Tips for Time-Crunched Investors
Renters Warehouse Blog
With the right knowledge and plenty of research, real-estate can be a great investment opportunity.
But it isn’t a completely passive activity –at least not at first. There’s a lot of work that goes into finding the right properties and renting them out. Likewise, everything from overseeing rental maintenance to tenant management can all quickly start to eat into your day and before you know it, you’re spending all of your time on the phone or in your inbox, and not really getting anything done.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry –there’s a lot that you can do to reduce your workload and ensure that you’re spending your time on productive tasks. It all starts by taking the time to establish your investment criteria from the start, implementing systems, and creating a plan for overseeing your properties. Then, with good time management, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re putting your time to the best use.
If you’d like to claim back more of your day, here are some tips that any time-crunched investor can use.
Set Big-Picture Goals
When you’re first getting started, look to establish your goals and investment criteria. Start by determining what you’re striving for –financial security, early retirement, etc., and then work backward from there, outlining the steps that you need to take to make these goals happen. You’ll also want to establish your investment criteria, outlining how many properties you’ll need to invest in, and what type of returns you’re hoping each one to generate. This approach will help you to save time in the long run, as it’ll keep you focused only on properties that’ll help you to further your investment goals, saving you time during the property search. It’ll also help to keep you from wasting time and resources on a property that won’t perform as well as an investment.
Get Systems in Place
One of the biggest time savings that you can give yourself comes in the form of efficient systems. This includes systems for tenant screening, property management, rent collection, paying bills, and more. It may seem excessive at first, but taking the time to create systems from the start can prove to be invaluable. As time goes on, it’ll give you the framework that you need to easily expand your portfolio.
Chances are you didn’t get into real estate investing in order to spend all of your spare time doing paperwork. But quickly and almost before you realize it, all of those time-consuming admin tasks can creep in and start consuming your day. If you find that you’re spending way too much time on mundane tasks, that’s a good sign that you should consider outsourcing. Many tasks can be simplified with software or tools that are available today or by delegating them. Not sure where your time is going? Make a list of everything that you’re spending time on, and consider whether those tasks are things that can be eliminated, simplified, or outsourced in some way.
Common tasks to delegate include:
- Bookkeeping/Accounting Tasks
- Property Management
- Maintenance and Repairs
- Admin Tasks
Build Your Network
While many investors start out with a solo approach to investing, taking the time to assemble your team right from the start can prove to be a tremendous advantage. This allows you to benefit from the collective wisdom of those who’ve been there, done that –and have years of experience in their respective fields. Consider attending networking events and getting to know fellow investors, along with real estate agents and property managers –all of whom will be able to give you advice when you need it, or help to put you in touch with agents who may have a property you’d be interested in. You’ll also want to consider checking out online resources like the Bigger Pockets Forums –to find professionals who are willing to give helpful advice.
Look for Turnkey Properties
If you are pressed for time, you might consider investing in a property that’s ready to go, complete with tenants. While many investors look for value-add properties; properties that are in need of repairs or upgrades, to fix, repair, and then rent out –going turnkey could be an ideal solution for some. With turnkey, you don’t have to worry about time spent with repairs, and then sourcing a tenant, instead, you can start generating cash flow right away. Another benefit of turnkey? You’ll have access to data on how much the property’s renting for, and the type of returns you’ll be able to generate. No need to make educated guesses based on other, similar properties. See turnkey rentals available today.
Consider an Investment Partner
If you are finding yourself stretched for time, then you might consider bringing a partner on board. This is an approach that many investors take. A mutually beneficial partnership can help you to boost your investment strategy, enabling you to scale more quickly. You can structure your partnership a number of different ways, but often, one party will bring capital to the table while the other brings time and hard work. This means locating investment properties, running the numbers, doing all of the legwork –and more. Having someone else to run things by can also prove to be invaluable. With the right partner, you’ll be able to reduce your risk, grow more quickly, and achieve bigger goals than you’d be able to if you were flying solo.
Consider Investing in Multiple Properties in One Location
There are some distinct benefits to investing in multiple markets –namely, you have the opportunity to diversify your investments, and help spread your risk. However, there are some advantages that come from investing in multiple rentals that are located in the same area. For one thing, this approach can help you to save time. You’ll have already done the research on the area, so you’ll be familiar with the market, know what homes are worth, have a good idea about demographic data, and will be able to apply this knowledge again –without having to start over. For another thing, you’ll be able to save time when it comes to management –if you’re planning to oversee them yourself. You’ll have already located contractors in the area, and will know who to call when you need repairs or maintenance work done. See market data on locations that YOU’RE interested in at the Renters Warehouse Research Center.
Hire a Property Management Company
Property managers aren’t just for long-distance landlords. Hiring a property management company can save you a lot of time, both upfront –when it comes to tenant sourcing and screening, and afterward, with the day-to-day responsibilities of property management –like maintenance, rent collection, and lease enforcement. Hiring a reputable property management company will allow you to outsource the time-consuming yet important tasks, while you can focus on your investment strategy. And this approach will also free you up to invest in properties that are outside of your own local area –or more properties than you’d be able to feasibly oversee on your own.
Streamline the Tasks That You Do Often
When it comes to tasks that you do fairly frequently, it pays to streamline them.
While this approach will vary depending on what type of properties you invest in, how many you own, and how hands-on you prefer to be here’s a look at some tips for performing common real estate investing tasks as efficiently as possible.
- Loan Procurement
Streamline the process of loan approval by looking to use an investor-friendly lender. Some banks offer terms that are better than others, so try to seek out a bank that’s experienced with investor loans, and who will be able to help you get preapproved, and close the deal, quickly. Often, the best option is a community bank, but you’ll want to shop around to find the best solution for you.
- Property Maintenance
This is one task that’ll be done for you if you’re using a property manager, but if not, there are some things that you can do to streamline property maintenance. Consider getting your properties all on similar maintenance schedules and book in tasks –like furnace servicing or gutter cleaning all at the same time. Using one contractor could help you to save money, as you may be able to negotiate a better deal if you’re having multiple properties done.
Whether you have one property or fifty, taxes can be a time-consuming task. For most investors, outsourcing this project can lead to a significant time savings, while taking a tremendous weight off their shoulders.
There’s no need to be available 24/7 –except for genuine emergencies, so why keep yourself on call around the clock? Instead, give tenants an email address that they can use to reach you, and then dedicate an hour (or less) each day to responding to tenants, replying to emails, and other correspondence. Batching these tasks will save you from countless interruptions, allowing you to operate far more efficiently.
Likewise, paperwork can also be allotted to time-blocks and finished in batches. Consider devoting a few hours weekly to paying bills, filing documents, sorting mail, and other administrative tasks. Doing it every week will help you to save time while allowing you to ensure that nothing is forgotten –and things don’t pile up. While programs like QuickBooks can help to make short work of many accounting tasks, if you find that paperwork is beginning to eat significantly into your week, consider outsourcing this task to a bookkeeper.
You might be tempted to think that you should wait until you’re retired to start investing, but that’s not the case. Starting early gives you more time to grow your investments –allowing you to benefit from long-term equity growth and property appreciation. And of course, it’s always a good idea to start investing sooner rather than later. With the right approach, you can create a plan for investing and management that’ll put you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to oversee your investments while outsourcing the day-to-day tasks. Don’t wait until life slows down to invest, instead –make time today and start growing your wealth for the future.
If you’d like to start growing your investments, then be sure to download your FREE Guidebook: So, You Want to Grow Your Investment Portfolio? Find tips for scaling –successfully; including signs it’s time to invest in another property, and tips for making that next investment.
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