When you become a real estate agent, no one sits you down to tell you how to run the numbers side of your business.
We usually start out not keeping track of any of our numbers. We focus on getting clients and just selling enough houses to pay for the basics of running our business.
Some of us might hire a bookkeeper or a CPA at this point and figure we’re good.
Others of us forget that the IRS wants their part too and when they come knocking, we don’t have enough.
Or we realize we also need to pay ourselves during one of the naturally slower months in our market, buy something for the business, or invest in marketing to get more clients and we are left wondering how much to spend, how much to save and how much to even pay ourselves.
It can be daunting to understand the money part of being a real estate agent, no matter how much or how little money is coming in and out of your business.
This is why I asked Andy Mulholland to be a guest on the podcast. He’s found a way to make tracking your numbers as a real estate agent simple.
So simple, in fact, that he says all we need to do is keep track of 5 simple numbers.
5 Simple Numbers
Andy ran one of the top real estate teams in Minnesota for over a decade, so he knows how to run a successful business. And, of course, knowing your numbers is a huge part of that.
Now, he and his wife specialize in being an outsourced CFO for real estate agents and also provide bookkeeping services.
He says even if you have a bookkeeper or a CPA, most don’t break the numbers down to just the 5 simple numbers we need to know on a monthly basis, making our books more complicated than they need to be.
Today, he’s sharing:
- The 5 simple numbers that real estate agents need to understand and track;
- Why knowing these 5 numbers can help you make decisions about what to spend and on what;
- How to plan for the future using these numbers;
- Common mistakes that agents make when it comes to these 5 simple numbers and how to avoid them;
- How to plan financially for the ups and downs in the market; and
- How to know what to save and spend no matter how much you are making.
Financials don’t have to be complicated.
And, regardless of who does your financials, you need to understand 5 key numbers so that you can make the smartest financial decisions.
Listen in to this episode to learn how.
To your success,
Andy’s FREE 5-minute budget tool
5 Simple Numbers Website
On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, the five numbers you need to know track and understand as a real estate agent, regardless of whether you have a financial planner, a CPA, a bookkeeper, you have to be the one to know to track and understand and make decisions from these five numbers. Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US, even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way.
I taught those agents the same strategies I used to become a top producing agent. Now through this podcast and Agent Grad School I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get to the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. If you’re ready to pull your hair out this tax season, there’s something you need to make tax time and breeze bookkeeping, and whether or not you decide to do the bookkeeping yourself or delegate it out.
Even if you have a CPA, you have to understand these five numbers. When it comes to your real estate business. This podcast episode will help you know, what to track in your business, how to understand your financials and how you can make decisions based on the facts, based on the numbers, not emotion. My guest today is Andy Mulholland and he has a company called five simple numbers. He used to have one of the top teams in Minnesota, and now through his company, he is an outsourced CFO and bookkeeper just for real estate agents throughout the country. He’s come up with such a simple way to look at the financials in our real estate businesses.
And He says, it comes down to just five numbers that we have to know and track Listen in. As he explains how simple the financial part of our real estate businesses can be, and how once knowing these five numbers and our real estate businesses can empower us to make the right decisions, help you budget AND help you invest in the right places, including our own pockets are paying ourselves and how to know how to, how much to do that and when to do that. So Even if you have a bookkeeper already and, or a CPA and or a financial person that helps you with all this, I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode because it starts to put the power back into your hands really understand your numbers.
I think it’s really hard as a real estate agent, nobody sits us down and tells us that we have to also understand this big financial piece. We have to be the CEO, the CFO, the head of sales, the everything in our business. And I love the way that Andy presents the financial side of our business for us, makes it super simple, super easy to maintain, to track, to set up a system so that we can really grow our businesses from this place of understanding the numbers. I hope this episode helps you do just that. Andy, thank you so much for joining today and talking to our audience. I think the first obvious question is why is bookkeeping as a real estate agent?
