"...Running around like a headless chicken"
That was how I responded to people whenever they would ask me "What have you been up to?" They knew that I was working on a property business, so they were always curious about how I filled my days. It seemed an innocent enough thing to ask, and my answer always got a sympathetic chuckle, and then we'd move on.
But I didn't want to be a headless chicken! I wanted to be a graceful swan, or a majestic eagle gliding in the sky. Operating like a headless chicken wasn't dignified, and it wasn't an effective business strategy either. I didn't want to be spending my time, I wanted to be investing my time.
You can't be everywhere and you don't need to see everything or do everything. So here is one very practical tip about how you can be selective and invest your time, instead of spending it, in your property business: don't go to view every property you might be interested in.
This sounds counterintuitive, but you should only make the effort to go view a property AFTER you have done your initial due diligence and pre-screening. I have had clients tell me horror stories about hours they've wasted going to view properties that they only then realised were in the "wrong" part of town, or backed onto train tracks, or were too far from the nearest train station, and they'd get home feeling deflated and annoyed.
(I speak from personal experience too. In the early days of my property business, I once stopped to calculate all of the time I wasted viewing "lemons", and it was over 100 hours. That's over 12.5 working days!)
What I learned the hard way, and what I always tell my clients to do, is to PRE-SCREEN: use google maps, aerial views, go up and down the street virtually before doing so physically, check how close all of the nearest amenities are, run the numbers, and be selective. Only view the properties that check all the important boxes.
Does the property in question work for your budget? Is it in the right location for your target tenant? Will it command the rental you need to meet your profit goals? Does it have potential to appreciate in value based on comparable properties and its current condition? There are so many things you can and should find out before you arrange a viewing.
Do all of your due diligence at home before you even consider walking out the door to go see anything in person.
We have a long checklist of criteria that we investigate from home before we reach for the phone to arrange a viewing. Save your time and energy by doing the same, and be selective about the properties that you then view in person.
The same holds true for any business; this isn't just applicable to property! If you are in retail, be selective about the products you offer, how many you offer, and how often you offer them. If you are in a services business, pre-qualify clients and be selective about who you take on. If you are in a technology business, be selective about the functions you offer. If you're in recruitment, be selective about the types of firms you will work with and what types of industries.
Have criteria for what you are trying to achieve and then stick to those criteria and be selective. Doing so will help you invest your time in the tasks that will see the best results instead of spending your time on the tasks that won't.
What are you going to be more selective about so that you invest your time instead of spending it? I'd love to hear from you in the comments...