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The Top 3 Back-end Integrations for Teams and Brokers
We recently highlighted software integrations that can save real estate agents time and money. While there is some overlap, brokerages and real estate teams have different needs, especially when it comes to handling back-end issues like commission structures and accounting. Which integrations are most useful for brokerages and teams, and how can they help streamline your business operations? Let's explore. What Can Back-end Integrations Do for You? As we stated previously, the transaction is the core of any real estate business, so using your transaction management platform as the hub of your integration efforts is an efficient strategy. Before we dive into specific apps, let's look at what integrating your transaction management and back-end solutions can do for your business: Automate commission disbursement upon close of transactions Simplify year-end accounting, including generation of 1099s Allow agents to "subscribe" to a personal data feed that simplifies their own accounting Keep agents aware of issues like missing items, payouts, or deposits Simplify compliance and the document review process Track profit and loss per transaction Give agents access to their performance and payment history And more! The Top 3 Back-end Integrations for Brokers and Teams Now, let's explore specific back office apps and what they're capable of when integrated with your transaction management system. To help us illustrate these examples, we'll use dotloop as our sample transaction management platform, because it offers over 75 integration partners and is one of the best-integrated technologies in the industry. According to dotloop, the most popular back-end integrations for brokerages and teams are the following: MoxiWorks MoxiWorks offers a suite of tools for real estate professionals to do everything from managing clients to handling accounting. MoxiWorks' client engagement platform, MoxiEngage, integrates with dotloop to automatically include the transaction within the lead-to-close sales flow. Agents can create a dotloop transaction (known as a "loop") within MoxiEngage, submit documents for review, and see task checklists from the transaction embedded within MoxiWorks' broader sales flow checklist. MoxiBalance is the app that resulted from MoxiWorks' acquisition of accounting solution Reeazily in 2021. This integration automates commission payments upon a transaction's close and lets users manage escrow deposits. Transaction data can also sync to MoxiBalance to give brokers insight into agent performance. Loft47 Loft47 is a commission management app that can import all parties, financial information and documents from a dotloop transaction. This allows commissions and splits to be automatically paid out upon close, and at year end, enables 1099s to be generated with ease. In the midst of a transaction, the Loft47 integration keeps agents and brokers aware of issues like overdue items or transactions with lingering deposits requiring payouts, thanks to synced documentation and checklists. QuickBooks QuickBooks is a heavyweight accounting app leveraged across industries of all kinds. Within real estate, the QuickBooks-dotloop integration allows for standard automations like commission disbursements, earnest money management and 1099 creation. The integration also lets brokers track expenses that aren't typically included in a transaction management app, giving brokers insight into their profit and loss per transaction and per agent. See what other back-end integrations are available to brokerages and teams here. To learn more about dotloop, visit dotloop.com.
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Don't Forget These Real Estate Tax Deductions
We are about month away before our taxes are due. We hope that you've already submitted your taxes, but if not, we have a few real estate tax deductions to consider. These are expenses that you have that you might not realize are deductible. As always, be sure to consult a professional to maximize your tax return. Here are real estate tax deductions you should not forget: 1. Conferences If you are going to attend a real estate conference, you can add "deductible tax expense" to the list of benefits you get from attending one, such as networking, out of state referrals, and the education. 2. Your Camera If you have made video marketing part of your real estate business, that fancy camera you purchased is also a business expense! 3. Dry Cleaning Meeting people in person means you need to look your best! At the bare minimum, you should wear clean clothes. 4. Car Washes Clean clothes should be complemented by a clean car. Whether you are driving your client, or letting them follow you, you should always have a clean vehicle. 5. Your Tablet Tablets are worth considering as a replacement for a laptop, especially when you are always on the go. If you purchased one last year, we hope you kept the receipt! 6. Office Supplies Most small items that you use to ensure your office is fully stocked are considered a business expense. This includes paper, folders, pens, stationery, printer ink, and even snacks you keep around to offer to your clients! 7. Parking Fees If you've ever had to pay for parking while on the clock, this is a business expense. 8. Coaching Any sort of coaching you do—whether it be online, over the phone, or in person—is an investment into improving your business and is also deductible. 9. Online Ad Spend This refers to any money you spend on ads specifically. You should be keeping track of your online marketing spend anyway. You can use this business plan to help you keep track for next year. 10. Software Subscriptions If you subscribe to software, you should definitely claim that on your tax return! There are plenty more possible tax deductions that you may not be aware of. Zurple has created a checklist for you to print out when you review last year's expenses. Download it here for free. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Tax Tips Every Real Estate Agent Should Know
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[Best of 2021] What Salary Can You Expect to Make as a Real Estate Agent?
