In yesterday's blog post I introduced a major issue we are facing that I call "time vampires" – they're the people in your life who are taking up a lot of your time. I call them time vampires because they are sucking away your time and your potential money-making ability by simply yakking with you on the phone or wasting your time with extra-long emails.
Time vampires will cost you money! And maybe even kill your dreams.
I can't put this any clearer (and this part might offend you)... Time vampires will cost you money. Plain and simple. If you take one hour to do a "normal deal" in which you earn $1,000, and then you work with a time vampire on a second deal $1,000 (but the deal took two hours), then that time vampire cost you $500 an hour. It's as if their time-sucking fangs reached into your wallet and sucked $500 an hour out of it.
Okay, so those are just example numbers and maybe you take a different amount of time to make a different amount of money... but you get the idea, right? Every moment that a time vampire spends with you is a money-losing moment.
Remove the time vampires from your life to earn more money
You need to remove time vampires from your life in order to earn more money. You need to put an end to OTHER PEOPLE hijacking your time and sucking away the potential profit from it. You need to take control of your time (and in doing so, you'll help to take control of your potential earnings)… taking control back from those who unconsciously burn your precious time. (Truth is, it may be a great friend or family member).
Before I talk about HOW to do it, I want to handle some of the objections you're feeling...
Now let's talk about some of the objections
You might say: "But DM, these people are important to my business."
And I would reply: "No they aren't... because they are not as interested in doing business with you as they are in wasting your time. The problem is, they don’t realize it and neither do you." A good way to see if they are important to your business is simple: Look at how much money they have made you over the last 30 days. If it’s goose egg (ZERO dollars) then they are not important... they are time vampires.
You might say: "But DM, if a buyer wants to talk, I'll happily listen to build a relationship."
And I would reply: "Relationships ARE essential for real estate investing success. But you can build relationships without meeting face to face at a coffee shop (which is key and how I can travel the world while still being The DM)." You see, many wannabe investors don’t understand: It’s not just a meeting… You have to drive there, you have to drive home, you could get discouraged, etc… too many things can happen and at the end of the day if this is YOU, you are working in your business not on your business.
You might say: "How do I know if someone is using my time wisely or wasting my time?"
And I would reply: "We live in a technologically advanced world where most things can be done via email, video, chat You should be able to handle most relationship building in a few minutes per person IF they are serious buyers and you are working together on a specific deal. Otherwise, build a relationship with a group of people via a tool like an autoresponder. And or doing webinars, where you can communicate with a large scale of people but make it feel personable."
You might say: "But DM, these people are my friends."
And I would reply: "My buyers and investors are my friends too. And I invest time to build a relationship with them as I've described (through autoresponders). But I want to spend most of my time with my close friends and family, and with Deena my fiance, travelling the world – so I manage my time and minimize how much I spend with other people." Let me be very clear here: I’d rather be sitting in Maui sipping a Mai Tai than going to meet a potential buyer who could be wasting my time. How about you?
How to reduce or eliminate the time vampires in your life
The good news is, you don't have to be cold-hearted about reducing the time vampires in your life. Here are some ways to do lock out time vampires:
- Make sure you have an autoresponder system in place to direct people. Make this the best known, most advertised, and easiest way for people to get in touch with you. Take your phone number off of your advertisements (or redirect your phone number to an assistant or voicemail... NOT to your own phone).
- If people do ask to meet you face to face, decide whether or not it's worth your time. If meeting face to face is a good use of your time and will move your business forward then consider it… but make sure that you meet at a location that doesn't require you to spend a ton of time on the road. After all, you're a busy real estate investor who is swamped with deals, right? (If you're not yet, you probably want to be so make sure you take that approach to how you manage your time!). Have them COME TO YOU! This is key. Make it convenient for you! And go to the meeting if you decide with you walking away with money or a deal or both. (I will not go to a meeting EVER unless I have 100% intentions of walking away with cash or a deal if not both).
- Keep phone calls to a minimum. (It always shocks people to discover just how many deals I do each year WITHOUT PICKING UP MY PHONE. I'm always travelling and only my most exclusive inner circle can get in touch (and even then we rarely talk). I don't want to be an investor with my phone glued to my ear… and neither should you). While traveling out of the country I don’t even have a phone. All I have is email and Skype. Rest assured it forces you to manage your time and contacts at a higher level.
- If your time vampires are your friends who "pop by your office to hang out" then have a friendly heart-to-heart chat with them. There's a good chance that they simply have no idea how you spend your time and how valuable it is. Tell them honestly that you appreciate their friendship but you have to set aside specific working hours to focus on your business. Your true friends will understand. If not well... I’d assume they are broke and have nothing going on. (I'm not being mean here, but telling you what I personally experienced when I went through a DETOX of Time Vampires.)
One more note just to make sure that you fully understand: I'm not suggesting that you become a reclusive hermit. Heck, a friend of mine dropped by Starbucks a couple of days ago and we spent a couple hours together... because I chose to, not because he just sat there and I lacked the guts to kick him out. I'm not suggesting that you cut off all communication with people. And there might be times in your real estate investing business when you need to talk to people on the phone or face to face.
But what I want to instill in you is the importance of the value of your time… we only have so much in our lives and we only have so much each day. If you want to be successful, you have to relentlessly guard your time and make sure that you are always in full control of it, spending it in the best way possible. And one way that you can easily capture more time each day is by identifying the time vampires that suck away the hours and potential profit from your life.
Your time-sensitive :) friend and mentor,
Mark Evans DM, DN