Real Estate Investors: What does a day in your life look like?

60 Replies

Attention real estate investors: I'm curious -- what's a snapshot of your typical daily schedule (or are there no 'typical days')? 

Do you wake up at 5:00 a.m., run 5 miles with your dog, make waffles from scratch and strategize 3 new marketing campaigns before taking your kids to school? Or maybe you sleep in 'til 10:30, roll out of bed and get straight to crunching numbers for the next 2 hours (your head clear from all that rest and relaxation).

Do you attempt enough tasks by mid-morning that your stress level reflects that of this poor fellow?

I'd love to see some schedules listed out, e.g.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.: Assess marketing plan

10:00 - noon: Send letters, return phone calls

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Look at properties

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.: Analyze numbers

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Hang out with my friends on BP **do not interrupt**

Please share below!

I think this is a great question! As a full-time sales guy for an IT firm, the real estate stuff' (unless critical--ie-- tenant/winter/HVAC/Minnesota :) usually gets tabled to evening and weekend work.

Got to have a side hustle to eventually get where you want to be.

I generally don't set an alarm, I just kind of wake up whenever.  Sometimes I have to meet a contractor in the morning and then I do actually set the alarm.  I try to make the contractor appointments around 8:30 am or 9:00 am so I don't have to get up too early.

I don't have a set daily schedule as I'm a landlord and manage properties.  Each week I generally drive around the area to check out the exteriors of the properties to make sure the tenants are cutting their grass and there's nothing out of the ordinary to be concerned with (no signs on the door, etc).

In the beginning of the month I head to the banks (I work with 3 of them) and also deposit checks and do bookkeeping.

I may take a nap in the middle of the day, watch some "Pawn Stars" (to learn the art of negotiation) or go grocery shopping or other errands.

Some weekdays or weekends I will show properties if I'm renting them out.

I will also gather lists of properties to view, and go check them out.

Periodically I need to take a tenant call and call a contractor to get something repaired.

I would say I probably work on average 2-3 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Here's a sort of typical two day stretch:


9:00 - Check email and VM and respond as necessary

9:30 - Review financials, rent rolls and budgets

10:00 - Property tour with agent of properties in our target area, look at maybe 15 houses and make 10 or so offers

4:00 - Send offers and property info to VA to input into spreadsheet, Check email again and respond as nessary

5:00 - Meet with partner to discuss general strategy


9:00 Check email and VM and respond as necessary

9:30 Poke around on BP  for a bit

10:00 Rehab Meeting

11:30 Review proposed budgets, accept or decline

12:00 Lunch meeting with lender

1:30 Do preliminary rehab analysis on property under contract

2:30 View house we found from wholeseller/letter/Craigslist/etc.

3:30 Check email and VM, respond as necessary

4:00 Performance Review with leasing agent/receptionist/maintenance guy or whatever

5:00 A little more BP

And so it goes...

7:30 -8: I wake up when my kids wake up, make breakfast.

8:30-9 I get to office, check email and mls hot sheets

9:30-10:30 depending on the day I finish up a blog post for my blog or bigger pockets that I wrote the previous night on my iphone

11-12 who knows, random tasks for real estate business, reo listings, HUD listings, traditional listings.

12-1 more random tasks

1-2 more random tasks

2-4:30 either pay golf or work on a project for making more money: builder leads, REO leads, RELO leads, Happy hour planning,

I am not buying much now until I sell some flips, but if I see a good deal i will drop everything to go look at it and make an offer asap. I have team meetings usually on Wednesdays where I conduct training and we discuss strategy for selling real estate. I have random meetings with contractors throughout the week. Whenever I get a new REO or HUD listing and usually drop everything to go inspect it. I have the occasional buyer who is family I work with and the occasional listing appointment with a seller lead. I think a bunch of other stuff happens too.

Assistant to the brains behind the operation, pictured

Finding deals, analyzing , follow up, arranging/managing finance, networking 

For me there is no typical day.


