Ken McElroy is a well known multi-family investor in the Western US who has increased his presence and public profile through his association with Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad program and books. His book “The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss” is a great introductory primer for any aspiring real estate investor, especially for anyone interested in the opportunities of apartment complexes.

The book takes a high level, comprehensive view, which is both its strength and its weakness. It touches on most of the important steps and considerations in selecting, acquiring, and running commercial residential properties. As such, it is a good launch point for gathering your thoughts and plans. However, to get into nitty gritty details, specific how-to, and multiple case study-based considerations and risk mitigation strategies, you will need to continue further to other books.

Rightly so, the book starts with foundational building blocks that are critical to a real estate investor’s long term success: defining your own personal goals and approach, researching and selecting a market, building a local competent and dependable team, and considering the best property types in that market while working with that team. It is good that McElroy addresses these topics; he doesn’t just jump into the typical book approach of how to supposedly find a screamin’ deal and maximize returns.

From there, McElroy describes the processes of property selection, letter of intent (LOI), purchase and sale agreements, financing, and due diligence. He especially devotes time to due diligence, providing a good general framework of topics to research and address. Again, the due diligence needed for many properties go beyond his general checklist approach, but nonetheless it is a strong place to start.

Since the author also owns a large property management company plus recognizes the importance of effective property management, he devotes a good amount of content to vetting, monitoring, and defining expectations with a property management company. He speaks to the associated responsibilities in broad terms for those investors who want to self-manage a property too, but he has a business-based preference toward hiring a professional property management company (as I do).

The book wraps up with longer term strategies, including the benefits of buy and hold while understanding that there may be a later opportunity to sell for additional profit that can be reinvested in other properties.

Overall, “The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing” is an easy read that I would recommend to any new real estate investor as a primer. For more experienced investors, there is not much in depth here, so it would serve them more as a good reminder of fundamentals.