Here’s what you, me, and every other entrepreneur on this planet hate: working more hours without making more progress.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
You work 12-hour days answering phone calls, driving to houses, talking to sellers, coordinating with buyers, signing contracts, and somehow, trying to grow your business all the same.
Problem is, you don’t have any time to work on growing your business. You barely even have time to play ball with your kid or grab a beer with friends.
You’re working like crazy… and yet your business isn’t making progress.
Because you’re not focussing your time on scalable strategies that will grow your business (building a team, delegating to that team, automating processes, etc).
You’re just trying to keep your head above water.
But don’t worry – we’ve all been there.
And sometimes, a few time-saving tools can provide just the breathing room you need to grow your business and enjoy life again.
Here are 12.
Tool #1: Slack
As you’ve probably already discovered, good communication between team members is as crucial for a successful business as it is difficult to get right.
Without an easy way to communicate, miscommunications run rampant and everyone creates more work for themselves than needed as they run between current projects and past project fixes – wasting time and money.
If you’re running a team suffering from a lack of communication, Slack is a free-to-use private chatroom tool ready to save you time and streamline internal communication.
Tool #2: Call Porter
Spend too much time on the phone? Welcome to the world of real estate investing.
Unfortunately, though, you don’t just spend time on the phone with motivated sellers. You also spend time on the phone with time-wasting, half-hearted tire kickers.
And that ain’t good for business (or your sanity).
At Call Porter, we answers thousands of inbound calls for hundreds of investors every single month. Our U.S.-based, expert-trained reps screen those leads, scheduling follow-up calls for you with the leads that they’ve qualified.
Tool #3: Ballpoint Marketing
Creating and sending mailers with a high response rate can be a real headache.
Not only do you have to find a lucrative list, but you also have to design the mailer. Depending on whether you design them yourself or you hire a designer, this costs a lot of time or money.
But what if there was a way to virtually guarantee a record-high response rate without going through all of that design work?
That’s why my brother and I created Ballpoint Marketing.
This service allows you to send hand-written mailers (which literally get the highest response rate we’ve ever seen) without having to handwrite them.
Our robots do the hard work for you, using real ballpoint pen ink that smudges, smears, and indents the paper.
It’s not technically hand-written… but your prospects won’t be able to tell the difference (and neither will your response rates)!
Tool #4: Carrot
If someone becomes curious about your business, what is the first thing that they’re going to do?
Well, they’re probably going to look for your website.
And if the website they find doesn’t do a good job of convincing them that you’re trustworthy — or even worse, they can’t find your website through Google — then that’s not going to leave a good impression.
Carrot is a popular website builder in the real estate world that allows you to quickly and easily build a high-converting website.
They even have tools to help you with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that people can find your website when they’re looking for you.
Ryan actually uses Carrot for his own real estate investing website.
It’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
Tool #5: ListSource
Finding motivated sellers means pulling a lot of high-quality data…
- Tax default mailing lists
- Vacant house lists
- Expired listing lists
- Pre-foreclosure lists
- Out-of-state landlord lists
And ListSource is one of the best places to get that data.
Tool #6: REISift
REISift is a relatively new piece of software that’s changing the game for real estate investors.
It allows you to manage and clean your data, list stack, skip trace, manage tasks and teams, manage client relationships (via a CRM), schedule direct mail campaigns, and tons more.
The best part?
It’s literally built specifically for real estate investors… by real estate investors.
If you’re not using REISift, then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Tool #7: DocuSign
As a real estate investor, you sign a lot of different documents. But it’s not just you – you also have to coordinate signatures between sellers and buyers. And while some title companies and documents will require a wet signature, you can consider using a tool like DocuSign for the ones that don’t.
DocuSign lets you upload a document, send that document to each party for a signature, and even notify you once everyone has signed.
Tool #8: Trello
If you have a team (or even just want to stay better organized yourself), Trello is a great tool for visually organizing your workflow. You can use it to organize deals, leads, buyers, sellers, teams, and just about everything else.
Trello’s simple card-and-list design makes it remarkably user friendly and perfect for streamlining processes that have gotten too cluttered and unclear.
Tool #9: Evernote
You’re an entrepreneur with a million different things going on – lots of different projects, people, and processes constantly demand your attention.
Keeping everything organized isn’t just difficult, it’s practically impossible. Until Evernote came along, that is. This nifty organization tool gives you a digital space to take notes, organize your projects, and even collaborate with team members.
Often times, how much free time you have to grow your business or be with your family is a direct result of how organized you are during work hours. Evernote can help you get more organized.
Tool #10: DealCheck
Spending too much time running comps, doing ROI math, or trying to figure out which deals will bring the most cash flow?
DealCheck is a piece of software that makes investors lives easier. It helps you quickly and easily determine the value of a home, the ROI of that home for your business, and even the highest offer you can afford to make on a home.
No more scavenging on Google Maps and Zillow to run comps (and no more asking your real estate agent buddy to do it for you). With DealCheck, you can do it quickly, easily, and on your own time.
Tool #11: Five Minute Journal
You probably didn’t expect to find a journal among this time-saving tools list…
But that doesn’t mean this little journal can’t save you some massive time, headspace, and even happiness. It’s an easy journal to fill out – usually just takes 1 to 5 minutes every morning.
It comes with three sections.
- What are you grateful for?
- What would make today great?
- Daily affirmation. I am…
Answer the questions and fill in the blanks. Then tell me that this didn’t save you time and make you happier – even rockstars like Tim Ferriss and Pat Flynn use this journal to improve their day.
Tool #12: Calendly
Sick of missing meetings, forgetting about appointments, and writing down different to-dos in different places?
Calendly lets you schedule your days all in one place. But, even better, it allows other people to schedule a meeting or event with you during your pre-selected open hours. All you have to do is send them a link – which takes far less time than bouncing back and forth in email, trying to find a time that works for both of you.
Why do some investors build life-freeing businesses while others construct prison cells?
The answer is simple: those with freedom-creating businesses have learned that building a business isn’t about doing everything yourself, but about constructing a team with appropriate tools that can run the business even when you’re not around.
And while the 12 tools above might not take you all the way to your 4-hour-work-week dream, each implementation and delegation is one step closer.
What tools do you use to make your life easier? Let me know in the comments!