How to Run Your Real Estate Investing Business on Your Own Terms

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Last week I was in Las Vegas and this week I’m writing from Alberta, Canada. I like to travel, and luckily, my real estate business provides me the opportunity to do so. However, I’m often asked by new investors how I can travel so often, while still running my real estate business.

Well… my first answer isn’t the one that most investors who want instant gratification want to hear, because the answer is that it took me a while to get to this point. The first two years of my business I was running around like a madman because I didn’t have the proper systems in place, I didn’t manage my time right, and I was doing a lot of learning about how to close various deals.

However, I quickly realized that I’d go crazy if I kept up the pace and if I didn’t to treat my real estate company like an actual business. One of the first things I did was to hire a virtual assistant. It was the smartest move I’ve ever made. You see, most investors have a 9-5 job and do their real estate activities when they get home from work.

And often…

That means calling all of the sellers who called you earlier in the day to sell their house. And, if you ask me, it’s not fun spending every evening on the phone when 95% of the sellers will waste your time and not be motivated enough to do a deal with you. That’s why my virtual assistant screens out the unmotivated sellers from the motivated ones. By the time I talk to a seller, I know they’ve been pre-screened, which means there’s a high likelihood I’ll close the deal.

My assistant does dozens of other tasks for me, including, screening potential renters, taking care of calling my handyman for repairs, placing craigslist ads for me, and taking care of my postcard marketing – which obviously frees up a lot of my time.

Another reason I’m able to travel so much is because I have a ton of confidence when talking to sellers. Early on, I’d drop everything and rush over to a person’s house to close a deal. I’d let them bully me around, I’d lower my fees and I was an all around wimp.

However, now…

I’ll tell someone that I’m so busy helping others that the only appointments I have available this week are Friday at 6 or Saturday at 2. I set the terms and I let people know why my company is the best and why they should work with me.

Lastly, if it’s a really good deal and I’m going to be out of town for a while, I’ll FedEx the seller my “Deal Closing Kit,” which is a folder containing information about my company and special reports. This ‘kit’ basically pre-sells the person so I’m more likely to close the deal with my first meeting with them.

In short, start examining how you’re running your business. You’re probably wasting a lot of time and could be spending more time with your family or on activities you love. Also, remember, that a huge part of this business is your self-confidence and your belief that you’re company is the best in your area to help out motivated a motivated seller.

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. Jason –
    Maybe you could fill others in a bit more on how you went about finding your virtual assistant? I know that I’ve heard horror stories, and have had my own difficulties finding a reliable one. Since you rely on one, and I believe have done so for a while, it would be great to learn your approach.

    Thanks, Josh

  2. Jason is so right, it’s really all about investing the time upfront to create teachable systems that can be properly outsourced and delegated to Virtual Assistants. I have a Virtual Assistant Service provider firm and I spend time upfront with Entrepreneurs to create and fine tune their systems in order for my VAs to take over the work from them. The reality is that in other this to work out, Entrepreneurs need to have the right frame of mind for outsourcing and realize that it’s a continuous process of improvement and feedback. I offer a free live webinar titled “How to Grow Your business by Outsourcng time consuming work to Virtual Assistants”. If anyone is interested in attending please let me know and I will post the link to sign up.

    It’d all about systems, I have Virtual Assistants on my team helping Note Buyers find Nonoperforming Notes from Asset Managers, also VAs working with Real Estate agents to handle their entire new listing process and so on.
    I suggest that Entrepreneurs should look for Virtual Assistant service providers who can provide them with a team of Virtual Assistants and also a project manager who can manage the VAs on their behalf.

    I recently did a video interview with a Real Estate Broker from Florida who successfully outsourced his entire business to Virtual Assistants. If interested in the link to my free video interview with him let me know and I will provide the link too.

    • The beauty of hiring a Virtual Assistant is threefold:

      (1) the business doesn’t have to provide office space and equipment/software for a virtual assistant because he/she works from a fully equipped home office
      (2) a VA doesn’t go onto the business payroll so the business doesn’t incur additional payroll taxes, health care premiums, or retirement fund obligations, etc.
      (3)the business buys only as many hours as they need each month – no work = no pay – and no overtime. It’s the best of all worlds – the business owner gets the administrative help they need to keep the back office going and hiring the right VA can even help them improve their bottom line by generating new sources of revenue.

  3. I found my virtual assistant through a company called The first assistant I got through them had terrible customer service and I had to fire her. The second one has been perfect and I’ve had her over 5 years.

    Getting a VA is like hiring any employee- you will probably have to go through a lot of unsatisfactory people until you find one you love. I’ve also heard that is a great place to find a VA.

    Most importantly, do “dummy” calls where you have a friend pretend to be a seller and make sure they’re doing a good job and representing your company well.

  4. I have watched a video about managing yourself instead of managing your time. It’s about spending your time wisely. Hope this can be very helpful to you guys.

    Jason, you’re right. You can always tap the services of a virtual assistant to handle some of the time consuming tasks you have.

    A real estate virtual assistant can manage your documents, assist on marketing aspects, track tasks and deadlines, relay information, schedule property showings, provide updates, promote your services and so on.

    Equipped with special skills, such as web design, html, brochure layout, graphics design, document management, intranets and more, your virtual assistant (VA) will help you enhance your services faster in a much lower cost compared to a full-time in-house employee.

  5. As much as I agree with being protective of your time there is always a fine line on focusing on efficiency too much instead of focusing on effectiveness, a very different thing.

    Jason, I am curious, how do you set the line between what you take care of vs. what the VA can take care of?

  6. Thanks. Sharing your secrets is helpful. So, having a real estate business with virtual assistant would help you, because virtual assistant takes the action like, documents, tracking records, real estate information etc.

  7. Hey Jason,

    Awesome post! I’m into wholesaling properties in the Chicagoland area. Instead of hiring VAs for your business, you should seriously consider hiring interns. I work with several interns across the country. Instead of paying them an hourly wage, I just pay them on a commission base (20-50% of the profits of the deals that come through them). Now, I’m really starting to see the value of interns and how building a team of them can really take your business to a whole new level.

    VAs can be a big waste of time and money. The great thing about interns is, the worst that could happen is that you get a bad intern (I’ve had quite a few.) But in that case, just hire another one (or a couple more.) There’s no limit to how many you can work with and you don’t need to pay them unless they make money (in which case you both make money.)

    I have a recently been helping other people hire their own interns by giving them all the files and resources that I use to hire and manage my interns (job descriptions, interview script, email templates, list of tasks, etc.) I’d be more than willing to share any and all these files with you or anyone else that desires them.

    Let me know!

  8. I really enjoyed your article. A Virtual Assistant can be a huge asset to your business. In addition to freeing up your time, a Virtual Assistant can handle a wide variety of tasks. Each assistant has a different skill set they can bring to the table. I’m glad to hear that even though your first assistant wasn’t a good fit, you went ahead and tried again. This is one thing I always stress to my clients. Don’t get stressed out about finding the perfect match – once you do – you will know right away.

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