In August last year, finance-tracking app Hurdlr released a real estate-specific version of its product for real estate agents; it partnered with Keller Williams to create ProfitDash. “Thousands of Keller Williams agents have been using the app,” said Raj Bhaskar, CEO at Hurdlr, “and we’ve been taking their feedback.”
- A partnership between Hurdlr and H&R Block's Tax Edge will allow users of Hurdlr's ProfitDash platform to file their taxes from the app.
- Hurdlr hopes to make ProfitDash widely available to the industry before April 15.
In August last year, finance-tracking app Hurdlr released a real estate-specific version of its product for real estate agents; it partnered with Keller Williams to create ProfitDash.
“Thousands of Keller Williams agents have been using the app,” said Raj Bhaskar, CEO at Hurdlr, “and we’ve been taking their feedback.” He said that real estate agents love it — but they repeatedly asked for the ability to directly file the tax documents they’d prepared using ProfitDash instead of sending them to a tax professional to file.
“That was the no. 1 request — ‘Since you already do everything else, can I just push a button to file my taxes?'” said Bhaskar.
Well, Hurdlr just announced a partnership with H&R Block’s TaxEdge to allow ProfitDash users to do just that — and the company says it plans to make ProfitDash widely available to the industry outside of Keller Williams sometime this year (hopefully before April 15).
Why a partnership?
Bhaskar said that Hurdlr looked into what it would take to add a button for filing taxes directly from the app, and they saw two options — building it out themselves (which would be complicated, expensive and time-consuming) or finding a partner.
And H&R Block had Tax Edge, which it had already begun building, and “was really focused on using a combination of our tax experts — our humans, if you will — and our analytics, our deep data,” said Jason Houseworth, H&R Block’s chief innovation officer.
“We were thinking, ‘How do we build a new solution for the 1099 economy, and specifically for those people who really depend on their mobile devices in order to track everything for them?'”
Houseworth says that when building Tax Edge, H&R Block looked at a set of occupations that fit that standard — and “real estate agent” was at the top of the list.
Who can use it, and what’s it cost?
Right now, ProfitDash is only available to Keller Williams agents, who can download the app for free in the Android or Apple app stores. Bhaskar said he hopes to get the app on the wider market in time for tax season this year, and that it will also be available at a brokerage and franchisor level.
Keller Williams agents can track $1,000 in deductions for free. To track more than $1,000, they have the option of referring friends to the app or upgrading to ProfitDash Max, which costs $19.99 each month or $199.99 for the year.
What do you get?
Houseworth points out that an accountant or tax professional could cost up to $250 more than the annual price for the app, and he believes that the time it will save agents and the deep analytics that H&R Block offers up will make it even more valuable.
“It’s on your phone, and you can access your tax expert 24/7,” he said, streamlining the amount of time it takes to track deductible expenses and put your tax documents together.
“We have 13 million returns each year that we have prepared via an expert, and then we have more than 7.5 million prepared by novices through our tax software,” noted Houseworth, “and the ability to compare those helps us see opportunities to help people get the most from their return.”
For agents, what that means is that ProfitDash can prompt them to track and claim deductions that other agents are tracking and claiming, but they aren’t (for whatever reason).
“When we look at self-filers who are agents, many of them miss vehicle-related expenses — car washes, oil changes, maintenance,” said Houseworth. “Mileage is the obvious one, but many forget about the maintenance-related expenses. Even more, the vast majority of agents overlook deducting simple office expenses, and that’s something that we know that they have, but they don’t take those.
“In the app, we walk them through a very detailed list of the categories and the types of expenses within the categories, not only as a memory-jogger but also to make sure they understand that there are people who look like them and who claim those expenses.”
And Houseworth adds that there are real live humans behind the app’s “tax genius” concept.
“We want them to specialize in serving agents, so that they know everything there is to know about this occupation — and so the agents can understand that when they’re referred to a ‘tax genius’ in the app, that person knows something about their profession.”