As a busy mom with parenting responsibilities, household chores, and professional obligations, certain opportunities can feel impossible or out of reach. Real estate investing is one of them. It’s often geared toward men and/or single professionals without families.
But do you want to know the truth? You can do it, too. You simply need a plan.
Why Invest in Real Estate?
Real estate investing isn’t just for the elite or full-time professional. It’s something everyone can and should get involved with. In doing so, you’ll diversify your financial portfolio and benefit from a passive stream of income that pays you consistently over time.
The biggest knock against real estate investing – particularly with rental properties – is that it’s time-consuming. And while this can be true, there are plenty of ways to streamline an investment and make it totally hands-off.
If you learn how to do it properly, you can build a real estate portfolio and be a hands-on mom for your children.
7 Tips for Streamlining Your Investments
The absolute best way to automate your duties as a landlord is to hand everything off to a local property management company. But if you’re looking to go another route, we suggest leveraging these useful tips:
- Do Video Walkthroughs
While landlords certainly took a hit in 2020, there are some small positives coming out of it. One beneficial trend is the normalization and acceptance of video walkthroughs in lieu of physical walkthroughs. Even after social distancing rules are relaxed, you can still conduct video walkthroughs as a way of saving time.
- Move to the Cloud
Disorganization is one of the biggest pain points for landlords. You can waste a lot of time looking for papers and tracking down files. One of the best things you can do is move everything over to the cloud. (Google Drive is an easy and convenient option.) Organize your documents by property and tenant. Then whenever you need anything, it’s accessible on any device.
- Create and Store Templates
There are certain documents that you use over and over again with your rental properties. There’s no sense in having to draft up a brand new document every time (or go looking for one online). Instead, create and store templates in your cloud drive. This is especially important for contracts, as well as notices for rent increases, non-renewals, intent to enter, violation of terms, late payments, and even evictions.
- Have These Folks on Speed Dial
There are a handful of people you need to have on speed dial at any given time. This includes a handyman, accountant, insurance professional, and lawyer. When you already have these relationships (and numbers), it makes it much easier to put out small fires quickly.
- Collect Rent Online
Rent collection is one of the stickiest parts of being a landlord. But you can reduce most of the friction that occurs here by collecting payments online. You could even offer a discount for those who set up automatic payments. (This dramatically increases the chances of getting paid on time, which cuts down on time-consuming back-and-forth discussions.)
- Involve Your Kids
As your kids get older, they can actually help you manage your properties. Not only does this give you an extra set of hands, but it also teaches your children work ethic and practical business skills. (Imagine how much further along you’d be right now if you had a parent teach you the ins and outs of real estate investing when you were 10- or 15-years-old.) Identify and assign age-appropriate tasks, including data entry, cleaning, basic maintenance, and even accounting.
- Set Hours
Be up-front and honest with your tenants. Let them know that you’re a mom with kids (and you’re only human). Set the expectation upfront that you have specific business hours where you’re reachable. And while you can always be reached in an emergency, you won’t be reachable for other requests during your off hours.
You’ll have to decide which times work for your schedule, but it might be the hours your kids are in school, plus an hour or two on the weekends.
You’ve Got This, Superwoman!
Nobody said life would be easy as a working mom. But with new technology, changing social expectations, and emerging opportunities in the industry, it’s now possible for any mom to dabble in real estate investing without missing a beat at home. Hire a property management company and/or use the tips outlined above to make it happen!