6 Real Estate Investing Tips for Busy People
For those with the right knowledge and an appropriate level of risk tolerance, property investment has plenty of upsides. However, it’s often quite labor-intensive, entailing time spent studying the markets, researching the industry, learning the metro area, touring properties, and performing upgrades and renovations – and making this commitment isn’t always possible for everyone. For busy adults, it may seem like there’s no time in the day to commit to a major investment.
Despite the time requirements many investors face, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t succeed in real estate investing with a busy job, family, or school schedule. These six tips can help you save time where it counts to help you realize an ROI only an investment property can deliver.
- Find the Right Agent
Investing solo is an option many investors choose, preferring to do research and strategize without the influence of an outside individual. This can be smart – some agents aren’t skilled enough in real estate investment to provide solid advice – but it isn’t always the best path. For busy investors without significant time to research properties and keep tabs on the market, partnering with an informed, knowledgeable agent can help you stay on top of developments and new properties without requiring hours of research each week.
Take time to find a right agent. Some agents will be better versed in investment properties than others, so do your homework before jumping in. Consider attending industry networking events or touching base with mortgage brokers who specialize in real estate investments to get referrals as to the best investment realtors in your area.
Don’t be discouraged if finding the right fit takes a little time, or if there are growing pains at the beginning of your partnership. Your agent may need some trial and error to properly identify the kind of properties you prefer, so provide as much feedback as possible while cultivating your professional relationship.
- Invest in Properties with an Existing Tenant
Many investors like the idea of a blank slate when perusing properties. The ability to take a largely bare canvas and create something customized can be a big benefit, allowing investors to proceed with a rental property or fix and flip without the influence of previous residents and owners. This is especially common in investors who have a brand or look they favor, or investors with a pre-set list of upgrades that go into most property enhancements.
While this is a nice idea in an ideal world, busy investors often don’t have the time to invest in extensive property improvements, leading to either cutting corners or making investments that miss the mark entirely. If this has been the case for you in the past, consider focusing on properties that already have an existing tenant. These properties may not perfectly fit your creative vision, but places that already have someone living there have a few major advantages.
It’s likely that an inhabited property is more or less up to par. You may need to do some minor maintenance or give a few rooms a facelift when on the hunt for a new tenant, but this work will likely be far less substantial than renovating an empty property. In addition, your property will be revenue-generating from the moment you make your purchase, provided the existing tenant or tenants stick around. This also saves you from the expense and labor of running background and credit checks, as you already have renters in place at no cost to you.
- Choose a Trusted Partner
As the adage goes, two heads are better than one, and this principle applies in real estate as well. When you can’t do it all alone, recruiting an informed friend – or, better, a trusted business professional – to help out can be the difference between success and failure.
When investing isn’t your only job, or the demands of family life, school, or other responsibilities compromise your ability to effectively invest time in your real estate endeavors, you may find your potentially-positive investments failing to yield the results you’re seeking. Maybe you take too long on your fix and flip, or tenants don’t love the lackluster job you did updating your rental property. A partner can be the perfect solution to this, helping you to accomplish more in less time.
By choosing a partner in your investing operations, it’s possible to improve the resources you have available. With an extra set of hands and additional investment expertise, you can exceed your goals without spending too much time on your real estate ambitions. While you may have to compromise on how much you net as you’ll have to split your proceeds, the right partner can maximize your earnings while sharing the upfront investment, helping you achieve more than you could flying solo.
Don’t just choose any old friend to help you out, however; be sure the person you’re partnering with is equally experienced in real estate investing and can offer valuable advice and resources.
- Hire a Property Management Company
If your investment objectives have you seeking out property to rent to tenants, you may be facing a very busy future. In theory, acting as a landlord seems simple – you purchase property, clean it up, rent it out, and collect checks on the first of every month – but the reality can be a lot more in-depth. If something breaks in the middle of the night, like a frozen pipe in the dead of winter, you’re the one who is responsible for getting things back on track. It’s up to you to keep the grass mowed, the property looking clean and well-maintained, the appliances working, the bills paid, and your tenants happy. If you have multiple properties, the workload increases proportionately, leaving you with a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it.
When you lead a busy life, finding time to tackle all of the many responsibilities that accompany serving as a landlord is very difficult. And, unfortunately, when necessary tasks aren’t met, your tenants may choose another property. When you want to enjoy the benefits that come with property ownership without the time and attention to detail that doing the heavy lifting yourself can require, a property management company can help you keep your bases covered. Management companies can take a comprehensive approach to ownership, handling everything from repairs to rent collection and accounting, freeing up your time for more important obligations.
- Build Relationships with Area Resources
When you need to quickly redo the kitchen before your next tenant moves in or you’re considering finishing the basement of your fix and flip to improve ROI, knowing who to call and what kind of pricing to expect can save you significant time and money.
Whether you’re planning to rent out property to tenants in the area or are instead a fan of fixing and flipping properties for an immediate sale, you’re likely going to need assistance in readying rooms or homes for future use. Even if you have model tenants, a fresh coat of paint and some new carpet will be required from time to time, while fixing and flipping can necessitate major renovation projects that may take specialized licenses or training.
If you’re short on time, you don’t want to be tackling these duties yourself, even if you have the skills to do so. By building connections with plumbers, electricians, contractors, HVAC specialists, refrigeration experts, and painters, you’ll always have someone on hand when there’s work to be done. Working with known entities can do a lot for your investment opportunities, too; from pricing to quality, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, and you won’t need to waste time calling around for quotes or soliciting reviews from friends with every job.
- Stay Local
Many investors seek out specific areas of the country in which to invest, but this isn’t always necessary. Even if your city or town doesn’t have the best housing market, staying local can be a big advantage when it comes to saving time.
Unless you are brand new to your metro area, you likely already have a strong sense of neighborhoods, demographics, and average home prices, giving you a leg up. Instead of learning generalized information, you can draw conclusions based on your real-life experiences and your knowledge of the specific streets and home styles that succeed. With resources from sales transactions in the newspaper to word of mouth guidance from friends and family members who rent or buy, you can tap into a wealth of information unavailable anywhere else.
Further, there’s no travel involved to explore properties. Instead of taking time off of work, driving or flying to a desirable area, and spending time trying to get your feet under you, real estate opportunities are always just moments away. Close proximity makes it easy to pounce on new listings as soon as they arise, too, giving you a leg up on your competition you can’t get when you’re not local. This can allow for better deals as well; when you get in early, you often have more negotiation leverage and, if there’s no one bidding against you, you can accelerate the closing process, too.
Making Time to Invest
If you’re dedicated to success as a real estate investor, knowing how to manage your time wisely is a must. By taking advantage of time-savers like working with a management company, partnering with a real estate agent or co-investor, and staying local, you can easily find time in your day to grow your portfolio – and turn a profit.
Scott Clift is a licensed real estate broker with Westpark Loans. He has been in the real estate industry since 1994. His team of seasoned professionals specialize in providing real estate loans for investors and other self-employed individuals. When you are ready to invest in real estate, call Westpark Loans to secure your financing at (844) 574 LOAN or by visiting westparkloans.com.