What’s your time worth? Part I

Can you afford to hire yourself?

Being self-employed, our income is never steady, and never a sure thing. We often find ourselves trying to do every task ourselves just to save a few dollars – but is that actually costing you more money?

Consider what you could be doing instead of all those small tasks. Does all the time you’re spending filing documents or updating your website equal a sale? Was it worth it? In some cases no – but in some cases, maybe so.

Whether it was your favourite subject in school or not, it’s time to do a little math to calculate what’s worth your time, and what’s not.

First, figure out what your time is worth. As real estate agents, we may not charge an hourly rate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a ballpark number of what your time costs per hour. You can break this down by looking at your total income over a year, and how many hours you invested in your business.

Next up: compiling all those tasks, and how long it takes you to complete them. Try tracking your time over a week, or even a day. How long does your average showing last? Your end of day paperwork? The time spent writing a contract? The short administrative tasks? Once you know how long those tasks take, you’ll be able to determine if they’re worth it to outsource.

Now – let’s put them together. If it takes you an hour to update a contract, and you determined your rate was $100/hour, it’s worth it for you to be the one to update that contract, unless you can find someone else to do it for less than that. But if your hourly rate was $500/hour, you can probably find an intern to junior colleague to update for you because it’s actually not worth it for you to lose out on $500 that could be invested elsewhere.

But remember these two important risks:

  1. Is it worth the possibility of a mistake?

  2. How else are you using your time?

If the intern writing up the contract makes a crucial mistake, it could cost you a lot more than $500. Is the task at hand more important than the dollar amount you assigned to it? And, if you’re not using that hour you just gained to do something that contributes to your business, it’s not $500 you just gained back – it’s money you just lost paying someone else to do it for you.

For a more personalized look at how analyzing your tasks can affect your bottom line (or your take home salary) let’s schedule a call, and let’s crunch the numbers together.

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