Taxes, books, accounting… These are all topics for real estate investors and agents we’d all love to avoid.
But if you’re running a constant business of rental checks coming in, houses being flipped and sold, and consistent listings, then this is an article you might want to pay attention to.
We’re going to give you a complete guide to real estate accounting software for real estate.
- Which is the best
- Why you need accounting software
- How to choose one
- If QuickBooks is for you
- How to get started the right way
Let’s dive in…
What is accounting software for real estate?
At its core, real estate accounting software is like the backbone of a skyscraper, but for your finances. Imagine a tool that not only keeps track of your income and expenses, but also speaks the language of properties, commissions, rentals, and flips.
It’s a specialized digital platform designed to manage the distinct financial intricacies of the real estate realm.
Picture your regular accounting software, but then tailor-fit with modules and features exclusively for those in the property game – from wholesalers and flippers to landlords and agents.
In essence, it’s about streamlining numbers in the vast and often complicated world of bricks and mortar, ensuring that every cent is accounted for.
Why you need accounting software for real estate
You know that giddy feeling you get when you stumble upon a prime property at a steal or close a deal with perfect timing? Imagine channeling that same energy into managing your finances.
Enter: real estate accounting software.
As the world of property turns, there’s a whirlwind of transactions, expenses, and receipts to keep track of. Whether you’re a real estate giant or just stepping onto the scene, the moment you see a dollar of revenue, that’s your cue. It’s a sign you’ve grown beyond the realm of DIY spreadsheets and handwritten ledgers. After all, keeping tabs on your financial growth isn’t just about numbers; it’s about making smart, data-driven decisions.
Rentals? They’re a dance of incoming rent, maintenance costs, and sometimes unexpected expenses (hello, sudden roof repairs). A dedicated software acts as your dance partner, leading you gracefully through every financial step.
For agents, it’s about commissions, listing costs, and client expenses – ensuring you get your hard-earned piece of the property pie without any hiccups.
Meanwhile, flippers and wholesalers tread on a tight timeline.
Each flip, each deal, has a web of costs and profits. Missing out on even one can disrupt the flow. But with the right software, you’re not just keeping up; you’re staying ahead. In the fast-paced, deal-driven world of real estate, accounting software isn’t a luxury; it’s your sidekick, ensuring every financial move is a masterstroke.
Let’s get started in listing the best software for EACH industry…
Best accounting software for the rental business
Landlords, imagine a world where your rental operations glide seamlessly, from tenant invoicing to property maintenance tracking. For those knee-deep in the rental business, specialized accounting software isn’t just a tool—it’s your right-hand man. Unlike generic solutions, landlord-specific software is wired to understand the nuances of the rental world. They anticipate your needs, whether it’s handling a security deposit or sorting property tax. Dive into two of the top industry-specific accounting software options tailored for those who reign in rentals.
Overview: A leading name in the property management software space, Buildium is a dream come true for landlords. It understands the beats of rental management and is designed to make every aspect of a landlord’s financial world simple and streamlined.
- Rent Collection: Automated online rent collection.
- Expense Tracking: Log and track property-related expenses.
- Tenant Ledger: Maintain individual financial ledgers for each tenant.
- Reporting: Comprehensive financial statements, including balance sheets and profit & loss.
- Vendor Management: Track and pay vendor bills directly through the platform.
User-friendly interface ensures even those new to software can navigate with ease.
Mobile app available for on-the-go management.
Integration capabilities with other real estate tools and platforms.
Might be over-featured for landlords with just one or two properties.
While affordable, landlords with larger portfolios might find costs add up.
2. Rentec Direct
Overview: Tailored for landlords and property managers, Rentec Direct offers a well-rounded suite of tools to manage properties, tenants, and finances with precision.
- Online Payments: Accept rent payments online.
- Full Ledger Accounting: In-depth financial accounting specific to rental properties.
- Reporting: Generate detailed financial reports.
- Maintenance Tracking: Log and manage property maintenance and associated costs.
- Tenant Screening: Integrated tenant screening tools.
- Offers tenant screening, which is a bonus for landlords seeking comprehensive software.
- Transparent pricing based on the number of properties.
- Provides a dedicated portal for tenants and owners.
- User interface might feel less modern compared to competitors.
- Limited third-party integrations.
In the bustling world of property rentals, the right software can be the difference between chaos and calm. While both Buildium and Rentec Direct are formidable players, the best fit hinges on your specific needs and property count. Landlords, remember, in the realm of rentals, an industry-specific accounting tool isn’t an expense—it’s an investment. An investment that pays dividends in the form of time saved, errors avoided, and a smooth sail through the choppy waters of rental management.
