Personal Development

Personal Development, Productivity, Virtual Assistants

The Stress Free Guide to Working ON Instead of IN Your Real Estate Business

The Stress Free Guide to Working
ON Instead of IN Your Real Estate Business

What was it that made you first fall in love with real estate?

Think back to when you first fell in love with real estate…

  • What was it about real estate that made your heart go pitter-patter?

  • What was the pivotal point that caused you to make a career change?

  • What initially excited you about becoming a real estate entrepreneur?

Whatever it was that made you first fall in love, it’s not unusual to “lose that loving feeling” if your business takes a turn and it feels like it’s running you, instead of vice versa.

In other words, you’ve become so consumed with the day-to-day minutia of being a business owner (admin, paperwork, dealing with dead-end leads, managing staff, dealing with unruly vendors, etc.) that the business starts to swallow you up and spit you out.

This feeling is often the precursor to a plateau in productivity… and profits. Not to mention, it spills over into your personal life, and can affect how you relate with family and friends.

So, I’m going to share with you what I consider to be the ultimate guide to alleviate some of that business fatigue you’re experiencing so you can start working ON instead of IN your business and get back that loving feeling.

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece Through Meditation

Meditation can positively impact every aspect of your life. 

Let’s start with how to get off the roller coaster of ups and downs you may experience on a daily basis in your real estate business. The highly admired coach, John Wooden, once said “make each day your masterpiece.”

So here’s some tips to help you do just that.

Meditate every morning. I suggest before you get in the hustle and bustle of your day, take at least 5 minutes, relax, and just – be still. That doesn’t mean you have to try to struggle to turn all the thoughts off in your head (which usually only results in more thoughts).

It just means that you sit still, breath and relax – distraction free – before you look at your first email or make your first call. Be present, and meditate.

I know there’s push back from some people about taking time to meditate because they think it’s too esoteric - or they don’t feel it works for them. 

Look, it’s not a coincidence that a growing number of Fortune 500 CEOs are practicing meditation and encouraging meditation in their companies.

Some of the benefits of mediation include:

  • Decreased anxiety, which increases resilience and performance under stress

  • Increased emotional intelligence

  • Enhanced creativity: Your greatest ideas typically occur when your mind is more relaxed and in a quiet space - as opposed to when your mind is going 100 miles a minute, making it hard for creative ideas to break through

  • Helps you focus on the task in front of you

Don’t overthink this. 

In fact, when you’re meditating – do nothing. And, try to make a habit of doing it everyday around the same time. This one thing alone has helped me achieve incredible peace and resilience in my business.

Situations that rattle many real estate entrepreneurs who experience emotional highs and lows, don’t phase me. Trust me. If you’re not already doing it, start meditating tomorrow morning.

Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

Real estate entrepreneurs who are proactive work ON their business, while those who are reactive only work IN their business. 

One way to start working ON instead of IN your business is to become a proactive, instead of a reactive, real estate entrepreneur.

Below are some examples of one vs the other:

Being a Reactive Real Estate Entrepreneur vs. Proactive



  • You get into the office, check your email, and dig into whatever is at the top of your inbox.
  • You plan the night before and you identify the ONE MAIN OBJECTIVE you must accomplish the next day.
  • The path that your day takes depends on who or what needs your attention from the last call you took or email you read.
  • You time-block your day - making sure that your one main objective has a block of uninterrupted time (no calls, emails, social media). And, your day is batched so you know when you’ll answer calls and when you’ll reply to emails.
  • You don’t write down objectives and priorities for the day. Instead you just take the day as it comes.
  • You use task management software to keep track of tasks that you and your staff need to take care of for the day, and the week, to prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.

Figure Out Your ONE THING  Each Day

Focusing on your ONE THING (your lead domino) makes the other dominoes behind it fall effortlessly. 

Part of being a proactive real estate entrepreneur who doesn’t have your head on a swivel is knowing your dominoes. Let me explain.

