For those of you that have come to my seminars and bootcamps, you have heard me talk about my escape many years ago from the corporate world after I sold my business and had the opportunity to start my multifamily real estate investing business. Life changed from ‘having to go to work’ to ‘getting to go to work’.
The number one focus of all that I did was to be able to make my business mobile. In other words, I want to be anywhere in the world and still be able to stay in touch with my properties, my clients and my students.
Since that day, oh so many years ago, the advancement in technology has really put all of that within reach. I now can conduct business anywhere in the world. When I was in Ireland for ten days, my property manager did not know that I was sitting in a pub in Kenmare talking to her via Skype. She didn’t need to know. It was amazing!
If you are just starting down the path of creating your own multifamily real estate investing business, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do the same thing – set up your business today so that it is what you envision it to be five years from now. Take advantage of this.
I recently read a blog post from someone that I have been following. Michael Hyatt is the author of Platform:Get Noticed in a Noisy World. You can check him out at www.michaelhyatt.com. In this post he discusses up ten ‘apps’ that he uses every day to streamline his business. Let me share with you the apps that I use that enable me to be anywhere and still be in total control:
When I walk into my office and see paper, my initial reaction always is, “why isn’t that in Evernote?” Now I scan everything into my computer and store in ‘in the cloud’ on Evernote. This little program has made my life so incredibly organized. I can understand why there are support groups for it now. It will completely change your life. I guess it’s like the EST of the 21st century.
OK, let’s face it, we hate to keep the books. But it is the most important part of running any business. If you do not know your numbers, then this is just a hobby. So let’s make it quick and easy and painless. All of my accounts are configured for Quickbooks Online. Twice a month, I log in and categorize my transactions. Nothing I do involves cash (that’s probably why the guy who owns the coffee shop always drives around in the nicest car in town – Cash, baby). Therefore, all my transactions are recorded for my accountant and the IRS to see. At the end of the year, my accountant can go online and file all my taxes while I sit with my toes in the sand.
When I started my last company, one of the biggest expenses and the biggest headaches was the phone system. The phone repairman should have had an office in my building just to take care of all the new lines and configuring that he had to do. Nowadays, that problem is gone. With a service like RingCentral, I can have a toll-free number, an answering service, text messages of voicemails and unlimited number of extensions for all my employees. And they can be anywhere and get the calls! My accountant uses this service. All his employees do is to show up to work with their cell phones. If a client calls the company and dials the employee’s extension, it is directed straight through their cell phone. My accountant doesn’t have to spend a time on a phone system. It’s unbelievable.
If you do not have a Skype account yet, what are you waiting for? It’s free and it is the best thing to come down the pike. I know there are many other services that do virtually the same thing but Skype is kind of like the universal language. I Skype (yes, it is also a verb) with all my clients and it is like they are sitting in the room with me. I even have a student in New Zealand that I talk to. Met his little niece the other day – all via Skype. If you have no plans on using it for business, then use it for personal use. It is so cool to Skype with my daughter at college and get to see her beautiful face like she is sitting right in front of me.
I once got into a discussion with someone regarding, why do you need Evernote, Dropbox does all the same stuff. This is absolutely not the case. Evernote is absolutely amazing, but you still need Dropbox to share folders with other people as well as to store your files that you do not want or need in Evernote on the internet so that you have complete access to them when you are sitting on the beach. If you are like most people, you will at some point be invited by someone else to join a Dropbox folder. This will become your introduction to Dropbox and you won’t look back.
Need I say more? Changed my life. Brilliant. Get it.
These are just a few of the apps that I use on a regular basis. Here’s what I want you to take away from this – 1. Envison what you want your life to be like in five years, then 2. Design everything you do to achieve that vision.
I’m living proof that it can be done. (That is not to say, in any way shape manner or form, that I still have to work at my business everyday, but now I can do it more on my terms than on someone else’s) And that is what it is all about.
What apps are you using that you can recommend. Let us know . . .