Procrastination is Death

Procrastination is death for cash flow. Perfectionism is death for business.

I’m always watching and talking to other rental house owners. Then I notice that their “For Rent” signs just seem to stay up.

Another owner is renovating and can’t seem to get it finished. I ask why. “The replacement cabinet hasn’t come in from Home Depot yet,” I am told. “The cabinet had a ding in it and we had to order a new one.” This is an extra cabinet, whereas the kitchen appears 95% done to me.

I just don’t get it. And it’s not my problem, I know, but I am venting here about how owner perfectionism and procrastination can wreck rental cash flow. I am telling you all instead of dumping unsolicited advice on friends and relatives.

If you have rental homes, RENT them out. If a place is GOOD ENOUGH rent it out.

You will never make up that lost vacancy rent. If you even smell a customer, rent it out. If the phone is not ringing, put in an ad. If nothing is happening, make it happen.

Here we have been running all 2013 on about 94% occupancy. December hits and we drop to 75%. We can coast a little on this seasonal dip because of the 94% all year.

Hey, it’s really hard to be at 94%! It means cleaning sometimes on weekends and evenings. It means returning the phone calls from the people who didn’t rent anything. It means asking every paying tenant who comes through the door, “Do you have any co-workers who need housing?”

It means posting on Craig’s List and the newspaper. It means asking, “You say our rates are too high? What’s your budget? How can we help you get in?” It means getting rent bi-weekly from their paychecks. It means taking every form of payment–cash, check, and especially all credit cards.

But mostly it means no procrastination. No perfectionism. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough.


Clean and functional.

Best product, best price.

Put that sign out ASAP and the phone should start ringing.

Answer it! and return messages.

Did I mention clean and functional.
Everything clean, everything functioning.

Great advice. I have the “perfectionism” problem (but not the procrastination). I’ve been working pretty much full time on rehabbing my latest project (4BR/2.5BA townhouse) for 6 months. My original estimate was 3 months. Almost done now but I’m way over schedule. Maybe three more weeks … gut main bath, kitchen countertops, sand and paint stairwell/railings, get carpet installed.

Put that sign out ASAP and the phone should start ringing.

Cash is King!


Many buyers lover perfectionism but are unwilling to pay for it. Just make sure that you are not exceeding the market value of the property. This includes all the expenses that you incurred during the holding time - taxes, insurance, utilities, interest on any loans. You will be surprised how a 10% increase in construction costs plus a 50% delay in turn around can eat up 100% of your profits.

Totally agree with the curse of perfectionism. Rental homes are different from the home you live in. Be perfect at home, but not with your rentals. Get them rented!

Good advice. Making hard decisions requires a strong will. Because if you make it happen, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I procrastinate cuz I get depressed cuz no frikin deals happening, then I procrastinate more and get more depressed.

I was trying to get a procrastination club going, but myself and potential members cudnt decide when to have our first meeting, we kept putting it off.

I like Facebook’s saying “Done is better than perfect”