Monday, May 13, 2013

Step On It: Dedicating Your Time

No matter what you are trying to accomplish; in our case investing in both real estate and stocks; to move forward you need to dedicate a certain amount of time to it. Unless that time is scheduled, your dedication will fluctuate. So first thing, figure out how much time a day or week you can dedicate to your goal.

Let say you've figured out you can do 11 hours a week, 1 hour a day on weekdays and 3 hours a day on weekend. Great! Now you need to allocate time to different activities you need to accomplish.

In my case, I want to dedicate my time to real estate investing. What do I need to do towards real estate investing?
  • Networking
  • Finding Deals
  • Maintaining Current Investment
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge
Where is my timed better used? When I first got started, the learning was the most important, but as my knowledge base grew, it's became more important to apply what I had learn. Once I started accumulating investments in my port-folio, I have to continue learning, growing my business but I also need to dedicate time to my current properties to make sure they are managed properly.
  • Networking - 35%
  • Finding Deals - 25%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 10%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 30%
When investing in Real Estate, networking is a very important part of your business, that is how you grow. Networking doesn't just happen, you need to have a plan and dedicate time to it. On top of networking, you need to actively search for deals, and when your have a deal, you need to continue dedicate time to it doing your due diligence up to closing. When you have ongoing properties you need to dedicate a certain amount of time to make sure everything is running smoothly, that the bills are being paid and the management team is doing their work. If you stop learning you stop growing. We will never know all there is to know about anything. It is important that we all understand that and continue to dedicate time to learn more may it be through books, classes or webinars.

For someone who as just decided they want to learn how to invest in real estate, but never has in the past, their priorities will be different.
  • Networking - 35%
  • Finding Deals - 15%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 5%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 45%
Networking is a very important part of real estate investing. Even if you are not in a position to close on a deal right away, you might as well get started with your networking. Get in contact with fellow investors. You may not feel as though you are ready to more forward on deals but looking for deals is still important, that is how you put to practise what you are learning about investing in real estate. If you come across a great deal, then get it. If you can't then wholesale it to a fellow investor that you have met through your networking. I realise I've added time to maintaining your current investment when you don't currently have any in place. Use this time as prep work, get your maintenance team in place; property managers, property inspectors, etc. Also get your tools in place to keep track of your properties when you have some. Make up an excel spreadsheet that would keep track of income and expenses for example. Finally, learning, at this stage this category should have the largest time dedication but not all your time.

For someone who has capital to invest and wants to get involve into an investment opportunity but doesn't really want to commit to learn how to invest on their own would again have a different set of priorities.
  • Networking - 40%
  • Finding Deals - 30%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 10%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 20%
In this situation, you can cut back dramatically on the total time dedicated to investing into real estate. Networking, get in contact with investors, get a sense of what they do and if it's someone you would like to invest with in the future. Make sure they know what they are doing. How did they get involve in investing? Do they have education background in this field? Who is their mentor? Finding deals would be dedicated time to checking the numbers presented to you in a deal. Is it in fact a good deal? A small portion is dedicated to maintaining. Make sure you are kept in the loop of how the investment is doing, make sure you are being paid as promised and when it was agreed upon. I am still dedicating time to learning, because even if you do have interest in learning how to be a hands on investor, you still have to be able to recognise if the deals presented to you are in fact good deals.
It is important to spend time toward you goal but it is even more important to make sure that the time spent is done so in a productive way ensuring you to get closer to your goal. Also you can try to find creative ways to dedicate time towards this. Do you commute to work? Then why not spend the 30 minutes or one hour drive with an audio book working on your "Learning". Or make social obligations into potential networking opportunities.

Make sure the time you are dedicating to investing are entered into your calendar or day timer, and if you've had to make changes to accommodate a different activity, reschedule the lost time.

How do you manage your time in order to be successful?