No matter what strategy you adopt when investing in real estate, whether that’s flipping houses or buy-to-let, if you work a 40 hour week it can be hard to find the time to manage these investments properly.
After a stressful day in the office, the last thing you want to do when you get home is sit down behind another desk and do some paperwork. However, if you’re committed to wealth building through real estate then you need to be able to find both the time and motivation to manage your investments.
Often one of the first questions people ask themselves when they start investing in real estate is: Should I quit my job?
You may have felt that same temptation, to simply walk out of your job and focus entirely on building your real estate investment business. However, before you do that, it’s worth noting there a few advantages to working full time whilst you start out. If you are in the lucky position of already having spent your time building your real estate business and it’s now making more than your monthly salary then, by all means, free yourself from the rat race if you think that’s right move for you (but make sure you have a comfortable cushion set aside first to cover any unexpected costs).
Having a steady paycheck gives you security and allows you to be more refined and slow with your approach. You have the luxury of making better property picks because you don’t NEED to make the deal. You can wait for the best investments.
What you don’t want to happen when you let your real estate investments start doing all the work for you is to find that you are spending more time doing that than you ever were with your career. Having the discipline to structure your real estate investments in such a manner where you only need to put a minimal amount of time and effort in means that when/or if you do leave your full-time job you’ll find yourself with plenty of free time and not just replacing one grind for another.
There are only 24 hours in the day, and often that doesn’t seem like enough especially if you are working a 9 - 5. If you include the commute plus the time spent on lunch and dinner suddenly some 12+ hours have disappeared. And we haven’t even looked at hobbies, family time, or exercise which are vital for your mental and physical wellness.
This is why allocating set time periods and rigidly sticking to a schedule will help you manage your properties.
You should go one step further though and evaluate how you really spend your time. Do you take public transport to work? In which case can you spend the time that you’re on the train or bus? Does it really take an hour to eat lunch, or is there an extra half-hour there that you could dedicate to your investments?
Do you spend an hour watching T.V. every night? Closely evaluating your time will likely allow you to unearth a surprising amount of available time in your schedule.
Starting a real estate business will likely involve sacrifice somewhere because there is only so much time in the day, it will need to be wisely spent.
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Why are you investing in real estate?
With such limited time available you will need to prioritize your tasks to achieve your goals. This is especially true when getting started, but it goes for any and every real estate investor. Goals change over time and making sure you have a clear understanding of what you’re aiming for will help you determine what area needs the most focus and time.
For example, let’s say your goal is to create a steady stream of income that can replace your 9-5. In that case, you might determine that you want to spend all your time first finding the right rental properties and making them cash-flow positive. This will involve becoming an expert landlord and is a different job description to flip for example.
If your goal is to build equity for retirement then this positive cash flow isn’t so important and you will likely focus on those big lump sums that you can achieve through flips. You’ll spend more time locating and managing great deals (you’ll probably do a bit of both either way - but knowing what to focus on will help you be successful in whatever your endeavor is).
The benefit of setting real estate goals is to keep investors from working aimlessly and wasting both time and energy.
Much like setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely), you can help optimize your time by defining a niche in which to focus.
Instead of chasing all deals and being all things to all people, determine what your main focus is going to be. This is something that you’ll hear a lot of if you listen much to the bigger pockets podcast.They are constantly interviewing successful real estate entrepreneurs who have identified a niche in the market to focus on. For example, In the most recent two, I listened to explore the value and strategies around the niches of storage facilities and land investments.
With a multitude of investment vehicles to choose from, selecting your real estate niche early on can help to save investors a significant amount of time. But it’s never too late to narrow your focus and optimize your time.
Our final tip is to consider a partner. Not everyone is good at every aspect of real estate investing. Some people are great at finding and negotiating deals. Others have a design-oriented eye that makes doing up a rental or flip immensely profitable. Personally, I’m more a number kind of guy and like analyzing data to get a better understand of what needs to be done to make a property as profitable as possible.
Whilst, you will likely be able to do all things (at least to some degree) certain areas might be less enjoyable and might take you a lot longer than someone else.
A partner who has well-paired talents could save you a huge amount of time and help make your real estate business far more profitable and scalable.
Other benefits of a real estate partnership include expanding your real estate network and thus your opportunities, introduce additional financing options, and share responsibilities and risk
Time is ultimately finite and there will never be enough of it to do everything we want. To grow your real estate business and juggle the management of your investments with a full-time job you have to be smart about how you spend your time. You need to utilize the right software, set SMART goals and manage your time strictly.
To this end, we thought we’d leave you with a few questions to ask yourself and get you thinking.
These questions should just get you thinking and help you begin defining what is important to you and what you should focus on!
Thanks for reading and we hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that the purposes of this article is for general information. We are not licensed financial or legal professionals and as such nothing in this article should be understood to be financial or legal advice. If you are in need of financial or legal assistance please seek the help of a competent professional.