GUEST COLUMN: When you’re responsible for your own bottom line as a realtor or broker, you know it’s important to be organized – especially when it comes to expenses.
Lots of little costs add up: a cup of coffee here, a taxi ride there. It’s a lot to juggle. Before you know it, you’re swimming in receipts.
You wonder when you will have time to enter these expenses into your spreadsheet or onto your paper ledger. You have other clients to meet and advertisements to buy. And, of course, these are other things that – you guessed it – will only add to your expenses. It never seems to end.
Managing your expenses doesn’t have to be hectic. In fact, it should be near the least of your worries.
Consider this: What if you could enter expenses as they happen? What if you could discard paper receipts? And what if this all meant you could actually focus more on serving your clients?
You can do all of this with automated expense management technology. It eliminates all manual entry, better organizes and tracks expenses, and ultimately saves you lots of time and money.
It’s simpler. And, it all leads to getting reimbursed faster.
What real estate professional doesn’t want that? We tell you how this smart and easy-to-use business technology will help you manage your expenses, and, ultimately, become more productive and profitable.
It’s easy to use
The last thing you want to do is spend hours learning and using new technology. We don’t think you should have to, either – especially when it comes to managing expenses.
Realtors and brokers looking for listings and inventory don’t have time for that. Plus, the plethora of receipts and expenses makes it hard to devote time to figure out a new tool.
Heck, we knew of one consultant who would rack up $10,000 in travel expenses every two weeks! We get it: you just want to USE the tool.
Instead, wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need any training to start using it? Wouldn’t it be great if there were no hoops to jump through? We think so, too.
That’s why it’s important to know what kind of expense management tools best suit the fast-paced lifestyle of those in real estate. The best kinds don’t require training or onboarding of vendors. They also don’t require you to speak to a salesperson. You should be able to turn on your phone and go.
The point of using this technology is to make your life and business easier, right? There shouldn’t be anything complicated here.
It’s mobile and goes where you go
You travel a lot in the real estate business.
Whether you are out with a client at dinner or printing signs at a UPS store, you’re racking up expenses. You need to get this money back. The big question is: when? You can’t afford to constantly float all of your transactions.
Instead, have your expense management technology follow you and capture all of your transactions right away.
For instance, imagine this scenario: Connect to your e-mail on your cell phone, or take a picture, and all of your expense documents automatically come together. You can even upload paper documents through apps, or a website if you prefer. Yes, this means you get paid faster.
The big draw here for those in real estate: eliminating paper receipts that you stuff in your briefcase when you’re taking around a client. Why let paperwork be a distraction when it can all be done on your mobile phone?
And, don’t bother with fancy accounting software on your computer. Take it from us: You will pay a lot while receiving very little. Many folks have stared at more financial tasks than they actually need to do their job.
It’s not worth it. Keep it simple and use your cellphone.
Expenses software saves time, money
We have seen many realtors and brokers save hours of time simply by switching from paper ledgers to expense management tools. They now have an extra 10 to 20 hours each month to use however they want so that they can do their job.
Why? Because it’s simple and easy to use. As we said, there is no learning curve, no tutorial to read.
What about money? You will save lots of it — quickly.
We’ve worked with real estate professionals who started saving in the same month that they began using it. You can probably save yourself an extra $500 to $2,000 each month depending upon how much work you do. Can you imagine what that would look like over the course of an entire YEAR in this kind of business? It’s huge.
Bottom line: If you want to take control over your seemingly never-ending expenses, use automated business technology. You can spend more time growing your business and less time on inefficient data entry. And, as an added bonus: you’ll keep your car receipt-free when you’re taking around that important client.
— Ryan Courtade, VP of Revenue Operations, Itemize Corp., also contributed to this article
James Thomas is the Founder and CEO of Itemize, a payments data company whose technology transforms receipts and invoices into structured information for commercial card data enhancement, accounts payable management, and employee expense tracking.