Automation Through Delegation

By: Minh Pham

If you want to take your real estate investing business to a higher level I’ll teach you how to do it here. The one thing you have to consider is that times have changed. We're busier than we've ever been. The demand on our time is higher than ever: helping kids with homework, taking them to sports training and competition, social life, church, community activities, etc.

You've got limited time and so many activities to tackle in your real estate business:

           

·        Returning phone calls.

·        Getting the business: marketing for sellers and buyers.

·        Making sure title/escrow companies are doing good job of getting you ready to close on deals.

·        Keeping up with your paperwork.

·        Sending out mail.

·        Getting properties ready for sale.

·        Showing properties.

·        Negotiating contract terms with buyers and sellers.

·        Keeping on top of lenders who're financing your buyers.

·        Paying bills.

This list is endless. Each one of these items translates into 4 or 5 other things to do, watch and "close". There're only so many hours in a day in a usual work week.

No wonder we're often running behind on things we'd planned and envisioned for ourselves as necessary to move us towards success when we were getting started. We get bogged down in “must do” tasks and just don't get things done.

Here're some options for you in dealing with “must do” and helping you to move forward with the speed you want. When it comes to efficiency there two effective choices. We can hire a staff or working with contractors so you can get more done and grow with your business. I prefer to work with contractors, but I will tell you benefits of both services.

·        Hiring Staff

We can get help by hiring personnel and let employees perform various tasks and pick up responsibility for some of the workload we have.

There are some things to think about when hiring a staff. It is a huge overhead expense. Take a look at what you may need to invest in and issues to think about when you have a staff:

1.    Investing in providing adequate office space, furniture, phones, computers, and other equipment for employees to function.

2.    Incurring an added expense of salaries, benefits, insurance, taxes, etc.

3.    Hiring, managing and firing employees.

This is appropriate for someone who's consistently generating a sizable volume of business. For the beginning and intermediate investors I recommend to keep your expenses down and have the staff work out of their homes.

Therefore, you might look into your next option.

·        Contractors

Outsourcing simply means, instead of leasing space, providing equipment and hiring employees — you pay other people to perform various tasks for you as independent contractors on their time, in their own space, using their own tools and equipment.

For example: If you sold off your inventory of homes and decided to buy a few more houses by starting a mailing campaign. You decide to have a few hundred letters or postcards mailed out to a predetermined list of sellers. You're busy and have no time to stuff envelopes, hand-address them and lick stamps. Hiring independent contractors is one way to minimize/eliminate your payroll. Examples of activities to outsource: skip tracing owners, printing, document preparation, compiling lists of home owners to send letters / postcards to, answering phones to initial calls from unscreened prospects, coordinating appointments and closings, hanging bandit signs, clerical work, courthouse research, payment collections, property management, and any other tasks you can think of for your real estate investing.

Here are some of the things you have to consider when hiring a contractor:

·        Usually overall higher cost than that of having your own employees do it (although the contractor I use, Team Double Click (www.teamdoubleclick.com) charges a very reasonable rate)

·        Lesser degree of control over the process in that you can’t really physically see   workers on a day to day basics. (What the contractor is actually doing.) There should be a degree of trust between you and your contractors because you have to trust that they are getting the job done right. I was lucky enough to find one I can trust and have a Phamtastic working relationship with.

·        Sometimes you can't outsource the whole task, just certain areas.

·        For investors who need to hire a contractor to do on site work, hiring a local contractor is essential. For example, to inspect a property or show a property on the market for sale. Hiring a local contractor is a must. It can’t be done with a contractor who is in another part of the country.

Using “Turnkey Software for the Successful Real Estate Investor” with Your Admins

I recommend hiring an assistant. Delegate projects to your admin to assist you with the many tasks a business requires. I really love Turnkey Software for the Successful Real Estate Investor (Turnkey Software is a template and goes with ACT!, which is a contact relationship management software) for allowing me to get a lot of things done with my assistants/contractors. It is a waste of your and their time to consistently get instructions one at a time.

When I get up, first thing in the morning, I simply look at the things that are important tasks for the day (for myself). I know that’s what I have to do for the day.  The rest are things that can be done by delegating to my executive assistant. For example: Let’s say I need to follow up on nine people (and other tasks) today for various reasons. I might need to check on the status of settlement, ensuring the contractors have access to a property, make sure my vendor received payment to deliver a product to me, etc.  So what I do is write the note into the Contact under Notes.

Then I print the Contact Report.

Using this layout already set in Turnkey Software.

My printer then prints out the Contact Report, and if you notice the date with the instructions lets my assistant know to do that task for the day.

I simply print out 8 more Contact Reports just like the example I just gave you and fax the entire “batch” over to my assistant. I usually like doing this better than emailing the Contact info to my admin because she doesn’t get it in one “batch”. Thus, her email basket may get my assignments scattered rather than one batch assignment. I usually like faxing because I can also scribble notes onto a document. I can also attach additional documents if need be such as a HUD-1 with my notes.

By using this technique of Delegation, my assistant has all the information. Most importantly, I can give the whole’s day worth of assignments in one fax. Then I can go about my day doing what I need to do. Those activities can include sun bathing, sleeping by the pool, having 4-hour lunch breaks, making offers after visiting a seller, or doing some other business!  And thus, if you implement this technique you are able to multiply yourself many times over because you are effectively delegating your working and getting things done.

Overall, costs are involved, but quite a bit of time savings realized for more critical activities that you need time to do but can’t outsource. The things that no one else can do for you (when you are starting out) are negotiating with sellers/buyers, making offers, signing contracts, growing your company. The list goes on and on with important and high level tasks that can only be done by you.  These tasks/duties/responsibilities are ones that produce the money and grow your business. It is important to delegate and try not to do everything by yourself!  If you are licking envelopes and answering ‘every’ phone call coming into your business you can’t focus on the executive level activities: making money and growing your business/real estate portfolio.

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