“Should I hire a someone to do the work for me?”

This question is one every business owner must ask themselves. The answer depends if you want to be working ON your business or IN your business.


Depending what type of business you are starting, it may be wise to hire out certain aspects to others.  For rental properties, it depends on how close in proximity you are to your properties, you may be able to manage the properties yourself. But would that be the best for you?

If you did manage your properties yourself, you would make more money on each property per month, because you are saving the money you would normally pay to a PM. The issue is you are doing the work that you can pay someone else to do.

The key to passive income is to not actually do the work yourself but pay someone else to do the work for you.  The Master Passive Income way is to build the business in a way that it is automated to run without you.

With passive income, even though you are not working, your business is.

I am a doer.

It’s in my nature to always be busy and get things done. In my personal life, I do all the repairs and maintenance on my home because it is something that I’m good at and I enjoy doing. I am fully capable of doing most or all of the work that needs to be done in my rental properties but I choose not to do them.

Instead, I pay others to do the work for me.

I personally do not mind paying other people to do work that I “could” do because it saves me time.  I can spend that saved time doing things I want to do like swimming in the pool with my four kids.

Your responsibility, as a business owner, is to working ON the business, not IN the business. The difference between those two words is dramatic in its effect on your life. The reason why I got into investing in real estate was to not have a job but be personally independent. I got tired and fed up with doing tasks needed to make the organization run.

If I worked an hour, I got paid an hourly wage for that hour.  Instead, I wanted to get paid for the value that I bring, not the hours that I put in. Investing in real estate allows me to do just that.  Let’s look at the differences between working IN your business, and working ON your business.

Working “IN” Your Business

Many of us have had numerous jobs in our lives. Some have even created jobs for themselves by becoming a sole proprietor. Being an employee and a sole proprietor are both ways to get paid for the hours that you put in.

Be it hourly, salary, or commission based jobs, it doesn’t matter how you get paid, you are getting paid for the hours that you put in or the work that you do. If you do not go to work, service your customers, or do the job, you do not get paid. Your job is completely dependent on you doing the work.


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Passive income is all about getting paid for the value that you bring not the hours that you work. When you invest in real estate, you have the opportunity to make your income truly passive by developing a strong business with a great team.

The reason why your income is passive is that you still make money if you do nothing. The team members that you put on your team are the ones that work “IN” your business to make you money.

With a business investing in real estate, you are now the employer. Gone are the days when you clock in to work, get your two mandatory 15 minute breaks, your 30 minute lunch, and then cock out and go home.

That is what employees do.

You are no longer an employee but the employer. It is now your responsibility to make sure that your employees are the ones that make business runs. Your goal should be to do as little as possible and make the most money from other people’s efforts.  There is a quote from John D. Rockefeller that sums this up very well.


“I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.”
– John D. Rockefeller


When I buy one rental property, I usually spend about three hours in total buying the property, fixing it up, and renting out. In my business, I am responsible for finding a property, evaluating the property, purchasing the property, and then let my team do what they do best which is get the property rented.

I purchased many properties that I have not even seen in person but only through pictures, inspection reports, and quotes for repairs.  What I need is specific information to help me know which property to buy. That information can come from any source that I trust and I make a decision to proceed or not based on the information.

I invest in locations that are thousands of miles away from me and it would be impractical for me to physically view each one. That is why I trust my team to give me the right information when selecting a property for purchase.

Working “On” Your Business

So, what are your personal responsibilities within the business you have? If you set up your business right, you will do all your work up front when you purchase the property but little to nothing after that.

The majority of my work is done when I set up the company.

Here are some key areas that I do to work ON my business:

  1. Find a Location

    • I personally like to invest out of my area far away from where I live.  The reason why is because I find a greater return for my money invested in areas outside of California. For example, I bought and rehabbed a property for $23,000 and currently get $500 per month in rent from it.
  2. Personally Visit the Area

    • Since I invest all over the country, I fly into the area to make sure this is a place I want to invest.  The goal for the trip is to: meet/interview potential team members and drive the location to get a sense of the area and if it is a place I would like to invest in.  I also look at any properties that are currently listed for sale.  This is not necessarily to buy one I look at but is more so that I can see the quality and type of construction in the area.
  3. Assemble my Team

    • After I get back from the area, I contact the team members I want to work with and place them on my team.  I always keep a list of other team members I interviewed and did not select in case I need them in the future.
  4. Acquire a Property

    • The first property you buy in an area is always the most time consuming because you are still developing your business and do not have all the pieces in place yet.  You need to get the contractors, the Property Manager, Realtor, inspectors, etc. in place so they can do their part.
    • After you know how each of your team members work, you are able to work more efficiently and acquire properties much faster because you know how to best utilize each team member.

