What you do with your free time translates into your habits. If you can get into a pattern of doing the same, productive tasks all the time, soon enough it will become routine. Regardless if you are slow or you are looking for deals, there are a few things that you should do every day. If you focus on these five areas, you will see your productivity increase, as well as your bottom line. You may not see immediate results, but if you stick with them over time you slowly see the effects. Here are 5 habits of successful investors:
Find Deals: Having a full pipeline is great, but unless you constantly add to it you will be looking for deals again before you know it. There are plenty of ways to get new leads and you should always be doing something to generate business. Even something as quick as asking your realtor to search the MLS for any new listings or calling posts you find on Craigslist can have an impact. It is unrealistic to start a direct mailing campaign every day, but you can research the best lists or even envelopes to use. Being busy and having too many leads is a good problem to have, but it probably won’t stay that way forever. Real estate investing is a numbers game. The more leads you have, the more that will turn into deals. You need to find time every day to do something to generate new business.
Network: Arguably the best way to generate new deals is through your existing contact base. Even if you have a core of contacts that you get deals from, you can always add more. Networking doesn’t always mean sitting down at a meeting and exchanging business cards. You can block off a half hour every day to return calls or emails with people you may have worked with in the past. You should also reach out to people close to you and let them know you haven’t forgotten about them. It is little things like this that can make or break your business. The stronger your network is and the more contacts you have, the greater the chance that your business can thrive in any market.
Review Existing Deals: Running a business and being an active investor can leave you spread pretty thin. You never know what the day will bring. Growing your business and getting new deals is great, but you also need to keep an eye on your existing deals as well. Take time every day to see what needs to be done and where you are with every deal you are currently working on. You never want to lose a deal that you have worked on for a while because you took your eye off the ball. You don’t need to hound everyone, but a quick follow up email or phone call just to see what needs to be done is all it takes. Many times if you are proactive dealing with issues you can beat them to the punch so they don’t become deal breakers. You need to know where you stand or what needs to be done with every deal you are working on.
Watch Your Bottom Line: Your goal as an investor is not to run around from deal to deal, but to actually make money. It is important that you treat your investing like the business it is. This means watching every expense you make and keeping an eye on the bottom line. If you wait until your bills come in or a deal closes, you will miss valuable opportunities to save money. If you can shave money on just a few expenses or find ways to increase your revenue on each deal, you will see how quickly this can add up. Take time every day to review a bill or to look at your books and see if there is a way to save money. The longer you go without diving into your books the harder it becomes to untangle that mess.
Learn: One of the keys to being a successful investor is to constantly educate yourself in the business. The more you know, the greater the chance that you can find a deal or increase your profits on it. There are so many areas of investing that it is difficult to be a master of all of them. Take time every day to learn a new term you may have been stuck on or a new way of investing that you have been avoiding. There are many good real estate websites out there that you can find almost anything you are looking for. The more you know about the business you are in, the more successful you will be.
Finding time to do small things every day will have a big impact on your business. Many times you won’t even know the impact ,but you would certainly feel them if you didn’t do them. If you spend just thirty minutes a day finding new deals, you will have a much fuller pipeline at the end of the month. There may be some sacrifices along the way, but it will be a worthwhile tradeoff when you see your business grow. Doing the little things every day is what separates success and disappointment in the world of investing.