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Accounting for Real Estate Agents
Being the Principal in charge of a real estate agency is no picnic in the park. You have to deal with the highs and lows associated with the GFC and a variable property market. You also have to contend with increasing REIV and Government regulations, weekend work, long hours and difficult vendors. That aside, you also have compliance issues with your trust account plus the usual small business compliance burden associated with GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation.
Here at Nexus Accountants we understand the real estate business. Over the years, Domenic Tempone and his team of accountants have mentored dozens of real estate agents through the various stages of their business life cycle, from start up right through to sale. The team offer you experience and an intimate understanding of your industry.
THINKING OF STARTING or BUYING INTO A REAL ESTATE AGENCY?
We are recognised as business start-up specialists and if you are looking to start a real estate agency there are numerous issues to consider. There is site selection, tax registrations, insurances, the commercial lease, the office fit out and of course finance. We can assist you in all of these areas plus provide advice on HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan.
Over the past twenty years our team of accountants have helped dozens of real estate agents get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the real estate industry.
Starting a business is a bit like building a house and you need solid foundations. In a business sense these include the right business structure, accounting software, insurances, a marketing plan, website and social media channels. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options including a company, sole trader, partnership or trust. When selecting a business structure, asset protection is a key consideration as well as your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans to admit new business partners and your eligibility for discount capital gains tax concessions.
Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your foundation wall. The wrong software can be catastrophic and poor financial records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country. Up to date, accurate financial records let you make informed business decisions and for real estate agents you need to match the software with your business needs and level of accounting skill. The wrong software will produce nothing but 'computerised shoebox' records which conflicts with our mission of helping you cut the cost of compliance. Where required we will train you or your staff to use the software and we support a number of programs with a strong preference for cloud based solutions like Xero.
To build a house you also need the right tools and when 'constructing' your real estate agency we have developed a number of tools including a start-up expense checklist broken down into various categories including:
- leasehold improvements
- office fit out expenses
- information technology costs
- marketing and signage
- vehicles and equipment plus
- trading stock
These figures then slot into a cash flow budget template that let us produce a forecast of your first year's trading results. For a real estate agent your motor vehicle is generally one of your most important tools and you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website. It lists the alternative methods of claiming your car expenses and iIf you need a vehicle we can assist you with finance by chattel mortgage or lease through one of our affiliate partners. Not only that, you can access fleet pricing on your new car that could save you thousands of dollars.
Through our affiliate partners we can also help you source funds to finance your business purchase, office fit out and franchise fee. We also use benchmarks to compare your agencies performance against your industry peers so you know what is working in your business, what's not working and what needs working on.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
For business owners, your marketing can be the difference between gloom, doom and boom.
Most real estate agents rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business and while these ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Real Estate Agent Malvern’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new vendor. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website is your silent sales person working 24/7 to promote your business.
One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan), your corporate brochure and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites that are responsive to smart phones and tablets. We can provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production and if your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them. In addition, we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website.
If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques your agency probably won't reach its full profit potential.
The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market.
We recognise the fact that business owners want more sales, more customers and more profit so we also give you access to one of the world’s most successful marketing programs, the ‘Business Growth System’. It contains more than 80 breakthrough marketing strategies supported by videos, templates, checklists and 2,500 pages of instructions. Access to this ‘vault’ of resources would normally cost you $500 per month ($6,000 per annum), however, as a client of Nexus Accountants you get unlimited FREE access. In addition, you also get unlimited access to the ‘Grow Your Business in 5 Days’ video training course that could have a massive impact on your future business growth.
Our role includes helping you understand the Four Ways to Grow A Business and in the process, identify the key profit drivers in your business. We can talk you through various profit improvement strategies and even quantify the profit improvement potential in your business. Our role is to make sure you don't leave any profit on the table.
That’s really just the beginning because the team of specialists at Nexus Accountants offer real estate agents the full range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:
- Start-Up Business Advice for Real Estate Agents
- Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of an Agency
- Tools including a Start-Up Expense Checklist, Business Plan Template and Cash Flow Budget Template
- Provide Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure (sole trader, company, trust, partnership etc.) taking into account issues like Asset Protection and future discount Capital Gains Tax Concessions
- Registrations for Business Name, ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
- Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
- Accounting Software Selection and Training
- Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
- Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
- Income Tax Returns and Tax Planning Strategies
- Audit of your Trust Account
- Marketing Advice and Assistance
- Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
- Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
- Business Succession Planning
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
- Advice & Assistance with Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
- Recession Survival Strategies
- Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
- Business & Risk Insurances
We are much more than just tax Accountants. We are business and profit builders who genuinely care about the success of your real estate agency. We service the needs of a number of real estate Principals and if you’re looking to get your real estate agency off to a flying start or want to grow your existing business, contact us today on (03) 9500 8666.
We invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today or complete your details in the box at the top of this page