Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How YouTube Transformed Property Management

YouTube's tagline is "Broadcast yourself" and millions have done just that. But it's not just kids lip-syncing, music videos, or animals sneezing. Home improvement videos also found an audience on YouTube.

Let's back this up a step.

One of the downsides of investing in property is that you'll need to do the repairs. You could hire someone else to do it, but chances are it won't be cheap. Many people fear they won't have the skills to make proper repairs: "I'm not a handy person". I used to let them off the hook with this excuse. But no more!

Home improvement shows/stores have all created channels that show you exactly how to do something. Many individuals also upload videos showing how they did something. I still get comments on my video about installing a water back flow valve. All you need to do is search YouTube for what you're trying to accomplish.

Jessi and I didn't know how to build a fence before this summer. Did that stop us? No! We used YouTube. We searched for "how to install a fence" and watched an hour or so worth of videos. Each one showed a different angle, talked about a different tool, and gave specific tips. By the time we finished, we knew what we had to do and how to do it. We also double checked with the people at Home Depot while standing in front of the tools/materials.

With the Internet, and especially video, learning how to make property improvements is easy.

I can see how people would shy away from property management before YouTube. My dad tells stories of spending hours at the library doing research and visiting construction sites to see how the professionals installed something. That's an effort most people are unwilling to do. But now you can do research and "watch the pros" on your iPad during commercial breaks.

Oh, you don't have the tools? Let's stop this excuse too. Chances are you can find the tool you need at your local rental yard. There are many tools Jessi and I buy because we use them a lot, but a lot of them we just rent. The cool part about renting is that they show you exactly how to use the tool too. For the fence project we rented the auger to drill the post holes, for the septic tank project we rented the jack hammer, and for the re-grading project we rented the tractor. Wow - we've been busy.

YouTube is an amazing resource for home improvement projects. If you didn't want to invest in property because of the scary maintenance piece, YouTube solved that problem for you.

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