Winston Deloney Shares How He Overcame Hurdles In Real Estate Investing

Real Estatate Investor Winston Deloney

The popular idea of real estate investing amongst layman is that it is the easiest form of investing and the most guaranteed source of returns. You buy a property and it begins to roll in returns, either in rental income or capital gain.

However, this is not always true. Like other forms of investing, property investing promises high return as well as high risk.

We have here with us, a real estate investment expert, Winston Deloney, who will be discussing how he overcame hurdles in real estate investing. Winston Deloney is an expert in rental and investment properties, and he understands the rudiments involved in identifying real estate properties.

Now he shares with us how he overcame the many hurdles associated with real estate investing.

Finding the right property and in the right location

As easy as this may sound, this is the most difficult part of property investing. The location of the property is the most important factor that affects its performance and determines the success rate of your investment. It would be unwise to buy real estate without adequate consideration of its location

I once bought a property in a flood-prone area also renowned for persistent theft. These shortcomings affected the value of the property.

No one was willing to rent the property without a very huge discount. To avoid making such bad decisions with rental properties, I resulted to consulting experts before purchasing real estate.

Getting funds

Even after choosing the right property, I have been faced with the problem of inadequate funding. This did not dissuade me from investing in such properties. The quickest source of funding, as I have found, is to reach out to family members and friends willing lend with little or no interest rate.

I also get loans from banks at a considerable interest rate. Although there are many factors to this, I don’t let them to discourage me.

Rental Property Investing

Buying at the right price

There is nothing more discouraging to me than finding out that I have over bided for a property. This automatically results in a loss in projected return and value.

I have remedied this over time by consulting residents of the area where I want to purchase the property to inquire about the price. I also consult other professionals if need be.

These usually result in additional cost or commission, but, it is preferred to overbidding. Doing all of these made me polish my method when it comes to buying rentals overtime.

The high cost of maintenance 

The hurdles do not end with purchasing a property. It continues many years even after the purchase of such property. The cost is like a pest, uninvited and difficult to extinguish. They continue to rise as the property gets older, eating up returns on investment

There are no ways to eliminate these costs. They will continue to exist, as long as the property exists.

I prevent this by ensuring the property was built with quality materials before purchasing. Also, I only go for quality materials during repairs. Quality materials ensure longevity and thus, reduce the amount spent on maintenance. 

Emotional purchase

This is very important, and that is why I consider it the biggest hurdle in real estate investing. Many times, we as investors purchase properties out of emotion. Emotion is an enemy of financial intelligence. 

We must learn to keep a clean mind when we are considering investing in real estate. This will prevent bad investment.

I do not buy or sell a property when I am sad, happy, or angry. This is because in these emotional states, I am most likely to make a big mistake.

Tips for Small Businesses: 5 Ways to Slash IT Costs During the Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 has greatly reduced income for a multitude of small businesses. As in-office workers have transitioned to remote working and storefronts have closed, businesses are left scrambling to cut costs.

If you find yourself in that position, it may be time to look at how your IT costs could be reduced without sacrificing quality or security.

#1: Get rid of unnecessary subscription software.

The first step you need to take if you have recently downsized or if your business has transitioned to fully remote is to review your current software subscriptions. While you were in the office, your team likely used a plethora of apps and subscription software services, but if you’re feeling the negative financial effects of the pandemic, it’s time to see what options you can eliminate.

If you use a software sparingly, consider removing it to cut costs for the time being. Many software services do not want to lose you as a customer, and may even consider pausing your subscription or cutting costs dramatically for a month or two to keep you on as a client.

#2: Consider software alternatives. 

If you’re still using several software subscriptions but can’t cut down on many of them, it may be time to consolidate your current software services into one alternative.

If one employee prefers Dropbox, while another prefers Google Drive, make a decision on which one you’ll keep, and then get rid of the rest. This goes for multiple overlapping software options, from messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams, to video conferencing including Zoom, Skype, and WebEx. In each of these scenarios, each group of these can be consolidated down to one option.

Having everyone on the same software will also allow for a more cohesive work environment, which is absolutely necessary when workers are all remote. If you’ve ever asked employees where a file is, only to find two similar files with discrepancies between them, you know the importance of congregating all documents in the same place, whether it be Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft Office Suite.

Consolidating software can be time-consuming, but it will reduce unnecessary costs and also produce a more professional atmosphere.

Not sure which video conferencing is the best option for your team as you work remotely? Check out this breakdown here to see what best fits your business.

#3: Switch to VoIP phone systems.

If your team has switched to remote working, there’s no need to pay for your expensive office phone services. Frankly, if you haven’t switched to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems and VoIP handsets before now, you’ve been wasting money.

While VoIP has only recently become fairly popular, it’s been around since the 1970s, So, why don’t more people take advantage of the Internet-based option? It’s likely that businesses are simply not aware of the benefits, one of which is a greatly reduced cost in comparison to a traditional landline.

It is estimated an average landline phone system costs a business $50 per line, each month. VoIP lines are much more affordable at less than half that price and are easy to install. If you haven’t made the switch to VoIP, this is an easy way to save on your IT costs. If you are unsure about switching, call your current landline provider and let them know you’re able to save substantial costs by switching; they may be able to offer you a discount on your current plan.

#4: Reevaluate per-user agreements.

Do you have any software or equipment subscriptions or agreements that charge per user? If so, you may be overpaying during the COVID-19 pandemic. With reduced work output for many businesses and smaller teams being put to use, you are likely overpaying for any per-user subscriptions. In some cases, you may find that you are not using specific software at all, and it may be time to cut those agreements completely.

Go through the list of subscription software you use with your employees to see where you can pair down these services.

#5: Outsource your IT.

