Are You Wasting Time and Losing Thousands of Dollars? – Part 1Posted on April 8, 2014 by
Time is the most important part of our life that we can never get back. When I started as an Investor back in 1998, I worked a full time job as a legal secretary, was married with 2 children ages 2 and 6, a step-son age 20, and worked part time in my real estate career. Time Management was very important to me as I needed to be able to earn 1 year’s salary before I was able to quit my job and work a full time real estate career. Just like most new investors, we attended numerous boot camps to sharpen our skills and take that leap of faith into the real estate arena. I chose this article about time management because I do a One Day Safari with my individual students by coming to their own home to evaluate how they are spending or wasting their time and how can I help them improve their production in addition to reviewing multiple other marketing and business systems to move them forward.
As I write this article, I need you to “act as if” I am sitting in your home, evaluating your production and asking you, ARE YOU WASTING TIME? The most important part of your business is to make sure that you have a designated workplace separate from all of the noise and interruptions of your life. Well? I tried having my office upstairs so I could keep track of my children when I quit full time…that didn’t work. I had a private phone line and a business line set up at my home. When the business line would ring, I used to grab the phone no matter what time of the day it was. I was hungry for a deal! After trying this for a couple of months, I decided it didn’t work because as soon as I would get on the telephone the kids would always want something and I literally would have to run into the basement or my bedroom and lock the door. However, the kids still followed, knocking on the door and wanting something! Even though I was working full time as an investor, I had to put my kids in day care and/or work around their schedule (i.e. naps, bedtime). I decided it was best that I would set up my office in the basement. I got tired of running to the office phone for deals, so I decided to work normal business hours 9 to 5 p.m. However, if you hunger for deals, you may want to answer the phone every time it rings, day or night.
So … where is your office in your house? Do you have the following things to conduct a business: desk, file cabinet, printer, copier, scanner and dedicated fax? Before I would come out to my student’s house, I would ask them to provide me with a time sheet of what 3 normal days looks like for them. They would need to fill in from 5 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Many of the students didn’t have this time sheet filled out, so I knew they were in trouble! If I don’t know them well, I make sure they have a DISC test filled out for my review which tells me their strengths and weaknesses.
A book called “The Hamster Revolution” obtained over 20,000 surveys and interviews. Here are some key findings: 40% of the workday is now spent on email and email related activities. Right now I want you to look at your emails and see how many you have in your inbox. If you keep all your emails in your inbox just looking at your inbox every day is overwhelming. I would recommend that you set up files on the left side of your emails. For example, Gmail calls them Labels. Create a File Folder/Label that states Buyers leads, Sellers Leads, Bills/Invoices, Real Estate Events, etc. I love Outlook because I have 3 different email accounts that all run into my Outlook and I just create a file folder on the left so I can keep track of everything. For Example: If a “suspect” Seller Lead turns into a prospect, I would open a subfolder underneath the Seller Leads folder as follows: Sellers last name, first name, full address. This allows me to put all emails relating to that particular seller in that file. In addition, I take this same concept and I create a file folder on my desktop which states Seller Leads, then a sub folder with Smith, Mary, 123 Main Street, Winter Springs, FL 32708. Inside this folder I put all the paperwork that I have sent to or received from the Seller. I also create a PICS sub-folder under Smith and all pictures of the house go in this folder. Pictures are taken as follows: I take a picture of the address first, then the front of the house, I go into the house and take pictures in a clockwise direction, then I go outside of the house and take a picture of both sides of the house and the back of the house. When I load the pics into this folder, I would immediately rename each picture, as I want to be sure I remember each room.
Now during my picture taking, since I work on short sales or even if I am going to flip the house, I am going to take close-up ugly pictures and note them on the Repair Bid Sheet which I provide to you as a student. Those pics are later used to help create a Repair Bid. I also create a sub-folder underneath the Smith file named BPO Packet. Inside this file is where I save the repair bid that I did during my walk-thru along with a Synopsis of the house. The ugly pics are incorporated in the repair bid so that the BPO Agent/Appraiser can see which pictures they need to take for their BPO/Appraisal when they come out to the house to obtain value. Last but not least, I create under the Smith folder another sub-folder and it is named “Sale.” This is the most important part of your business and this is where you would put your purchase agreement for when you are selling the property to another person, the approval letter from the banks, homeowners association discounts and other lien discounts that you obtained and title work.
Next month I will continue with more time wasters and start with emails.