Why is that even something that we should be talking about? Why is it important? Well, Hey Jennifer, thanks for having me on. I’m excited to kind of share information. You know, some of the information that I’ve learned over the years in real estate, myself, and, and now putting into practice over the last few years with agents and teams throughout the country. If you think about it, I mean, why do we do this business? It’s for freedom. That’s why we do it. And it’s time freedom as well as money freedom. And if we aren’t clear, I should say maybe the best way to show it on what our money situation is. It doesn’t matter how much we make it matters how much we keep and where that money is going. And our bookkeeping, you know, can tell us a lot about our, the health of our business, and the health of our business determines the amount of freedom that we have.
So, I mean, you know, I was able to build a business that allowed me to be totally free from it. And for a long time, I just went in on Tuesdays and that’s how I ran the business for a lot of years, I was an independent agent solo agent just selling real estate. And even then it was very important that I knew what my numbers were, but the main reason agents do their numbers is to keep the IRS happy, right. To make sure that they are, as they had the smallest amount of tax liability possible. And that is a good reason to do your taxes. That’s how, why most small businesses do their taxes or I’m sorry, do their books. And it’s a good reason, but there’s another one.
There’s another one. It’s because it is the report card for our business, right around that money, freedom side of the business. So, I mean, those are the reasons we need to be doing books; make sure we have the least amount of tax liability possible and work with our CPA to do that. But secondly, to know, where is this money going when it comes in the top line? Where is it going before I see my portion as the agent or a business owner. Awesome. And you know, I think oftentimes, you know, there’s a, as, as you’re a new agent, maybe the first year or two, you don’t even know that you should be doing your book. So my hope is that everybody listening is your understanding.
Like if you’re a real estate agent, you should be doing some kind of books. Cause even if you don’t have a separate company or something like that, doing your books can still help. The two things that Andy just mentioned, the tax part and, and the report card for your business, how much am I spending to get this business up and running? But then as you start being an agent and as you start having some income, that’s I think when the bookkeeping becomes even more important, and sometimes we do our books ourselves and other times we farm it out. And you say, regardless of whether we do the, our books ourselves, or if we have a company like you, or, or, you know, another CPA doing our books that you say there’s five numbers that we should really understand in our books as real estate agents.
So can you talk through what those five are and what we should know about them? Because I’ve been, I’ve been doing books for years, not myself, but also farming out. I don’t even know what five numbers I should be. So I’m really, I’m just going to listen and I want to hear this. Yeah, for sure. I’m happy to share. And again, it’s, it’s regardless of who does your books or how they do them. I think as it, when I was building a real estate business, I realized there were five key pieces to my financials. And look, I drove a limousine before I got into real estate. So I have no business being a business owner, right. Or being, handling the kind of money in revenues that we handle because I have no training. I don’t, I was never told, but I recognized pretty quickly.
And I like to keep things simple. Then when I really boiled it down, there were five numbers that I needed to be looking at regularly. And not only, and I’ll go through what those five are. So everybody listening could say, okay, do I have those in my books or don’t die? And the key though, I think around this is, it’s two things you’ve got to track the five Simple Numbers in your profit and loss statement and your books, but you also have to have a plan around them. And that’s what I call an economic model. Right. You’ve got to know before you even start. And this is as a brand new agent, how much do I w you know, how much am I planning to make at the end of the year, if I do a hundred thousand in gross commission income, what do I plan to keep from that?
And if I don’t have a plan going into the year, then really it ends up being what it is. And I think that’s how I ran my business for so many years. It was kind of the end of the year. I’d look at my numbers. My CPA would send things and say, okay, here’s how you did. And I’d say great. Or, oh, that’s not what I was hoping for. And so we got to have a plan around the five Simple Numbers, and then I think monthly and quarterly, we look at it and say, am I on or off track with these five, five numbers in my PNL? So the first one is, is, is a really, is one that everybody’s familiar with. It’s revenue, right? It’s the top line. And here’s the thing I think some people make mistakes around. This one is what we call this total revenue, not just GCI, because a GCI can be a portion of it is for example, you sell a home.
