Real estate investors have the luxury of choosing whether or not they want to work part time. It is perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of becoming an investor in the first place. The prospect of investing part time, while maintaining a nine-to-five status, is an appealing a way to break into the industry. It is both a way of testing the waters and providing yourself with a safety net to fall back on. However, investing part time requires discipline and a unique ability to maximize your efforts. If you are to be successful as a part-time investor, you must first learn how to work more efficiently with the time you are given.
Part one of our series on Time Hacks For Part Time Real Estate Investing taught you the importance of having the right team and plan. Part two will emphasize the following:
3. Optimize The Weekends
As a part-time real estate investor, there is a good chance you are fully committed to a subsequent full-time job. The typical nine-to-five will keep people occupied for the better part of the week, and allow very little – if any – free time. That said, the weekends are a part-time investor’s best friend. The key, however, is to optimize the time you spend on your real estate business wisely. If the weekends are the only time you are permitted to invest in real estate, you had better make them count.
Of course, that is easier said than done. So what is the best way to maximize your efficiency on the weekend?
In optimizing the time you spend investing in real estate, the first thing you will want to do is prioritize your most important tasks. Be sure to identify the most important things you need to do. Only then will you know what demands your attention. Of particular concern, however, is the futility of a to-do list. While great in theory, a list of things to do can quickly become a deep rabbit hole. As an investor, it is entirely conceivable to generate a to-do list that will never be considered complete. There are only so many hours in a day. Stick with what needs to be done.
When you have an idea of what needs to be done, assign tasks to a schedule. Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it. If it helps, use an appointment book to keep track of times and when you want to accomplish a certain task. You will find that this little trick reduces the amount of time you spend on less-productive activities.
Ironically enough, it is just as important to set aside time to schedule your tasks as it is to preform them. Your first waking hours should be dedicated to scheduling out the rest of your day. Take 30 minutes to sit down with a cup of coffee and allocate your time accordingly. You will be surprised at the amount of downtime you eliminate by simply scheduling your highest priority tasks.
4. Prioritize Investment Strategies
The amount of time you spend investing in real estate can very easily determine the exit strategy you choose to pursue. In this case, however, it is no so much about maximizing your time, but rather choosing the investment strategy that fits in with your schedule. The amount of time you have available should actually influence the direction you choose to take.
There are several viable real estate exit strategies, but each requires a different amount of commitment, funding, knowledge and, most importantly, time. The difference in time it takes to complete a wholesale deal and a rehab is vastly different. Rehabbing a house can take months of extensive work and preparation, whereas a wholesale can take as little as 12 hours. Let the amount of time you have dictate the deals you pursue. The last thing you want to do is end up with a time sensitive project that you simply can’t get to.
You have heard it a million times: the real estate industry is a people business. The connections you make as an investor are invaluable. Part-time investors are no exception. In fact, the importance of establishing a working rapport with like-minded individuals is magnified when time frames are limited. Networking with the right people is perhaps the best thing you can do for your part time business.
Finding leads is one of the most important things an investor can do. However, it is increasingly difficult for those with limited time on their hands. Generating leads requires a great deal of time, commitment and follow up: three luxuries that not every part-time investor has. Networking, on the other hand, makes it easier for part-time investors to cultivate leads. In fact, networking is one of the best ways to minimize the amount of time spent on finding viable deals.
It is entirely possible for part-time investors to bypass a lot of the nuances that have become synonymous with marketing if they invest their time wisely at networking events. In establishing relationships with the right people, you can minimize the amount of time spent acquiring deals – or even bypass it altogether. Sometimes all it takes to find the right deal is to talk to the right person. More often than not, networking events have these people.