Survey Results: Readers Weigh In on Business Finance Management

As a real estate professional and independent contractor, you’re likely all too familiar with the time and attention it takes to manage your day-to-day business finances, as well as keep on top of your taxes throughout the year.

You may be a receipt-saver or a DIYer, or maybe you use a financial software platform, or hire a pro. We recently asked our readers to take a brief survey on what they’re doing to manage their balance sheets. Here’s what you had to say, and be sure to check out the infographic below

Of the 1,200-plus respondents, 61 percent were agents, 36.5 percent were brokers and 2.5 percent selected ‘other’ as their real estate title, which included property managers, flippers, appraisers, associate brokers, real estate assistants, managers, consultants, team owners, home warranty reps and more.

Forty-seven percent have worked in the industry for more than 10 years, while 20 percent have been in the business 2-5 years, 17 percent 5-10 years and 16 percent 0-1 year.

Full-time professionals in the business (more than 30 hours per week) included 68 percent of respondents and 32 percent were part-time (less than 30 hours per week).

Fifty-five percent have an accountant to help them with their taxes, while 26 percent use a software platform, like TurboTax, for example, and 19 percent are DIYers when it comes to doing their taxes.

Here are some additional findings:

On managing your day-to-day business expenses:

  • 36% save receipts
  • 18% use spreadsheet
  • 25% use software, app or website
  • 16% don’t keep track
  • 5% other (most popular response – combination of the first three)

On using financial software to help you manage your business expenses:

  • 45% said yes
  • 55% said no

On ranking what’s most important about a financial software platform, most responses were fairly even across the board on auto mileage tracking, receipt capture, easy tax integration and quick downloadable reports. All of these topics garnered between 14 percent and 25 percent across choices for ‘not at all interested’, ‘somewhat interested,’ ‘neutral,’ ‘moderately interested,’ and ‘extremely interested.’ The highest percentage of responses fell under ‘extremely interested’ in quick downloadable report of your expenses and send to your accountant,’ at 30 percent.

On confidence level of your ability to handle your own business finances:

  • Not at all confident – 16%
  • Somewhat confident – 18%
  • Neutral – 16%
  • Moderately confident – 26%
  • Extremely confident – 24%

On learning about new tech software for your business:

  • Social media influencers (people, businesses, organizations) – 28%
  • Word of mouth – 27%
  • Digital ads (Facebook ads, banner ads) – 18%
  • Print ads (magazine, billboards, etc.) – 17%
  • Other – 10% – Some answers included: from broker, seminars, webinars, accountant, ‘all of the above’ and…RISMedia (thanks!)

The most you’d be willing to pay (per month) for financial software or an app to manage your business:

  • Answers mostly ranged in the $0-$25 range with a small percentage willing to pay $50-$200 per month for extensive services.

Regarding brands that come to mind when it comes to personal financial management software?

  • Quickbooks, Quicken and TurboTax were by far the three top-of-mind brands.
  • Other brands listed included: MileIQ, Peachtree, Wave, Mint, Neat, Microsoft Money, H&R Block, Expensify, Oracle, Everlance, Realtyzam, Taxbot, and AccountEdge.

On which programs you’ve heard of:

  • QuickBooks – 75%
  • TurboTax – 71%
  • Quicken – 70%
  • MileIQ – 44%
  • Mint – 40%
  • Stride – 30%
  • Xero – 29%
  • Hurdler – 28%

Your annual incomes from real estate last year:

  • $0 – $25k – 18%
  • $25k – $50k – 18%
  • $50k – $75k – 18%
  • $75k – $100k – 17%
  • $100k + – 30%

Our thanks to all those who participated in our financial management survey and congratulations to the five winners of the Amazon Gift Cards!

Tip: For more information about managing your listings, commissions and expenses, please visit QuickBooks Self-Employed.

For more information about our survey, see infographic below.


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