6. Summary and Analysis of Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Many of the books on this list are written by people yet to see a gray hair, which can create the perception that real estate syndications are adventures only for the young with boundless energy or no other commitments. 

As a foil to the few previous entries on this list, Karlgaard’s book offers reassurance and empowerment to those stepping into real estate investment later in life or after a not-so-successful attempt at another career or endeavor. 

This quick read, available for free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, reminds us all that it is never too late to start our next chapter and that some of the best achievements come over the long term. Karlgaard emphasizes the long-term journey of real estate investment and the power of patience to create the best deals. 

7. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Many investors advertise a famous “sense” for a perfect property, leaving those of us without the same confidence in the existence of an innate knowledge wondering whether we have a needed piece missing.

Kahneman helps us go beyond a superficial sense to understanding how we each think—knowing how and why you reach specific conclusions can better question your own logic and motivations to gain a more clear and complete end decision and avoid both overconfidence and fear.

8. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Don’t underestimate books that can help you think like an investor. Law schools advertise themselves as places where students go to think like lawyers. Similarly, real estate investors need to learn to think like successful real estate investors. 

This self-development book markets itself as a life-changing secret to success, which may or may not be true, but it offers important lessons of visualizing and persistence through the stories of successful early American men. Hill’s book will most appeal to those looking for faith-based motivation. 

9. The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner

New syndicators should clear the smoke and mirrors and obtain a solid understanding of every aspect of a real estate syndication, including the most basic principles of operating a rental property. Ultimately, syndications deal in income-producing properties, and investors without knowledge of how rentals work will have large gaps of knowledge.

This book, published by investment education juggernaut BiggerPockets, lays out the basics of owning and operating a rental property on any scale and any budget. For more ways to increase the value of an apartment building, you can read our guide here. 

10. Multifamily Millions: How Anyone Can Reposition Apartments for Big Profits by David Lindahl

Lindahl’s book will help readers extrapolate the lessons learned from smaller rentals to multifamily properties. Bigger properties inevitably lead to more irons in the fire, and Lindahl tackles every stage of the process, from finding the perfect, slightly run-down property, to property management and how to unload the asset when the time is right.

This book is a must-read for those with no first-hand experience buying or operating multifamily assets. If getting started seems like the most challenging part, then the step-by-step tips for each phase of a real estate project should give you some concrete ideas for taking the needed steps.

11. Limited Liability Company for Group Investment by Fred Crane

Finally, because ten recommendations were not enough, we have one last must-read. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are one of the most basic legal entities you will encounter in the real estate industry. Most sponsors form an LLC for their syndication work.

A real estate attorney can help you form the LLC and draft the syndication documents. Keep costs down with your attorney and provide a second set of eyes and ears by coming in with your own knowledge regarding limited liability companies. Crane’s book helps with exactly that.

Investors can find the benefits of their LLC nullified by unknowing or inadvertent actions, but consulting your attorney before every movie is neither financially nor logistically feasible. Instead, having some basic LLC knowledge in your pocket can save money and challenges in the long run. 

Other Syndication Education Resources

The books offer in-depth information from some of the most successful syndicators around, but they can be unrealistic for someone already pressed for time. Many of the authors above also host podcasts that cover much of the same material. 

  • Joe Fairless’ Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show is the longest-running daily real estate podcast. He and other successful real estate investors share their advice and tricks on subject-specific daily episodes. Episode 2196 features Robert Beardsley and the art of underwriting.
  • The Real Estate Syndication Show with Whitney Sewell is another daily real estate podcast with an interview format to share hard-earned tips and tools with listeners.
  • Investment education juggernaut BiggerPockets has its own BiggerPockets podcast to bring real estate lessons to listeners through guest anecdotes.  

Final Thoughts

Reading books has always been the foundation for learning, but books are not a substitute for learning through doing. Stepping into an investment and seeing it from the ground up, with someone knowledgeable in the lead, is something books cannot teach. Consider reaching out to me, for any advice or help you may need, you can contact me by filling out this form. Perhaps I have the knowledge or investment opportunities you are looking for.

Kent Ritter is an experienced multifamily investor and entrepreneur empowering you to build real wealth through real estate syndication. Learn More.