Are You Working On the Wrong Things?

Posted on December 7, 2015 by

I recently conducted the first two days of one of my boot camps and shortly thereafter spent two hours on the phone doing one-on-one calls with students. There’s a common mistake I see students making over and over again, and it doesn’t seem to matter if they are new or been around awhile. That mistake is: doing everything they can to feel busy except the critical things required to stay in business.

It’s so easy to be busy. Anyone can do it, and most people would say they’re very busy almost all the time. I hear things like: “If only I had more time, the days just aren’t long enough, so much to do and so little time.” A rat in a circular cage is busy running in circles, but getting nowhere. Pretty soon he has a heart attack and dies. Being busy will not make you rich. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and prevent you from ever achieving wealth. Don’t get me wrong. Rich people are busy too. I’m very busy most of the time with something always chasing my attention. There’s always an endless supply of things to work on that suck up my time. The difference is I constantly and consciously work on…only those items I can’t delegate and are worthy of my attention.

Minutia is a deadly disease that steals away the most productive time of your life and robs you of the great things you could accomplish…if you only had time. Well, I suppose I don’t have to tell you that we all have the same amount of time in a day and no bonus hours will ever be added. Rich people and poor people alike are granted the same opportunity to turn that time into greatness or waste it the same way, day in and day out until they’re dead.

I lost a son-in-law to cancer at 56 years old. He’d have paid a fortune (if he had one) for a little more time. None was offered. I lost my friend, Corey Randy, at age 34, in his prime and Barney Zick, a long-time friend and real estate pro, all way too soon. Time was precious to them, but it ran out.

So is yours. It’s too precious to waste on the stupid stuff investors think they must do to be successful. You know, stuff like…

  • Getting incorporated before making their first offer
  • Setting up a limited partnership or other entities before taking the first call from a seller
  • Getting a closing attorney with nothing to close
  • Finding a CPA before they create any income to account for
  • Getting a business license for a home-based business that hasn’t even started and doesn’t require one
  • Becoming a land trust expert or getting an attorney’s blessing on them before they do anything to buy their first house
  • Visiting Office Depot and setting up a home-office in case they ever get around to using it
  • Changing all my forms ‘cause they could make them look better
  • Listening to the CDs a couple more times to make sure nothing was missed
  • Having a family reunion to get all the broke relatives’ permission to succeed
  • You fill in your blanks here!

All these things and more could keep one busy for quite a while and convince them they’re doing the right stuff because they are so busy. Sorry! That’s a load of crap and won’t pass the Ron test. Not one of these things will make you a red cent, no matter how much time you devote to them or how good they make you feel.

If you want to make money in real estate, I’d suggest you buy some property. In order to do that, the first step is to locate prospects. If you fail here…..It’s over! LOCATE PROSPECTS. All businesses: product or service, large or small, must find people to buy their product or service and that includes yours.

The most important thing you must do as a real estate investor is to find people who need to sell their property. Nothing else matters until you crank up the buying machine and keep the calls coming in. Get a flood of sellers calling you and the other pieces will fall in place quickly. No flood of sellers and you could spend all your time trying to do things that don’t matter. There are really only a few things you should work on to be very successful. Here’s a list for you to stay focused on until you master each, at lease enough to get you into a good six figure income.

  1. Locate prospects
  2. Prescreen them quickly
  3. Go get the deed or purchase agreement on the low hanging fruit
  4. Implement the auto-pilot system to sell or lease option
  5. Delegate a collection system to receive rents

Now honestly, how hard is that? Sure, it will take time to get it set-up, but once it is, it will require little of your time. Okay, now here’s what most investors do to make it more difficult and suck up all their time.

  1. Take all calls from sellers at all hours of the day and weekends. That’s dumb!
  2. Chase worthless leads, visit properties they’ll never buy, and spend hours talking to time wasters
  3. Take ten times more calls from buyers than sellers to consume the rest of whatever day is left
  4. Show houses, babysit contractors, chase materials, cater to time-wasters and spend countless hours WORKING ON THE WRONG THINGS

You have two choices…

  1. Keep yourself trapped in minutia and pay a horrible price
  2. Work every day on the right things to eradicate minutia from your life

There’s only one way you can free yourself from minutia. GET SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT! That’s your only way out. Most of what you do can and should be doing can be done by someone who’s willing to do it for some small amount of money. For example:

Locating Prospects – Let a mail house or senior citizen center do your mailing, not you or your family. You only place an ad once or put signs on your vehicle once. There’s no need for help.

Take endless calls – use to take them 24 hours a day from sellers. The questionnaire is already loaded for you. All you need is an opening line. They’ll email your lead immediately. Drive buyers to a voicemail system that sends them to the house and tells them what to do. You only get involved with buyers after they’ve seen the house and contact you. Patlive costs $80 a month plus usage. Dirt cheap.

Credit checks and loan prescreening – should be done by a mortgage broker who does it every day.

Payables, Receivables and Bookkeeping – should be done by someone who does it for a living, a bookkeeper or accountant. It’s grunt work unworthy of your focus and cheap to hire. Do you really need to write checks? Sign them, yes. Write them, no. All your bills can be paid twice a month so you have two batches of checks to sign each month.

Property Inspection – What’s to inspect? If it’s pretty, get the deed. If it’s ugly, get a contract. If they’re motivated, go to the house. If not, don’t go. You should know this from the 3 second screening of the property info sheet from Patlive and the 5 minute phone call to the few who pass the prescreening process. That leaves only a few properties to go see and buy in a whole month.

If you follow my lead and just do it my way, you’d soon discover a new problem. Every morning when you wake up, you’ll be asking yourself…what do I want to do today, since I really don’t have to do much of anything? Yes, I know that sounds over simplistic and maybe it is a little, but not much. Focus on the RIGHT THINGS for 60 consecutive days and then you and I will revisit the issue to see how big of a difference it has made in your life. You can thank me later.

Ron LeGrandRon LeGrand is the world’s leading expert in residential quick turn real estate and a prominent commercial property developer. Ron has bought and sold over 2,000 single family homes over the past 30 years, and currently owns commercial developments in nine states ranging from retail, office, warehouse, residential subdivisions and resorts.

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