New Note

Create a note for yourself from this lesson. Notes allow you to quickly jot down any valuable information you'd like to review later. You can find your notes by clicking on "My Notes" in the profile navigation menu.

Business Development

REI Outsourcing: Why I Use Interns

overwhelmedAs a real estate investor who has been investing since 2003, and who has moved to three different markets in the past 10 years (Washington, D.C., Vancouver, and San Diego), I can speak from experience that real estate investing can be an overwhelming and time consuming business – especially if you don’t surround yourself with the right people to help you pull it all together seamlessly. 

By now you probably know, and have probably hired (or created partnerships with), most of the following human resources:  virtual assistants, administrative assistants, Realtors, mortgage brokers, title companies, contractors, etc.  But have you ever wished you could actually find help in your business at no to low cost?  A human resource that can help you with your investing business and give you the freedom to invest in any market no matter where you live? 

This human resource is interns.

By the time we're finished with today's lesson, I hope to have radically shifted your perspective on two topics:

  1. How to effectively and economically outsource key facets of your REI business
  2. How uniquely powerful interns can be in growing your real estate investing business to the next level

A Little Background On How I Stumbled Upon Interns

Before I get started sharing with you the power of interns, I want to share with you my own story of how I first discovered interns.  As mentioned above, my wife, and business partner, and I started our first company – a real estate investing company – in Washington, D.C. during 2003.  We were doing foreclosure investing before the housing boom.  Then in 2005 we relocated to Vancouver, my hometown, to start a family and expand our real estate business to the west coast.

babiesTwo Under Two

When our first child turned one we decided to take a sabbatical (that’s fancy for “extended vacation”) to Greece where we accidentally got pregnant again.  Well, by the time we returned home and found ourselves with a new baby – when our first child wasn’t even two years old – we were not sure what we were going to do. 

Upon the arrival of our second child in 2009, we both felt incredibly stressed, and we feared that we weren’t going to be able to get it all done.  We had two small children under the age of two, and as many parents can attest, the famous “two under two” routine is not the easiest game to play.

At the time, we had a few contractors and a virtual assistant working for us, but given our situation, my wife was essentially on maternity leave with very limited time to help-out on the businesses.  I was trying to take care of all of our businesses while also trying to be a good Dad and husband – no easy task.

We realized the value of hiring interns

I had always been intrigued with the idea of interns, and one day on Twitter (of all places) I was contacted by a career counselor from Penn State, my alma mater.  One thing led to another, and soon hired my first intern.  I was hooked.

kennethAfter hiring our first intern, we realized the true value of the interns in our industry, and we ended up hiring more and more interns, thereby freeing-up some time for us to focus on growing our businesses and being better parents/spouses.

As we began to mentor these interns, we realized we were not only raising our kids but we were also able to “raise and mentor” other young adults preparing to enter the workforce. 

Interns have made a huge difference in our businesses:  we now finish more projects, start more projects, and are much more profitable.  The interns who work with us get valuable “real world” experience, love the work that they do, and are so hardworking and motivated that taking an unpaid position is something that they are genuinely excited about.  It’s the ultimate “win-win” situation for all of us.

Over the past three years we’ve hired over thirty interns to intern with our different companies. 

  • We’ve had them doing everything from blogging to building websites, and focusing on “search engine optimization” so our sites climb higher in Google’s rankings. 
  • We have them analyzing and researching our competitors to make our company stronger. 
  • They also manage our social media profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • They even research new projects for us, and help us determine what new markets we need to evolve into.

And best of all: We decided in 2009 to relocate again to San Diego, to begin investing in a new market, and through the help of our interns we now actively invest in San Diego, Phoenix and Pennsylvania (in addition to Washington, D.C. and Washington state).

Understanding the Intern Opportunity

Now at this point you may be thinking, “Interns could be a great solution for my business, too!”  Or maybe you just aren’t sure yet.  Well I’m going to help you get a better understanding of the intern opportunity, and not just from my own personal experience. 

Are you struggling to grow?  Do you find you have more to do than you can manage and your personal and family life is suffering? 

So how do you do it?  How do you actually grow your business?

The first way is to go out and hire more help.

But you know how that goes - once you hire new staff, you better hope that you’re producing enough revenue to cover their salary. 

Or, you can play it conservatively.  You can choose not to hire any help – but then you’re limited by how fast your real estate investing business can grow.

rockBetween a Rock and a Hard Place in Business

It’s the ultimate “rock and a hard place” in business: You risk taking on new employees and hope that they produce enough to cover their own salary, or you don’t take any risks and watch your business never grow or reach the potential you know it could. 

In the meantime, you (the business owner) slowly go insane – and broke – because you’re trying to “do it all” yourself.

Have you considered hiring an intern?

When you hire interns, not only do they increase your productivity, but they can also decrease your expenses. Hiring interns can be a cost effective way of staffing your real estate investing business. Although these students are very smart and capable, they don’t yet have the experience under their belt to command high wages.

By hiring multiple interns, you can provide some valuable experience for the students themselves while at the same time enjoying the output of multiple employees for the price of one.  And, oftentimes, interns will work for free in exchange for real world experience.

Hiring interns can also be used as a way to reduce the risk associated with hiring full-time employees.

Hiring a full-time employee can be expensive because you have to guarantee them a salary and maybe even benefits. If this employee turns out to be a bad fit for you culture or they aren’t as qualified as you thought they were then you could be in trouble.

By hiring interns for a couple months, you get the benefit of a “trying-out period.” During this period, you have the chance to make sure that the intern is a good fit for your company (and likewise for the intern), and if they are qualified to eventually take over a full-time position.

jobsToday’s Economy and New Workers

Interns are also facing their own “rock and a hard place” scenario in today’s economy. 

During the past decade, undergraduate internship experience has become almost essential in just about every field of study. Before being hired full-time, employers want to see that an individual can perform in a professional environment.

For this reason, applying for internships has become extremely competitive among students.

So what does this mean for you, as a real estate investor?

The high demand for internships means that it is extremely easy to get an intern. When you make the decision to hire interns, you will discover that you have much more time to focus on increasing your bottom line. 

Wrapping Up

At this point you might be thinking, “Interns could be a solution for my real estate investing business, but I’m not sure exactly how to go about even getting an intern.”  Well, in my next lesson, I’m going to give you some quick steps to follow, in order to get your internship program up-and-running in no time.

But here’s what I want you to do right now, in preparation of the next few lessons (and in preparation for hiring your first intern)…


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  • Sit down and write a list of all the things you need help with in your business.  Simply write a list of all the things you’d like to be doing in an ideal world to help your business grow.  These projects could be small or very large.
  • Don’t worry about listing out all the specific tasks, or how long each task will take, etc.  Similarly, don’t worry at this time about whether you should hire a team of interns or some other combination of resources.
  • For now, just make a list of everything you’d like to be doing in your business, assuming that you have an unlimited amount of resources to get it all done (time, money, etc.).
  • Save your list in a safe place, so that we can refer back to it over the next few lessons in this series.

Is there a topic you'd like to learn more about? Request a Lesson


+ Mark as Learned

Valuable Lesson? Share it:


Request a Lesson

At RealEstateMogul.com, mogul_guarantee.pngwe’re committed to delivering the awesomest, most practical, actionable content to our members … and that a big part of that is getting YOU to tell us what you'd like to learn from us. Since our REI resources are basically endless, we’d love to tailor our upcoming training as much as possible to precisely match what you, our members, really need and want out of us.

jpsig.png Request form