Goes without saying, if you’re a new landlord, there are some metrics you just have to know. And if this is the most important metric to master, this one may be the most important, period…
(Pause for dramatic effect…)
Whether it’s vetting, buying or managing real estate, NOI—short for Net Operating Income—is arguably the most crucial metric for real estate investors.
NOI is simply your net profits from rental income, after your expenses are paid. Here’s why it matters and why it’s more important than you think.
Your bottom line
When you have a rental property, your end game is to make a profit. You get your rental income. Deduct your operating expenses like maintenance, repairs and so on. Now you have your net operating income, which is your bottom line.
Net operating income is real estate’s equivalent to corporate finance’s EBIT. Here’s how it looks:
NOI = all revenue from the property – all operating expenses
It’s a simple enough formula, but there are ways you can manage it.
In business, there are two ways to increase profits. 1) Increase revenue. 2) Decrease expenses.
Simple enough, right? With rental income, there’s only so much you can do to increase revenue. So managing your OPEX is a basic but extremely important metric to monitor — and very often the hack for value-add investors to unlock crazy profits.
Here’s the real beauty of NOI. Unlike single-family properties, the value of income-producing real estate (using the cap rate formula) is derived directly from the net income you can squeeze from it. Not supply and demand. Not the market. Not the S&P. Not bubbles. None of that.
“Net Worth Hacking”
In other words, if you manage your NOI, you can literally enhance your asset’s value. This is at the core of the value-add strategy. This New Jersey group bought a building for $57 million, hacked the NOI through upgrades and management, and BOOM! Sold it three years later for $101 M’s.
DIY: Your 5-Step Financial Planning Guide
If you’re starting out to plan your financial future, it can get overwhelming. While many opt for a financial advisor to take care of the entire process, you can always handle your financial planning all by yourself (it’s simple, really) if you’ve got the right tools.
For starters, here’s what you need:
1. Set Goals!
Chalk out your goals—it can be short term, like paying off your card payment bills or long term, to meet expenses like retirement and your kids’ education.
Take a step back and do a reality check. Where do you stand now? How are your cash flows? How soon can you meet your expenses? Create a timeline to achieve these targets (and ensure you meet them!)
2. Do The Math
Calculate your total assets, after deducting the debts—and budget smart. Ditch your debt to stay away from piling on more to your list of financial risks. If you’ve got way too many debts to clear and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them, here’s a great tool that comes in handy.
3. Build An Emergency Fund
Uncertainties can be hard, more so if they have a significant financial impact—be it an illness, job loss, or even global downturns.
To evade being stranded, ensure that you’ve built an emergency fund (a good start would be to keep aside six months’ worth of expenses), along with solid insurance coverage to back you up.
4. Hire The Right Agents
Apart from the general power of attorney, also ensure you lay out a directive in case a medical emergency comes up (if you’re incapacitated—we know, it’s not the best of thoughts to ponder over). To ensure you plan right, avail the services of an accountant, a real estate planning authority, and a medical power of attorney.
5. Earn Money On Your Money
The final step is to make sure you earn returns off your money. How’d you go about this? To start with, educate yourself. Read, read and read some more—research about what stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial instruments do. Understand their risks, costs and how you can work on diversifying your investment.
It’s important to invest in something you understand.
Post this, set up your accounts to meet each of your goals—through monthly contribution plans, 401(k)s, low-cost index funds, IRAs or other savings plans. If all these details get you dizzy (or overwhelmingly hard), you’re better off with a financial planner who can do the research and investment planning for you.
5 Time Management Hacks For Your Work/Life Balance
(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)
Everyone strives to maintain that perfect work-life balance. Having a fulfilling career and healthy home life is a tough combination to achieve, but if you learn how to manage your time well, it can be one. Here are five time-management hacks to keep your work/life balance in check.
HAVE A REALISTIC SCHEDULE
Setting a schedule the night before is a classic trick that is entirely effective. A to-do list allows you to cross off the things you have accomplished and gives you a sense of gratification. It also is a great motivator to keep completing tasks until you have finished everything for the day. The key is to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Don’t jam your schedule leaving little to no room for breaks or downtime. This will do the opposite of helping you maintain a solid work/life balance.
Try this tech: timetrade for Salesforce
BREAK TASKS UP
It can be so overwhelming to look at a huge task you need to do if you don’t break it down into smaller tasks. Instead of trying to clean your entire home in one day, clean different areas of your home on different days. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by these larger projects and you can actually finish them on time.
Try this tech: Monday.com
SCHEDULE “ME TIME”
If you are constantly working and always on your phone or laptop, there is a good chance you are not relaxing or giving yourself a much-needed break. When you get home from work, put your phone away and revel in some “me time.” Do something to unwind and disconnect from work completely. Take a bath, read a book, watch TV or exercise. Just do something that will help slow your mind down and create a degree of separation between your work and home life. This is one of the most important hacks to maintain a healthy balance.
Try this tech: Toggl
DETERMINE YOUR PEAK HOURS
Are you typically up before the sun or staying away until 2 am? Knowing what time you operate the best at will help you schedule your most tedious and important tasks at this time. If you are a morning person, perform your tasks the require the most focus in the morning. You can use the afternoon or night to do repetitive tasks like making calls or catching up on emails. You may discover that what usually takes you an hour to do in the afternoon only takes you thirty minutes to do in the morning.
Try this tech: Screen Time
Two of the biggest things we neglect are sleep and exercise – two things that can actually significantly improve your productivity. Studies and research have proved that exercise can help keep you alert, making it much easier to accomplish tasks. Of course, getting enough sleep and getting in short naps throughout the day can do amazing things for your mental health and helps you from feeling fatigued and burnt out. If you are more productive at work, you can get home earlier from work and have more time for yourself.
Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.