Best accounting software for agents
In the dynamic world of real estate, efficient financial management is paramount. With transactions, commissions, and property-related expenses coming into play, agents require tools tailored to their unique needs. Traditional accounting software might not capture the intricacies of the real estate business, prompting the rise of specialized solutions.
In this section, we delve into accounting software designed exclusively for real estate agents, focusing on their key features and how they address the industry-specific challenges.
Overview: BrokerSumo is a comprehensive back office, accounting, and commission management tool for real estate brokers and agents.
- Commission management: Calculate and track agent commissions.
- Direct deposit: Pay agents directly through the platform.
- Reporting: Generate financial reports tailored to real estate businesses.
- Agent billing: Bill agents for monthly fees, dues, or other charges.
- Lead and referral tracking.
- Integrations: Integrates with major MLS systems, CRMs, and transaction management platforms like Dotloop and SkySlope.
Emphasys is a complete real estate management system that’s more focused built for the mortgage business or public housing authorities.
- Comprehensive accounting: Includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger.
- Commission management: Automate commission calculations and disbursements.
- Reporting: Access to a variety of financial reports specific to real estate.
- Escrow management: Track and manage escrow and trust accounts.
- Integrations: Can be integrated with other real estate software solutions for a more comprehensive approach.
When selecting a software solution, real estate agents should assess the software’s features against their unique requirements and consider scalability, customer support, and overall ease of use.
Best accounting software for flippers
When you’re flipping real estate, it’s not just about finding a diamond in the rough and giving it a sparkling makeover.
Behind every success story is a myriad of financial decisions, calculations, and tracking that goes into ensuring profitability.
While a hammer and nails transform the property, it’s specialized flipping software that ensures those transformations are profitable.
Just as you’d need a solid foundation for your house, your flipping business requires robust accounting software designed with the flipper’s journey in mind.
Here’s a look at two industry-specific software choices that promise to be as transformative for your books as you are for those fixer-uppers.
Overview: A blend of CRM and accounting prowess, ReSimpli caters to the comprehensive needs of real estate professionals, including flippers. This platform harmonizes the art of relationship management with the precision of accounting, offering a holistic experience.
- Property Analysis: Make well-informed purchasing decisions by evaluating the potential profitability of a flip.
- Renovation Costs Tracking: Monitor and categorize every expense, from minor repairs to major overhauls.
- CRM Capabilities: Manage relationships with contractors, potential buyers, and other stakeholders.
- Integrated Marketing: Broadcast your revamped properties to potential buyers.
- Financial Reporting: Track the return on investment (ROI) of each flip with detailed reports.
Dual functionality as both CRM and accounting software means fewer platforms to juggle.
Customizable dashboards allow you to focus on what matters most to your flipping business.
Frequent updates and feature enhancements ensure the platform remains cutting-edge.
Comprehensive features can be overwhelming initially.
May include functionalities that some flippers don’t require, depending on their business size.
Overview: Tailored specifically for house flippers, FlipperForce offers a suite of tools that address every phase of the flipping process, from analyzing potential deals to selling the renovated property.
- Deal Analysis: Determine the feasibility and potential profitability of flipping projects.
- Expense Tracking: Detailed cost breakdowns from purchasing to renovation to sale.
- Project Management: Coordinate tasks, timelines, and resources for each flip.
- Rehab Estimator: Estimate repair costs with precision.
- Sales & ROI Reporting: Understand your profits and returns at a glance.
- Designed exclusively for flippers, ensuring every feature is relevant.
- The intuitive user interface makes it easy to grasp, even for tech novices.
- Provides a plethora of resources and tutorials to assist in maximizing the software’s potential.
- Lacks the broader CRM functionalities of platforms like ReSimpli.
- Might require integration with other tools for complete end-to-end management of flipping operations.
For the visionary flippers out there, every property holds potential.
Similarly, the right software holds the promise of transforming how you manage the business side of your ventures.
Whether you gravitate towards the all-encompassing approach of ReSimpli or the flipping finesse of FlipperForce, remember: your software is a pivotal team member, ensuring every project concludes not just with a sale, but with a success story.
Best accounting software for real estate wholesalers
Dive into the world of real estate wholesaling, and you’ll find it’s a thrilling maze of deals, negotiations, and rapid turnovers. While the rush of sealing a deal is exhilarating, the behind-the-scenes financial management? Not so much. That’s where specialized accounting software for wholesalers comes in.