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in July and is #2 in our countdown. See #3 here. You hear about real estate agent salaries all the time. And on top of that, popular reality TV shows are glamorizing the lifestyle of a real estate agent. But, in truth, a real estate agent's salary varies depending on a number of conditions. That aside, once you become a seasoned real estate agent or even a real estate broker, your salary will significantly change. But it's always that sunshine and rainbows in the beginning. This is why we've created this post to show you what you can expect to make as a real estate agent. Please factor in that this will vary state by state. Here Are the Basics Being a real estate agent isn't your basic 9-to-5 office job. Chances are, you will be working from home, working from your car, coffee shop, and the office here and there. You'll also have to consider the fact that some real estate agents choose to dedicate more than 40 hours a week to this, whereas others choose to keep this strictly as a side career. However, according to NAR 2020 Member Profile, 73% of REALTORS® say that real estate is their only occupation. That number is a lot higher for those who have over 16 years of experience is real estate. That being said, you also have to factor in personal expenses, especially in your first year of real estate. Only then can you really consider yourself a paid real estate agent. This leads to our next key point... Are You a Part-time or Full-time Real Estate Agent? Being a part-time or full-time real estate agent will have an effect on your salary. Keep in mind, especially when you're a rookie real estate agent, you need clientele and you need a good strategy to follow up with referrals and gain more leads. The more time you invest into your real estate business, the more effect it will have on your real estate salary. According to a 2020-2021 report by McKissock Learning, the more hours an agent has invested into their real estate business per week, the higher their salary was. For example, an agent investing less than 20 hours a week would get paid an average annual income of about $22,000 compared to a real estate agent investing 51-59 hours a week and getting an average annual income of approximately $85,800. All in all, investing more hours into your lead generation and follow-up, organizing your database, updating your agent website and posting on your social media really makes a difference in what salary you should expect as a real estate agent. Take Brokerage Fees into Consideration In places like Ontario, real estate agents are required to work for a brokerage and, therefore, have to pay a certain percentage to the brokerage. According to a post published by Get What You Want, a real estate agent is required to give a certain percentage of their commission to their brokerage. This could be roughly anywhere between $2,900-$3,825 depending on where you live and what commission you've earned. How You Can Earn More as a Real Estate Agent If you've made it this far, you will have, at some point, felt a little overwhelmed. Especially as a new agent, you are already so overwhelmed with all of your expenses, broker fees, and taxes. Considering all of this, your fantastic-looking gross income could end up looking a little less fantastic. However, there are solutions. While it won't happen within the course of a day, making certain changes to your real estate business can help you earn more as a real estate agent. So how do you increase your salary as a real estate agent? Start by investing in yourself. With the right tools, you can really take your real estate business to the next level. A simple tool to get started would be a real estate CRM. A CRM is a contact relationship management software. This is just the tool you need to organize your database, make notes, schedule and send automated emails and eNewsletters, build a beautiful real estate agent website and so much more! A real estate CRM that will take your real estate business to the next level and have you earning more as real estate agent would also come equipped with a marketing automation system. This is where you will feel like you have your own personal assistant without having to hire someone. So How Will This Affect Your Salary? Making these simple everyday changes will allow you to build your business and keep in touch with your contacts and important referral sources. Once your start growing your database, keeping in touch and nurturing your contacts, while also focusing on promoting your brand, your real estate business will see more action. As mentioned earlier in this article, agents that put in more time into their real estate business see a higher salary than those doing the bare minimum. Putting in more time doesn't mean you need to sit at the computer for long hours. Once you have everything scheduled and automated, you will find it easier to operate your real estate business and you will adapt. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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What Should My Real Estate Marketing Budget Be?
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Save Your Hard-Earned Money By Incorporating (and Other Financial Tips for Real Estate Agents)
Are you taking advantage right now of every tax break that is legally available to you? Probably not. The genius Albert Einstein is attributed to saying about taxes, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes." Are you trusting your tax advisor to provide you with all the tax saving benefits available to you? As experienced as many tax advisors are, most largely do a great job of recording the history that you give to them. It is far more uncommon to find an accountant that provides you with insight about tax breaks that you are not already taking. Let's explore some tax saving strategies and benefits – recommendations to put you in the driver's seat and potentially put more money in your pocket, legally.
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Best Apps to Track Your Business Expenses: Expensify and Mile IQ
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5 Important Tips When Hiring a CPA to Prepare Your Taxes
It's tax time and a perfect opportunity hire a good CPA to advise and prepare your tax return. Have a CPA already? Great! It is also a great time to assess whether they are an asset to your business, and whether they are fully addressing the current and future needs of your real estate business.
