Over on our Rev N You website I posted an article about 4 Must Have Business Systems for Real Estate Investors … I covered the big things around the team, filing, property management and marketing but there is SO much to cover in this subject that I wanted to add a secondary spot where I thought we could all share our MUST HAVE business systems. We aren’t very fancy or high tech with how we run our business – spreadsheets and simple services like constant contact are mainstays in our business … but we know there are a lot of investors out there that LOVE the latest & greatest systems and processes for marketing, managing and money collection.
First I will tell you ours … but I hope you share yours in the comments!!
The other 3 important systems – all marketing specific – we put into place to make our life as real estate investors much easier.
1. A phone service where the number can forward to us if we want to take the call or forward to a voicemail so we don’t get disturbed at all hours. If you use your cell phone for ads expect to have your personal life and personal time disappear very quickly. Companies like Evoice and Network Telsys have good, inexpensive systems.
2. A spreadsheet that tracks WHERE people found your ad. This is especially important if you’re paying for any advertising. Track the results all the way through to determine who you end up renting to. By doing this, for example, we found that while we received a lot of calls from Craigslist all our renters actually came from Kijiji and none of them came from the local paper. Now we know where to put our time and money when we’re advertising.
3. An educational website for our rent to own business to minimize the time we spend training our prospective tenants on how our program works. We funnel all leads through that website and it significantly increases the quality of candidates that contact us and reduces the time we spend educating them. Now when a candidate walks through the door we can get right down to whether they are a good fit for us and whether they qualify.
We don’t use any software programs for our real estate business except Constant Contact for emailing the rent to own prospects and a simple online system for the forms we have on our website for sellers and tenants. We also don’t use anything fancier than Excel and Quickbooks for our budgeting, renovation expense tracking and financial reporting. We also use a great spreadsheet Dave created for ROI calculations, JV structuring and financing calculations. Our spreadsheets work, don’t cost us monthly fees, and actually provide us with a lot of flexibility while keeping things simple. All traits we like. Doesn’t mean it’s the best way – but it’s a good way for us.
And of course, now that I have an iPhone and an iPad and our office is all set up virtually (like I discussed in 4 Must Have Business Systems for Real Estate Investors) we can handle almost anything from anywhere … kinda cool. I’m pretty sure that’s an entire blog post on it’s own – the mobile real estate investor.
So … tell me … we’re kind of basic around here. What are YOUR must have systems for running your real estate business?