The Importance of THE ONE THING in Real Estate

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Lately we've been fighting a mighty battle around some of our lead generation stuff.

Google is constantly changing it's terms of service and each time they do so it throws some of our campaigns for a loop.

No matter ... this is the reality of the world we live in ... nothing stays the same for very long.

So we've been hitting the drawing board recreating some of our campaigns.

In that process we discuss all sorts of business metrics we could be measuring and we were reminded of the importance of THE ONE THING.

Too often people get lost in a confusing mess of ideas, tasks, deliverables that occupy their time and mind space and their ultimately cluttering their lives with stuff that doesn't really matter.

For example,

It's very common for first time real estate investors to buy a property, close on the property and then instead of focusing on lead generation (aka getting prospective tenants to the property) they cut the grass, paint some trim, change out some carpet, replace some door knobs, add some lights etc.

Typically, not in all cases ... but typically, when you purchase a nice home these activities are a complete waste of time.

Your #1 focus, your sole goal should be figuring out how to get people to your property to potentially rent it out.

When you have an abundance of people walking through the door everything else falls into place.

Those little items that you thought needed fixing in the property magically disappear.

The stories you tell yourself about why you can't rent out your property also magically vanish.

When you have a lack of leads to your property somehow you start doubting everything.

You end up doubting the appeal of your home.

You end up doubting that there are good tenants out there.

You end up doubting that you can actually get the rent you're looking for.

You end up over analyzing everything.

And this analyzing chews up productive time that could be spent focusing on increasing the amount of people that come see your property.

That activity is THE ONE THING that takes care of all the others.

It's amazing to see people come up with all sorts of other things to focus their attention on.

It's simply amazing to watch real estate investors spend days analyzing applications by tenants only to decide they're not a good fit for the property.

Or spend days checking credit worthiness and references only to find that when they finally follow-up with the tenant they're no longer interested because they found something else.

Here's how we've applied this concept to our properties:

1. When placing our advertising the one thing we're focused on is getting the phone to ring.  If making the ads on Kijiji and the newspaper look pretty increase results then we'll make 'em pretty.  If making the ads look ugly work better then we'll make 'em ugly.  If using a local number to call vs. a toll free number gets more calls then we'll do that.  We're solely focused on getting calls and are willing to track everything to achieve that goal.  We're focused on it and aggressive about it.  We track, monitor and adjust ... in real time.

2. Next, after we get the calls we're focused on the one method to get people to the house.  For us we discovered that calling tenants back very quickly is the best.  Then the day before we have all our appointments at our properties we do reminder calls AND emails with a map to all of them even if we spoke them very recently.  That's the one thing that gets more people out.

3. Then when we're at the property we focus on exactly how to make the property shine.  Turn on all the lights, shovel the driveway, remove any clutter etc.

4. Next, when people arrive our SOLE GOAL is to get as many people as possible to fill out an application.  Anything else is a waste of our time.  So we've tested all sorts of ways to communicate with people to get this done efficiently.  Too often investors feel their doing the right thing by showing the property and that's their ultimate goal ... to go to the property to show it.  That's wrong.  Your ONE GOAL should be to get applications for your property.  And if you're not getting them then you need to break down what you're doing and adjust.

5. After we get interest in the property via an application the next ONE THING becomes collecting some sort of deposit on the property and we do everything possible to do it as soon as humanly possible.  Time is money in more ways than one.

6. After that we set the date to sign leases as soon as possible and use the limited time in between to check credit, references etc.

So each step along the one has the ONE THING that is important to us.

But here's the important part.

All of this breaks down if you don't get Step #1 right.

If your ads don't generate tenants calls for you everything else breaks down.

So that's the one thing that trumps all the others.

Too often we see investors spend countless hours working with a tenant who is a very weak candidate instead of spending the same time fixing their lead flow issue at Step #1.

Fix Step #1 and you'll have more tenants to choose from.

If they had more people flowing through their process each of the other steps gets easier.

Make sense?

And this applies to everything.

It applies to investing, real estate, business building ... everything.

There's always one thing that you need to focus on.

It's up to you to find it ... that's where the money is made.

A great mentor of ours, Dan S. Kennedy, taught us this concept and we've profited handsomely from following it.

Now it's your turn 🙂

Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!


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0 comments on “The Importance of THE ONE THING in Real Estate”

  1. Great post Tom. I just posted an ad myself on Kijiji Sunday night and have a lease and last month's rent in the bank as of today. When I get an application I don't stop setting up viewings until everything is signed, sealed and delivered. Viewings are done in 15 minute intervals and I follow your lead and always confirm appointments the day of the viewing.
    Thanks for sharing everything that you do! I always learn a lot from you guys!

  2. Hey guys another great article.
    It's amazing how you break down the steps
    to make it as easy as possible for the investors.

  3. You sign leases before checking references/credit? Do that step the other way around but everything else is good advice.

  4. We take a deposit (refundable) before we spend time checking credit. We sign leases after checking.

  5. Great post Tom!! i love how you break it all down in simple steps and explain why.
    I learned these very important steps from my Coach Leslie and it is the right way to do it as the prospects get antsy and start looking else where if they think you are taking too long especially with the credit check.

    I need a quicker way to get the credit check analyzed as its like reading Chinese to me. Broker takes 48 hours so I need a quicker option... Any tips or suggestions?? Thanks!!

  6. Julie. I am not sure where you get your credit checks done but mine are processed instantly so it is just a matter of reading the report and making a decision. If this is the same for you might want to get your provider to explain the ratings and scoring. Generally you want to see R1s and I1s (paying on time) on the report. Once you learn to read the credit report it really depends on how much risk you are willing to take. Hope I did not cause more confusion. Good luck!

  7. Thanks Tom ! Exactly what I needed - I just spend $ getting paint done in on of my properties rather than focusing on generating more leads. Thanks for getting me to focus on the imp. thing.

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