We’ve all done it. Grabbed our roll of duct tape to fix a household item or hold together our lawnmower, bicycle, hanging car part or even our chatterbox kids (maybe not the kids). When we run across a problem, we try to find a work around to resolve it. Deep down we all know that the duct tape solution is a temporary solution at best. Why do we so often find a work around instead of rolling up our sleeves and fixing the problem? I would suggest that there are 3 main reasons why. First, we don’t have the time. Second, we don’t really know what the solution is or how to fix it and third, we think whatever the real fix is, it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg. So, we deal with the duct tape solution for as long as we can.
Eventually, you will be forced to face the realization that a real fix must take place for your life to move on and be productive. (who wants to stop cutting grass every 10 minutes to reattach a dangling part)
As real estate investors, sometimes our duct tape solution is in the form of a combination of technology solutions. We have a job to do, whether that’s managing properties, looking for deals, developing new areas, buying notes, building hotels, wholesaling or whatever.
For property managers, you may be using QuickBooks for accounting, something else for property inspections, another application for scheduling, excel for managing work orders yet another app for accepting online payments. We often start this way because we have a small portfolio and we already have some of the solutions such as Excel or Google Docs. Plus, we need a quick solution and don’t have the time to find the ‘right’ solution. Where’s my duct tape? This is a common ‘Duct Tape Solution’ that many property managers or self-managing landlords find themselves in.
Eventually, as portfolios increase, (or until you get fed up with the amount of work you have to do) this solution won’t suffice. You will be surprised at the amount of wasted time and inefficiency that this duct tape solution is actually costing you.
Do you want to be more efficient? Do you want to get back more time in your day? Do you want to reduce your stress in managing real estate rental properties?
Consider looking for a real solution. There are so many advances in technology today that you could literally save hundreds of hours if you implement the right solution.
As far as cost, the right solution will actually save you money. That’s not just a line used by sales people. It is actually true. Does a POS system cost a store owner money or does it reduce customer check out time, eliminate accounting errors, allow a single cashier to process more customers faster, handle credit card payments more efficiently and on and on. In essence, you are paying for a solution that will actually save you a tremendous amount of time, provide convenience for your tenants and owner, resolve work orders quicker, process payments instantly and so much more. There are so many ways that you as a property manager or real estate investor will benefit and you will actually make more money. Just consider your time. How much can you increase your portfolio if you had more time to find deals?
Duct tape may work temporarily for some problems but keep it out of your real estate investment business.