Think of them as the backstage crew that ensures the star of the show (that’s you, the wholesaler) shines brilliantly without any hiccups.
A solution tailored for wholesalers understands the intricacies of deal-making, from initial property analysis to final profit calculations. Let’s navigate through two leading software options that cater precisely to the bustling world of real estate wholesaling.
Overview: More than just an accounting tool, ReSimpli stands out as a comprehensive CRM that’s intertwined with accounting functionalities. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for real estate wholesalers, aiming to consolidate numerous tasks into one coherent platform.
- Deal Analysis: Evaluate potential deals and forecast profitability.
- Expense Tracking: Monitor every expense, from marketing costs to due diligence fees.
- CRM Functionalities: Manage contacts, build buyer and seller lists, and streamline communication.
- Automated Follow-ups: Set reminders and automate follow-ups to keep potential deals warm.
- Reporting: Gain insights with detailed financial reports tailored for wholesalers.
- Combines CRM and accounting, which means fewer tools and subscriptions to manage.
- A User-friendly interface makes navigating through multiple functionalities a breeze.
- Customizable to fit specific wholesaling workflows.
The comprehensive nature might be overwhelming for those seeking just an accounting tool.
As with any combined tool, there’s a learning curve to effectively utilize all features.
Overview: A powerhouse in the real estate tech space, PropStream is revered for its detailed property data. But beyond that, it offers functionalities that can aid in the accounting side of wholesaling.
- Property Analysis: Dive deep into property details to make informed offers.
- List Building: Craft lists based on specific criteria to target potential deals.
- Integrated Marketing: Send postcards, emails, and ringless voicemails directly from the platform.
- Expense Management: Keep an eye on marketing costs and other expenses related to wholesaling.
- Comp Analysis: Quickly pull up comparable sales to determine property value.
- An extensive property database is invaluable for wholesalers.
- Allows for integrated marketing efforts, which can streamline outreach and expense tracking.
- Provides tools for every step of the wholesaling process, from finding deals to sealing them.
- More renowned for its property data than its accounting features.
- Might require pairing with a separate dedicated accounting software for in-depth financial management.
Wholesalers, the essence of your business is speed and agility.
Specialized software like ReSimpli and PropStream doesn’t just keep pace; they propel you forward.
While each offers its unique bouquet of features, the core value remains – simplifying the complexities of wholesaling.
Whether you’re tracking a fresh lead or crunching the numbers behind a closed deal, the right tool turns potential chaos into a harmonious symphony of success.
Choose wisely and let your software do the heavy lifting.
Best accounting software that covers all
As a real estate professional wearing multiple hats, it can be cumbersome to juggle various software platforms to manage the intricacies of wholesaling, flipping, investments, property management, and brokerage activities.
Wouldn’t it be grand if there were a comprehensive solution designed to streamline all these roles?
Good news: there are software options that aim to provide this all-encompassing experience. But a word to the wise: even with an integrated solution, always consult with a tax attorney to understand if keeping separate books for different ventures is beneficial or required. Let’s dive into two such platforms that promise the full package.
Overview: Propertybase is a multifaceted real estate platform that masterfully combines CRM and accounting features. It is highly lauded among agents for its CRM capabilities but doesn’t shy away from its robust accounting functionality, either.
- Integrated CRM: Manage and nurture leads, communicate with clients, and streamline the sales cycle.
- Financial Management: Track commissions, handle billing, and manage all your financial transactions under one roof.
- Listing Management: Centralize property listings and seamlessly integrate with popular real estate marketplaces.
- Document Management: Organize and store important documents, from purchase agreements to property deeds.
- Reporting & Analytics: Gain insights into financial performance, lead conversions, and more.
- Comprehensive functionality makes it suitable for varied roles in the real estate sector.
- Intuitive interface that blends CRM and accounting tools seamlessly.
- Extensive customization options to tailor the software to specific business needs.
- Might be overkill for professionals who are just starting out or focus on one niche within real estate.
- Its robustness can make the initial setup and onboarding slightly challenging.
2. Wise Agent
Overview: Often heralded for its CRM capabilities, Wise Agent quietly boasts an equally competent accounting section designed for the dynamic world of real estate.
- Contact Management: Segment and nurture leads, clients, and other contacts with ease.
- Transaction Management: Oversee deals, from initial interest to closing, with integrated financial tracking.
- Task & Calendar Management: Schedule showings, follow-ups, and more with a built-in calendar.
- Expense Tracking: Log and categorize business-related expenses for better financial clarity.
