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Your Ultimate Guide to Quickbooks for Realtors (And Brokers)

Are you struggling to keep track of your finances as a real estate agent? Many agents find it challenging to manage their numbers effectively. Fortunately, there is a user-friendly tool that can help you stay...

Are you struggling to keep track of your finances as a real estate agent? Many agents find it challenging to manage their numbers effectively. Fortunately, there is a user-friendly tool that can help you stay on top of your finances - Quickbooks. By utilizing Quickbooks for real estate agents, you can easily track your income and expenses, ultimately making informed decisions for the growth of your business.

In this article, I will guide you through setting up Quickbooks, breaking down your income and expenses, and using your financial data to drive your business forward.

Why Quickbooks is Essential for Real Estate Agents

By using Quickbooks, you not only save money on hiring a bookkeeper, but you also gain valuable insights into your real estate business. Tracking your income and expenses with Quickbooks allows you to make informed decisions for the future. Spending just an hour every two weeks managing your finances on Quickbooks gives you an overview of how your business is performing month-over-month. This visibility helps you build a predictable and sustainable real estate business.

Moreover, if you have employees, Quickbooks can handle your payroll taxes automatically. It calculates the amount owed based on salaries and files the taxes accordingly. This feature saves you time and ensures that you comply with tax regulations.

Quickbooks Pricing Plans

Quickbooks offers four different pricing plans to cater to various business needs:

  • Self-Employed: For $15 per month, you receive basic features such as finance tracking, receipt organization, invoice and payment acceptance, tax estimates, basic reports, and mileage tracking.
  • Simple Start: Priced at $25 monthly, this plan includes all the features of the previous plan. Additionally, it offers maximizing tax deductions, managing cash flow, running general reports, sending estimates, tracking sales and sales tax, and managing 1099 contractors.
  • Plus: For $70 per month, the Plus plan offers everything from the previous plans, plus managing and paying bills, time tracking, the ability to add five users, project profitability tracking, and inventory tracking.
  • Advanced: This plan costs $150 per month and covers all the features of the previous plans. In addition, it allows up to 25 users, business analytics and insights, batch invoices and expenses, customized access by role, exclusive premium apps, a dedicated account team, on-demand online training, data restoration, and workflow automation.
  • Payroll Add-On: As an optional add-on, you can get the Payroll feature for $45 per month, plus $2 per employee on your payroll.

Personally, I recommend using the Simple Start plan with the Payroll add-on, which costs around $70 per month. This setup is suitable for most real estate agents.

Someone looking at data on a laptop Caption: Someone looking at data on a laptop

How to Organize Your Quickbooks - Recommended Categories

Within Quickbooks, you'll find a "Chart of Accounts" that lists all the types of accounts, income, and expenses associated with your real estate business. To keep your finances organized effectively, consider the following categories:

Assets and Liabilities Categories

  • Petty Cash: This category refers to the cash you have on hand, typically taken from your business income.
  • Furniture and Fixtures: Include assets worth over $500, such as furniture, computers, other technology, and vehicles. Don't forget to track the depreciation of these assets over time with the help of an accountant.
  • eXp Stock: A long-term asset acquired through your business.
  • Security Deposits: Deposits held for office building leases.
  • Credit Cards: Make sure to separate your business credit cards from personal ones.
  • Payroll Liabilities: If you have employees or classify yourself as an employee, using the Payroll Add-on can help you track associated expenses.
  • Loans and Liability: Track loans that offset the costs of your vehicle.
  • Owners Draw: For income you pay yourself, separate from your regular salary. Consult your CPA to determine if this option suits your business structure.

Income and Expenses Categories


  • Kyle Handy Income: Your personal income from closing homes. Create subcategories for buyers and sellers to analyze income sources.
  • Level 2 Income: Income earned by your team agents. Create a category for each agent's name under Level 2 income.
  • Mentor Income: Income from being a mentor to other agents.
  • Revenue Share Income: Income from eXp Realty revenue share.
  • Uncategorized Income: A catch-all category for income that doesn't fit into the above categories. However, try to avoid using the uncategorized label as it lacks specificity.


  • Cost of Goods Sold: This expense category is directly related to the income you earn. For instance, if you earn a commission from an agent working under you, you need to pay them their split immediately. This category also includes the commission split you pay to your brokerage.
  • Education and Dues: Cover expenses associated with training, conferences, and Realtor-related dues on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
  • Marketing and Lead Generation: Include expenses for advertising, business meals and entertainment, client parties and happy hours, closing gifts, Facebook and Google ads, internet lead generation, photography, and print and direct mail.
  • Office Supplies and Operations: Track expenses for accounting and tax preparation, brokerage fees, charitable contributions, business insurance, interest expense, office operations, office supplies, rent, other expenses, state sales/franchise taxes, and LLC taxes.
  • Payroll: Record expenses for real estate agent salaries. Create subsections for payroll taxes, processing, and other related expenses.
  • Technology: Include expenses for any technical systems and tools used in your business.

A woman looks at a spreadsheet on a laptop Caption: A woman looks at a spreadsheet on a laptop

Managing Your Income and Expenses

To manage your income, expenses, and transactions within Quickbooks:

  1. Access the Banking option in the menu bar on the left-hand side.
  2. Click "Update" in the upper right corner to pull the latest transactions from your accounts.
  3. Once Quickbooks finishes updating, it will display the number of transactions waiting to be classified. Classifying transactions is the primary task when logging into Quickbooks each month.

Classes in Quickbooks

If you have multiple businesses within one entity, keeping track of finances separately can be challenging. Quickbooks offers a feature called classes to help with this. Classes enable you to subdivide different aspects of your business. For instance, if you want to track income from each rental property separately, you can create classes for each property.

Some classes you can consider using are:

  • Handy Services: For income and expenses related to your business itself, not tied to a rental property.
  • Property 1, Property 2, Property 3: For income and expenses directly related to each property.

By using classes, you can generate reports filtered by class. For example, you can create a Profit and Loss report that excludes real estate sales data, focusing solely on rental property data. To access this feature, consider upgrading to the Simple Start plan.

To classify a transaction, simply select it, choose the appropriate category and/or class from the dropdown menus, and click "Add." Repeat this process for each transaction. Proper classification ensures the accuracy of your profit and loss statement.

Use Your Profit and Loss Report to Make Informed Decisions

Under the "Reports" tab in Quickbooks for real estate agents, you can find your year-to-date Profit and Loss statement. Customize the report by filtering for specific classes or time periods. Running a month-to-month report is beneficial as it provides a broader perspective on your progress towards your goals.

Once you have customized the report to your preferences, click "Run Report." Analyzing the details of your income and expenses empowers you to make informed decisions for your business. With at least six months of data collected, you gain an accurate understanding of your business performance.

Leverage your profit and loss statement to determine the best use of your time and resources. For example, if a new marketing strategy isn't yielding results, use the data in your statement to decide whether to revert to previous methods or try something different. Pay attention to your net income after expenses and seek areas where you can reduce costs to boost your earnings.

Taking a closer look at your categorized expenses enables a realistic evaluation of your business. Familiarizing yourself with your numbers is crucial for successful business scaling.

Final Thoughts on Quickbooks for Real Estate Agents

Although Quickbooks for real estate agents may have a slight learning curve initially, it revolutionizes the way you view your expenses and business as a whole. Even if your business doesn't have multiple streams of income and expenses, utilizing Quickbooks for comprehensive tracking is highly recommended.

How do you currently manage your finances? Share your approach in the comments below!