1. You Aren’t Protecting Your Time.
It’s a common thing in real estate investing and business in general to jump as soon as a potential or current customer needs something. It’s our natural instinct. But have you stopped to consider that your reaction to jump is probably preventing you from focusing on the tasks that grow your portfolio. When a prospective calls for a showing our instinct is to ask if they are available at that moment or within the hour. It’s great customer service right? (It actually sets a bad precedence as a rental investor which I talk about in my blog “Setting The Tone For A Tenancy”. #shamelessplug)

What makes the most successful people in the world…successful, is how they protect their time. They set a schedule (which we’ll talk about next) and they have spaces where they can put appointments. They do not deviate from this schedule, especially with appointments. They protect their time. If Bill Gates were a bootstrap real estate investor he wouldn’t look at his schedule as an investor and say “Well I can read about syndication deals later. I’ll go do this showing now.”

When we push something off, we often don’t get back to the task pushed aside for awhile. We’ll quickly get into the pattern of dealing with urgent rather than the important. What’s important doesn’t get done. The successful people we admire protect their schedule, they protect their time, and this provides them with maximum productivity.

2. You Don’t Have A Set Schedule.
It doesn’t matter what size portfolio you have or if you have a day job, you should have a schedule (at the very least) for Real Estate. I argue it’s infinitely more important if you do have a 9 to 5.

Your schedule should look like a template. You should have set hours and days where certain categories of things happen. I.e. Bookkeeping 3-5pm on Monday; appointments 12-3 Mondays, and 4-6 Thursdays. So on and so forth. If you do your own maintenance include times on certain days that you will do repairs at your units. Everything you have to do should have a block of time assigned to it every week. This includes ‘growth activities’.

The key is to only schedule appointments during the specific time period and stick to the category your suppose to be working on per the schedule. The blocks of time should be viewed as mandatory. If the time block arrives and you have no activities associated with it (i.e. repairs or showings) you can then decide what to do with the time block. I suggest using it for items that will make an impact on the future growth of your portfolio and not using it for the ‘urgent’ or routine.

3. Finding And Evaluating Deals Isn’t On Your Schedule.
You should be blocking 1-3 hours per week to find and analyze deals. This may seem silly because the best deals are off market and found at networking events. But if you make it a habit to look for and analyze deals during the week, you’ll be current on the market, evaluations will seem routine and it will be easier for you to do it quickly when a deal is in front of your face.

4. No One Knows You’re Looking To Buy.
One of the biggest ways to self sabotage expansion is to not tell people that you were looking to buy. Telling other investors that you’re looking to make a purchase is the most effective way to find out what’s available. When an investor asks you ‘what you’re up to’ or ‘how it’s going’ your first instinct should be to tell them what you’re looking for. If no one knows you’re looking, how are they going to know to tell you when they find something? Don’t assume everyone knows your looking to buy just because they know you invest.

5. You Aren’t Networking Enough.
In the digital age networking is more than just going to in person events. In-person events are where you will get the best connections but they aren’t the only piece of the puzzle. By being part of digital networking groups on Facebook, Bigger Pockets or others opens yourself up to the possibility of getting deals or working with people who do not live in your state. Chances are you won’t meet them at a local meeting. If you aren’t where they are, they won’t be able to find you, and you won’t be able to do business with them.

Stop sabotaging your own expansion. Implement these tips, stick to them and you will see how expanding your portfolio is quicker than you think it is.

Corina Eufinger

Owner of Brio Properties