Real estate can be a very hectic business. There are often
many projects going on all at the same time, and every one of
them needs attention right this second.
I can be a "
" kind of guy, so it was important for me to learn how to manage
(or at least try to manage) my day effectively. I've read a ton
of articles about time management, have tried a billion different
methods -- and have come upon seven steps that I (try) to
implement into my daily routine to help me buy more real estate.
They are as follows:
7 Steps for Higher Daily Productivity in Real
1. Add four real estate agents to a contact
I always consider myself "in the market" for a real estate
deal. If an agent brought me a good deal, then I would do
everything in my power to go out and find the capital for it.
The key is to have agents bring you deals or new listings. I
started keeping a spreadsheet of all the agents I have done deals
with in the past or who I have met. Any time an agent gives me a
business card, they are added to my list.
I start with a follow up email saying what type of deals I'm
looking for and telling them a little bit more about myself. Then
I make sure to follow up at least every two weeks and check in to
see if there are any deals they have that would be interesting to
Most times agents are very receptive and welcome having an
investor in their back pocket in case a deal requires all-cash or
a quick close. Aside from giving you the opportunity to buy more
deals, it is a really great way to expand your network. You never
know what opportunities may come up.
Your daily task is to add four people to this list.
2. Prioritize your money.
If you want to buy real estate deals, the harsh reality is
that it usually takes a chunk of your own change. Yes, you can
find investors, but the more money they put in, the better terms
they get. Ideally, you want to put in a significant amount
yourself. This will make the investors more comfortable and also
hopefully make you more money in the long run.
In order to have money to invest in real estate deals, you
likely need to sacrifice in other areas. Yes, being frugal by
eating in, not buying the new car and spending less on iTunes
helps. Still, I have found that the real key for me has been to
not invest (at least as much) in other areas.
For example, for a long time I was having a lot of money taken
out of my paycheck and put directly into a 401K investment plan
through work. There are a lot of benefits to investing in a 401K,
and I'm not saying you shouldn't. I just decided that real estate
was my priority and stopped putting as much money in the 401K so
that I could save for my next rental property.
Many people are in a situation where they live paycheck to
paycheck, and saving seems impossible. I have lived most of my
life that way, even when I did own real estate with an investor.
My advice is to start saving a little bit -- hell, even $10 a
week. But make sure that it is actually saved, and not dipped
into the next time you want to go to dinner at the new restaurant
Eventually, you will make more money -- you simply have to
believe that -- and when you do, you will already have the saving
Your daily task is to not spend money on something
frivolous and to put that money into an account that you don't
touch -- except for real estate purposes.
3. Plan your day the night before.
I stole this one from good ol' Ben Franklin.
Ever find yourself sitting in front of the television on
Sunday evening wondering where the day went? Happens to me all
the time -- particularly since the advent of NFL RedZone!
Oftentimes, I will have gone out on Saturday night and not
planned what I want to do on Sunday, which makes it easier for me
to get drawn into the commercial-free black hole known as
Internet streaming television. Maybe for you it's not football --
maybe it's doodling or sleeping.
None of these things are inherently bad, but they don't help
you buy more real estate.
I am the most productive when I plan my day out. Your plan may
never be perfect, but you will be in a way better spot than if
you didn't plan anything at all. It's too easy to get off on a
tangent. I plan what I'm going to eat, what I'm going to do, what
I'm going to accomplish and even sometimes what I'm going to
Yes, I know I may have some control issues, but the point is
that a plan will improve your productivity as you head toward the
goal to buy more real estate.
Your daily task is to plan your day the night before.
4. Get your real estate license.
This will count as an expense at first, but could help in a
The first way is that you will learn more about real estate.
The courses aren't terribly expensive, and they give you a ton of
good information. I personally don't have the attention span to
read through all the material, but I do use the books as a
reference guide to this day. The basics of real estate can
sometimes be overlooked on blogs, but they are really important
and are often forgotten. First, and foremost, it's all about
"location, location, location" -- and you will read that phrase
about six billion times in most class materials.
The second thing that getting your license could help with is
finding you a chunk of change. Representing yourself on a deal
can be tricky, and there is certainly liability. I would
recommend working under a broker or at least talking to a lawyer.
However, if you are able to represent yourself (or even a friend)
on a deal, then you can earn a chunk of change that could get you
started on your first property (or second, or third, etc.).
Hypothetically, you could approach an investor and say that you
will put up your commission on a particular deal as your
contributed capital. It may only be a small percentage, but it
gets you started.
Your daily task is to spend a half hour working toward
getting your real estate license.
5. Try to find chunks of change.
I use "chunks of change" to describe a large sum of money. A
chunk of change is different for every person. When I was ten
years old, a chunk of change was $20. Today it is much larger
than that. I really like chunks of change because I find it is
easier to do something with it and because saving money gradually
To take the real estate agent example, if you are an agent on
a $500,000 deal, then you will likely get a commission check for
around $7,500, less your broker's fee and whatever you need to
save for taxes. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, as I used
to, then this is tantamount to a pot of gold! Take this money and
try to invest it into a property. $5,000 likely isn't enough on
its own, but it's a start.
Chunks of change can come in many forms: inheritance, bonus,
other investments, etc. I recently met with a very successful
investor who owns close to 1,000 apartment units. When he was
thirty years old, he took all of his money out of savings and
used it to buy an apartment building in San Francisco. His chunk
of change was his retirement savings.
I'm not necessarily advocating for you to be that risky, but
my point is that you need to be creative in order to find your
chunk of change.
Your daily task is to spend a half hour thinking of ideas
to get a chunk of change, or working toward them.
6. Refocus your day at noon.
I stole this one from an email flier that I get on a daily
Planning your day the night before is great, but it's just
that -- a plan. Things happen: your boss gives you an assignment,
your kid gets sick and needs to be picked up, or you simply
forget to do something. That's fine, life happens. The key
is to get back on track. Know your goals for the day, and make
sure you have them prioritized. You want to do the most important
things first. I know it feels good to get all the busy work out
of the way, but it saps your best energy from the most important
thing -- buying more real estate.
I constantly ask myself two main questions:
Can this be done tomorrow? If so, then stop doing it.
Is this what I planned to do today? If not, then ask
yourself if it helps you buy more real estate. If the answer is
still no, then stop doing it.
Your daily task is to spend ten minutes at noon to refocus
7. Have a coffee meeting with a real estate
Coffee rocks! It's also cheaper than lunch. Force yourself to
get out there every single day and meet someone for coffee. Your
natural tendency right now is going to be to think of a reason
why you can't. Your schedule is too busy, you don't like coffee,
or you can't afford it.
Make the time, drink a cup of tea, and bring a cup of coffee
for all I care. Hell, go
on me and meet someone for caramels. The point is to get
out there everyday and grow your network.
Your daily task is to get coffee (or caramels) with a real
These are ways I try to improve and manage my day.
This article originally appeared on the
Bigger Pockets Blog
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