The goal for anyone running their own business is to remain busy. Should you be lucky enough to sustain a steady business, you need to embrace it and consider the alternative. All too often, real estate investors complain about being too busy. After all, free time is one of the perks of being an investor, right? This can’t be the case. There are many investors who would love to have a lot of work to do. If you give the impression to the people around you that you are too busy or too overwhelmed to handle things, they will think twice about wanting to work with you in the future. Being busy is a good thing, but only if you know how to handle it.
There is an old expression in sports that getting to the top isn’t the hard part – staying there is. The same goes for just about every business. Getting your phone to ring isn’t all that difficult, but keeping it ringing is. The common mistake that many investors make is forgetting just how they got busy in the first place. They spend too much time dealing with volume that they stop doing what made their phones ring. Being busy is all about maintaining a balance between taking the leads and pushing them into deals while still bringing new leads in. If you turn all of your attention to what you have to do with the incoming calls and ignore what got you there, any success you have may be very short lived.
Organization and time management are the two most important aspects that will help you handle being busy. If you haven’t already, you need to implement a system for how to attack your business. You need to know what you are going to do every time your phone rings for a new deal. You need an application process with a dedicated follow up plan. From there, you should set a firm date to sit down with the homeowner or any other source of the deal and find out exactly what they want out of the deal and in what timeframe. The more deals you do, the quicker you will decipher what is realistic and which deals need to be put on the back burner. Running around from deal to deal without a real plan will leave you chasing your tail and less productive than you should be.
How you spend your time is a critical factor in mastering the busy periods of your business. You are only one person and there are only so many hours in a day. If you are truly busy, to the point that you are turning away business, you may need to consider hiring an assistant or finding a virtual assistant online. You should know what your strengths are and compliment them with anyone you are considering. Getting leads and being busy is only meaningful if you are turning those leads into deals. There is a balance between getting deals in and closing them. However, closing should be the focus of your day. Between closing deals and working on existing projects, most of your time will already be exhausted. Write down everything you do for two weeks and see what a good use of time was and what you would want to change. You may find that there were at least a few wasted hours over the course of your workday.
When you are busy, it is only natural to try to do everything you can and not neglect a single new lead or existing property. While great in theory, even the most experienced investors can get sloppy and overlook a certain task. Whatever you are working on; make sure you do one task at a time. Not everyone has the capacity to multitask efficiently. If you jump from task to task without completing them, you will leave a trail of half started projects with nothing to show for your hard work. Whatever you are doing, give it your full, undivided attention. This doesn’t mean you can’t have other things on your plate, but it doesn’t do you or your business any good if the projects you are working on aren’t done properly. Take the time and have the discipline to do one thing at a time and do it to perfection.
It is also important to not forget where your leads come from when you do get busy. If you get a referral from a fellow investor or realtor without so much as a courtesy call on your end, you can bet that will be the last lead you get. It doesn’t take much more than a 30 second call or email to stay in touch with the people that helped grow your business to where it is. If you neglect them or don’t make time for them when they call, you will see your business slowly start to erode and all the leads you have coming in won’t do you much good.
Being busy is what it is all about in the real estate investing business. Nobody wants to hear you complain that you have too many things to do. This is where you want your business to be. Keep this perspective when things get overwhelming.