I have personally been very successful in real estate investing and I am extremely organized. I must say, I do know successful people that are not organized, but in general, highly organized people tend to be more successful than others. Those successful people that are not organized tend to hire organized people to keep them organized.
Organized the Old Fashion Way
Back in the 1990’s I use to make paper lists of things I needed to do each day. I also kept a calendar and I was excellent at showing up on time. Buying properties at a foreclosure sale in Massachusetts meant you needed to show up in front of the property before the auction began. That way you could do an exterior inspection of the property prior to bidding. Each Sunday I would cut out foreclosure sale ads in the local newspaper and tape them to a page in a notebook. Each page represented a day and each foreclosure ad was organized by time. I typically had multiply foreclosure sales at the same time, so each morning I would call the auctioneer to find out which one was scheduled to go to auction and which was were cancelled or postponed. In the early 1990’s we did not have iPhones or Android phones with organizer apps, so we had to do things with paper calendars, notebooks and index cards.
Showing Up Late = Lost Opportunity
Showing up late for an auction could mean you miss a deal, which translates to lost opportunity. Showing up on time was extremely important. In the early 1990’s there were so many foreclosure sales in the Boston area that sometimes I would show up and be the only bidder. If you showed up five minutes late, you could lose a potential deal. In order to show up on time, you need to calculate worst case scenario for traffic at that hour, parking and road conditions. Since I left a buffer for traffic and parking, I typically showed up early, since the traffic and/or parking was typically lighter than the worst-case scenario. So, if an auction is a 15-minute drive, I may add 15 more minutes for traffic and another 15 minutes for finding parking, since city parking can be tough to find. If it was snowing that day, I may add another 15 minutes to my drive time. Showing up on time ended up being profitable, since some people did not show up on time, therefore, I sometimes did not have much competition at the foreclosure sale.
iPhone & iPad Organizer or Project Management App
Most people either keep their iPhone or iPad on them while doing business, therefore, staying organized is easy with a good organizer or project management app. In 2011 I was frustrated with the iPhone apps on the market, so I designed InFocus Pro. Not only did I design InFocus Pro, but I also use it for running my businesses, personal life, organizing tax return filings for multiple companies, daily to-do’s, scheduling and notes. I have designed the app so it is versatile, yet simple to use. For example, for a quick daily to-do list, I like using the Checklist module. It is designed for quick entry and allows for manually re-ordering of the to-do’s. For my errands, I use the Projects module, which allows for to-do’s and notes. In the Projects Module, I make one Project called “Errands”, then I make subfolder for each store I go to. Inside the subfolder there are to-do’s and notes. Each to-do is an item, for example, food in the super market. I set up the to-do’s date for something way in the future, that way it does not show up on the To Do module. While I’m at home, as I get close to running low on things, I add them to my Projects Errands store list. I know friends that go to the supermarket only to find out that they forgot something, then need to go back again that week. I never forget anything, so I don’t waste time going back. A business example would be making a list of things needed at Home Depot for the property renovation. Being productive with my time allows me to concentrate on things I need to get done without wasting additional time for things I forgot. I would attribute being organized with success, since it leaves me more time to focus and get things done. There are good iPhone and iPad organize apps on the market, so I would recommend finding one you like to help you stay organized.
I believe that being organized has contributed to my success in real estate investing. I strongly believe that if I was disorganized I would not be as successful as I am now. I also believe there is more to being successful in business than just being organized. Being organized and using an organizational tool helps contribute to success, but it is not the only ingredient to become successful in business.