At the end of each business day, you should identify your “lead domino” that will be your focus for the next day.

Lead domino refers to the idea of focusing on the ONE objective or task that will make everything else simpler in your business (hence push down the first domino and the other dominoes behind it will fall effortlessly).

This concept is coined by Gary Keller, author of “The One Thing.” He suggests that no matter how success is measured, personal or professional, only the ability to dismiss distractions and concentrate on your ONE thing stands between you and your goals.

Then you MUST time-block your most important work and avoid distractions during that time at all costs.

If you do do this, amazing things will start happening because your concentrated efforts are pushing your ultimate goal forward as opposed to your energies being dispersed in a multitude of activities, that make it feel like you’re running in place.

"Success is sequential, not simultaneous. It’s one step at a time. ONE Thing
at a time. It’s not your one and only thing. It’s the ONE Thing right now."
– Gary Keller

Use Task Management Tools To Help You And Your Team Stay Focused

Task management tools keep you and your team focused and more productive.

There is no one size fits all task management tool.

But, you absolutely must be documenting tasks that need to be accomplished by you and your staff along, with deadlines.

If you’re just relying on memory, it’s not a matter of if, but when, something falls through the cracks – potentially costing you a lot of time and money.

One of my task management tool of choice is

Below I've provided 3 suggestions on how you can use this tool, or a similar tool, in your real estate business to be most effective.

  • Like I mentioned before, determine what your ONE THING is at the end of each business day, which will be your main objective for the next day. In your task management tool, write that down and block off undisturbed time that will be dedicated to that activity the next day.
  • If you have a virtual assistant or local staff, make sure they’re also connected to your task management software. 
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    Think about the tasks you need them to do the day prior - or even several days in advance - and assign those tasks in the software. This is another way to keep you ahead of the curve because you’re taking time to think about your business proactively instead of waiting until you’re consumed in it, which makes it more challenging to think “bigger picture.”

Also, whether you use a task management tool or some other method, you should find a way to keep that ONE thing in front of you at all times during your work day.

Maybe you type out that activity and make it a screensaver on your phone or computer. Or, you write it on an obstructive sticky note that you’d have to physically move in order to get anything else done.

You need to have horse blinders on so that if by chance you do get distracted, you’ll have something to help you hit the reset button and get back on course.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!

If You Want To Sell More Real Estate, You Have To Learn To Delegate!

Effective delegation eliminates burnout and makes you more productive.

A large part of the burnout you may be feeling in your business is because you’ve got too much on your plate.

There’s a lot of moving pieces in your business, so when you have to be the chef, the server and the host – it’s eventually going to wear on you.

I know we’re talking about real estate investing, but I’m a foodie and the same concept applies.

One surefire way to alleviate some of that pressure is to delegate. 

If you have a virtual assistant or local staff, make sure to delegate tasks that: (1) aren’t revenue generating, or (2) you don’t enjoy doing. 

You didn’t get in business for yourself to do $10/hr tasks, or to operate a business doing activities you don’t like.


If you have staff, even if it’s just one person, reorganize your to-do list RIGHT NOW so you’re only doing the tasks YOU should be doing.

But, what if you don’t have staff and you’re a solopreneur?

If you’re solo in the biz, the first person you should hire in your real estate business is a real estate assistant. You can hire someone local or use a virtual assistant (VA). 

A VA is a remote person that works from home so they’re typically much more affordable and don’t require the extra overhead of someone local. I’ve had a great experience using virtual real assistants since 2008, so I’ll dig a little deeper on that...

Your virtual real assistant will provide you support with all your day to day routine tasks including deal coordination, handling phone calls, and taking over admin paperwork, in order to save you substantial time and money.

Over time this person can also become your right hand, and quite honestly completely change your real estate business. 

A virtual assistant will create efficiencies in your organization that make you more profitable and free up your time and mental space to focus on high revenue generating activities – or just allow you to have more free time with your family.