The commission is $10,000. Well, that’s the GCI from that sale. But what if I have a lender partner that’s contributing to marketing? What if I have, you know, other rev referrals, I send referrals out to other agents, and that revenue comes in. What if there are other forms of revenue that you could consider top-line revenue, but we, what we really want in this first simple number is total top-line revenue. The true top line. The biggest mistake I see around this one is with agents who are at brokerages with larger companies, where what they do is they consider their total revenue. What I was just referring to as the amount of money their broker gave them after the broker took their portion.
And we believe, and I believe the, with a clear picture of your total revenue is the actual total revenue. So for example, if you did a sale and you got a $10,000 commission check, your broker took 2000 for their portion of the split. And then you got paid and your bank account 8,000, your total revenue is not 8,000 on that sale. It’s 10,000 and we want to account for the true total. And this isn’t like a, oh, I’m an agent I’m selling more real estate. I’m going to account for the fake top-line no, no. It’s to get a real clear picture of what kind of revenue did you produce as an agent and what did it cost you truly to be at the brokerage you’re at?
Because that is a number you should kind of every now and then that you should consider at. Like, I know a lot of people are considering like, should I be at a certain company? Should I be, should I open my own brokerage? So that’s like an important number. It totally is. And it can, the, obviously, as we know, from one brokerage to the next, the value is different. Some brokerages offer marketing dollars, some brokerages offer admin, some brokerages offer nothing. And so you got to know in compared to how much I’m spending, what I’m getting for that. And that helps us determine how much we should be spending on a brokerage. If we don’t know, it’s no way to really analyze that as you were saying. So that leads me to the second simple number.
What we call cost of sale or cost of goods sold. What cost of goods sold is or cost of sale. It is basically the amount of money that is paid out to every transaction that you do. That’s tied to that transaction. So for example, the broker split, if I do a $10,000 deal and I got to pay two grand to the broker, my cost of sale is, is that $2,000 or in this case 20%. Right? So if I have a team and I have a buyer’s agent that maybe works with my buyer leads and I pay them a split-off of a deal, well, our total commission was 10,000, but if I paid them 50%, 5,000 was cost of goods sold.
It’s still top-line revenue, but it isn’t my gross profit, which by the way is simple number, number three, very simple top-line revenue minus my cost of sale equals my gross profit. And that’s basically what I that’s my real money. Like what I now have to play with as a business owner, right? It’s, it’s the actual cash that ends up in my account because as we talked about before the cost of goods sold, I never actually saw those dollars, but I need to account for them. So I have a true picture of my business. So that’s simple. Number two, number three is gross profit. And now we have to do two things with the gross profit.
I love that. Okay. That’s it. There’s things we have left to do with this money that we now have to play with, right? Cause this is just a big game we play and the money it’s like monopoly. We now have this cash in front of us and what are we going to do with it? It, two, two things pay our bills and then pay ourselves. Now, of course, that’s pre-tax when we pay ourselves, we still got pay tax on that. So eventually we got to split that with the government, but really we have to do two things. Now we’ve got to pay our bills and pay ourselves. And so that’s simple. Number, number four is our bills. We call them operating expenses. Where did we spend our money to run the business? And again, that’s separate from the commission.
We had to pay out to our broker and our agents. That’s not necessarily an operating expense. And so operating expenses, we break that into three categories and I would encourage you in, in everybody, in your profit and loss, would you use QuickBooks or some other program when you set up, what’s called your chart of accounts, which by the way, is what we’re talking about. These different, Simple Numbers is your chart of accounts. There are what we would consider our we’d suggest you, you, you tie every expense into one of three categories to keep this super simple. Number one is people non-owner like salaries, right? Or, or hourly pay. If you have an admin, a staff person, if you any, any hourly and or, and, or, you know, W2 type person, you want to put that under people expense because we don’t know how much you’re spending on people.