It may be time to look outward to cut some IT costs. If a single in-house IT provider isn’t able to keep up with IT needs, you may need to consider decreasing your IT costs significantly by outsourcing your IT with a Managed Service Provider. Some of the benefits of outsourced IT professional team include the following:

  • Reduced costs. Managed IT services generally come at the cost of a single salaried employee. Rather than hire one in-house IT professional who can’t meet all your IT demands, it’s wise for businesses to outsource to a fully equipped team of professionals with various IT backgrounds and specialties to meet your needs.
  • Round-the-clock support. Many Managed Service Providers offer 24/7/365 support, meaning you can get the help you need to solve IT issues no matter when they occur. This is a huge benefit when compared to in-house teams who generally only work during business hours.
  • More time to focus. Don’t spread yourself thin; outsourcing IT allows you to have every employee focus on what your business provides and put all effort towards the core functions of your business.

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and will continue to cause financial struggles for many businesses.  Using these five tips for your small business will help slash costs during the crisis and will set you up for success long-term.

Why Manufactures Are Struggling to Become “Smart”

Smart manufacturing is nothing new. However, with the growth of smart manufacturing predicted to peak at $299 billion by 2023, the outlook is positive. As technologies develop like AI, collaborative robots and industrial machine vision, these concepts get implemented in a manufacturing environment, hence the term smart manufacturing. However, smart manufacturing is much more than the core physical technology. Smart manufacturing also involves data.


It is how this data is collated, analyzed and utilized that will empower organizations to make their production processes more efficient. More manufacturers than ever are aiming to introduce and improve their smart technology and data capabilities. However, with these massive technological changes come massive challenges. Many manufacturers have chosen to take a foray into the world of smart manufacturing, but many still remain resistant to this change. Take a look at why certain manufacturers are struggling to become smart. Many industries such as aerospace, defense, nuclear, mining, automotive and engineering are trying to welcome smart manufacturing with open arms.


Automotive

The car industry purchased over 60,000 new robots three years ago in an effort to embrace smart manufacturing. Many workers assume that this means that their roles will become defunct, leading to resistance to this technological change. However, when these robots were purchased to make production processes more efficient, the need for skilled engineers and factory works in the automotive industries also increased. This is the polar opposite to public perception. While one of the challenges to becoming smart might be changing the culture or attitudes of a company, the evidence for the need for human roles is self evident. The most robot dense manufacturing environments such as Japan and South Korea, have seen their unemployment statistics fall.


Data

A major aspect of smart manufacturing is data. Utilizing data effectively can enhance processes, make production more efficient, increase the longevity of machinery and increase profits. Smart factories use data to create virtual environments making it easier to mitigate risk, anticipate trading lulls and increase productivity on the factory floor. Data also enables manufacturers to streamline their processes and create a greater number of higher quality components and products.


Deploying smart technologies in ad hoc environments as pilots is relatively easy. However, when deploying at scale across all sites or across an entire business, smart manufacturing can be more of a challenge leading many manufacturers struggling to become smart. People and workers need to change and adapt their working processes to welcome in smart manufacturing processes. Skill sets need to be enhanced and training needs to be undertaken to learn how to work alongside machines and collaborative robots. Businesses and manufacturers need to be willing to work on this alongside welcoming smart technology and data analytics into their factories.


Many manufacturers, however, are not investing quickly enough, meaning skills gaps develop and the technology that has cost so much isn’t implemented as efficiently as possible. And alongside the need for more advanced technology and analytical minds comes the need for enhanced cybersecurity. Data and files need to be stored in a secure cloud based environment. Data needs to be encrypted and made safe from threats such as ransomware and malware attacks. It’s all too easy to have a smart manufacturing environment, but you need to protect your infrastructure and understand newer and more prominent twenty first century threats.


Resistance

Many manufacturing businesses remain complacent and aren’t willing to change the processes that have worked effectively for decades. Even though these processes don’t cause problems it doesn’t mean that they are at their optimum. With enhanced technology and data utilization, processes can force a manufacturing environment to become even more productive. Owners often feel like they don’t have to change. And while they might not have to now, as their rivals begin to welcome more smart ways of working, they will find themselves becoming obsolete after being left behind.


Adidas has tried to morph its manufacturing from large central warehouses and production lines that ship globally to something more customized and local. This aims to create a shoe that is more aligned to the customer. Individuals are keen to do business with more local and personalized firms and larger companies like Adidas are trying to tap into this psyche by using smart manufacturing processes.


Customer Perception

With climate change emerging, many customers assume that the utilization of machines increases harmful greenhouse gas production, which doesn’t always have to be the case. It also has the dreaded PR problem of being a replacement for humans. People tend to be untrusting of machinery, data and technology. Customers want to hear a human voice at the end of the phone rather than chat with a bot over the Internet.


The concept of a faceless corporate entity now fills customers with dread. They want to know where their products are coming from and how they are produced. The entire supply chain needs to be honest and transparent. Manufacturers need to take notice of the smaller businesses around them and utilize some of their public relations processes. Technology is not the evil entity that many think, but it is up to manufacturers to get this message across to their target markets.


3D printing, industrial vision technology, artificial intelligence, andon systems, and collaborative robots are bringing greater efficiencies and productivity to the manufacturing world. Humans are working alongside these machines and the best manufacturing employers’ are delivering custom and career enhancing training to empower their staff to welcome the change to their working practices. With those individuals who can analyze data as part of the manufacturing team, businesses can enjoy greater foresight when launching new products and components.


The key benefit of smart manufacturing, even if you remove the enhanced technology, is the data that can be analyzed to increase productivity and enhance efficiencies. This, in itself, is an incredible asset to manufacturers of all sizes across the globe.


With the smart manufacturing sphere increasing in the next five years, more and more production lines will become more productive and will be willing to take a punt on technology and data.