As a real estate investor, it is important to remember that you are running a business. Part of running a business, however, requires you to be on top of everything that is going on. It is not enough to spend all of your time and attention on a single deal. There has to be a balance between new deals coming in, projects you are working on, and deals that are scheduled to close. In keeping up with a routine every week and knocking things off of your list, things will start to fall into place. To that end, there are five things our partners over at CT Homes do every week to keep their business running smoothly:
1. Weekly Schedule: The best way to stay organized is by making lists and schedules. Before you go to bed on Sunday night, write up a detailed list of everything you need to do in the upcoming week. Include every inspection you need to attend, every person you need to call and every deal you want to follow up on. Write down specific times that you will accomplish all of these tasks. In having an idea of what you want to do, and when, it will help you become more efficient. Once you start to see yourself accomplish things on your list, it will push you to do more. The real estate business doesn’t wait for anyone. Not making an offer or not following up with someone at the right time can mean the difference between getting and losing a deal. Start next week with a weekly schedule, and go from there.
2. Network: Regardless of whatever else you have going on, you can’t neglect networking. It is easy to sit back when you have a few deals lined up, but not recommended. Things happen in real estate all the time that will cause you to lose deals that you thought you had. Even if they end up closing, you need to replenish your pipeline with new deals. Networking is one of the vehicles that will help keep you busy. You need to block off some time every week for networking. This could mean attending a local networking group or joining an investment club. It could mean showing up at twenty real estate offices and handing out your business card. Whatever you decide to do, you need to commit to doing something every week. Without networking, you are forced to find deals from alternative sources. This means spending the time and money to pay for leads and work new deals. One or two networking leads a week is far better than having to pay for them. You may not want to or think you have to, but you need to network every week.
3. Learn Something New: The real estate business is full of different scenarios. You will never truly master every aspect of the business. What the best investors know is that they can always pick up something new every week. Spend a few hours a week reading the finance page of the newspaper, or on your favorite real estate website. Call your local mortgage broker and ask them if there are any new investor products. Ask your real estate agent to send you any information they may have about changes to the local market. Even if you have been in the business for years, you should never stop learning. Things change in the business all the time. Staying current can mean the difference in someone working with you or someone else. Learn something new about your business every week.
4. Look At Old Deals: One of the things that separates successful investors from the rest of the pack is that they never give up on a deal. Your offer may have been rejected a week ago, but that doesn’t mean the deal is dead. If you spend an hour or two every week looking at old deals or past leads, you will probably be able to find a deal or two. These are leads that you have had past contact with, and – for whatever reason – didn’t move forward with. Things can change dramatically in the matter of a few weeks or months. Their desire to sell may be much higher now than it was. Don’t throw away an old lead or prospective property until you know it has been sold to someone else.
5. Do Something For Yourself: There has to be a strong work/life balance for you to enjoy what you do. The real estate business affords you the opportunity to make your own schedule. For a few hours every week, you should schedule doing something you truly enjoy. This could be anything from going to the gym, surfing or playing basketball. You could do something once a week, such as playing golf or going to a movie. As long as you work hard, you should reward yourself with a few hours of personal time doing something you enjoy.
If you do these five things every week, you will be more productive and efficient.