As a real estate agent, you work under the supervision of a real estate broker, but you still need to manage your business efficiently, the same as any other small business owner, to increase sales and revenue. Because you manage a range of business activities as a real estate agent, including sales, marketing, expense tracking, and taxes, you most likely need top-quality, versatile accounting software to stay organized.
Learn more about how accounting software can help you grow your business.
When your day involves meeting and following up with clients, showing properties, making numerous phone calls, and meeting the boss for lunch, it is all too easy to forget important bookkeeping matters. With cloud-based bookkeeping software, you can enter a wide range of details impacting your business as they come in, such as new client information and business expense receipts, in a few minutes.
When you’re on the road, you can even use your mobile device to access apps that integrate with QuickBooks to upload expenses, track mileage, or enter contacts. What you end up with is all of your financial details neatly organized in a database, from which you can pull reports, make bank deposits, and see the big picture showing how your business is growing.
Knowing your sales data is crucial as it helps you keep track of your monthly earnings and provides insight into ways you can grow your business. You can use bookkeeping software to enter specific details about your sales and commissions such as property addresses, commission splits, and bonuses.
Entering this financial data in QuickBooks gives you seamless tracking of your sales if you decide to switch brokerage firms during the year. You can also add your banking information and bills into the software, which allows you to deposit earnings in your bank account quickly and pay your bills on time.
Real estate agents can deduct a wide range of expenses come tax time. Some of the expenses Canadian real estate agents can deduct include:
- Home office expenses
- Office supplies
To take advantage of deductions, the Canada Revenue Agency typically requires you to produce documentation. Instead of keeping folders full of faded receipts for years, consider taking snapshots of your receipts and attaching them to your expense transaction entries in QuickBooks. With expense information entered, you can prepare profit and loss statements, which provide your annual financial data in an easy-to-understand format useful when preparing your tax forms.
Marketing is vital for success as a real estate agent. Integrate your customer list into QuickBooks, from which you can pull mailing addresses and email addresses to send direct mail and email marketing campaigns. You can also use QuickBooks apps to grow your customer list even when you’re on the go, away from your desktop or laptop computer.
Manage Invoicing and Payments
Have you ever had a client miss a payment because they forgot when it was due? It sounds like a no-brainer, but chances are good that someone, somewhere, may make up that excuse. CRM software helps you eliminate any guesswork, mess-ups, and forgetfulness.
Intuitive software such as QuickBooks Online allows you to send great-looking invoices to clients as well as vendors such as maintenance companies. When the invoice is due, simply type in the customer’s name, fill out an invoice template, and send it through email. The invoice will have a “Pay Now” option, making it easier for clients to pay directly form the invoice.When you send an invoice, you can easily attach a copy of the the terms of agreement for your client to reference. Plus, if anything is past due, your clients will receive a reminder through email.
Learn more about creating your own invoices here.
Transaction Management Software
Real estate software for agents makes the process of tracking your investments more efficient. You don’t have to crunch cost and loan numbers manually, thanks to the software’s functionality. In addition to tracking investments automatically, you can preview what happens if, for example, you raise the rent. The report can quickly show you how soon you’ll recoup your investment and help you determine what the most advantageous sale price is, should you choose to divest yourself of the property.
The best real estate transaction management software analyzes and organizes data to show you what a transaction does to your overall bottom line. Instead of spending hours in front of a calculator to figure out if your debt load can take another $500,000 retail space, run the numbers through your software to weigh all the pros and cons.
Other Practical Uses for Real Estate Accounting Software
Real estate accounting software is useful for everyone in the real estate industry, not just for brokers. If you’re a real estate appraiser, send out an invoice made in QuickBooks after each appraisal to speed up payment and keep your cash flow healthy.
Real estate accounting software also helps you track the time you spend on your various endeavours. Use it to help you focus less on mundane, everyday tasks so you can devote more energy and effort to your core business model of buying, selling, or renting properties. Tracking your employees’ time, in addition, can show you ways to increase efficiency as you look to save money throughout your busy office. Every little bit helps, especially when you have a busy weekend of showing properties ahead of you.