Last year (2015) was a pretty slow year for real estate investing for me.
I flipped a house and bought a primary residence for myself, but other than that, I was so busy with a hundred other things — like managing the properties I already own, taking a road trip around the entire USA, and writing The Book on Rental Property Investing — that buying new properties got pushed to the back.
However, this year I decided things were going to be different.
So this year I’ve already purchased seven units, flipped two houses, I have four more units under contract to close soon, and we’re just nine months through the year!
Best of all, these properties will add around $150,000 to my net worth and over $2,000 a month to my passive income.
So how did I 10x my results this year compared to last?
Well, today I want to share with you the four fundamental choices I made in my life that helped me 10x my real estate investing this year.
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How I Bought, Rehabbed, Rented, Refinanced, and Repeated for 14 Rental Properties
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4 Fundamental Choices That Helped Me 10x My Real Estate Investing This Year
1. Set a Big Goal
On January 1st of this year, my wife and I sat down at one of our favorite restaurants for our annual review of our goals. Over gourmet burgers and fries, we discussed how we did on our previous year’s goals and what we wanted to get out of the coming year.
And one of the specific goals we made was to buy a dozen units this year.
Well, I knew 12 would be a stretch goal, especially with the 40+ hours I was spending working on content for BiggerPockets, our first baby due in a few months, and the upheaval that would cause.
But I also saw 12 as something I could achieve if I put my heart into it.
But goal setting is fairly worthless if you don’t also plan a strategy for how you are going to get to that goal. It’s great that you want to become a millionaire, win a Grammy, go to the moon — but do you have a plan to achieve it? So our conversation on that New Year’s day led us toward another fundamental change that helped me 10x my goals this year:
2. Get Help
So, as you know, I wanted to buy a dozen units this year, but I also knew this year would likely be the most crazy year of my life so far.
So I knew I needed help.
After putting out a call on Facebook for an assistant, I found Tracey.
While Tracey helps me with a variety of tasks in my life, primarily she is my acquisitions manager. In other words, I placed her in charge of finding real estate deals for me.
Tracey came on board in February, and within seven days — with no prior real estate experience — she had our first property under contract.
For that, we need to move on to step number three.
But before we get there, I wanted to say this:
A lot of you watching this right now are thinking, “I can’t afford an assistant.”
And that might be true.
However, understand that assistants come in all different forms. Maybe you can’t hire someone full-time, but could you hire a family or friend to help you for five hours per week? Or five hours per month? Or could you hire someone purely on commission, so you only need to pay after they find a deal? Or maybe instead of an assistant, you find a partner who has the time and you work together to split the tasks.
The bottom line is this: If you don’t have time to do the work needed to achieve your goals, you have three options — abandon your goals, free up more time for yourself, or get someone to help. I chose to invest in my future and hired an assistant.
Now, let’s talk about how Tracey, my assistant, was so successful in getting that first deal under contract in under a week.
3. Follow a Daily Process
As I said earlier, goals are mostly worthless unless you have a plan for making them a reality. I believe success for real estate investors comes down to a few specific actions done over and over and over and over.
So I simply taught my process to Tracey and she started doing these tasks every single day.
What are these tasks?
- Attract leads
- Analyze leads
- Offer on leads
- Close deals
In other words, I knew that if we wanted to buy more properties, we’d have to make more offers. And if we wanted to make more offers, we’d have to analyze more deals and find out how much we could pay. And if we wanted to analyze more deals, we’d have to get more leads to come across our desk.
So that’s what Tracey did. Every day she’d work a few different lead sources, such as direct mail, driving for dollars, searching the MLS, scanning Zillow, and a few more strategies to get leads coming in. If you want to know more about the strategies we used, be sure to check out “The Five Lead Sources for My Latest Five Deals.”
Then we started analyzing deals every day. To do this in just a few minutes every day and to keep all these analyses organized, we used The BiggerPockets Property Analysis Tools found at BiggerPockets.com/analysis. Here, my assistant or I could run the numbers in under five minutes to get a ballpark estimate on what we should offer. Then, we’d offer that! Of course, we experienced a lot of rejections, but we also received some “yes’s” — and that’s the whole point.
Related: Why I Set Highly Ambitious Goals for My Real Estate Business (& Why You Should, Too)
That, my friends, is the real estate funnel. If you want to buy more deals, you’ve got to make more offers, analyze more deals, and get more leads.
So to 10x my investing this year, I simply made sure we were working this funnel every single day as part of our process. As long as we stick the process, the results will take care of themselves.
And they have.
And finally, choice number four:
It’s one thing to make a goal and have steps, but it’s another to actually have the motivation to continually push forward on those goals. Who’s going to hold me accountable to what I promise myself I’m going to do?
So to help with that, I made a choice to form a small mastermind group with some real estate friends for twice-monthly calls. This mastermind group has been tremendously meaningful in a couple ways.
First, the guys in the group are just crushing it this year, and it’s an inspiration to see their success, and it motivates me to keep going. Secondly, these guys are able to help me figure out tactical solutions to problems or bottlenecks I’m facing. And third, every call we establish one or two specific actions that we’re all going to take, and we hold each other accountable to taking those steps.
I would encourage anyone who is looking to expand their business and reach their goals to join a mastermind group and choose accountability. It truly can change your life.
So What’s Next for You?
So what about you? What choices do you need to make, today, to 10x your business this year? As one of my favorite speakers of all time, Jim Rohn, said, “Life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
So what changes will you make? How are you going to make the next 12 months of your life the most impactful years you’ve ever had? What daily process do you need to take? What bad habit do you need to let go of? What time are you going to set your alarm for? What help do you need? Who do you need to cut out of your life immediately? Who do you need to spend more time with?
Your choices determine your destiny and the good news is: You get to determine your choices.
So make today the day that you take a stand and say no to mediocrity and yes to an incredible life.
Now, if you enjoyed this post, I just ask that you do three super easy things for me:
- Number one: Put down your cell phone when you are with your family. It’s just rude!
- Number two: Click the Facebook “share” button on the top of this post so your family and/or friends will have the opportunity to read it.
- Number three: Leave a comment below and let me know what changes YOU are going to make in your life to 10x your results.
How will you apply this process to YOUR life?
Leave a comment and let’s talk!