When choosing the area you’re going to invest in a lot of people don’t create a large enough radius around where they live. For example, one of the best ways to be successful in this business is to mail a lot of letters and postcards to highly targeted lists. And sometimes when an investor tries to order a list around their home town they might only come up with 300 names. When that happens, you need to enlarge your radius because mailing 300 names will never make you wealthy.
What is the ideal radius? Obviously, it depends on where you live. If you live in the city you might not have to go far, but if you live in the country you might have to drive for miles. Personally, the radius I use is 60 miles around my house. Why such a big radius? Because some of the best deals–the bread and butter houses–are that far away from me. And when it comes to making $5,000 to $30,000 per deal, 60 miles is nothing.
However, because my time is so valuable these days, I only make the 60 mile drive to sign a contract or close the deal. Other than that I hire someone to check out houses, take pictures and do various other jobs for me. And that is what I want to emphasize to you today. If I were to drive one hour to see a house, then another hour back that would be two wasted hours of my day.
How I Almost Never See a Property
Instead of wasting my time to drive to houses I hired someone off of craigslist to go to houses for me. A while back I placed a simple ad that said “real estate investor looking for reliable person to take pictures of properties and a few other simple things”. The ad was more detailed than that, but you get the point, and I ended up hiring a stay at home mom.
On one of my recent properties I just picked up, she took pictures of the property and emailed them to me so I could see the condition of the house. She put a lock box on the property and changed the code for me a few times. I even had her take out the trash. To take pictures of a property I pay her $30 per property and for other jobs the payment depends on how much she is doing for me. So, I would much rather pay her $30, then spend two hours in the car because my time is worth a heck of a lot more than $15 an hour.
The Two Most Important Women In My Business Life
As you become more successful as a real estate investor you will want to always figure out ways to save time. I have a personal assistant named Lisa, who is a virtual assistant (she lives in Wisconsin). She answers my seller phone calls and takes care of all my administrative “junk”. If I were you, that would be the first part I would outsource because it’s a pain. Then I have my craigslist woman who is local and takes care of all of the physical property “stuff” that Lisa can’t obviously do.
By the way, when the time comes to get an assistant or a person to take pictures for you, I would make sure and do your due diligence. At the minimum make sure you have a copy of their driver’s license and you have a simple one page agreement for the work to be done. Never operate without a written agreement and never simply trust someone.