Flying solo may be fine initially – but in order to really soar financially, and to avoid crashing from overwhelm – you should seriously consider hiring a real estate assistant.

So What's Next? 

Now that we’ve discussed a few ways for you to fall back in love with your real estate business by using some strategies and tools to help you work ON instead of IN your business – it’s time for you to take action.

Here’s a quick recap of my suggestions:

  • Meditate – Try meditating a few minutes a day each morning before you get into your day. It will only get easier over time and the results are priceless.

  • Pre-Planning – Be proactive instead of reactive, and plan for tomorrow the day before. Determine your ONE thing that you need to focus on that will make everything else easier or unnecessary. And then be militant with the time you block off for that ONE thing each day. This little bit of distraction-free time along with your intent focus on one activity designed to push you closer to your objective, will pay off in a big way toward helping you achieve your goal.

  • Use Task Management Tools – You’ve got too much going on in a day to rely on your memory to keep everything straight. The more “stuff” you can take out of your head, the less stress you’ll experience. Use tools to help you keep track of daily tasks and to assign tasks to your staff.

  • DEL-E-GATE – Start delegating all tasks that aren’t generating revenue or aren’t on your love-to-do list. If delegating means hiring someone, then make a point to hire a real estate assistant as soon as you can. Bonus points if you hire a virtual assistant!

If you put to use these strategies I mentioned, they'll have a tremendous impact on eliminating stress and helping you run a real estate business that you love!

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!

Personal Development, Productivity

7 Keys to Automating and Scaling Your Real Estate Business Using Virtual Assistants

7 Keys to Automating and Scaling Your

Real Estate Business Using Virtual Assistants


Are you an agent, wholesaler, fix-and-flipper, landlord, or property manager that wants to have a more profitable business, but you don’t know how without your business consuming you even more than it already has?

Or, maybe when you first started your real estate business, you had visions of it supporting the lifestyle you want – more time with family, flexibility to take vacations, and not answering to a boss...

... but instead, it feels like you’ve created a JOB that demands all of your attention.

And on top of that, if you decided to take a vacation, your business would come to a screeching halt!

If I’ve just described you, then I’d like you to consider the possibility of what having a virtual assistant (VA) on your team can do for you and your business.

Even if you’ve tried working with a VA before and didn’t get the results you wanted because you didn’t know how to train them, manage them, or use their services most effectively…I want to encourage to keep reading.

I know first hand as a real estate entrepreneur that’s brokered, fixed and flipped, and wholesaled nearly 1,000 homes since 2003 – that it’s easy for us to get bogged down with the day-to-day activities that we feel MUST get done to move the needle forward in our businesses.

But, I made a decision back in 2009 that I wanted to run my company around the lifestyle that I choose. Which meant my real estate business had to…

  • Operate smoothly and not skip a beat – even if I decided to leave on vacation for a week.
  • Allow me to only focus on activities I enjoy – like structuring deals.
  • Be free of ADMINISTRATIVE PURGATORY – no more dealing with a bunch of paperwork.
  • Produce results without a big local staff – I’ve been there, done that and got the battle scars from having a large payroll.

With that being said, the purpose of this article is to share with you (based on close to a decade of experience working with virtual assistants) what I consider to be the 7 keys to working with virtual assistants that will

automate your business, scale your profits, and help you close more deals
 – while providing you with significantly more free time.

But before we get into the nut’s and bolts, I’ve got a few questions for you …

Does This Sound Like You?

  • You’re frustrated doing tedious, routine tasks and fulfilling roles in your business that are better suited for someone else because they’re not the highest and best use of your time and aren’t revenue generating activities. -
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    The fact that you’re having to do everything sometimes leads to burnout because you’re wearing too many hats.
  • You need help in your real estate business but you think it will be too costly to hire someone full or part time. Plus, you don't want to take on the overhead costs needed for office space.
  • You’re a business owner – who’s owned by your business.  Meaning, your business wouldn’t survive if you were away for a week on vacation…And you’re looking to scale and increase profits, but you’re the bottleneck in your business that’s holding back your growth.
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    You'd like to scale and increase profits, but you’re the bottleneck that’s preventing growth, because EVERYTHING has to go through you to get done.

