Technology

The latest ‘Tinder for real estate’ app helps agents track expenses

SwipeFin allows real estate pros to swipe expenses into 'business' or 'personal' categories

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Kyle Willis, 30, downloaded the dating mobile app Tinder eight months ago, and while it hasn’t yielded any relationships yet, it did inspire him to create the latest “Tinder for real estate” app, SwipeFin.

The app allows real estate pros to designate all of their expenses as either business (swipe right) or personal (swipe left) with a swipe of their smartphone screen, helping them eliminate the yearly tax-time dance of organizing shoeboxes full of receipts in the process.

Kyle Willis

Kyle Willis

Launched earlier this year, SwipeFin joins a growing crowd of real estate apps that have functions based on the simple mobile device swipe action made popular by Tinder, including realtor.com’s Doorsteps Swipe, tech-focused brokerage Estately’s Flip, Britain-focused Knocker and a fledgling app HomeSwipe (profile coming this week on Inman).

Although not very sexy, tracking expenses is critical for agents because, as independent contractors, they must make many business purchases, which they can deduct at tax time as long as they’re accurately recorded.

Thanks to an integration with large financial management firm Intuit Inc. that will soon give the app a tie to every financial institution in the U.S., according to Willis, SwipeFin users can pull in data directly from their checking accounts into the app and then swipe them accordingly. In addition, users can tie in credit card accounts or take photos of receipts and upload them.

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Once expenses or receipts make it into SwipeFin, users can also make notes on them.

Tax-tracking app competitor Deductr also allows users to tie their accounts to its software and take photos of receipts to turn them digital. In addition, it also offers a tool to help agents track the mileage they drive for work.

SwipeFin, which launched less than two months ago, currently has approximately 3,000 users, 97 percent of whom are real estate agents. The app is free right now, but the Sacramento, California-based firm has plans to begin monetizing the service in the next six months, possibly with advertising, premium features, or referrals fees for accountants and other tax pros.

While many self-employed pros could use the app, Willis has honed in on real estate, in part because one of his firm’s angel investors happens to be fellow Sacramento-based entrepreneur Tyler Smith, CEO of the large digital transaction management platform SkySlope.

Email Paul Hagey.