Investment strategies require thinking on two levels. In general, you need to keep an eye on your investments in the short term to make sure they are providing what you want now. However, you also need to stay focused on the big picture investment strategy to be sure you’ll meet your long-term goals.
It’s easy to overlook this second component of your investment strategy or push it off for another day. Long-term planning just doesn’t feel as urgent as minding the day-to-day ups and downs of an investment portfolio. And when rental properties are part of your overall strategy, there are plenty of demands that need attention right now.
Don’t let yourself get lost in the day-to-day at the expense of your future bottom line. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused on the big picture.
One of the difficulties with focusing on the big picture clearly is that our ideas about the future tend to be vague. It’s hard to imagine what we’ll need in the future. Whether you’re just getting started in rental property investing or you already have several rentals with tenants, you’ll find it easier to look at the big picture if you set specific goals. How much income will you need to maintain a standard of living that you enjoy? What do you want to do during retirement? You may not have a complete answer to that question, but you probably have some ideas. When you have answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea about how your present investments are working for you.
Thinking about sorting out an investment big picture is often overwhelming. We tend to assume that it’s a complex maze that we have to fight our way into and through in order to successfully manage retirement. Yet once you’ve put specific investment goals into place and have begun working on meeting them, you may see that reaching them is really quite simple and straightforward. Taking that first step of setting the goals gets you started, and then you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Make one decision at a time. You don’t need to decide right now exactly how many rental properties you want or where they should be. Start with one and you’ll soon be able to see what the next step should be.
One important aspect of staying focused on the big picture is making the time to do a review on a regular basis. Many rental property owners know they should do this, but the demands of caring for the property often get in the way. When tenants call because the hot-water heater has sprung a leak, you can’t tell them to wait until you’re through reviewing your portfolio. And when the demands of your job leave you tired at the end of the day, you’ll want to put off the review until you feel more energetic.
No one said you have to manage it all on your own. Most homeowners find that just maintaining their own home is time-consuming enough. Add to that maintaining a second house, or more, and it’s no wonder you can’t focus on the overall picture. Here’s where hiring a rental property management company comes in. Let experts in maintenance who know local contractors take care of the property as well as manage the tenants for you. So when that hot-water heater springs a leak, you can still continue your investments review and planning knowing the correct repairs will be done in a timely fashion.
Talk to one of our investment specialists to learn how JWB can help you earn truly passive income through long term real estate investing. JWB does the work for you, so you can focus on living your life.