If you can relate to any of those scenarios, not only will you benefit from having a virtual assistant – but also, NOT having a virtual assistant could actually be COSTING you money. By the end of this article you’ll understand how.

Your 7 Keys to Success

Your 7 keys to success in using virtual assistants fall under 4 stages: hiring, training, managing, and scaling.

I’ll share the things you need to know in each stage that’ll help get the best results when using virtual assistants to help automate your business, scale your profits, and close more deals – while having significantly more free time.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!


KEY #1 – Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Here’s a big idea I need to stress to you…

Virtual assistants aren’t like elastic-waist sweatpants where one size fits all.

Virtual assistants aren't one-size fits all. 

If you’re looking to hire a VA to be a jack-of-all trades in your business, you’re setting the VA and yourself up for failure.

What I mean is, sometimes when people hire virtual assistants they think they can dump a huge lists of of unrelated tasks on the VA all at once in an effort to get things done.

So, you might see a real estate entrepreneurs give a VA instructions that include answering the phone, following up with sellers, designing flyers, setting up a WordPress site and bookkeeping.

The problem is when you put that many items on one VA’s plate, something is bound to fall through the cracks. Also, the likelihood that your VA is proficient in all of those activities isn’t great.

That means you’ll get back work that doesn’t meet your expectations because you’ve spread your VA too thin in too many diverse areas.

Instead, you should have your VAs focus on certain aspects of your business that they’re proficient.

Then, if you need help in other areas of your business – for instance building a real estate WordPress site – you’ll hire another VA that specializes in that, and let your current VAs focus on what they do best in your business.

By taking this approach you’ll see a significant difference in the results your virtual assistant provides - and you’ll avoid burning out your VAs – which ultimately affects their performance.

KEY #2 –  The ONE Person You MUST Have On Your Team 

There are a number of different types of virtual assistants you can use based on what line of business you’re in or what you’re trying to accomplish in your real estate business.

For instance, you can hire VAs specifically for marketing, for bookkeeping, to build websites… the list goes on.

However, if you only hired one person in your real estate business, I HIGHLY recommend that be a Real Estate Assistant (REA).

A real estate virtual assistant can dramatically change your business.

You’ll see the most immediate impact from hiring a REA because he/she will free your time by allowing you to remove and delegate routine tasks.

Routine tasks such as dealing with admin paperwork, following up with agents and title companies, and taking general phone calls are the types of tasks that zap you of your mental energy and prevent you from being as financially productive as you could be.

This person can become your right hand, and can quite honestly completely change your business because he/she will create efficiencies in your business that will free up your time and mental space to focus on revenue generating activities...

 ..or just to have more free time to yourself and your family.

Before I had my VA, there was no way I could go on a vacation and trust that the details of my real estate deals were still being tended to. Once you have a trusted VA in that position it’s a game changer because you can start to work ON instead of IN your business.

KEY #3 –  Why the Process To Hire A Virtual Assistant Forces You To 
Become A Better Business Owner

One of the absolutely best bi-products of preparing to hire a VA is that it FORCES you to be a better business owner.

Here’s what I mean…

When you’re preparing to hire a VA, it forces you to establish clarity in your real estate business, to put serious thought into your business needs, and to create systems so you’ll be able to train your VAs to help you.

Working with virtual assistants makes you put a better business owner. 

That means no more flying by the seat of your pants when running your business – which many of us as real estate entrepreneurs have been guilty of.

When you’re operating your real estate business with systems, delegating routine tasks, and focusing on the tasks that you enjoy most and that have the greatest impact on your bottom line…

…Your business has no choice but to grow exponentially.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!


KEY #4 –  Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

Ben Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.“

Here’s some very important advice that I can’t stress enough…

You shouldn’t assume your virtual assistant comes “out the box – ready to use” from day one.