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Get Ready to Knock Your 2019 Taxes Out Cold with These Apps!
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5 Steps for Planning Your 2019 Real Estate Marketing Budget
It's already December — 2019 is sneaking up on us! Now is the time to plan out your real estate marketing budget before the new year hits. Ready to get on the right track for next year? Here are a few tips for getting that budget started.
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It's Tax Season: Tax Preparation for Real Estate Agents
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Managing Your Commission to Last the Year
The first commission check you earn in real estate feels amazing. After receiving it, it can seem like you're set as far as finances go. After all, you just have to keep doing what you're doing and the commissions will keep rolling in. It's easy to forget that there are good months and bad months, and that you have to make each check last. Find tips to make your commission last the year here!
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10 Easy Ways Agents Can Run a More Profitable Business
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Five Expense Tracking Apps to Prepare You for Next Year's Tax Season
As the 2016 tax season comes to an end, you become your own private investigator: searching every crevice, purse, drawer, or shoebox imaginable to find every last receipt or document needed to show proof of purchase for business expenses. That's the burden of tax preparation: whether you own your own business or work as a self-employed employee (1099 filing status), you have to show proof of all your business expenses. Knowing what you can deduct and keeping track of these expenses throughout the year can take the hassle out of filing your taxes. Tax Deductions As a real estate professional, you need to know which of your expenses are tax deductible. Being aware of possible deductions can help you know which receipts to save and what activities and expenses to document. (*We advise everyone to consult their tax professional regarding their specific situations and to find more information about applicable tax deductions.) Here are some tax deductions you may qualify for. Vehicle According to the IRS website, vehicle deductions vary. First, you have the choice of adding up all expenses like gas, repairs, oil, and (yes, even) car washes, or you can use the standardized mileage deduction. The way the IRS standard mileage works is for every mile driven, a certain dollar amount is applied to it. Second, if you are leasing, you can expense the complete payment of your car or deduct annual depreciation if owned. Finally, if you don't own a car, Uber and taxi expenses are deductible. Home Office / Supplies If you have a dedicated work space in your home (not including your living room or kitchen), a portion of your rent / mortgage based on the size of the space is deductible (please see the IRS website for home office specifications). This is also applicable to internet, cable, and phones used within the home. Office supplies like staples, paperclips, and stamps used in the tax year can also be deducted. Office furniture like desk, chairs, and bookcases can be deducted all at once or by depreciation.
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4 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Better Manage Their Wealth
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The Power of Automation: Sync your transactions to QuickBooks
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM PST In real estate we know how important it is to keep your business and accounting streamlined, so we have a fantastic solution that we built based on our own customer's needs and feedback for just that purpose! Connect Brokermint transaction management to Quickbooks and pay agents, invoice customers and send all receivables and payables, eliminating double entry and allowing you to keep your books straight, seamlessly. In a few days, on January 18 at 10am PT, our team will be hosting a webinar to share best practices with you: Why QuickBooks is a perfect fit for thousands of businesses How to sync your transaction data to QuickBooksHow to cut checks and pay your agents How to setup recurring/monthly billing How to do direct deposits and much more... All attendees get 25% off the first 3 months of their Brokermint subscription. Register now!
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Real Estate Agent Tax Tips: Are You Really In Business?
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Friday Freebie: This App Keeps Track of Your Mileage Deductions So You Don't Have To
The average agent drives 30,000 miles per year, according to NAR, and is therefore eligible for over $16,000 in driving-related deductions--but only if they keep detailed records of their drives. That's where a lot of agents fall down--and where today's Friday Freebie can help. Read on to learn more! Track 40 Drives for Free with MileIQ (and get a special discount for the rest) Ask any agent, and they'll likely admit that their car is like a second office for them. We've heard of agents driving around with everything from their laptop to a change of clothes to tiny portable printers. And it's no wonder--agents are constantly on the go, driving from showing to showing and other client appointments. All of that driving adds up to a significant chunk of change that agents can deduct on their taxes each year, but the challenge is in keeping mileage records that comply with IRS requirements. That's where MileIQ can help. MileIQ is a mobile app that relies on your smartphone's location capabilities to automatically track and log your drives. The app runs in the background on your phone, and automatically senses when you're driving, so you never have to worry about turning it on or off. Once a drive is completed, MileIQ prompts you to classify the trip as business or personal. Simply swipe right to classify as business, and left to classify as personal. It sounds simple, and it is, but MileIQ offers a host of other features, like: Detailed information about each drive, including a mapped route, start and end times, miles driven, and potential dollar amount of the deduction The ability to add notes to a drive, including parking a toll fees, as well as denote a purpose (client meeting, errand, etc.) Name locations that you visit frequently Set work hours so that all drives during that time are automatically classified as business Set-up vehicle profiles A web dashboard that lets you manage and edit drives Detailed reports that can be exported in multiple file formats and imported into your accounting program of choice Mileage logs that are IRS-compliant MileIQ is free to use for up to 40 drives every month. After that, the app requires a nominal fee to continue using. But never fear--we've negotiated a discount on that fee for our readers! For a limited time, RE Technology members can can save 20% off the cost of an annual subscription to MileIQ using the code RETECH20. Click here to try out MileIQ and claim your discount today!