  • Met with contract to review work on a rehab
  • Went to title company To settle a property I sold to  another BP member
  • Singed another set of settlement documents at the same title company for a settlement next week. 
  • Went to bank to get a certified check. 
  • Went and picked up a deed that the check was for
  • The rest of the day I drove zig zagging through the city looking at properties on my way home.  I had a list of 20 or so leads from a ground lease holder. 
  • While driving all day made phone calls to partners, my attorney, returning misc calls.
  • Came home and spent way too much time on BP

Ned Carey

Hello Allison

drove to the city
Looked at 3 properties.
Walked around the neighborhood and tried to get a feel and meet the neighbors
Walked into city hall and spoke to the mayor's assistant
Spoke to the city managers about their issues
Got some water to drink (it was 88*)
Walked around some more and took pictures and notes of comparables and other value adds
Went back to the office
Went to visit family
Family time
Jumped in the pool
Went home
And now it's time for bed....

These days I try to be a lot more productive than the last time this good question was asked here (2-3 years ago?).

I actually mapped out my week about a month ago along with my Assistant's daily routine so that he and I could coordinate better and get more done. It was a result of me spending way too much time researching and handling day to day tasks involving deals under contract and not enough time contacting sellers (I'm in charge of acquisitions while my business partner is in charge of sales. And our Assistant is usually working with me since my duties are more administrative heavy than my partner's). Here's what my typical week looks like:

My day usually starts out with exercise at the gym, then into the office to make sure our Assistant is on point with what he has to do for the day. Then out in the field to either do research, scout for leads or door knock/call property owners. At the end of the biz day, I pick my nephew up from day care, we work on letters or numbers then head down to the dojo (I have him beginning his training at 3 yo) where his Mother picks him up (after he's trained and ran around for about 20-30 minutes having fun) while I continue training. In the house by 9:30pm where I take it down and prepare for the next day.

I guess no way to edit our posts @Brandon Turner  ? That garble above folks was a chart in the preview. Now....not so much. lol

@Ibrahim Hughes  - Tables don't work on our WYSIWYG.  I took a screenshot of the table in our edit mode and pasted it for you above.  Looks like you're good now..... Thanks for sharing.

Turner is too busy playing with his cats................ : )

Bob is that an airplane your dog is in?? Looks like a private jet.

My days are mainly spent looking at properties for commercial clients. When I mean looking I am analyzing numbers and metrics. Placing LOI's, then legal counsel moves to purchase and sale, then we go into checklist items to get to closing.

In between I field new calls from more potential clients and I hop on Bigger Pockets when time allows interspersed throughout the day.

Between that I scarf down lunch and dinner and try to workout 5 times a week and take 2 days off to recover every 3 days or so.

Lot's of other stuff but that's the gist of it. 

Meeting Builders,

Finding deals,


Internet Marketing,

one on one discussions,

Negotiation etc.

My typical day as a house flipper is :

Background-  typically I have anywhere from 4-10 properties at a time.  Some are total rehabs and some I sell as-is depending on what I feel is the highest return for me.  The properties are usually 1-7 hours away from me and are all in Texas.  I have 2 crews that will go anywhere in the state to do the rehab.  I will say I do sometimes miss the days of staying onsite and doing a lot of the work not miss the 15 hours day and sleeping in a sleeping bag in a hot house because the a/c doesn't work !!

430-5am wake up My favorite time of the day ! No phone calls . Since most of my purchases are HUD homes, is usually the first stop. Track the properties I am following, see what is new and has sold

830am-  Make calls and touch base with contractors and realtors or play HD orders

11am-  3 days a week I play basketball and the others I go to the gym or play golf.  Have to find a way to appease my competitiveness

2pm- Run errands and take care of afternoon business

5pm-  Happy Hour in the pool with my beautiful wife

If I have to be onsite, Tuesday to Wednesday are the travel days.  I will travel 800-1200 trying to see every property I can and fit in as much as I can.  Leave 4am and work till 9pm or so.  After a few travel days,  I know its time for another vacation

Like I always say, flipping houses is not as glamorous as it seems on TV, but in NOOOO way could I have ever worked a desk job

I am just starting out so I really couldn't tell you. However I am reading a book that Danny Johnson (fellow BP member) wrote called "Flipping Exposed 34 weeks in the life of a successful house flipper". You can download it for free from amazon. Hope that helps.

