Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Difficulties with Time Difference

Obviously one of the biggest issues with investing in US Property is the fact that you are on the other side of the world, so ultimately, the power of control is taken out of your hands. At the end of the day, being so far away really forces you to be hands off with your investment. This means your total investment is in the hands of your property managers over there, one of the reasons why it is so important to have a solid team working for you in the US.

One of the biggest issues which I did not realise would become so relevant, was simply the time difference. In the internet age, it is so much easier to communicate with the other side of the world, allowing you to invest your money wherever you want. However there is one problem with communicating with people in the US. When I am awake and ready to communicate, they are asleep, and vice versa. 

The last week of so I have been in constant touch with our insurance broker, every day I have been firing off emails to her. But by the time I wake up and send it, she has gone home from the day, and when she sends her emails to us, I am already fast asleep. Looking at a typical work day in Florida (where our investment property is), 9.00am - 5.00pm, that converts to 11.00pm - 7.00am Sydney time. It has made it very difficult as I am not typically available between 11.00pm and 7.00am, so our email conversations typically consist of just one email each day. Meaning a decent exchange of emails can take up to a week just to get through. The timezone difference just makes everything so much slower than it would if you were investing in Australia, where you could quite easily just talk on the phone with much more appealing time zones.

We are lucky our property agent is more dedicated than a typical 9am - 5pm worker, where she seems to be able to be contacted almost any time of the day, and quite often get a reply fairly quickly. Without this dedication to her job, I can't imagine how much more difficult it would have made the whole process.

I know it may not sound like a big thing, but it has definitely added to the difficulties with investing over in the US. It is something that needs to be taken into consideration, possibly investing on the Western coast of the US might make things a bit easier

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