As discussed in Part 2 of this series, identifying meaningful metrics is a very important foundational step in setting the course for success. However, it is only the foundation. The next step is establishing a system of tracking and course-correcting to hold yourself accountable to your investment goals. This is arguably the hardest step of achieving your (or any) goal: whether you want to gain $10,000 a month in passive income or lose 10 pounds a month on a weight loss journey, being consistent and accountable to your goals is an age-old and very human challenge. Whatever the goal, there are many potential pitfalls, and rather than try to anticipate each one and dramatically fight it off Thor-style, why not set up some automated loops and systems in your life to make staying on track second-nature? We thought you might think the latter option is preferable, so let's get to it with some helpful tips on putting your investment goals on autopilot.
Gamify your Financial Goals
Regardless of what your rental portfolio goals are, if you can find a way to make achieving them fun, you're more likely to succeed--a fact that has been leveraged by large companies to motivate employees, and that you can exploit as well. Instead of a seemingly endless journey of drudgery and delayed gratification, you can transform your financial efforts into an exciting series of leveling up and getting a hit of adrenaline each time you achieve an incremental success. Look to apps like Mint, SaveUp, and others to automatically track your financial status and make it feel like a game that is entirely winnable.
There's a reason binge-watching your favorite show is semi-addictive and all-consuming, but listening to a podcast can be accomplished while doing other things (we're acknowledging Serial as the exception that proves the rule here): our brains are designed to respond to visual content, and it tends to make a bigger impact on us than other forms of stimulus. Use this to your advantage by finding ways to make your rental portfolio goals regularly visible to you. Adapt this list to your own unique goals or personal circumstances, but here are some starting ideas for visual aids:
- Whiteboard in your home office or work space with a monthly comparison of budget versus actual spend (can use percentages of total budget rather than actual dollar amounts to protect this information if in a more public area)
- Map in a prominent place in your home or office with color-coded push-pins for rental properties owned, rented, or being scoped out. Alternatively, color-code the map regionally to indicate neighborhoods you're planning to expand into or other location-specific attributes.
- Line graph of net worth over time (again, can use percentages of total goal if added privacy is desired)
You'll be well on your way to maintaining and optimizing towards your financial goals by employing these two strategies.
Check Intellirent's blog for the next and final post on setting goals for your rental portfolio.