Muscle Memory for Real Estate: Improving Your Efficiency
According to Wikipedia, the definition of ‘muscle memory’ is as follows:Muscle memory has been used synonymously with motor learning, which is a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems. Terms like “without conscious effort” and “maximum efficiency” really stick out to me as ideal characteristics to develop when playing golf, swinging a bat, or playing an instrument. But what about being applied to real estate? I’m a firm believer that in order to become a truly successful investor, you must develop muscle memory for your business!I am NOT defining “successful” as simply the amount of money you make, but rather as the amount of money per hour you make. Think about it for a second. You could make thousands upon thousands of dollars, but if that means you’re working 12 hours per day, is that really success? Maybe you would say ‘yes’, and that’s fine; however, I’d rather make less, and only need to work a few hours a day. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Whatever your definition of “successful” is, I’m sure we can all agree that “without conscious effort” and “maximum efficiency” are two ideal attributes to have.A real estate business in which you are doing things without conscious effort out of habit and working at maximum efficiency is one that is not only going to create success, it’s one that will allow you to put in the least amount of time required.
How do you get to this point? Routine, routine, routine, and a little more routine!Building Your Real Estate Muscle Memory Through Routine / SystemsI’ve seen some call it “systems”, and while that term fits, to me the word “routine” implies something that is done over and over again to the point where you don’t even think about doing it (muscle memory). It doesn’t matter what you’re doing in your real estate business, you should always be trying to make a routine out of it. It may not be the best routine, but if you are doing things properly, that will become obvious and you can change up the routine.This brings up the questions, how do I form a routine? How do I know if it is working at maximum efficiency?Routine FormingUpfront Warning: this can be monotonousness and tiresome! At the end of the day though, it is effective!As an engineer by degree, this sort of task comes a bit as second nature, but document and list out everything!What do you do in the morning when you wake up? List it out!What do you do after you hang-up the phone from a motivated seller? List it out!What do you do after doing a walk-through a house you want to make an offer on? List it out!The first thing that becomes obvious is just how much you actually “do”. The second thing that becomes obvious is how many of the things you “do” are either repetitive or not even required. This leads to the next point…Efficiency Forming As you begin to go through those lists you’ve put together, ask yourself, “did I already perform this task in one way or another?” and secondly, “did I truly create any value out of doing this task?”.This will make me look silly, but it makes a perfect example of how even obvious things may not seem so obvious.
When I was first getting started, my general list would go like this…Check out home.Check out home with contractor – decide if I want to pull trigger.Go home and print out checklists for my scope of work.Return to home and complete checklists for my scope of work.Ummmm… what was I thinking?!?!?! Why in the world was I making an extra trip to go back to the property in order to do task #4??I know what you’re thinking, “there is no way that I do anything that is such an obvious time waster within my business.” My simple response, “I thought the same thing!!”.
Conclusion:Build muscle memory in you real estate business by making lists, maximizing them, and then doing them over and over again until they become routine. Before you know it, a task that used to take an hour will be down to 30 min.