Real Estate Tax Prep: Try This!

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No matter what type of clients you serve, collecting accurate and complete records can be a challenge. Few business owners outside of accounting go into business with expert record-keeping skills, which means that it can be easy for documents to pile up without being properly documented.

But if you serve clients in the real estate sector, then you know that the volume generated in their industry can quickly become more unmanageable than most industries. Not only does every new homebuyer or seller result in the need for a slew of new inspector reports, contracts, and credit approvals, but it also brings a stack of receipts for gas, hardware, and business meeting coffee. Without a system to keep track of this volume of paperwork, your real estate clients are at high risk of losing out on the maximum possible deduction for their business.

A cloud-based accounting program that allows your clients to capture records of receipts as they accumulate them is the first step toward decreasing their taxable income and increasing the maximum deduction you can earn for your clients. If you choose a tool with organizational features, you may even be able to help your real estate clients eliminate some of the work associated with managing other paperwork.

Here are three ways implementing cloud-based accounting tools can make your real estate clients love you:

Maximize Tax Refunds: Since realtors often spend time visiting clients in their local communities, meeting clients at coffee shops, and stopping at local gas stations, it can be difficult to keep track of which purchases were for client work and which were for personal errands. If your clients can’t definitively remember, the conservative approach would be to recommend noting any that they can’t remember as personal expenses. Unfortunately, this approach reduces their total deduction. But if your clients had captured each receipt with a photo and sent it off to you with a note that it was for the Johnson family showing or for the Delorenzo family’ closing, you’ll be able to defund each deduction you take and to maximize your clients’ refund.

Reduce Unwanted Trips to the Office: Few professionals spend as much time on the road as those in real estate, and any trip back to the office to scan a receipt or inspector report is time that your client could be spending either marketing their business or pursuing fun activities with their families. Since cloud-based accounting tools can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection, your clients can take photos of their important documents while they’re waiting for their coffee order to be ready instead of having to drive an extra 20 minutes out of their way after spending a day driving around to show properties.

Organize All Records by Client: Your clients may hire you to prepare their taxes, but they need more strategic business guidance. By deploying a cloud-based tool that allows you to associate receipts and paperwork for a each client in a designated folder, you might be able to help your clients see that certain types of home buyers, home sellers, or properties lead to more meetings than others. They can use this information to determine if they’d like to continue pursuing that category of client or if they’d like to pursue another type of client. Plus, they’ll be able to spend much less time tracking down paperwork if they can easily add it to their client folder by snapping a photo with their phone.

With tax season coming to a close, now might be a good opportunity to have a strategic planning session with your real estate clients. As you review the taxes you’ve prepared before filing them, you might review areas where your clients might have an opportunity to claim an even larger deduction next year. You can also take that time to review their bookkeeping and paperwork management processes and explore areas to both reduce disorganization and the time they need to spend on those tasks.


Author Bio: Kevin Miller currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer overseeing all of Neat’s brand, marketing and revenue operations. Prior to joining Neat, Kevin was a co-founder and CMO at Salesfusion, a SaaS marketing automation solution for Mid Market companies.  Kevin played an integral role in building the brand of Salesfusion and helped lead the company from 0 to over $8 Million in annual revenue. Kevin has served in multiple marketing, sales and demand generation roles and was the principle of his own demand generation consulting firm that helped SaaS companies develop modern lead gen programs. A veteran of SaaS, Kevin brings years of experience in b2b marketing with a deep understanding of marketing process, systems and strategy relative to growing a SaaS business.