DIY Projects To PrioritizeBy Paul Esajian on July 12, 2019
It is human nature to try to save a buck whenever and wherever possible. However, it is important to pick and choose your battles wisely. Doing a task that you aren’t necessarily qualified for can make the task much more expensive and time consuming. Where you might think you are doing the right thing you are actually making it worse.
Even if you are qualified to do the task you need to ask yourself if it is the best use of your time. Spending most of your day focusing on one task will leave you deficient in other areas. Where you think you are being productive, it may really be fools gold. Here are five tasks that you should consider outsourcing whenever possible.
- Accounting: There isn’t much a self-employed business owner dreads more than tax time. Even if you have made periodic payments, getting things in order to file can be a monumental task. It is not a stretch to say that preparing your taxes yourself can dominate your business for weeks on end. You will look for statements, receipts, forms and a handful of other necessary items. Your business will almost come to a screeching halt in the weeks preceding your filing. It almost always makes sense to take advantage of a quality accountant. Not only does an accountant save you weeks of headache, but they also offer an additional layer of protection. Instead of guessing if your tax return is up to code, your can lean on your accountant. Additionally, they are helpful in many areas throughout the year as well. Knowing the best places to park your money and what areas you should avoid can literally save you thousands of dollars.
- Electrical Items: If you own a rental property you know that there are always unexpected maintenance items popping up. Everything from clogged toilets to broken dishwashers are the norm rather than the exception. Simple items like the toilet or even changing a lock shouldn’t be too much of a problem. In most cases, all these will cost you is a couple bucks and usually less than an hour of your time. It is the large-scale fixes you should think twice about. Even if you are handy, it doesn’t mean you should tackle electrical work. All it takes is one false move to create a problem that could potentially be catastrophic. Anything from changing items on the fuse box to hanging a ceiling fan can be a big issue if you are a novice electrician. You may be able to put a band-aid on the issue, but you may just be hiding bigger problems down the road. A licensed, certified electrician will take any guesswork out of the repair. Instead of hoping that you did something right, your electrician knows for certain. There is a big difference between painting a couple of rooms in a rental and repairing the outlets. Anything electrical should be passed along to a professional.
- Marketing Materials: It is not enough to simply send out some emails, letters or postcards and expect your phone to ring. With all the competition for leads, it is usually the little things that make the biggest difference. If you are just starting out, you can certainly handle the lions share of the work with a direct mail campaign. Mundane tasks like stuffing or writing out envelopes is part of growing your business. However, it is essential that the items you send out are eye-popping and can attract attention. If you do not have a way with words you are better off outsource the copywriting for your marketing pieces. Copywriting won’t break the bank but will help give you a leg up on your competition. Getting ten more calls can help generate two solid leads, where one turns into a real deal. Your goal isn’t to say you did a direct mail campaign. Your goal is to attract leads. Always consider using someone that can help produce sharp marketing materials.
- Website Design: Every real estate investor should have a dedicated business website. Even if you only close one or two deals a year, you should have a website to funnel your marketing towards. Website design has become much more affordable over the years depending on what you want to do. Your site doesn’t need to be high end with dozens of pages and top of the line graphics. Usually just a few pages are enough if the look and layout are sharp. Here is where a professional website designer is worth every penny. Just a few subtle professional changes can turn a boring, outdated site into something people want to find every day. As is the case with marketing your goal isn’t to just have a website, but rather to get something out of it. Spending just a few more bucks on a professional design can yield more traffic and ultimately more deals.
- Rental Property Cleaning: Move in and out are some of the most difficult times for a rental property owner. As you conduct your showings it is essential that the property looks as good as possible. There is often a big difference in how you perceive clean and how your prospective tenants do. You very well do a decent job of cleaning the property, but it won’t be the same as professionally cleaned. For a few hundred dollars once a year your property will have that clean and sparkling look. This will help retain good tenants or increase demand and fill a vacancy.
Picking and choosing your expense battles is always an important part of running any business. Saving money doing certain items yourself isn’t always the best move you can make.