Working ON your business is to do all the things that make your business grow. Fixing a plumbing leak in one of your rental properties is NOT working ON your business. That is something that you can pay an hourly employee to do.

If you pay a handyman $75 to fix a plumbing leak that you can do yourself, you have saved yourself 2.5 hours to do other anything else.  It is your responsibility as the business owner to use your time in a way to make your business grow.  You could spend your time finding another property that will make you even more money than the $75 you paid a plumber.


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For example, if it takes me two and half hours to fix a plumbing leak, I would save approx $75 for my time. Right now, it may seem like saving $75 for two and half hours of your life would be good if you are currently making $15 an hour.

Your hourly rate would actually be $30 an hour since you are making $75 by spending two and half hours of your life like you would in a normal job. $75 divided by 2.5 equals $30 an hour.

But what about the opportunity cost of that two and half hours?

Opportunity Cost: The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action.

If you spent two and half hours buying another rental property may make you $3,600 in one year.  In terms of opportunity cost, the $75 you saved doing your own plumbing could cost you $3,600 because you missed out on a property.

Working ON your business is instead spending the two and half hours buying one rental property that will bring you almost an unlimited hourly rate.

Think about it. You buy a rental property that takes you almost five hours to purchase.

If you got paid a specific dollar amount for the work you put in, that would be your hourly wage. What is fantastic about passive income investing in real estate is that you continually get paid for the same five hours of work you put in until you sell the property.

Only after you sell the property would you be able to calculate your hourly wage because your pay goes on and on.

I wrote extensively on the process of a transaction when buying a rental property. Let me show you all the steps to purchasing a rental property and how long each step would take. (This list is condensed to items you would do yourself, or have someone else do)

StepTo do:Time involved:Description:
1.Locate and identify the potential investment property0 hoursI have realtors working all the time finding me properties to evaluate and possibly purchase. They get paid when I buy a property so it is up to them to work hard to find me a property to buy.
2.Evaluate the Property1 to 2 hoursThis is the most time-consuming step. You must walk through the property with your contractor and property manager to find all the issues with the property. After you have assessed the total cost to rehab the property, you can deduct the total from the asking price
3.Analyze the numbers1 hourThis step is important to make sure that the property is worth pursuing. You want to check the cash flow of the property.
4.Have your realtor present the offer to the seller0 hoursThis step does not take any time at all because the realtor does all the work.
5.Sign the contract10 minThe realtor can email you the contract which will save a lot of time. Print out the contract, sign on the appropriate locations in the contract, and send the scanned image of the contract back to the realtor.
6.Open escrow0 hoursNo time taken from you because the realtor and title company does all the work.
7.Property inspections0 hoursYour property manager will schedule all the inspections you deem necessary and the property inspectors will send you the report.
8.Close escrow30 minWhen you close escrow, you work with a title company. Depending on their processes and procedures it could be as little as 10 minutes to 30 minutes to close escrow and delivery the funds.
9.Rehab the property0 hoursSince you have already evaluated the property and have a general idea of the work needed to be done, your property manager will manage the rehab of the property.
10.Find a tenant and sign the lease0 hoursOnce the property is all completed it is on your property manager to find a good tenant and sign the lease.
Total:3.4 hours

So the amount of time it would take to purchase a rental property would be about 3 ½ hours. That is only one more hour than the plumbing project that would make you $30 an hour. If this one property makes you $300 a month for 12 months, you make $3,600 in the first year for your 3.5 hours of work or, $1,029 per hour! Imagine you own the property for 10 years. Just from the cash flow alone, you would earn $36,000 for your 3.5 hours of work.

That is $10,285 per hour!

I hope you can see how allowing others to work for you allow you to spend your precious time on things that actually make you money. Or, even spend those 2.5 hours with your family instead of fixing a pluming leak.

I personally am glad that I invest in rental properties and use a property manager because I have so much more time to do the things that matter most.

I completely understand that when you are starting out investing in real estate, every penny counts and it’s hard to pay out money when you don’t have enough of it. If this is the case for you and you need to do the repairs yourself, your goal should be to get enough rental properties to pay someone else to do the work because you have enough money.

You need to work hard for a while so that you do not have to work hard in the future. What I mean is put your time in now building your business so you can employ other people to do the work for you while you concentrate on things that matter most.

Conclusion

So getting back to the question;

“Should you hire someone to do the work for me?”

That question all depends how you want to spend your time and essentially your life.  Do you want to spend it with your family or fixing a leaky faucet, designing your print material, or posting ads to Craigslist?

The master passive income business model is to hire employees and contractors to do the work so that you can spend your time doing things that you want to do and what makes you the most money.

I hope this got you thinking about how you can spend your time wisely to create more income for yourself.

If you have any thoughts or comments, please read them below so I can see how you’re thinking and reply to you.


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MPI 033 | Are You Working ON Your Business or IN Your Business?