This week I started to have some hardware trouble with my laptop computer which made me grateful to have a backup of all my documents on another drive. I was a little worried that the laptop may die but mostly because I’d have to buy a new one, not because any files would be lost. Thanks to my file storage and backup system, I no longer need to worry if one of my devices is on the fritz.
Would losing your property documents, rent rolls, leases and legal agreements due to fire, flood, theft or disk corruption cause you some undue stress? For most real estate investors the answer is a definitive yes, so how do we make sure our files are safe?
Whether you store your documents in paper form, or have started to go digital, duplicity is the most important principal to ensure your files are safe. Really, you just need to make sure you have duplicates stored in a different location which will protect against physical damage like fire, flood or theft. Whether you keep your files in paper format or have gone digital, don’t store all of your eggs in one basket.
To ensure your files are safe, you’ll want to select 2 or more of the following:
- Paper files
If you like to keep your files the old fashioned way, be sure to keep duplicates in a different physical location to make sure your backup is usable in the case of fire, flood or theft.
- External backup
Digital storage is becoming more and more common, but ensuring physical separation of duplicate copies is still just as important. If you make external backups, be sure they are located away from your main computer, preferably at another address.
- Cloud storage
One trend we’ve seen in the past few years is a move towards cloud computing. Storing your documents remotely provides physical separation and allows you to access your files from anywhere. Just be sure your documents are safe from prying eyes if you decide to store them in the cloud.
Examine Your Filing Setup
Most articles about files will teach you how to organize your files which is great because a functional filing system is one that is both well organized and easy to use. That being said, the most organized file system in the world won’t do much good if it is turned to ashes in a fire, becomes a soggy wad in a flood, or disappears due to theft.
Take a look at your filing system and make sure you have a plan B that covers any loss situation. When considering your backup options, select one that will be easy for you to use. The best backup method to ensure your files are safe is the one that you will actually complete on a regular basis.
photo credit: sleepyjeanie