The second category is marketing and lead generation. And the third category is what we call overhead. Some people call it G and a, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just, it’s just everything else. If you spent a dollar and it wasn’t on a person or, or it wasn’t intended to generate a lead, that it is an overhead expense. Got it. And so if we break it down to those three categories, again, it’s very simple. And at the beginning of the year, we can say, well, what, what percentage of my revenue do I want to spend in each of those three categories? I always spent 10% in each to run my business. So I had 30% of every dollar that came in was to, was to was on expenses. Everybody has a different model.
The key is to figure it out before the year so that, you know, if you’re on or off track and you’re not overspending when that new lead source that your, that your buddy agent told you, that’s working awesome. And it’s sweet. And you go to look at your profit and loss and you say, do I have the money to spend it? You can look at your income and say, well, no, I’m already maxed out. So I either have to decrease my marketing that I’m doing now, or I have to say no for now, because I’m sticking within a margin I predetermined. And so those are the categories of expenses. It helps make decisions. Cause I think so often real estate agents like have a shiny object and they’ll get a phone call and they jump and start something. But now you can actually make decisions based on a budget and based on your income and based on projections.
My one question on the three, I love this. Cause you really breaking it down to be so simple. I mean, truly the people one, you didn’t mention paying your yourself yet. So is that, that’s that second category? So you would, you as the business owner would not be considered a people, even if you’re giving yourself a W2, Right? I, I, that’s how I would do it now in my profit and loss statement in QuickBooks, I still accounted for the salary. I paid myself, but remember, and why did I do that? I still accounted it for it. In the people section, these three categories, the people section, I did put my salary in there, but, but when I went to view the health of my business, I pulled it back out and put it into the profit because here’s the thing, it’s all my money.
Whether I pay my, the reason most agents pay themselves a salary is because it keeps the IRS happy because the IRS wants to collect extra taxes on you in that position. And so you pay yourself a salary and you got to pay those payroll taxes. If you put it all into profit, the IRS would say, no, no, no, no, no. You’ve got to pay yourself a market-based wage. So you’ve got to put it in the line. They’re in PR. But when you look at your book, somebody could say, well, I made no money this year, my profit and loss says $0. I broke even. That’s not good. Well, when we look at your profit and loss, you paid yourself a $200,000 salary. You made 200 grand, right? So we need to consider it that way. That’s why, when I say, when we look at our profit and loss as a CFO, as a business owner, with our business goggles on versus our accountant goggles on or IRS goggles on, when we look at it from the IRS perspective, they want our, our salary in a line item around that, that, so, so that’s how we need to look at those differently.
When we look at the actual owner pay. So that’s Simple Numbers, five, by the way, is net profit and owner pay combined. And so at the beginning of the year, I want to be able to put together a budget that says, how much do I plan to have out in cost of sale? Usually that’s pretty easy to determine, cause it’s my splits with agents that I have. If I have a team or it’s, and, or it’s my cost to my broker, then I, then I know how much my gross profit will be. Then I need to predetermine how much my expenses are going to be, or at least plan to the best of my ability. I ran a 30% expense model 10 in each category. You may do something different. And then that tells you what you should expect for a net profit and owner pay percentage.
I want to make 70% net profit and owner pay, which means I have 30% to be paid between the broker and expenses. I may do 15% to the broker, 15% to expenses for a 70% net profit and owner pay. So that’s how I would encourage you to structure not only your books, but also the way in which you grade yourself each month, quarter and year on how you did compare to your plan. Okay. So what I’m hearing is set up your books to have these five, kind of, chart of accounts, and then use it as a way to make sure that you’re on track. So monthly and quarterly, you’re making sure you’re on track based on your budget.
