Are you doing too much?
Monday, December 24
Are you doing too much? Are you ready to start the New Year off right? Recently, I attended the Holiday Party for a RE investor Mastermind group that I’ve belonged to for the last several years. One of the reasons I like this group is because these guys and gals are the real “movers and shakers” in the RE investing business. This group is pretty advanced and I’m probably considered a slacker since I no longer own as many units as I use to. These guys are a great resource. They know all the best deals, ideas, problems, and work a round as anyone in the business.
This year I started to notice something different than in the past. As we’ve been in a pretty tough market for a while I’ve noticed more doom and gloom, less participation, and a decrease in membership. I also noticed an overall increase of complaints about things that I haven’t thought about in a long time. The more I heard, the more I thought about why I haven’t had these problems in so long and the answer was simple; I had a property manager. The one challenge for many RE investors, (including myself) is that we’re control freaks, we’re perfectionists, and we’re afraid to let go of anything. An older guy once told me if you can get someone to do 80% of your job, 80% as good as you, it’s time to pass it on. Many of my friends at this meeting are making a lot of money in the real estate business but they’re still doing $15/hr. jobs like standing in line at Home Depot or collecting rent. My one friend was recently robbed at gunpoint picking up cash from a tenant! I can’t even remember the last time I picked up rent, let alone put myself remotely in danger to do so. Just think about all the time and energy (which could be put to much better use) is saved by hiring a property manager to do so for a small percentage of the rent.
Since starting my note company and implementing many systems and processes, I’m now starting to see this is where most RE investors are lacking. They don’t outsource as many tasks as they probably could and not enough of them focus on where their maximum revenue really comes from. In my business there’s many services we outsource that we could do internally like marketing, web development, investigative and data services, etc. So not only do these guys start to limit their growth they end up being miserable because they’re responsible for and doing mostly everything by themselves. They end up working “in” their business more than they work “on” it, and everything revolves around them. Most entrepreneurs’ think it’s great that they no longer have to answer to a boss but some of these guys are busy with so much responsibility all they did was replace one job with another.
The key is being able to delegate and sometimes you just have to take two steps back to go three steps forward by implementing more systems and processes as well as outsourcing some mundane and inefficient tasks like property management or bookkeeping. Instead of controlling everything and doing it all myself, I’m much happier controlling how I outsource and doing very little on my own. That’s not to say I still don’t do too much, my goal for 2013 is to be even more efficient and focusing my time on what generates the most value and what makes me the happiest.