5 Smart Tips for Outsourcing & Delegating Work in Your Real Estate Business
Being a real estate professional, are you working on your business, or are you still working in it? Think about it. Are you approaching your business like you would a monotonous 9 to 5 job? You’ve got a business; don’t let that become “just a job” to you again. I agree that handling a real estate business is not easy and takes time. You have appointments and leads and numerous calls to make to close your deals. You’re required to do a lot of paperwork on top of all that. You’re always on the lookout for hot deals and properties. These things obviously take time. But at some point, you will run out. Your backlog piles up, leaving you with little to no time to focus on strategizing your business. Growing and expanding your real estate business is tough when you run a one-man show.
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The answer seems simple. You need to hire someone.
But hiring professionals doesn’t sound easy to a lot of investors. At the start of any business, costs are always a constraint. You’re focused on minimizing the costs and maximizing revenue. At some point, though, you need to fight to take back your time. This is when you need to start delegating some aspects of your business.
These things can be anything. It can be managing your marketing, updating your listings or searching for new properties. Seeking help when you’re weighed down under your work is crucial to growing your real estate business. The cost of not getting help usually results in poor client management, bad marketing, and lost deals, which will cost you a lot in your business. Having a real estate assistant will help you increase your revenue, as you’ll focus your time on money generating tasks while your assistants will look after other more mundane, administrative tasks.
There are many people who can help you, but real estate is a special kind of business. A real estate assistant is someone who’s specialized and has worked exclusively with real estate professionals, preferably for many years. Having a person like that as your assistant can even give you access to valuable insights and advice, specifically for the operational side of real estate investing.
The outsourced staff should be professional first and foremost. They stick to their working schedule and are available when they should be. Once you delegate work to them, you can be certain that the work will be done within the deadline.
You can be a beginner or a seasoned investor, and that makes a difference to your delegation tactics. No matter where you are in your business’s life-cycle, you can always delegate some part of your business to your assistants so that you’re super efficient while running your core business.
Here are a few items you can delegate, based on your experience in real estate.
Being a newcomer in this industry, you lack experience. When you’re getting help, it’s easy to rely too much on their expertise. You should, however, try to work on most of the things yourself so that you’re the one who gains experience and becomes more confident to manage outsourcers in the future. It will be hectic and demand a lot of your time, but that’s ok. As you get comfortable doing what you do, you can think about outsourcing smaller administrative tasks, like bookkeeping and keeping data up-to-date. It also makes sense to outsource property repairs.
This is where it starts to get interesting. You have gained a lot of experience in the real estate market. You also have a number of transactions below your belt. Now is the time to start thinking about outsourcing a large piece of your marketing activities, property management, networking tasks and handling paperwork with your investors.
In addition to the above-mentioned tasks, at this point you should also consider outsourcing day-to-day management of business operations, renovation projects, and major paperwork involving contract creation. Many veteran investors also outsource their sales activities, but you have to be extremely cautious when you outsource this activity. You need a set of people you can trust with absolute certainty to carry on this aspect of your business.
5 Tips for Outsourcing & Delegating Work in Your Real Estate Business
Outsourcing and delegating in real estate is very important for investors, no matter where they are in their business life-cycle. However, there are a few key points that should be taken into consideration while planning to outsource a part of the real estate business. Here are the top five tips on successful outsourcing and delegating:
Identify the tasks you want to delegate.
As I said earlier, the tasks you want to delegate will be different from the ones your peers would like to delegate. Play to your strengths. You might be good with social media management and might want to handle that aspect of your business on your own. Similarly, your peer investor might be a top negotiator who would probably want to keep the job of negotiating with him. So, as a rule of thumb, assign yourself the tasks that you’re best at and delegate the rest to outsourcers.
If you’re a jack of all trades and are unsure which tasks you should assign to others, simply give yourself a month’s time. In this one month, list down your daily and weekly activities. By the end of the month, you’ll know what work you do. Now, out of these jobs, select the ones that you’re most confident about that you can do better than anyone. The rest can be delegated to others. If you need some guidance: It’s always a good idea to simply delegate the administrative and low involvement tasks to your outsourcers and keep the core tasks for you. This will at least get you started.
Delegate crisply and clearly.
Once you’ve sorted out the tasks you want to have outsourced, it’s time for the next step. It will take time, but it’s worth it. Prepare an elaborate description of all tasks you’d like to outsource. Try and write down even the tiniest of the steps. You may feel overwhelmed, but this is essential in the long run to ensure that each task is done as per your instructions.
It’s amazing how missing one small thing can really ruin your first delegating attempt. Do not assign the work if you can’t define them crisply and clearly. The staff will carry out the work using your description. So, invest a good amount of time in jotting down every single step needed to carry out any task. If possible, include screenshots or a short video tutorial to explain the process in detail. It may sound cumbersome now, but it will save you a lot of grief later on when your business expands. You can even create templates and style guides for your emails and contract papers.
Invest in software.
Currently, your business might be small enough for you to manage with the help of a couple of assistants. You might be able to supervise each task and might be able to micromanage. But with the help of outsourced hands, your business is slated to expand and will get more complex. At that point, it won’t be possible for you to micromanage everything.
That’s why it’s better that you invest in some kind of system now that’ll automate part of your workflow. For example, you can invest in cloud computing solutions for storing and sharing your files. Cloud computing will keep your data safe and secure. It’ll also speed up communication between you and your outsourced staff. Also, tools like Basecamp allow you to monitor what your outsourcing partner is up to.
Evaluate the quality of your partners.
References, experience and getting to know the person who is going to help you are key aspects of assuring you’re dealing with quality staff. Get in touch with multiple people, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you’re using an online service, there’s often a rating system available. However, the rating system is usually not an accurate measure of the quality of the member. This is because an outsourcing provider who has just worked for a small project might get a rating of 5 stars from the person who has hired him. Instead of simply looking at the ratings, also look for the number of years the member has worked for. Read through all the feedback they received before hiring someone.
Set smart deadlines.
With outsourcing, you might have quality issues at times. Someone might get sick all of a sudden, and then the work starts piling up. To do away with issues like this, always set deliverable dates that are well before the actual deadline. If work needs to be done by a certain date, set the deliverable for at one week in advance, for example. You’ll get more familiar with the work they do, and that’ll allow you to loosen the grip a bit. Just don’t jump in head first without having some control over at your end.
What has your experience with outsourcing been? Any tips you’d add?
Leave your comments below!