Mike Butler's book is packed full of content and systems that would benefit any investor starting out in the real estate world.
Overall, Mike's thoughts are well thought out, though they tend to lean to a side of automatic distrust for his tenants and a more aggressive approach than I would generally recommend. In reading his thoughts, tied with numbers that he references, I have a feeling that his tenant pool is likely low-income focused. This isn't a bad thing, but learning that made me take the rest of his advice with a grain of salt.
The sheer amount of content in the book was phenomenal, and learning that Mike's systems allowed him to maintain a very large number of properties before having to hire his first assistant, while also working a full time job was something I could get behind. I believe the intent with Mike's thoughts always came from a place of education and learning, he clarifies why he has chosen the path he has chosen, and what to look out for as to not get burned by tenants.
Furthermore, Mike doesn't get too focused on any topics that are hard to comprehend. He keeps the entire read simple, this was an easy book to get through in just a few days. I think the lessons to be learned through Mike's writing are put more to use through his personal interactions, and not so much on sticking to his specific game-plan. I especially like his focus, that he mentions a few times in the book, on treating your tenants as employees. You wouldn't let your employees run around without training, so why would you treat a tenant that way?
Lastly, the forms that Mike provides are definitely useful. I would urge anyone looking to use the forms to type them out into their own personal format, and to make sure they hold legal muster in their state of business, but they are certainly complete forms. Some of his forms are even presentations that he runs his tenants through on their first day.
The hardest part about this read is how outdated his information was. The book was originally published in 2006, so I can understand why references to pagers and fax machines are so common with him, but I came across this book from recommendations on BiggerPockets.com, and it felt as much a waste of my time as it did providing benefit. While this doesn't account for today's technology, it was still very easy for me to figure out how his concepts would be utilized in today's world.
The other big drawback with this book was my interaction with Mike and his team outside of the pages. A big lure for me was that I would have access to all of the forms online, so I reached out to get those forms and was presented with them relatively quickly. The bad part came right after, I started to get emails every day from his account trying to get me to buy various webinars and training's. I've also received a number of spam phone calls with his name that have tried to get me to sign up for workshops and other events. The calls got so frequent that I had to request to be removed from their calling list. These facts would have me urge you away from providing any phone information if requested to get his forms online.
Despite Mike's heavy attempt to sell the reader on various additional Mike Butler themed items, the book really does have some solid ideas in it. It would also be incredibly useful for a new landlord who has realized that he/she hasn't prepared enough on forms to have at their disposal. The read was quick, and for the price alone, it is well worth the chance to look at his forms to decide how one might be able to use them in the future.
I've also learned that there's a second edition to this book that was published in 2018 that you can find in the link below.