Book recommendations for the win

by Evi Arthur

A robust reading list helps many agents and brokers retain balance while also learning new techniques and information. But the types of tomes on top producers’ bookshelves vary quite a bit.
While some agents rely on strictly on business and real estate-focused books to give themselves an edge, Sarah Leonard often encourages her team read more unconventional books to keep themselves motivated.

Leonard, team leader with RE/MAX Suburban in Schaumburg, most recently had her team read “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Chic Site founder Rachel Hollis. Hollis’ blog — which began as a how-to for young women after her Thanksgiving turkey caught on fire — contains articles ranging from healthy eating and exercise advice to lists such as “5 Documentaries to Watch on a Rainy Day.” Leonard said she hoped the book would help her team to grow in a personal way, which in turn would also help them to grow professionally. “This helps with female empowerment, and that is always important for us to focus on, along with staying positive and growing as a person,” Leonard said.

Matt Laricy, managing broker of the Matt Laricy Group in Chicago, regularly rereads financial parables like those found in “The Richest Man in Babylon” in order to stay on top of his game. This book by George Samuel Clason focuses on strategies like staying out of debt, making the most out of what you earn and investing wisely through stories about merchants and shepherds. “In a business like ours, your future can always be uncertain,” Laricy said. “Reading this every year reminds me about the power of saving.”

Finding time in a busy schedule to read is difficult for Jena Radnay, broker with @properties in Winnetka. When she can, she usually picks up a Paul Arden book. Most recently, Radnay read “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be,” a “handbook” for how to be successful in life that employs a spread of quotes, imagery and facts. Arden’s latest book provides lessons in problem solving, communicating and making mistakes.

“You might be at the top of your game, but I feel you always have to be thinking ‘what’s next?’” Radnay said. “In real estate, you are only as good as your last deal.”

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