Sometimes we need to think beyond the costs and think about the time

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

I'm used to thinking about the cost things on my business and doing the ROI...whether it's the actual return on investment for the spending or the return on my time.


Yes, I often think about opportunity if I saved time by using an online tool, I can reinvest that time.  I could use that time to coach someone at $200/hr.  Or better yet, I can use that time on another project that might net me $300-$500/hr.  You get the idea.


As my business has grown and as I've been earning more money on my blog, it's very easy to see.  (It was more challenging 3 or 4 years ago when I was in the thick of things...even though I got it intellectually.)


It's funny, because I was just updating and optimizing an article on which Miele vacuum to use.  (I still have some more work to do it, but I need a break).


And, then something hit me.


Just like I value my time and think about it like a trade-off, well the same thing happens with the vacuums I'm writing about.  It's not just that Miele vacuums and great and have the best suction.


But, because they have the best suction, they will actually save you time in vacuuming.  And, that is another value point. I need to figure out how to integrate that concept into my article.


It especially works because Miele vacuums are on the more expensive end...and people that can afford them and value their cleaning superiority also value their time.


So, in the same way that I'm willing to pay more for my grocery deliveries (sure, I started doing it for safety reasons), I went through the mental calculation of how much time it saved me...time that I could put towards my make more money to then in turn essentially make the grocery delivery more than free, so I plan to continue to order groceries this way most of the time (even though I'm fully vaccinated).


It is so much faster for me, especially since I live in an apartment and having to get those groceries out of the car and into a cart and add a couple of extra elevator/long hallway trips.

I'd rather reclaim that time. It means more time for me (more time to exercise, more time to relax, etc.)


Plus, I also feel good that I'm helping someone else out with a job (and I tip well), so I feel that I've created a mini win-win and maybe helped our economy an extra iota.


Just my random thoughts for the day as I sit out here on my parent's deck in absolutely perfect weather.

Comments (11)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Great thoughts, and I do not use the vacuum.  My superb, lovely housekeeper, Edith, does.  She is worth it! This is definitely worth my time. I do have a dustbuster for those moments when a dry spill happens.  We also get our car washed and tip generously!  I am all over this.  As for groceries, I am super finicky about my veggies and other greens, I would not have them delivered...LOL A

May 13, 2021 01:36 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Since I don't ever know what I'm going to walk out with when I go grocery shopping and I eat out a lot, that won't be an option for me.  Too much stuff would spoil in my fridge.  However, I do other things to speed my day along and free up time.  When I first started in real estate in 2006, I did everything and anything I could to be noticed.  Went to meetings of all kinds, looked at homes that I had no buyers for because I was told to make sure I know what the inventory was.  Then I gravitated to Activerain and spent hours a day blogging (remember the write one a day times?).  And I'm sure that it all helped me become a better broker but my income was nothing like now.  Now I have simplified my life considerbly and, like you. I have a friend who spends a considerable part of each day running errands. I don't. If it can be brought to my door, and most things can, I order it that way. Now I even have time for myself and my brokerage is doing better than ever. 

May 13, 2021 02:38 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You covered a lot of ground in those thoughts. Vacuuming, grocery delivers and how many things to make a lot of money per hour

May 13, 2021 06:19 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debbie:

I think you've raised some excellent points about being aware of our time invested, not just the money, and the opportunity costs. It's important to keep in mind how we spend our business and in our personal lives...and what we get out of it. It's not always something tangible.


May 13, 2021 10:07 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nice to have you back in the Shire Debbie, glad you did not forget your roots, we remeber when you were not worth $200 per hour, so hope you stay even if it is costing you money:))Endre

May 13, 2021 10:44 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

p.s.: our poor folks love it when the rich people return:))Endre

May 13, 2021 10:45 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Debbie - I enjoy your writing.  It always seems to be a "win-win" on multiple levels.   

May 14, 2021 06:49 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Debbie Gartner very true, sometimes we need to think beyond the costs and think about the time.

May 15, 2021 10:48 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Debbie- Couldn't agree more. Cost isn't the only factor to consider. If paying for a service allows us to spend our time better and more productively, then go for it. 

May 15, 2021 06:31 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

I think most people don't put enough value on their time. Time IS money. You're either using productively (an investment) or wasting it (throwing money away).  We shouldn't be doing $20 tasks when we could be getting $100 in return for another task. 

As for grocery shopping, I calculated that I pay about 15% more for delivery but I also save money in time AND I don't buy things that aren't on my list.  Win/Win.

Jun 08, 2021 07:36 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Hi Debbie,  I agree with you about the shopping and the Miele vaccuum.  I have one too and love it.

Jun 23, 2021 03:28 PM