For some of us, real estate investing is a burning passion. Real estate can keep us up all hours of the night, excitedly thinking of new creative ways to structure deals, advertise, plan and socialize on the subject. Other investors may simply see real estate investing as a means to an end, a vehicle to take us away from corporate America and into financial freedom town.
Here are some great ways to keep your investment vehicle running smooth all year:
- Remember your specialty: Every investor should be aware of their unique real estate investing criteria, requirements, and exit strategies. When first starting to invest in real estate, it is common for newbies to begin marketing to attract sellers before knowing which niche of real estate interests them. Many investors have failed because they tried to take on too much. We get grand plans to attract every seller in the city, screen each call, acting on the “great” deals. This strategy can easily end in wasted money and never closing a single deal. Whether focusing on wholesaling, short sales, REO, rehabs, mobile homes, fix and flips or whatever you choose, “specialize of die” is a good quote that comes to mind.
- Trim the fat: Every job from dishwasher to president has its share of busy-work. This is work that has to be done, but could be completed by a well trained chimp. Keep in mind your best use of time. How many dollars per hour are you worth? Would you apply for a job as a laborer or secretary? If the answer is NO, then stop swinging a hammer or licking envelopes. Depending on the tasks at hand, outsource the busy-work to freelance workers across the internet, your family, or local neighborhood children.
- Do something every day: Anyone that has ever tried to start a new routine regiment, whether taking a daily vitamin, exercising 3 times a week, or making X amount of business calls each day, knows that skipping a single day in your routine can quickly turn into skipping a whole week. Real estate is not always pleasurable. Many times we must choose to do the unpleasant tasks we would rather not do, or work a weekend we would rather be by the pool. Complete at least one real estate business task every day. With a consistent daily routine you will not have to make the conscious decision to work your business everyday, the answer will always be YES!
- Due diligence: Always complete a thorough inspection of every property you purchase. It is wise to inspect the physical structure of the home with an experienced home inspector. It is equally important to order a proper title search (and title insurance) to insure there are no errors in the chain of title and no unexpected claims attached to the property. In either case, you are inspecting for potential hazards that will cost you to eat your profits. A great way to streamline any business is to avoid problems before they arise. Remember the old adage, “Measure twice and cut once.”
- Stay effective: Tim Ferris says it best in his book The Four Hour Work Week, stay effective not simply efficient. So often we get these two meanings mixed up. Do not confuse a busy workday with an effective workday. What an efficient minded person can accomplish in an 8 hour day could be finished in a fraction of the time by an effective minded person. There is hope though, we all choose how we think. For the rest of the day take a pause before big tasks and ask yourself if you are being effective or just efficient.