It’s said that happiness is smiling when the sun’s out, but joy is dancing in the downpour. While Sacramento is raining down the legislation, it’s hard for many landlords to find joy in the rental business. But what about the landlord tasks in your rental business that spark joy in your life (or don’t)?
Landlords have a multitude of tasks involved with their business. Some we love, and some we hate. Life is short. So why aren’t we spending our time doing what we enjoy and outsourcing the rest?
The key is deciding what tasks to keep and what to outsource to someone else. But outsourcing can be difficult for most landlords. Whenever I speak with landlords about this topic, the most common response I hear is, “That reduces my profit.”
It does if you choose to think of it that way. However, if you think of your time in terms of dollars per hour, you factor in how much your time is worth. If you outsource a task you don’t enjoy and it costs less than your value, it frees your time up to make money doing something you enjoy.
Find what sparks joy in your rental business
One of the bests aspects of being a landlord or property manager is there are so many different things to do to make the business work.
• Researching and finding the best rental
• Preparing the unit to be rented
• Finding tenants
• Screening tenants
• Onboarding tenants
• Managing maintenance and communication
• Handling the finances
The hard part about being a landlord is that you are bound to hate some of those tasks.
How to decide what to outsource
Make a list of everything you do for your rental properties—from cleaning to showings—and number them from 1 (what you love) to 10 (what you hate).
Figure out how much money your time is worth. Consider commute costs, how much you get paid doing other jobs, and any other factors that affect the value of your time to determine how much your hour is worth.
Consider whether special tools or equipment are needed for any of the tasks. What is the cost for those tools?
Look at the tasks you marked in your bottom 5.
• How many hours would those tasks take you to complete? Keep in mind, it will take you longer than an expert.
• What is the cost of special tools, equipment, or materials for those tasks?
• What is the going rate for someone to complete those tasks?
Add up the hours it would take for you to complete the task and multiply it by your value per hour. Add in the cost of materials and equipment needed for the task. What is the cost of that task if you complete it?
Now, how much would it cost someone else to complete it? If this number is less than your number, outsource it.
How to increase profits by “Sparking Joy?”
You might be thinking that this method of outsourcing and doing only what sparks joy for you is all well and good. But not actually getting paid during the time you’re outsourcing a task to someone else isn’t ideal.
But what if you can be paid while you outsource?
Look at the top five tasks on your list, the tasks you love doing. Can you offer any as a service to other landlords?
You have experience doing those tasks. You enjoy doing them. Other landlords might have them on the bottom of their list. Why not build a service business doing what you love?
Life is too short to do tasks you hate. Outsource the landlord responsibilities you don’t enjoy doing, and focus on what you do love.
The end result will be better quality work. And you will find more joy in your life.
Sarah Noel Block became an accidental landlord in 2011 and an on purpose landlord in 2013. Her day job is as a marketing exec, and that trickles into her investment property life. Communication and tenant relations is her main priority.