Don't assume virtual assistants come "out-the-box ready to use" from day one.

Taking the time to properly train your VA about your business and systems is the most valuable time you’ll spend with him/her.

Spending that time manages expectations and sets your VA, and your business up for success.

The real estate entrepreneurs that have the greatest challenges and wind up with a revolving door of virtual assistants (which is costly in both money and time), are those people that throw their VAs into the mix from day one without spending any time to train them.

It’s no different than if you hired a new employee locally. You wouldn’t hire someone and expect them to read your mind about what you want done and how you want it done. Right?

Set you and your VA up for success by spending the time at the beginning to train them. That time will have exponential benefits in the short and long term.

KEY #5 –  The Secret Sauce to Properly Training  Virtual Assistants

Ok, so now I’m going to share with you the secret to really making your business run like a well oiled machine.

SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are the secret sauce that will reduce your time spent training, help you maintain a consistent quality of work, and allow you to scale your business.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the secret sauce increasing efficiency and productivity in your real estate business. 

If you’re already familiar with SOPs, that’s great. You’ll need to use them with VAs if you really want long term success.

If this is your intro to SOPs, they're basically the documented processes that a company has in place to ensure services and products are delivered consistently every time.

It’s why chains like McDonald’s are so successful – you know what to expect when going there as a customer, and their employees know what, why and how to operate because they have systems in place to produce predictable results.

Using SOPs is the difference between you running a real estate business with the structure in place needed for you to continuously grow and take time off from your business...


...operating your real estate business on the fly - with your head on a swivel because you’re always reactive instead of proactive about getting things done.

The Benefits of Using  SOPs In Your  Real Estate Business Are: 

  • They create structure in your business activities
  • Make it easier for VAs to do their jobs
  • Your VA doesn’t have to guess how you want a task done
  • Your VA’s can enjoy more predictability in their jobs and hone their skills to raise overall performance
  • Reduces errors or variation so you and your clients know what to expect
  • Give you a reference point to conduct employee reviews
  • Give you the ability to compare performance of employees doing the same tasks
  • Allow you to replicate processes in order to scale up and expand to other markets

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!


KEY #6 –  The ONE THING That Will Ultimately Determine Your Success

If you only remember one thing I say (which I hope you’ll remember much more), please heed this advice…

“Your ability and wiliness to delegate will have a direct correlation with your success as a business owner, with the growth of your business, and your financial freedom.”

Mastering the art of DELEGATION is critical in order for you to effectively manage your virtual staff. If you're unwilling to delegate, you won't reap any of the benefits of having a virtual assistant.

Your ability to delegate has a huge impact in your real estate business. 

Your goal should be to only focus on high revenue generating activities - such as structuring deals and meeting with buyers/sellers - and delegate, delay or skip all other tasks.

The ability to delegate is one of the biggest differences between real estate entrepreneurs who have successful businesses that produce consistent income which don’t require their consistent daily involvement…

…versus people who struggle, living from deal to deal, and who feel like they’re business owns them instead of the other way around.

Think about the reason you decided to become a real estate entrepreneur…

Did you do it to make more money? To have more freedom of time? To leave your 9-5? To really do something you love?

Regardless of your reason, in order to build a sustainable business that you love not only today, but years down the line – you need to automate the parts of your real estate business that you either shouldn’t be doing, don’t know how to do, or don’t enjoy doing.

In order for this to happen you have to stay out of your own way and not become a bottleneck for your business.

Resist the temptation to do it all yourself!

HERE’S ​​​​A HINT:  Determine what your effective hourly rate is when you’re putting together deals.

So, let’s assume your average profit on a real estate deal is $5000. And, let’s say that you typically invest 20 hours in a deal from start to finish. That means your hourly rate when you’re working on deals is $250/hr ($5000 divided by 20 hrs).

Obviously if you make more per transaction, or it takes you less time to work a deal, then your hourly rate would be higher.

