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What Does a Fix and Flip Investor do all Day?

by Marty Boardman on December 21, 2012 · 10 comments

Fix and Flip

In my post last week called “What Are You Willing to do to Become a Real Estate Investor?” I described how I got my start in real estate investing and listed six steps for getting started. I also wrote that following these steps requires a lot of effort. After reading the column Morris L. made this comment:

“I agree with the article about most folks not following through, however so many posts speak about most people aren’t willing to do ‘all the work’ or as you put it, work nights and weekends etc. I think where many get confused is what are the details of all the difficult work? Door knocking? Sending direct mail? Driving neighborhoods? Scouring MLS or craigslist? I find a lot of posts are vague when the difficulty of real estate is not actually explained; therefore the gurus take their money because they can at least offer some level of comprehension to someone starting out. Scouring through foreclosure lists, sending mailers out or talking to homeowners for example is not demanding work for me, but trying to do repairs to a house would be exhausting work by comparison. I for one have a lot of free time during the week, so taking a class or setting up a template site really is easy work. I’ve done both for other business ventures. Can you elaborate more on what the longer hours of work entails?”

Morris L., I’d love to elaborate here what a fix and flip investor does all day. Before I begin though, a little disclaimer:

I don’t do physical work at any of my properties. My project manager and subcontractors handle that stuff. Nor do I door knock. I work with a “bird dog” that does it for me. My number one priority is keeping the pipeline of properties full. This means doing research, submitting offers, purchasing houses, completing rehabs and selling houses.

Now, here’s what my typical day looks like:

  • 7:30 – 8:30a – Catching up on the latest real estate industry news by reading my local newspaper, the Wall Street Journal and anything else on my Twitter and Facebook feeds that looks interesting.
  • 8:30 – 9:30a – Following up on emails and phone calls from the day before.
  • 9:30a – 10:30a – Social networking (writing blog posts, exchanging Tweets and Facebook comments with followers and friends).
  • 10:30a – 3:30p – Researching the MLS for short sale and REO deals – downloading foreclosure lists, doing market analysis and title research on these properties, property inspections.
  • 3:30p – 5:00p – More follow up on emails and phone calls from earlier in the day.

This doesn’t include all the phone calls I make and contracts I sign at night and on the weekends when I’m negotiating offers on my deals. You may be thinking, “That’s not hard work.” You’re right. It’s not, but it does require effort and discipline. If you’re just starting out your days may not be as long. However, even when I began I kept busy 30-40 hours a week doing research, door knocking and following up with distressed sellers.

I’ll admit digging ditches is harder. And it’s not like I stick to this schedule every day of the week. I occasionally sneak out of the office for a round of golf. But if you saw me play you’d agree getting through 18 holes is really hard work.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Vornholt December 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

Marty –

Having a schedule definitely helps to get everything done. It is a big help when it comes to actually accomplishing tasks that are part of a big project. Even on a bad day, a schedule that didn’t quite work out is better than “winging it”.



Marty Boardman December 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Sharon, I recently read ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy. This book explains the importance of schedules and routines. A quick read and I highly recommend it.


George Stroud December 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for sharing this. Organizing my day is the most challenging part of REI. This article is more helpful than you realize. Thanks again.


Marty Boardman December 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thanks George. I keep track of my day using Google Calendar and tasks with Evernote. Great tools!


George Stroud December 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Google tools are great. I’m still learning my way around Evernote, though. I found a good tutorial on it that I’m looking over now.


Jason Grote December 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Marty, you must be very hungry come 5:00 without a lunch break :)

This is definitely the schedule of an investor with a working system and years of experience. So, to all new investors, a schedule like this will be a long-term goal.

Also, I did not see any driving by houses or meeting sellers. Marty, do you do your research solely from the office?


Marty Boardman December 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Jason, I never miss lunch, squeeze it in during my research hours. I also do my drive-bys during the middle of the day. I don’t meet directly with sellers because I buy mostly at the auction or short sale/REO.


Jason Grote December 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

A blog on how to use Evernote as a real estate investor would be nice. I have looked into the program, but not been able to integrate it into our system. Is that something you could do for us Marty?


Marty Boardman December 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Jason, I recommend Dean Ouellette’s book, Evernote for Real Estate. Here’s a link to his site:

Excellent tips for real estate professionals. I think a post about this would be an excellent idea, perhaps a short video too. I’ll put some thought into that.

Dean Ouellette December 30, 2012 at 9:32 am

Thanks for the shout out Marty. If anyone has any questions on Evernote there is a great community on Facebook “Evernote for real estate” and a community on Google Plus “Evernote” stop on by and ask questions.


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