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The ABC’s of Successful Delegation and Outsourcing

Sharon Vornholt
4 min read
The ABC’s of Successful Delegation and Outsourcing

Most real estate investors are terrible at delegation. We are slow to delegate for a variety of reasons.

Most likely it is because of one of these reasons:

  • Money; “I can’t afford it”.
  • I can do it better myself; “No one is as smart/as good as I am.
  • I can get it done faster myself; “It will take too long to train someone to do it as well as I can do it.

We can come up with a million reasons. But here is the truth of the matter; the faster you begin to delegate and outsource, the quicker your business will grow and become profitable.

The Simple Truth about Delegating

It’s a fact that it takes longer initially to delegate and to outsource a task then it does to do it yourself. Who knew that there was so much work involved upfront just to give work away?

But over time, it will change your life! For a whole lot of people, you will ultimately get your life back. Remember that thing called “free time” or “fun”? What about being able to take a stress free vacation because you know your business is running without you?

Now I’m not going to say this happens immediately, but that should be your long term plan. To put people and systems in place so you can get your life back.

In the Beginning…

It’s very likely that most real estate investors were “solopreneurs” when they first started out unless you were one of those folks that joined an existing family business or had a partner right from the beginning. The vast majority of all investors start out as “one man shops”. I can promise you that there will come a time when you begin to feel like you are drowning; you will realize that there is no way you can get it all done by yourself. You must delegate to survive!

Failure to Launch

Do you remember the movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey called “Failure to Launch” where he just couldn’t get his grown-up life off the ground? “Failure to Launch” is what happens when you hold on to the “I am going to do it all myself syndrome” to long. Your business will fail to grow and if you don’t take steps to change that, your business will likely come to a standstill or fail altogether.

When you can finally admit that you can no longer do everything in your business, you have to make a change and make it quickly.

The Choice

  • Some folks get an office and a staff person or two “right out of the box”. That can be a good choice for some people. But for most real estate investors, they will choose a different path toward delegation in the beginning. They will outsource some of the work.
  • One of the easiest things to outsource is your direct mail. There are a number of services folks use that have been written about on BiggerPockets. Don’t overthink this one too much. You can always change if you aren’t happy with your initial choice.
  • If you want to print your letters yourself you can find a stay at home mom or grad student to stuff and hand address those for about $10 a hundred.
  • I have had excellent results with outsourcing some things to virtual assistants on Odesk. You can find qualified folks to do all sorts of work for you there, and you won’t have to worry about payroll taxes.
  • Fiverr.com is another site I love. You can get your videos and audios edited there for $5, have intro’ and outro’s created for them, and get a million other things done for about the price of a cappuccino that will save you hours of work. If you aren’t a wiz at doing these sorts of things, then outsource it. You can get just about anything done on this site for five bucks.

Successful Delegation in 5 Easy Steps

1. Make a list of every repetitive task in your business whether it happens daily, weekly or monthly. Don’t leave anything out. It might help to keep a log for 30 days just to be sure you have everything on your list.

2. Look at the steps involved for each task. Don’t skimp on this part. You need to list each tiny, sequential step involved for each one of your tasks. I know that just about now, you are saying “I don’t have time to do that”. Remember to look at the big picture. You don’t have to get this done today; it might take 6 months from start to finish. In the end, you want more time, more freedom or whatever it is that you are looking to add back into your life. Creating systems for your business will set you free.

3. Ask yourself if there is any way to streamline each one of those tasks. Do you really need all of those steps or can the process be simpler or more concise? Can it be easier for someone new to do the task accurately and efficiently? Let’s face it; you don’t want to have to hire a genus to replace you.

4. Once you have all of the steps figured out for one task, create an overview of the job. Here is an example:

Overview: Create a Postlet flyer for each property we have for rent and for sale.


1. Login to the Postlets site at http://Postlets.com

2. Here is the login information …….

3. Select “create new Postlet”.

You get the idea; list each and every step below the job/task overview.

5. Use screenshots and short video tutorials and go through the steps. You don’t have to buy any fancy programs to do this. There are plenty of free resources on the internet like Cam Studio and Screencast-O-Matic. These visual tutorials will be invaluable for folks that learn best by “seeing”.

Congratulations. You Have Just Created a System!

This is the first step to really having a business; creating systems. The beauty of doing this is you only have to do it once. Yes, it’s a lot of work upfront. But if you hire a dozen people in the future you will have a system you can use for years to come. It goes without saying that any system you create will need to be updated and “tweaked” from time to time, but you will never have to start over from scratch.

Final Thoughts …

Outsource quickly, and make a plan to outsource everything you can. Why is it that we all hang on too long?

Use your “core genius or your talents” to do the 20% of the tasks that only you should be doing and outsource the rest.
Let me know how you handle this process in your business. How long did it take you to outsource and what tasks did you outsource first?

Photo: nestor galina

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.