I just got back from my honeymoon. I spent it on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, which is a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea. Of course while I was there I checked out the real estate market which ranges from $4 million beachfront mansions to 3 bedroom 2 bathroom houses for $190,000.

But besides the few moments I looked at various houses, I pretty much did zero work for the entire time (and that’s not easy for me because unlike most people, I actually love to work.)

But let me get to my point, which is to show you how I was able to run my real estate business and manage all of my properties without doing much work last week. First off, I have a virtual assistant. I’ve written about the importance of getting a VA in the past, so if you don’t have one, get one ASAP because they can run most of your business for you.

However…

Like all employees they won’t be around forever and you’ll likely have to get another assistant. I’ve had two over the last 8 years, so I’ve been pretty lucky. Also, there have been times when my VA has been sick or had a death in the family and I’ve had to temporarily bring someone in for a week.

Luckily, when I had to bring someone else in on short notice, they were able to come right in and know exactly what to do, ranging from how to arrange for repairs on properties to how to process credit card transactions.

And the reason for this is because of my operations manual. You see, when I first started my real estate business several years ago, it was just me and I did everything. But after reading multiple business books I knew that I had to detail every aspect of my business so that I could step away from the mundane activities and pass those along to someone else.

So every time I did a various business task I would write it down step by step.

For instance, I accept credit cards for my rent payments with a 3% fee and I use Paypal. So I created a page in my manual which shows someone exactly how to login to paypal and process a payment. I mentioned earlier that it’s step by step and you truly want to lay out every task so it’s “idiot proof.”

Another example in my operations manual is several of the marketing activities that I do. These include posting ads on Craigslist to placing a ‘rent to own’ ad in the local newspaper when I am trying to find a tenant/buyer.

Best of all, once you create your operations manual you can give it to almost anyone and they can run your business for you. Also, because you might not do certain activities that often, you can refer to your manual when you need to remember the phone number of an electrician or a plumber.

My point is, thanks to my operations manual, my virtual assistant was able to run my business for me the past week while I enjoyed a week off on my honeymoon – so if you want to enjoy worry-free time off too, I would begin to create an operations manual for your own business today.

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