I am a full-time real estate investor and generally a lazy person. I found that when I embraced my lazy side, and stopped trying to do everything myself, that my real estate investing really took off, and I started making real money.
As real estate investors, we understand the value of leverage. Leverage is typically applied when you use a small amount of money to control a much more valuable piece of property–which in turn makes you even more money. You plunk down 10%, 20%, or less of the purchase price, and you get 100% of the profits. That is how you leverage your money.

Learn How to Leverage Your Time

Time Flies

Nothing is more valuable than time.


Well, what about leveraging your time? Money is valuable, don’t get me wrong, but nothing is more valuable than time. Even the richest man in the world cannot buy more time. So it is really important that you make the most productive use of your time.
Stop wasting time doing things that someone else could be doing for you.
No matter what kind of real estate investor you are, your income depends on finding the right properties for your style of investing. Some portion of your day has to be dedicated to finding good prospects.
You can’t just buy every property you see. You need to find the properties that offer you the highest possible return on your investment. You might have to look at hundreds of properties before you find that one gem that is going to put big dollars into your pocket.
So here you are a single investor starting off with a limited numbers of hours in each day, how are you going to leverage that? Let me introduce you to the world of Virtual Assistants or VAs.

What’s a “Virtual Assistant”?

VAs are the greatest things since sliced bread to real estate investors.
So what exactly is a virtual assistant? A VA is a contract employee that you share with other small business owners. You essentially have an “on call” employee, someone that you pay to work whenever you have a task for them.
The way that it works is simple. You hire your VA through a company that supplies and trains VAs. Simple enough. Once you have reached an agreement about cost and what tasks he or she will perform, then you direct work their way whenever you have need of them. It’s that simple.
As a general rule, you have a personal VA assigned to you, so that you gain familiarity and confidence in that person. The only difference between a VA and a real secretary in your office is that you don’t have to provide any sort of benefits or even full time work to keep them happy. And you don’t have to worry about withholding taxes either because the VA is actually an employee of the VA agency.

Multiply Yourself by Outsourcing Your Work

Instead of spending all of your free time looking for property, why don’t you just outsource that function? Your VA can call For Sale by Owner (FSBO) ads for you, or scan the classifieds, or Craigslist.org, or whatever method you use to find properties.
With a minimal amount of training, your VA can call hundreds of sellers and gather the information that you use to pre-screen out the time-wasters. If you have ever spent an evening talking to unrealistic unmotivated sellers, you know how frustrating that can be.
How much extra money could you make if you only had to talk to motivated sellers?
VAs are not limited to just the buying end of the business. Your VA can help you sell or rent a house by marketing the property for you.  A VA can do any sort of clerical or bookkeeping task that you need. I know investors who have their VAs build web sites for them.

Spend Your Time Closing Deals and Making Money

Do you get the idea that VAs are a valuable tool? Quit trying to do it all yourself. Spend your time closing deals with sellers.
You have one task and one task only. Your task is to focus on the activities that make you money. If you’re doing anything that your VA could do, you are wasting your most valuable resource: Time.
So what does a VA cost? The answer is directly tied to your productivity. VAs are just like hiring staff for your office, except they only charge you for the minutes that they actually work. If your VA works for two hours one week, they charge you for two hours. Try getting a competent secretary to agree to those terms.
Now if you are busy and making a lot of money, you can have as many VAs as you want, working as many hours as you want. That’s an added bonus with virtual assistants–they are 100% scalable. You can shut down your business while you go on vacation, and your VA will still be there when you get back. It’s like having an on-demand employee.
Before I discovered my VA team, I was trying to squeeze every extra second out of my day, so I could call every seller in town, in the hopes that one of them might really need to sell his house. Now my VA takes care of that, and I only call the motivated sellers.
Motivated sellers are great to talk to. They are really happy that I am calling. More importantly, they are trying to walk away from equity. Some of them just want to give me their house. I love these people. Let my VA talk to the delusional time wasters, I’ve got money to make.

How to Find a Good Virtual Assistant

So where do you find a good VA? Well this can be a bit of a “trial and error” process. You may have to hire and fire a few before you get one that really works the way you want her to work.
Start with a search of the Internet. That’s where everything of value is today anyway. I got lucky that my first VA was a great fit for me.
Here are a few sites you can try. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there are many more to choose from.

I hope I’ve given you some good ideas to help you with your real estate investing business. If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, stop by and check out our real estate club: PittsburghREIA.com

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