I’ve talked with many Realtors, and most of the Realtors that I speak with are overwhelmed with the money side of their business.
Many people that come into real estate never owned a business before.
Many people that become Realtors were W-2 employees.
They never had to consider all the nuances that come with owning a business.
Here are my top simple money moves for Realtors.
1. Pay Yourself First
One of the biggest mistakes a Realtor makes is not paying themselves first.
If you’re going to take all the risks associated with starting a Realtor business, should you be the first person to be paid when you get a commission check?
However, too many Realtors make the mistake of paying everyone else first.
Here’s a common trend I see many Realtors make.
The Realtor pays all the vendors who helped them sell the house first and then the last scraps of the commission check come back to the Realtor who was responsible for making the sale.
If you’re doing most of the work to list of sell a home, doesn’t that mean you should get most of the commission check?
2. Set Aside Money For Taxes
This is a common mistake that many Realtors make. Then during tax season, a big surprise tax bill awaits them.
I can’t think of anything more frustrating than having a big tax surprise.
Most realtors wait until February or March to talk with a tax professional.
Then the tax bill comes, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues.
Here’s where an ounce of prevention could have been precious.
3. Find a Tax Professional That Focuses on Working With Realtors.
Whether you realize it or not, taxes will end up being one of your largest expenses.
If you wait until after the end of a calendar year to talk with a tax professional, then you could be pouring tens of thousands of dollars into Uncle Sam’s coffers.
Many Realtors end up paying much more in taxes than they are legally obligated to pay.
Find a tax professional that specializes in working with Realtors.
Many tax professionals focus primarily on preparing tax returns. This is not the best person to help you lower your tax bill.
A tax preparer only focuses on preparing tax returns.
You want to work with someone who can help you create a tax savings plan.
Many times, the best way to find a competent tax professional is to ask top producing agents that you respect.
You’ll probably end up paying more than you expect for someone that focuses on working with Realtors.
However, a competent tax professional will help you save much more in taxes than you pay the tax professional.
4. Maintain Good Money Records
One of the first things you should do is have a separate bank and credit card for your Realtor business.
Every time you get a commission check, make sure the money is deposited into your Realtor business checking account.
Then whenever you make a business expense, pay for it from either your Realtor business checking account or your business credit card.
Avoid paying for personal expenses out of your Realtor business checking account. Only pay for business expenses out of your Realtor business checking account or credit card.
As soon as you can afford to, it makes sense to hire a bookkeeper to do your books.
Bookkeeping is something many Realtors think they can learn how to do. This is a massive mistake.
You’re better off using your time to sell more homes.
I have not met one Realtor who enjoys bookkeeping.
Your strengths are not in bookkeeping. If you had strengths in bookkeeping, you would have become a bookkeeper.
Be willing to pay the price for an excellent bookkeeper that will help you explain what the money numbers in your business mean.
As you grow your Realtor business, understanding your money numbers will be vitally important for the growth of your business.
5. Don’t Spend Everything You Earn
Almost every Realtor I know struggles during the winter months.
The Realtor business has seasonality where you will most likely have fewer home sales during certain months of the year.
Nothing outside of getting a surprise tax bill is as stressful as worrying about how you’re going to make ends meet.
Around 50% of people that become Realtors each year leave the real estate industry within 12 months.
The biggest reason why 50% of Realtors fail out of the Real Estate Business is because they aren’t making enough money and can’t afford to stick with it until the busy selling season starts up again.
The busy spring and summer selling season is the perfect time to sock away some cash so you can weather the cold winter months.
Owning a Realtor business is one of the best businesses to own if you build it the right way.
You can start a very successful Realtor business on a shoestring budget.
If you are not making the money you would like to make from your Realtor business, you can make some small tweaks and greatly improve your results.
Recognize that in order to grow your Realtor business, you’ve got to take care of the money side of your business.
Many Realtors avoid getting to understand the money side of their business because they find it overwhelming and confusing.
Money is more straightforward than you may realize.
For the money side of your Realtor Business, the key to success is to spend less than you earn.