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5 Tools Real Estate Agents Will Love
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Product Review: MileIQ Is a Hassle-free Way to Track Your Mileage Deductions
Real estate agents drive an estimated 30,000 miles per year, according to the National Association of Realtors. That adds up to a lot of expenses in gas, maintenance, and insurance. Fortunately, IRS rules allow you to deduct those business related expenses at a rate of 54 cents per mile--or over $16,000 a year for the average agent! While a deduction of that size makes a huge difference in your annual tax bill, the IRS requires that you keep a detailed record of business related drives in order to qualify for the deduction. That's where MileIQ comes in. MileIQ is a mobile app that automatically logs all of your drives and keeps track of your potential mileage deductions. Now agents can say goodbye to the old pen-and-paper log and lean on their GPS-enabled smartphone to keep scrupulous records for them. How It Works MileIQ taps into your phone's location services capabilities--including GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower triangulation--to automatically track all of your drives. After a drive is completed, the app prompts you to classify the drive as either personal or business. This is done with a single gesture: swipe right to classify as business; swipe left to classify the drive as personal. As you can see in the image above, the app will display the route of your drive on a map, start and end times, length of trip, and the potential dollar amount of the deduction. In addition to classifying your drive, you can optionally add notes (including parking and toll fees), select which car you drove, or delete the drive altogether.
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6 Ways a Mileage Tracking App Saves Agents Time and Money
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5 Tips to Separate Business Expenses from Personal Expenses
While independent business ventures like real estate can afford self-directed workers personal and economic freedom, that freedom can also cause individuals to mix their personal and business expenditures. While this practice does not in itself trigger an IRS audit, it can force you to employ guesstimation tactics when reporting business expenses to the IRS, and this can lead to tax woes and limit the potential for business tax deductions. Use the following tips to separate business expenses from personal expenses and maximize your business tax deductions. Be Contemporaneous, Not Extemporaneous Just as it is wise to maintain mileage logs to document your mileage for the IRS, it is also wise to track expenses contemporaneously, or roughly as they occur, rather than impulsively filling in the blanks come tax time. Small expenses in particular are not likely to register in your memory unless you register them on paper through either bookkeeping software or a simple spreadsheet. Treat your expense logs as living documents that are updated at regular intervals. Adopt a Business Mindset When Tracking Personal Expenses Your financial mindset, as much as your behavior, can cause you to haphazardly track expenses. Oftentimes, diligent workers give business expenses the royal treatment in their budget, tracking business accounts payable with precision, but relegate personal expenses into a non-itemized, no-man's land of miscellaneous expenditures that can be identified as easily as a needle in a haystack. Track personal expenses with the same methodical, entrepreneurial instinct by which you track your business expenses.
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When Can Your Clients Deduct Moving Expenses?
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QuickBooks integration for your real estate back office (8/17)
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT This webinar is for both existing and new QuickBooks users who want to automate data entry, integrate with back office, setup recurring billing, etc. Why QuickBooks is a perfect fit for thousands of real estate businesses How to automate data entry and connect your back office to QuickBooks Bonus: Invaluable Best Practices. Recurring billing, direct deposits and much more Register now!
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Agent's Guide to a Pain-free Tax Season
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Friday Freebie: Track Your Marketing ROI with this Worksheet
You know how they say you have to spend money to make money? It's true, but you have to spend wisely in order to get the most bang for your buck. To better judge which expenses are worth keeping in 2016, zoom in on the return on investment (ROI) for each. This free ROI worksheet from Zillow will help you do just that. It's the second in our series of Friday Freebies that help you prepare for a successful New Year (You can see last week's 15-task business checklist here.) Free ROI Tracking Worksheet, courtesy of Zillow This little gem is a simple Excel spreadsheet that doesn't require you to share any contact info in order to download (refreshing, right?). Instead, it asks you to list your monthly expenses (advertising, website, CRM, etc.)--and annual commission in order to calculate your ROI. Like we said, it's simple. But the worksheet is flexible enough that anyone with a little Excel knowledge can use it as a starting point for more complex ROI tracking. Zillow, for example, recommends using a new worksheet for each campaign. You can modify it in whatever way works best for your business. Tip: If you add new line items to the "Expenses" section, be sure to merge Columns A&B and C&D for each new row. Want to start measuring your success today? Download Zillow's free ROI Tracking Worksheet now!
