Real Estate Bookkeeping - What You Need To Know

There’s the glamorous side of real estate, the adrenalin rush of hustling to add another property to your portfolio and scoring a commission upon its sale. The side that shows like Selling Sunset love to depict. But we rarely see any of these high-flying agents sitting down to ‘do the books’ at the end of the day. That’s because real estate bookkeeping and accounting isn’t as sexy. And often it’s the multi-tasking Receptionist back at the office doing the financial paperwork, inbetween fielding sales enquiries and making appointments.

However, getting the bookkeeping done correctly and efficiently is key to the success of your real estate agency. Accurate and up-to-date accounts help you understand and monitor the financial health of your business so you can see where you are profitable and where there is a potential weakness. The accounts can be the motivating driver that makes you hustle harder!

Since the accounts are so important, should you leave your bookkeeping to the Receptionist and back-office staff? Real estate bookkeeping has more complexity than a lot of other industries, mainly because monies are often held in trust for other people, and there are rules and regulations around this that must be understood and complied with. Not to mention the stress of the annual trust account audits.

Leaving the data entry and reconciliation of your trust accounts to general office administration staff increases the risk that your business isn’t compliant. There’s a higher chance for human error when staff are interrupted from their data entry to answer phone calls or attend to a face-to-face enquiry.

To reduce these risks, we recommend you hire a real estate bookkeeper to look after your accounts.

Advantages of hiring a real estate bookkeeper

Although it may seem more time and cost effective to do your real estate bookkeeping in-house, there are many advantages to hiring an external bookkeeping service:

  1. A dedicated bookkeeper can focus on the task at hand without interruption.
  2. An experienced bookkeeper will have more knowledge on how to handle tricky transactions that are out of the norm.
  3. A real estate bookkeeper will know how to maintain trust accounts correctly.
  4. Reports will be delivered accurately and on time and not rushed in-between attending to other tasks.
  5. Their expertise can be drawn upon to identify opportunities for improvement and guide your business decisions.

Darcy Bookkeeping has been providing bookkeeping services to Australian real estate businesses for over 10 years. If you’d like to discuss your business needs, call us on 1300 728 875 or send us a message.

Common real estate bookkeeping services

  • Recording all transactions in and out of business
  • Bank reconciliations, including reconciling trust accounts
  • Data entry
  • Accounts receivable (invoicing and debt collection)
  • Accounts payable (purchases and expenses)
  • Business activity statements (BAS)
  • Payroll services (salaries, commissions, superannuation)
  • Cash flow management
  • Financial reporting (trust account P&Ls, general operational accounts).

Is there real estate bookkeeping software that can help?

If you’d still rather manage your real estate bookkeeping in-house, there are several software options that can help. Property management software can assist with streamlining your business operations overall, not just the accounting and bookkeeping side, and most include trust accounting features.

Bookkeeping using Console real estate software

Console Bookkeeping

Console is one of the most trusted property management software companies in Australia. They offer a variety of real estate software solutions catering to all types of business needs. Their Gateway software is a prime example of property management software that supports businesses by helping them manage all their portfolios in one place. This is incredibly useful for overseeing your current portfolio in addition to the portfolios of future clients. Its software manages a variety of different types of properties: Residential, Commercial, Sales, and more.

Read our article on Console where we discuss more of its features.

Other popular real estate property management software options in Australia

How to choose the right bookkeeping and real estate software

When it comes down to picking the right bookkeeping and real estate software, there is neither the best answer nor a ‘one size fits all’ answer. Every business is different and so are its needs.

A good step forward is to contact these companies and request a product demo. Have them walk you through the process and have their team perform a transaction walkthrough. The more questions you ask and the more demonstrations you’re given, the better your assessment will be. Then you can have confidence that you’ve chosen the right bookkeeping and real estate software that will meet your business’s needs. Budget is also important so this needs to be factored in as well.

If you’re still not sure and whether to manage your real estate bookkeeping in-house or outsource it and would like to discuss the best options for your business, give us a call on 1300 728 875 or send us a message.

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