If you want to build significant wealth and still enjoy some flexibility and freedom to live your life outside of an office, real estate is one of the best paths forward. In particular, you should pursue rental property investments that allow you to generate monthly cash flow via long-term tenants.
When it comes to rental property investing, the first key is to secure the right properties. (If the numbers don’t work, you’ll never be successful.) The second key is to maximize your time in a way that allows you to scale up your business and accomplish more with less. And it’s this latter element of the equation that we’re going to examine in this article.
5 Tips for Saving Time
We all get 24 hours in a day – 168 hours in a week – and roughly one-third of them are spent sleeping. This leaves you with somewhere around 16-18 wakeful hours per day.
If you want to scale your real estate investing business and build a portfolio of cash-flowing properties, you have to be more efficient with the limited time you do have.
The best thing you can do is hire a property management service to take care of the bulk of the responsibilities for you. But if you’re unable or unwilling to do this at the present time, here are a few suggestions you can implement moving forward:
- Be Detailed in Your Listings
The average landlord wastes a lot of time fielding phone calls from “interested” tenants. The problem is that they tend to ask the same basic questions over and over again. You can cut down on this time-suck by being more detailed in your listings.
There’s no such thing as including too much information in a listing. Whether it’s an apartment or a house, always provide details related to bedrooms, bathrooms, location, finishes, extra costs and fees, amenities, move-in dates, and deposit information. (It’s also helpful if you include lots of images so that prospective tenants can see the property for themselves.)
- Standardize Documents
If you aren’t careful, you’ll waste a lot of energy developing contracts, lease agreements, addendums, and forms for renters. Save time by standardizing these documents so they’re always available when you need them. You’ll obviously have to go in and fill in different fields with custom information each time, but the bulk of these documents will already be done for you.
- Meticulously Screen Tenants
Sometimes you have to put in more time on the front end to save time over the long haul. This is the case with procuring quality tenants.
Meticulous screening takes a lot of time upfront, but the difference between a good tenant and a bad tenant is significant. A good tenant pays on time, obeys the terms of the agreement, and tends to stick around longer. A bad tenant pays rent late, doesn’t respect the rules, and has a much greater risk of breaking the lease after a few short months.
Every landlord should have a screening process that allows them to be thorough yet efficient. At the very least, you need to verify income, run a background check, and speak with past landlords to get a feel for who a prospective tenant is. If you don’t feel like you can do all of this on your own, you can hire a professional service.
- Streamline Rent Collection
The fewer steps there are in a rent collection process the better. It’s highly recommended that you streamline rent collection by encouraging tenants to set up a direct deposit from their account into yours each month. This eliminates the hassle of writing a check or transferring money. As they say, out of sight, out of mind!
- Invest in Better Appliances
ROI is the name of the game in real estate. And while it’s true that a lower upfront investment allows for higher potential gains, this isn’t always the case. Take kitchen appliances, for example. Most landlords invest in cheap appliances to save money when they actually end up costing more money (in maintenance and repairs) over the life of the appliance. Consider investing in higher-quality home systems to lower the cost of ownership.
How Can You Become More Productive?
Successful real estate investors and landlords don’t become productive by chance. They work hard to cultivate the right habits and disciplines so that they can beat out the competition and accomplish more with less. Are you willing to do the same?