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Tax Tips for Agents – Part 2
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Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents – Part 1
Have you ever received a letter or phone call from the IRS pointing out deductions that you missed on your tax return? Me either, and as nice as some of those IRS folks are, I have a feeling we shouldn't wait for such a phone call. Nope, it's completely up to your accountant to ensure you get every last deduction you're entitled to. But accountants can't pull the proof for these deductions out of thin air; that's your job. And that requires a diligent adherence to that task we all hate to do: record keeping. Documentation Keeping accurate records is vital to your pocketbook, according to CPA Gail Rosen. "It's so important to recognize the power of a deduction and not to miss any," she warns. "I liken it to downloading an app to your phone," explains Bill Zumwalt, "The Tax Coach" for real estate agents, out of Tulsa Oklahoma. "When you download an app you get a long list of legalese called terms and conditions. Tax strategies, like the home office, are just like apps," he continues. "You find one that fits, you download it, and then you read the fine print – the terms and conditions," says Zumwalt. He goes on to explain that the IRS has terms and conditions for deductions – things you need to do and requirements to meet to make a particular tax strategy work. "The devil is in the detail," warns Zumwalt. "If you have documentation, it will be your friend." Let's take a look at what the pros say are some of the most common tax deductions that agents are entitled to, and suggestions on how to document them.
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Organize Your Way to a Painless Tax Season
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5 Things to Look for in a New Remote Bookkeeper
Guest contributor Kashoo says: It was hard enough hiring the right person for your bookkeeping needs when you had a stack of 100 resumes to review. Now you've got people spread out across the globe vying for your attention through email marketing, websites, social media... the list goes on. And it's entirely true that when it comes to the physical tasks of bookkeeping, geography doesn't matter much anymore. So with that said, how do you make the right choice in selecting a remote bookkeeper for your business? To help you navigate, here are a few criteria to consider... Location, Location, Location This sounds strange, right? Remote, by definition, means not nearby. But hear me out. In this case, it's not so much where your potential bookkeeper lives, but when they live. Take into account time zones when deciding on a new bookkeeper. If you know you'll need to talk on the phone, or are likely to request a report any given morning on short notice, will they be available (read: awake) when you need them? References and Reputation For bookkeepers, it's no longer good enough to include a "references available upon request" note. Your new bookkeeper should have a good track record, and should be able to connect you with their other remote clients.
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Budget Season: Will You Be Making These 3 Marketing Expenses?
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Was the iPad Built for the Real Estate Professional?
Guest Contributor Kashoo Says: The short answer to that question is, “probably not,” but the iPad is quickly becoming a mandatory go-to tool for the real estate professional. And for good reason! From email to presentations to virtual tours and meetings and much, much more, Apple’s wonder tablet is an ideal complement to the busy, always-on-the-go real estate pro. It’s “always on,” it’s beyond easy to use, battery life meets long day demand, and with 4G or wifi, it’s always connected. But beyond being a fantastic tool for the real estate business, the iPad is an incredible tool for managing your real estate business. We’re talking about back-end stuff like accounting. The clunky, dreaded stuff. The tasks that, while vital to the health of your business, often fall to the back-burner. The point is, the iPad is making it easier than ever for a real estate professional to run his or her business. And that saves energy, time and--most importantly--money.
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3 Tech Solutions for Tax Season Woes
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How to Prepare Your Business for the End of the Year
We spotted this post on the Kashoo blog: Yes, it’s here: the end of the year, and a busy time for you as a solo practitioner or small business owner! As the new tax-filing season looms in the first quarter of the new year, it is also the time for you to review your business finances. If you have been faithfully utilizing your small business accounting software, it should be very easy for you and your accountant to generate the reports and financial statements necessary for your end-of-the-year review session. Year-end financial statements are used to prepare taxes, are used as the foundation for all other reports in the future, and are used to assist with the important future business decisions you will be making. In the U.S., many of the tax credits for charitable contributions may be ending, so this is also a good time to review and re-evaluate your year-end donation strategy to ensure that your funds reach your charities in time.
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