Build a Rental Property Empire: Should You Read It?

I recently read a book about BRRRRing after becoming interested in real estate investing.  I had considered house flipping and then decided against it for a number of reasons. But I happened to come across something online about BRRRR and got hooked on the idea.  Once I read that, I got the itch to buy and hold rental properties, so I’ve been reading a lot about them lately. That was my thinking when I picked up Build a Rental Property Empire by Mark Ferguson.

I have a lot of time right now to decide what it is I want to do once we have our debt paid and our emergency fund fully stocked. I was looking at a few options.  I’d already put a little aside each week into my company’s 401(k), but the returns on those are slower than I like.  I want pretty badly to retire before I’m sixty, and I’m already thirty-six (as of the writing of this blog post). That means that like many Americans, I’m behind.

At this point, I don’t want to try to catch up by relying solely on the stock market. Especially when I know there are other methods that, while they take more work up front, tend to have better returns if you’re even just a little smart.

I know that there are less passive ways to earn a retirement income. The one that appeals to me most is definitely rental property investing.

After reading BRRRR, I wanted to see if there was more to learn about rental property investing, and so I picked up this one and The Book on Rental Property Investing.  I’ve been reading them at the same time. Or rather, I’ve been listening to this one on audio and reading the other one.

Ferguson’s Background

Build a Rental Property Empire was written by Mark Ferguson. He’s an investor in Colorado who’s been in the real estate industry since the early 2000s.  Mark focuses almost entirely on single family rental properties since that’s primarily what he invests in. But he also touches on commercial and multi-family properties as well.

Also, in contrast to the book on BRRRR rental property investing, Mark focuses on traditional investing using a number of different ways to buy properties and not insisting that the property be bought outright and refinanced after a renter is in place.

Traditional Investing

Interestingly, most of the steps involved in traditional rental property investing are the same as BRRRR investing. It’s just that in traditional investing, you’re only paying for the down payment, closing costs, and repairs up front.  You will be using someone else’s money or getting a loan to finish the purchase of the house.

Essentially, your steps are to find properties that will cash flow (provide an income after expenses), get financing, make an offer, make repairs, rent out the house, and then reinvest your cash flow into your next purchase.


Something Mark’s book offers that the other books I’ve read so far don’t is information about buying HUD properties, or properties owned by the government that are often times good deals.  Since I’m not particularly interested in purchasing from HUD as a newbie investor, my goal is to put that information aside for a time in the future when I’m more seasoned with the basics.  Essentially, I’m allowing myself to be new and not very good at this yet.


Every investor is different, and so when you read multiple books about the same topic, you’re going to get different and clashing opinions on the best way to run those investments.  What I like is that much of the information on key things is the same from book to book. That means the information is solid since it’s coming from multiple successful investors.

But they also differ in a lot of ways. Like whether it’s important to get an LLC on each of your properties, which lenders to look for, etc.  Personally, I loved David Green’s insights in BRRRR about what makes members of your team tick, and learning to use that information to help negotiate a win for everyone you work with.

Mark Ferguson subscribes to a similar Grant Cardone 10x ideology. He sets his goal for much higher than he really wants or needs, and that pushes him to achieve that goal.  This is contrary to the way I practice goal setting, but it seems to be a common method among the real estate investors I’ve read so far.

Each author I read has some new tips about the best way to manage things and the best tools to use.  If you’re a little more seasoned, this can be helpful so you can pick up things that will make your life easier.

Buy it in Hard Copy Format

One mistake I’ve made with this book is to buy it via Audible.  I listened to this in the car during my commutes to and from the office. I wasn’t able to write anything down or highlight the book, as I’ve been doing with my other rental property investing books.

He had so many great tips that I don’t want to miss out on that I plan to purchase another copy of the book, only in hard copy. I’ll have to go through it again to find the information I want to remember and to highlight it.  Don’t make that mistake.  Buy it in hard copy the first time so you can mark it up.

Who Should Read Build a Rental Property Empire?

I’m almost finished with a second book on the same topic that I was consuming at the same time, and I gotta say, a lot of the data is the same.  I can no longer remember which precise points belong to which author, and I’m thinking that as a total noob to investing in real estate, it’s probably not necessary to read more than one book.  I would suggest choosing one author and getting their book.  You can always grab another one later and glean some more tips from the second one.

Five out of five stars.

To see what else I’m reading, follow me on Goodreads.

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