Outsource and Income

When small and mid-size businesses outsource work, it allows them to focus more on their core competencies. In many cases, this approach to outsourcing is a smart way for businesses to add value to their operations.” – Nancy Pechloff

Real estate investing is much more than finding and buying the property. There’s more to do once the deal is completed – and you may own (and have to take care of) the property for months, and more often for years. Certainly you don’t want another job or obligation in your life. That’s why real estate investing appealed to you to begin with! So to get that free time and passive income you dreamed of when you got into real estate, outsource the jobs you don’t want to do.

In fact, if you work with a realtor or mortgage broker, you may already know some of the people who can help you.

Don’t forget that, as a real estate investor, you’re the CEO of your own company. CEOs don’t do the work – they hire specialists to get it done. Your job is to oversee it all, to manage your real estate investing portfolio… not to fill out landlord forms, chase tenants, mow lawns, and collect rents. And your favorite job will be to take checks to the bank (a task you’ll never want to outsource!).

Here are three steps to successfully outsource the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you can’t – or don’t care to – do.

Step 1. Expand your geographic investing area.

The larger the area you can scour for potential deals, the quicker you’ll find those deals. Of course, you’re only one person, and you probably don’t have the resources – time or money – to fly all over the country looking for promising properties. The best way to broaden your reach is to…

Step 2. Find specialists for all aspects and all phases of the work.

Are you an active investor – or doing the research to become one? Don’t be surprised if this idea saves you over 20 hours a week (or more) on activities you’re currently doing yourself. Imagine how much bigger your portfolio could be if you had relationships with:

  • a real estate broker/agent with ARM and/or CPM designation
  • a birddog
  • municipal employees

The real estate broker/agent with ARM (Accredited Residential Manager) and/or CPM (Certified Property Manager) designation is essential to your real estate investing success. Not only does this real estate professional find you properties to invest in, he (or she) is also your property manager.

It takes many hours of continuing education to achieve ARM and CPM designations – five classes and tests for each one. These people know their stuff!

While your broker/agent is busy managing your tenants (so you don’t have to), you can spend your time as you like. And he’s experienced at this work. Let him collect rents, hire maintenance workers, and handle the day-to-day tasks associated with your properties.

Find an ARM or CPM realtor at irem.org. At that site, you’ll find members in cities all over the country, making it easy for you to invest in properties in many different markets. And that kind of diversification is just smart.

If you’re just starting, and working only one market area, hire what’s known as a “birddog.” That’s a person who scopes out buildings for you. You pay him a finders fee, and your birddog does all the legwork. Imagine a person (or a group of people) continuously bringing you potential investments. Birddogs work best with single-family properties, but if the deal you have with them is structured properly, you can do very, very well.

A third group of specialists who can help you are municipal employees. You won’t actually hire these folks, but they’ll be partners in your quest for wealth. Here’s how: Rather than going to the courthouses of all the towns and counties you’re interested in, develop relationships with these under-appreciated people. Always remember that a little goodwill goes a long way. Treat these folks with respect. One way they can help you is by providing you with lists of out-of-town property owners so you can start a letter-writing campaign to find potential deals. (Out-of-town owners can be very motivated sellers.)

Now, here’s where the outsourcing idea gets really good…

Step 3. Use real estate investor courses to learn fast and learn right.

By learning from the experiences of others, you can learn in a fraction of the time it took for your teachers to develop the knowledge they have. That’s like outsourcing your learning!

To sum up: The more you can outsource in your real estate investing career, the faster you can win in the game of wealth. You can enter the market at any time, but don’t waste time doing what someone else can do for you cheaper and faster. Outsourcing will allow you to skyrocket your success.

[Ed. Note: Dave Lindahl started investing in small multi-unit properties while a self-employed landscaper with just $850 in savings 10 years ago. Today, he is known as “the Apartment House King,” with over 3,100 apartment units across the country.]