@Allison Leung  

since I have 3 distinct and different enterprises surround by and in RE my day is as follows.

up between 5 and 6 am  I never set the clock  just wake up when I am done sleeping

so say from 7 to 9 am its looking at the deals I am funding for fix and flippers on the east coast...

10 to 11 its off to the bank to wire funds to the east coast fix and flippers escrows or to sign docs for this activity.  then pop over to fed ex to overnight docs back to the east coast.

come back to my home office check e mail converse with my full time bookkeeper its usually how come we spent this on that and how come we did not make more on that deal LOL

then a little lunch or a lunch appointment usually with my banker.

then afternoon I make the rounds looking at the new construction I have going on in Oregon. Or sometimes meetings with city folks like last week had a sit down with the Public works department as we were scheduling a pre con meeting for a 27 lot subdivision I am building.

Once quarter I take a road trip out east and visit half of my vendors that I fund fix and flips for ( I am not a HML) I only do Jv's with them I am a capital partner big difference. that's a week on the road.. Like on the 15th my schedule with be Chicago get in late spend the 16th looking at my investments there.. then that night I am going to a Chicago meet up that Brie is holding... Next day fly to Charleston SC look at my new construction I have going there and look at the 5 lots I bought there in the last 45 days and decide which ones go first.. Also meet with my new bank there I am getting 2 vertical loans at a local bank which is really cool.

Birmingham next day  meet with my fix and flipper there I have been doing business with for over 10 years.

next day Jackson MS to meet with my guys there then back to  PDX.

Oct going to Hawaii for 10 days. I take a 10 day vacation every 90 days or less starting in Oct because the weather in Oregon well its ya now a little dreary.

Yesterday I played hooky and went flying over to sunriver and had a hot dog that cost me 350 bucks..

@Joel Owens  

  Good catch on Bob in the plane with his pooch... He was probably hitiching a ride with Duncan Taylor in his G 4 

@Karen Margrave  

  Life is good right now... but back in 08 to 2010  it would have been a completely different story... My little e book is basically my story of how I wrestled with the mid west.

it would have been... come to work and address my 16 employees and get our default list which grew daily.. then figure out what the heck we were going to do... It required me moving to the Mid west for almost a year to get control of my portfolio there. .I could not do any work in Oregon so I lost a year of income... Instead of getting proceeds from escrow closings I was writing checks to close deals with funds that were never going to come back..

And that is how I got a PHD in Mid west cash flow market investing Nothing like being on the ground and pounding on doors trying to figure out how the heck things could go so wonky so quickly..

Now I am as busy as ever but I just retooled in a fashion that I only need one full time book keeper everyone else runs their own business.. From my building were I hire the GC at a contract rate.. and control all the funds.. But I don't have to micro manage them Ya if I wanted to be the builder and do it all I could make 10 to 15 more per house that I currently pay them but I would truly be killing my self time wise and would not do as good a job as they do.. Same with all my fix and flip guys just let them make the big buck aroos and we make our little return but we do a lot of them... so it does add up...

If I could not get out of Oregon In the winter I would go back to how I worked in Oregon in the 90's  I would live in the Napa valley and commute up to Oregon for 3 days a week.

@Jay Hinrichs  well you know my story, and it's much the same, though you seem to have recovered much faster, due to the high cost of entry in southern California, but we're rolling now! 

@Karen Margrave  

  my dad always preached this from form whenever I could remember  " tough times don't last but tough people do"  and once you bounce back there in SO cal your profits will be substantiall we have to hit a bunch of singles were you get to hit homeruns and grand slams  :)

@Allison Leung  

  one last point of what I do daily.. .When I bring in my profit from whatever transaction it may be   I ALWAYS PAY MYSELF THAT day... and reconcile the profit in the books so I know were I am at in real time. Plus if I don't pay myself that day I will forget to do it.

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