That hourly rate that you calculated should become your minimum threshold of whether you should be performing an activity or delegating it.  

In other words, you should be saying to yourself –  “if what I’m about to do right now isn’t worth at least $250/hr, then I need to either delegate it to my VA, delay the activity, or skip it altogether.

Using this approach will keep you focused on the activities that make the most money in your business, get you in the habit of delegating, and make you start earning what you’re worth – which is more than the $10/hr tasks that you've been keeping on your plate.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!


KEY #7 –  Tools You Can Use to Communicate, Automate,
and Delegate Time-Sucking Tasks And Get More Deals Done

If you really want to optimize and scale your business – whether that means making more money by closing more deals, or running a business that frees up your time and needs less of your daily involvement – you’ll need to use some online tools to help you out.

Let’s talk about a few tools to help you operate your real estate business using a virtual staff. These tools will help your business become more efficient and productive - with significantly less overhead.

Viber is one of the game-changing tools that’s allowed me to be twice as productive and focus more on revenue generating tasks since it makes it super easy to communicate and delegate tasks to my virtual staff as well as seamlessly share files in real time.

With Viber, I'm able to communicate with my virtual team - located throughout the world - using video and voice calling as well as text messaging in real time – AND IT’S FREE.

We also use the app to send files (i.e. contracts, purchase documents, etc), pictures (i.e. rehab pics for properties), videos (i.e. property walk-throughs), and we even use Viber like a walkie talkie if we’re not a position to text or call.

Viber also syncs with your mobile, tablet and desktop so you have your messages and files across all your devices.

Todoist is one of my secret weapons that I use to manage my entire staff (both local and virtual) for less than the cost of a steak dinner (currently it cost around $30/user – that’s not a monthly cost – THAT’S FOR A YEAR!). This tool helps you maximize productivity by giving you the ability to see all tasks assigned, completed, updated, relevant notes, and shared files in a simple user-friendly interface.

It makes accountability a no-brainer, which is crucial when you have a lot of moving pieces, and it helps you stay on the same page with your team by allowing you to check in on the software instead of the need to follow up with each team member individually.

With Todoist it’s easy to share files, discuss details, and allow everyone to stay informed of progress of each of your real estate deals. And it also syncs across your desktop, browser, email app, and mobile app.

Google Apps marries your calendar with your email, with cloud storage, and gives you cloud editing capabilities. In other words, it allows you to manage all your documents with your virtual team no matter where they live in the world.

We use Google Apps for just about everything that’s document-driven in our business. Google apps includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, and a host of other apps.

It also includes Google Drive, which is the most valuable resource for me in this package. Google Drive is the main tool my virtual assistants and I use to save all our documents, so that various team members can access them - remotely.

I can’t stress how convenient it is to have all of your documents stored in one place, and be able to control who has access to certain files.


Let’s recap.

I’ve shared with you what I consider to be the 7 keys to success working with virtual assistants to automate your business, close more deals, and free more of your time.

Those 7 keys are…

  1. “One size doesn’t fit all” with VAs.
  3. The preparation to hire a virtual assistant forces you to be a better business owner.
  4. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, when working with virtual assistants.​​​​
  5. The secret sauce to training your VAs & receiving a consistent quality of work is standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  6. The ONE THING that will determine your success is your ability and willingness to delegate routine tasks and focus on high revenue generating activities.
  7. Use online productivity tools in your business that will allow you to communicate, automate, and delegate time sucking tasks and operate on a shoestring budget.

Whether you’ve been considering working with a virtual assistant or you’ve worked with one in the past with marginal results – your success in using VAs to automate and scale boils down to properly hiring, training, and managing your virtual staff.

When you implement the 7 keys that I covered, I guarantee you’ll set yourself up to work with a virtual assistant that can completely change your life by making you much more profitable, freeing more of your time, and helping you truly be a business owner, instead of being owned by your business.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit
Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to free up your time while growing your income!