That’s the million dollar question.
We all have the same 24 hours each day, but it’s how we use those hours that will ultimately make the difference, especially if you are still working that 9-5 job.
Planning to Escape the 9-5
Just a few years ago I owned and operated a successful home inspection business which took up most of my time each day. I found myself struggling like so many other folks to get my real estate business to the point where it was a real business. I also found myself jumping from one idea to another; from one task to another; never really getting the results that I wanted.
Finally I said, “Enough”! I had to make some changes.
First of all, I had to cut myself some slack. With one full time business going strong, I had to get realistic about just how much time I really could spend working on my real estate business. I had to figure out where I could find some extra hours without completely sacrificing my family and my personal life.
Next, I had to come clean about how I was actually spending the time that I had to devote to my real estate business. I needed to get really focused on those activities that would bring me deals. (Surfing the internet doesn’t count). I found that by narrowing down the tasks that were actually money making activities and focusing on those critical few things, I began to see a big change almost immediately.
The 3 Critical Tasks
So what were they?
2. Returning calls from sellers
3. Going after those leads
You won’t be in business very long if you neglect this area. This should be the number #1 thing you focus on. If you do a good job of marketing, the leads will come. This is where most of your time will be spent.
Return Seller Phone Calls
Ok. This seems obvious to most of us but believe it or not, there are some folks out there that never bother to call people back.
I had the luxury of being self-employed when I started my real estate business so that wasn’t a big problem for me. I could take most of the calls when they came in. If I needed to let the call roll to voice mail, I returned that call as quickly as possible which was usually within an hour.
If you still have a job where you can’t answer the calls as they come in, you need to get back to those folks pretty quickly or you may lose the lead. If you know the calls will be going to voice mail, let them know when you will be available. For instance, put a message on your voicemail which says that you are tied up today and you will be returning your calls between 12:00 and 1:00 (your lunch time) or after 6:00 PM (when you are off work). Folks are much more understanding if they have an idea of when you will be available.
Go After Those Leads
Once you have spoken with a motivated seller, schedule a time to see the house as quickly as possible. Don’t make the mistake of scheduling the appointment 5 or 6 days down the road. Your motivated seller may have second thoughts if you let too much time pass. You also run the risk of having the deal snatched out from under you by another investor.
Make every effort to arrive on time and be prepared for the appointment. Do your research ahead of time. If you don’t have access to the MLS try to find someone to pull comps for you.
Let’s face it. It’s tough starting any business. But when you already have a full time job, it’s even tougher. If you focus on just a few things and do them really well, you’ll get where you want to be much more quickly. I promise you’ll be happy with the results.