Commercial Magazine

The Power of Reading

Take a few minutes per day to access the wealth of information at your fingertips

By Ken Grant

What are you reading today? Last month, you learned about the power of spending only 14 minutes a day to improve yourself. That’s 1% of your day for the potential of a major improvement in your life at the end of the year.

It’s highly recommended to dedicate these 14 minutes a day to reading. Knowledge is transformative, and reading is one of the easiest and best ways to begin improvement in your life and business. It’s remarkable how such a seemingly small commitment can lead to significant growth over time.

“Through reading, we can learn from the triumphs and failures of others, gaining insights that can propel us further on our own journeys.”

Whether it’s a captivating novel, a thought-provoking nonfiction book or even an informative article, reading can take you on a journey of discovery, opening your mind to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities. For commercial mortgage professionals, books can both broaden and deepen your understanding of real estate investment strategies, as well as loan variables and guidelines. Combined with the ongoing learning you do already — by reading industry news and taking professional development courses — the right books can help you predict industry trends, improve service and strengthen your knowledge.

Book benefits

When thinking about the vast array of books that exist, it’s awe inspiring to realize that almost any topic you can imagine has likely been explored and written about. These literary treasures enable readers to tap into the wisdom and experience of others, providing invaluable inspiration, guidance and life lessons.

One benefit of reading is that it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can access many of these resources for free; your local library likely has dozens of books on commercial real estate available in physical, e-book and audiobook formats. Librarians can also assist you with research if you want to dig deeper into a specific topic. If you find a book you’d like to keep, head to the bookstore and purchase it for your personal library.

Through reading, we can learn from the triumphs and failures of others, gaining insights that can propel us further on our own journeys. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we can stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, absorbing their knowledge and applying it to our own lives. Essentially, you’re starting at a higher level of learning and accelerating the progress toward your goals.

Remember, alongside book reading, it’s crucial to stay up to date on industry news, regulations and trends. It’s helpful to regularly follow reputable financial publications, stay engaged with industry websites, and participate in seminars, classes and conferences. Pair these resources with a commitment to learning via reading and you can provide exceptional service, anticipate market shifts and elevate your expertise as a mortgage professional.

The impact of reading goes beyond professional growth: It benefits our communication skills, empathy and overall well-being. By engaging with different writing styles and diverse perspectives, vocabulary expands, critical thinking skills sharpen and the ability to connect with others deepens.

Reading also promotes relaxation and stress reduction. Especially when reading for fun, it can be a form of escapism, allowing you to immerse yourself in captivating stories and explore new realms. Moreover, reading before bed can improve sleep quality.

Spare moments

If you ever find yourself thinking that you don’t have enough time to read for just 14 minutes a day, consider the wonders of audiobooks. With their growing popularity, building an audiobook library can enable you to immerse yourself in captivating stories during your commute, during household chores or any time you have a free moment.

Speaking of commutes, that journey (whether it’s 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more) presents a valuable opportunity to absorb knowledge through audiobooks. Even brief daily sessions add up to a wealth of information over time, allowing you to explore a vast range of subjects and acquire new skills.

The brain is like a computer that functions based on what we program into it. By consciously choosing to fill our minds with positive, enriching content, we pave the way for personal growth and become more well-rounded individuals. Learning is a continuous process and every bit of knowledge gained adds to your overall understanding. So, embrace your commute as an opportunity to engage in self-improvement and expand your horizons through the power of audiobooks.

As author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Your input affects your outlook, your outlook affects your output and your output affects your destiny.” Embrace this quote in your growth journey and understand how the books you read can get you to where you want to be.

Reading list

As a mortgage professional, it’s crucial to understand the importance of continuous learning and being informed about this ever-evolving industry. If you’re looking for books to enhance your knowledge and professional growth, here are some recommendations:

• “The Mortgage Encyclopedia: The Authoritative Guide to Mortgage Programs, Practices, Prices, and Pitfalls,” by Jack Guttentag. This comprehensive guide is a go-to resource for expanding your understanding of mortgage programs, regulations and industry terminology. It’s an invaluable companion for navigating the complexities of the field.

• “Commercial Mortgages 101: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Winning Loan Request Package,” by Michael Reinhard. This book offers a comprehensive overview to understanding the intricacies of commercial mortgages. It covers topics such as loan request preparation, underwriting, risk assessment and the overall process of securing a commercial real estate loan.

• “The Handbook of Commercial Real Estate Investing: State of the Art Standards for Investment Transactions, Asset Management, and Financial Reporting,” by John McMahan. While not exclusively focused on lending, this handbook provides a wealth of insights into commercial real estate investments, including financing strategies and the financial aspects of the industry at large. It’s a valuable resource for gaining a holistic understanding of the commercial real estate landscape.

• “Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing: How to Successfully Build Wealth and Grow Passive Income from Your Rental Properties,” by Doug Marshall. This book explores various aspects of commercial real estate investing, including financing options and strategies. It offers practical advice for navigating the financing side of commercial properties, making it useful for those interested in mortgage lending.

• “The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision-Making and Investment,” by William J. Poorvu. Not solely focused on mortgages, this book offers a broader perspective on real estate. Understanding the broader landscape and investment strategies can allow you to offer more holistic advice to clients.

There are many other books that are well worth the read. You can find further recommendations online, at the library, and in the collections of your industry peers and mentors.

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Embrace the power of reading and let it transport you to uncharted territories within yourself, your business and the vast realms of literature. Enjoy it, and remember, it only takes 1% of your day. ●


  • Ken Grant

    Ken Grant is the founder of Rubicon Coaching LLC. He has nearly three decades of experience in the mortgage industry and has helped numerous mortgage professionals become the best they can be. “Crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor for taking a decisive and irrevocable step that leads to significant results. Grant uses his knowledge and skills as a coach to help his clients get to where they most desire to be.

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