Most entrepreneurs detest the administrative part of their real estate business. I know I do. I hate filling out forms with a passion. I will do anything to avoid filling out forms. I just spent a few hours getting my taxes ready for my meeting with my accountant next week and I’m ready to jump off a bridge.
But before I do that, let me tell you what you should and should not be focusing on in your business. Since I don’t enjoy the admin stuff at all (and my time is too valuable to spend on it anyway) I got a virtual assistant years ago. If you don’t have one, I recommend you get one ASAP. It will free up so much of your time to invest in higher dollar activities.
My assistant pretty much runs my business. She knows all of the intricate details of how my business runs, such as vendors, how to process credit card orders (yes, I allow tenants to pay by credit card and charge them 3% fee to do so) and a whole bunch of other stuff (including processing rental applications.)
Of course, there are certain admin things I have to do, such as getting my tax docs in order because only I know where they are, but I pass almost everything else along to her. In fact, here’s a little ‘secret’ I use to be more productive and do less admin work. Every night before I go to bed I make a ‘TO DO’ list. Once my list is complete I go down the list and say to myself “what can Lisa do from this list?” Then I make my assistant’s ‘TO DO’ list for the day ahead, and take all of the stuff from my list I shouldn’t be wasting my time on – phone calls, arranging repairs, etc.
So what should you be focusing on?
It’s simple. Marketing and talking to motivated sellers on the phone. You can delegate some marketing such as having your assistant post ads on Craigslist for you. However, you should be the one creating all of the marketing materials. You should write the letters, design the postcards, then your assistant will be the one who sends them out.
The same thing goes with motivated sellers. Your assistant should be the one screening the 95% of people who aren’t motivated and will waste your time. Once she gets a lead from the 5% who are motivated, then they should be passed along to you to handle.
One last thing. Don’t confuse being busy for being productive. Often times I’ll help out a new investor who spends weeks forming an LLC and asking me 10 million questions about the LLC. And quite frankly, this is the boring admin stuff I don’t want to deal with. That’s why I have an (evil) lawyer who takes care of it.
My point is, make sure the time you invest every day in you real estate career is productive. If you look at every hour you spend on real estate each day now, you’ll probably see that most of it is wasted. From now on, you need to be ruthless with your time. I’m willing to best that the people who manage their time the most ruthlessly happen to also be the richest investors in the country.