Real estate agents need to be knowledgeable about everything from the housing market to people skills. Finances are another essential area for agents to stay on top of at all times. Listing homes, selling property, and managing a business all require some level of financial expertise. Discover the seven habits of financially savvy agents with successful real estate careers.
Manage Time Effectively
The old adage about time being money is still true today. Agents make money when clients close on properties for sale. The time they put into making the deal happen determines how much they earn per hour. Rushing through a transaction is sure to be felt by the clients and could deter future referrals. Conversely, obsessing about every detail is time-consuming and can also make clients uncomfortable. Agents need to balance their time by keeping records of how long they spend on canvassing, new listings, social media, client relations, sales, and other essential business-building activities. Keeping track of time helps agents determine focus areas that could be falling behind, so they can achieve the best possible balance.
Keep an Eye on Analytics
A recognizable online presence is crucial to a modern agent’s success. Maintaining an active blog as well as posting and sharing on social media helps boost search engine rankings. An agent who appears higher on the search engines will attract more potential clients from their target audience. Keep an eye on Google Analytics to determine which online campaigns are bringing the most traffic and the ones that need improvement. Gauge the progress of digital marketing strategies to find the most effective ways to improve an agent’s rank and brand.
Open Separate Accounts
Remaining organized is critical to financial success. Start by opening separate accounts for expenses, income, business, and personal purposes—different business credit accounts from personal ones to establish propriety in financial affairs. Having well-organized accounts also makes it easier to file taxes, track expenses for compensation, and determine current earnings. Always keep personal funds separate from business money. Put money aside for inevitable business costs, such as printing, open houses, and real estate education.
Maintain an Ongoing Record of Income and Expenses
Agents need to establish a system to keep track of all income and expenses. Some maintain these records manually while others use software to stay on top of earning and spending. Each listing also must be tracked financially to determine the estimated closing costs and keep clients in the loop. Accuracy and transparency are essential to building trust and relationships that are profitable for years to come. A well-organized agent understands cash flow, expenses, and the need to always have a pulse on current finances.
Review the Current Fiscal Laws
Real estate agents are required to fulfill a specific number of continuing education hours to maintain their licenses, based on the state of licensure. Use this opportunity to review the current financial laws and requirements per state law. Enroll in optional continuing education courses to stay on top of current fiscal regulations. Knowledge is power when it comes to real estate and money. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate affiliated agents have access to the Be Better University® to continue learning and growing their careers.
Save Money for a Rainy Day
Working for commission means agents do not get a weekly paycheck, which could be an adjustment for those who held salary jobs. Savvy agents plan ahead to ensure they always have money for a rainy day. Be prepared to go for months without getting a commission check. Remember to consider the future by establishing pension plans and savings accounts for retirement. Consult with a financial advisor to create a financial plan that works today and tomorrow. Some agents work another job to help them cover expenses while they build their businesses. Every successful agent has a plan to sustain themselves while they earn their first commission checks.
Hire an Accountant
As agents earn more money, they need to be able to manage it properly. Brokers often provide reliable resources to help the agent get started. With continued success and ongoing earnings, agents must be honest in all disclosures and fiscal reports. Ignorance is never an excuse for overlooking or omitting essential financial data. Hire an accountant to ensure taxes are filed and paid without penalties. Inaccurate filings could mean paying out more than necessary, so the cost of hiring an accountant can pay for itself.
Developing the seven habits of financially intelligent real estate agents is the first step to a successful future. Accurately tracking time and money helps agents to be as productive and profitable as possible.