Commission Calculation: Automatically calculate commissions based on the deal structure.
- Designed with real estate professionals in mind, ensuring all features are tailored to industry needs.
- Easy-to-use interface with responsive customer support.
- Regular feature updates and enhancements based on user feedback.
- Might lack some niche functionalities that specialized software platforms offer.
- Some users might find the CRM functionalities overshadowing the accounting features.
In the vast realm of real estate, there’s more than just buying and selling. Behind each deal is a network of communications, negotiations, and finances.
Platforms like Propertybase and Wise Agent aim to simplify this complexity into a unified experience.
Before diving in, always remember to get a tax perspective on how best to structure your books, especially when managing multiple roles in the industry.
A software can streamline processes, but the right consultation ensures you’re treading the best path.
Can you use Quickbooks as an accounting software
Absolutely, QuickBooks can be like that versatile multi-tool you keep in your toolbox. While it wasn’t designed exclusively for real estate, its flexibility allows you to tailor it to the needs of property moguls, be it flippers, wholesalers, or friendly neighborhood landlords.
What sets QuickBooks apart from the industry-specific software we discussed is its broad appeal.
While dedicated real estate accounting software is like a custom suit, designed with precise measurements and details, QuickBooks is more like a well-fitted blazer – adaptable but not tailored down to the last stitch.
Pros of QuickBooks for Real Estate:
- Versatility: Suitable for a range of businesses, so if you dabble in ventures outside of real estate, you can still use QuickBooks.
- Integrations: It boasts an impressive array of third-party integrations, meaning you can often connect it with other tools you’re using.
- Cost: Generally, it’s more affordable than some specialized real estate accounting software.
Cons of QuickBooks for Real Estate:
- Not Specialized: It might lack some of the real estate-specific features found in dedicated solutions, which can be a pain point for those deep in the property game.
- Learning Curve: While adaptable, you might need to invest time (or hire someone) to set it up optimally for real estate.
- Scalability: As your real estate business grows, you might find that you outgrow QuickBooks and need something more tailored.
Here’s a video on some mistakes that people make when using Quickbooks with real estate:
In essence, QuickBooks can be an excellent start for those entering the real estate arena or for those who have diverse business interests. But as your property portfolio grows, you might start feeling the allure of a platform designed with every nuance of the real estate world in mind.
The number 1 thing you need to set it up
It really doesn’t matter if you’ve snagged the latest, greatest, or most industry-specific real estate accounting software out there.
The true magic lies in how it’s set up and how you manage it.
Imagine buying the sleekest sports car and not knowing how to shift gears; that powerful engine isn’t worth much then.
Similarly, with accounting software, the real horsepower is unlocked when it’s configured just right.
Here’s the golden nugget of advice: Don’t DIY the setup.
Pay someone, and not just anyone, but a professional who’s got their feet wet in the real estate world.
They’ll not only align the software with your unique business needs but also hand over the reins to you in a way that’s user-friendly.
Once it’s up and running, managing it yourself for a while can be one of the most empowering moves for your business. It offers insights, clarity, and a hands-on pulse on the financial heartbeat of your ventures.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to become an overnight accounting wizard.
It’s about understanding the basics, the inflow and outflow, and the nuances of your revenue streams.
By entrusting the setup to an industry-savvy professional, you’re laying a foundation.
And by managing it, even if just temporarily, you’re building a relationship with your business’s financial dynamics.
In the ever-fluctuating world of real estate, this knowledge is pure gold. So, find that expert, get things in motion, and then take the wheel yourself. Your future self, looking back from atop a property empire, will thank you.
Navigating the fast-paced world of real estate, whether you’re flipping houses, wholesaling, managing rentals, or brokering deals, isn’t just about property – it’s about the numbers too. Throughout our exploration, we’ve seen that the right accounting software, tailored to your specific role in the property market, is more than just a convenience; it’s a game-changer. From industry-specific platforms like ReSimpli, designed for the unique needs of flippers and wholesalers, to all-encompassing giants like Propertybase and Wise Agent that cater to the multifaceted world of real estate, there’s a digital sidekick for everyone.
Yet, while software can streamline processes, the most crucial step is setting it up correctly. And for that, seeking expert guidance can save you from many pitfalls down the road. Remember, the real estate journey isn’t just about buying or selling properties; it’s about efficiently managing the transactions, understanding the financial ebb and flow, and ensuring you’re positioned for success in every deal. With the right tools in your tech arsenal, you’re not just building homes or closing sales – you’re building a legacy.