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Other People’s Time

Other People's Time is Like Other People's Money

By: Alan Brymer

Money and time have a few things in common. Both are required to be successful in real estate, but everyone’s personal supply of both has its limits. Fortunately, you can use OPT (Other People’s Time) in real estate just as you can use OPM (Other People’s Money) in order to do more deals and avoid being a slave to your business.

When we hear about real estate deals that don’t require any money, it usually means that money is needed to do the deals, but that money comes from private lenders, from the sellers, or from buyers. Money makes the world go ‘round, and it’s almost always necessary to use at least a little bit in order to buy and sell a house retail (not wholesaling), unless you are particularly skilled at finding houses in perfect condition and matching them with a ready, willing, and able owner-occupant buyer and having a simultaneous closing.

But again, when you do have to use money for deals (catching up payments, paying the seller, repairs, closing costs, monthly payments, and advertising costs) it doesn’t have to come from your hard-earned savings. You can use OPM from a private lender or partner.

Using other people’s time is the same way, in fact even more so. If you think you have a short supply of money, you have an even shorter supply of time. Time is something that you can’t make any more of. It is the one thing that broke people and multi-millionaires alike gripe about not having enough of. There is a maximum number of hours you are able to work week after week before you get ill, shut down, or go crazy. And the number of hours you desire to work each week is probably much, much smaller than that.

But being a real estate entrepreneur requires time spent. Although the time spent is a heck of a lot less if you’re smart and don’t do things like doing repairs yourself, I’ve yet to find an investor that doesn’t have to put in at least a few hours per week to do deals, or at least supervise the process. If you have a full-time job somewhere else, even a few extra hours per week spent on real estate can be a major nuisance to your family. And, as I’ve learned from networking with investors over the years, they usually spend much more time on real estate each week than a few hours—driving around with their cell phones glued to their ears, forever talking, talking, talking.

So what is the solution? Many investors wish they could get rid of their full-time jobs so they would have more time to pursue real estate deals. That is one way of increasing the hours that you have available. But, I guarantee you that nine times out of ten, the investors who do this end up working almost as much as they used to, with most of their new found time spent finding new ways to be busy. The human mind hates a vacuum, so whenever we have a space of free time we usually race to find something new to fill it with.

The only real solution for not having enough time is the same as the solution for not having enough money—use someone else's. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to find someone who is willing to give you their time than it is to find someone who will give you their money. And, what you pay for OPT is usually a heck of a lot less than we’re using to paying people for the use of their money.

Almost everything you do as an investor can be done by someone who is working for you. The challenge is finding the right people, training them well enough, and staying on top of things. Once you master these skills, you can multiply the number of hours available to do deals every week and accomplish more than you were physically or emotionally capable of doing alone. Plus, you now have the added benefit of getting work done without the rigors of having to do much of it yourself anymore.

So, the big secret to having more time is to make a list of everything you do to make money in real estate (hang signs, run ads, inspect houses, make calls, check emails, talk with buyers, run errands, etc) and ask yourself, "Which of these things should someone else be doing for me?" Once you have the list of tasks, the next step is to hire someone to take the workload off of your back and put it onto theirs. When you have done this, it will amaze you how much more productive you can be, how many more deals you can do, and how much closer you have come to having the income and the lifestyle that made us want to get started as real estate entrepreneurs in the first place.


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Alan Brymer is has been a full-time investor since his first property at the age of 22. His investment company was named by the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum as one of the “Top 25 Companies Under Five Years Old.” He is currently a speaker at seminars and events, as well as an avid writer and blogger. Alan is also a frequent guest expert for the news media, having been featured on multiple television programs as a real estate expert and published in 11 magazines nationwide.

To read more of Alan's articles and blog, go to www.AlanBrymer.com

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