- Perform a profit-and-loss analysis at least quarterly, and refine your budget to make sure that every dollar you spend is getting you business.
As real estate agents, you work hard for your money, and you wait longer than most to get a paycheck. Sometimes, things don’t work out — the deal falls through — and you don’t even get paid for the work that you do. You’re money is precious.
Imagine if you could work less and make more money; what would you do with the extra dough?
Figuring out ways to save your money can be daunting, so here are 10 pointers you can use to keep more of your hard-earned commission in your pocket.
1. Go paperless
Doing away with paper will not only save you money but also time — and it’s great for the environment, too. There’s so many ways to go paperless.
Flyers can be e-flyers, texted from a rider or open house sign-in app. Contract and disclosures can be e-signed through an e-signature service, and there’s plenty of free ones out there. I’ve even adopted a paperless business card using the free app Inigo.
2. Buy in bulk
We have all heard the saying: the more you buy, the more you save; well that rings true.
Usually when you buy for sale signs, lockboxes or any of those other expensive necessities that come along with being a real estate agent, you can get bulk discounts.
The same goes for office supplies. The next time you go to your warehouse shopping center such as Costco or Sam’s Club, stock up on office supplies instead of a quick run to the store for a pen or two.
The cost-per-item goes down drastically when you buy in bulk. You can even partner with another real estate agent looking to save some dough and split the cost if say you don’t need 1,000 ballpoint pens at once.
3. Join your local and state associations
The National Association of Realtors as well as your state and local associations have negotiated contracts with several vendors to offer deep discounts.
When you support your local chapter as well as your state chapters, you’re able to take it advantage of those discounts they’ve worked hard to negotiate on our behalf.
4. Embrace technology
It’s all about automation! The less that you have to do and the more that you can allow technology to do for you, the more business you can go out and create.
Take the time to select the right technology for you, price it out, and don’t forget everything’s negotiable.
5. Maximize your tax deductions
As most real estate agents are independent contractors it’s important to have a great CPA or tax professional on your side to make sure that you’re taking advantage of the many deductions that are offered to you as an independent contractor.
Most people opt in for the standard deduction, but there’s usually the potential to get a better return on keeping good records and receipts and itemizing your deductions with all the costs of doing business.
6. Get a credit card
Speaking of expenses, with all the cash we shell out for a marketing and the general cost of doing business, why not earn money for the money you spend?
Find a credit card that offers cash back points or even travel points, and enjoy your next vacation for free.
7. Ask for a discount
In most cases there is the sticker price, and then there is the price you are willing to pay. Most of the time, getting a discount only requires asking (nicely). You can negotiate anything; just remember, every penny adds up.
Time is money, and when you spend time on things that aren’t making money, you’re losing money.
Use time-blocking methods, and track what you do during the day to make sure that everything you’re doing is a dollar-producing activity.
Reality check: scrolling through your social media multiple times an hour is not making you money.
9. Share expenses
If your business allows for it, split the cost with a colleague for items you don’t use on a regular basis or even a shared office space.
10. Check yourself
The easiest way to save money is to look and see where you spend money and where you’re getting an ROI. Perform at least a quarterly profit-and-loss analysis, and refine your budget to make sure that every dollar you spend is getting you business.
The key to saving money is to always be checking your progress.
Have other tips for saving money? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Nicole Solari is owner and managing broker of The Solari Group in Solano and Napa Counties in Northern California. Nicole runs one of the highest producing brokerages in all of Northern California.