I think one question I get a lot from real estate agents is like, especially new ones who maybe don’t have the consistency yet is how do I know what my budget should even be? Like if I don’t know if I’m making a budget for the beginning of the year, how do I know what’s really going to happen throughout the year? It’s a, it’s a great question. I encourage them to budget off percentages, not dollar amounts. So in other words, I don’t know what my top line is going to be. Although I find most people can guess pretty accurately. I always tell people this, when you budget it, it shouldn’t be your goal, right? We all have kind of our stretch goal for our revenue and number of homes we want to sell.
This should be like, what’s realistic this year. You might look at last year, or if you were brand new, you might say, I don’t know, I’m going to have to take my best guests and kind of back work with your work with a coach or team leader wherever you have, that would help you, you know, back that out. But you know, a purse in a percentage is what I would suggest. So for example, I don’t know how much I’m going to make, but I know that 15 cents of every dollar needs to go to the broker. So I’m going to have 85 cents to work with on every dollar. So if I sell my first home and I have a $10,000 commission check and I have a 15% split to the broker, I know that right there in budgeting for 1500 bucks to go out the door to the broker, I never saw that money.
And I have $8,500 left to work with. And maybe I’m going to spend 30% on expenses, 10%, 10% and 10% in the three categories. So there goes three grand, right? And so I’ve got $5,500 left that I’m going to budget around that. So you may even do it per transaction. And as long as you are budgeting around a percentage, you know, if you’re kind of on or off track, but this is the game of being a business owner, right? It’s kind of, you have to, you have to kind of guess do your best if you get it wrong. Think about it. If you were, if you were hired by a large corporation to be a CEO, that’s what you’re hired to do is project and guess, and if you get it wrong and shareholders didn’t get any profit you’re fired and they find somebody else.
And so you kind of have to think of it that way as like I’m in the CEO seat, my job is to project and then be disciplined to those projections and, and, and follow a budget. So do it, do it based on percentages. Yeah, I think so often though, what happens is real estate agents get their license and they just think they’re a real estate agent, right? They don’t think of themselves as the CEO or as a business owner. And so I think all, everybody listening, once you turn on, like, or put on the CEO hat and you operate like a CEO, then you’re have to, you have to look at the numbers like this and you have to be accountable. And I can tell you the difference between real estate agents who think of themselves as a real estate agent versus real estate agents who think of themselves as the CEO of their own business, the outcome and the results are totally different.
And the way that they run their business totally different. And the way they look at their income as, oh, I got a big check. I can go buy a new car versus no, actually I can only spend half that check. Yes. It’s such a great point. It’s the downside. It’s the downside. And the upside of being in this industry in real estate sales is there is so much income potential, right? And so you can make money, mistakes, and still be, do just fine. But to your point, you know, what’s the long-term goal with this. What’s the long-term vision with your business as far as revenue for your family. And I think for a lot of people, it isn’t just to make a ton of money, although that can come with it, if we’re, if we’re smart and disciplined, but it’s also to get that time freedom with our families to have our flexible schedules, all of those things.
But if we aren’t disciplined around the money side, we don’t get As much. It’s so true. And like those Friday night phone calls that somebody wants to see a home at 8:00 AM the next morning and your, your child’s soccer game. And you’re like, ah, but I wasn’t good with my money over the last quarter. So I, I need to get these revenues and you just make different life decisions as well. And so that’s what running a budget being disciplined to and keeping it simple. So it’s not overwhelming, I think can afford you if you, if you take that step, regardless if you’re brand new or not. Yeah. Yeah. So what other advice like this do you have for, you know, most of our listeners are either newer agents or agents who, you know, are still kind of trying to get their business to really be consistent and humming.
What other kind of financial advice do you have when it comes to their numbers? Do you have for this, for our audience? Yeah, it’s great. I mean, I would say that one of the biggest things, the biggest mistakes I made, and then I see other agents and teams making when I’m, when we’re working with them on their financials, is that they don’t have a system for cash flow. And so what I mean by that is they may have a budget. They may do good bookkeeping. They know what their margins need to be, and they stick discipline to them. And when we look at their profit and loss, there’s some things they could tweak, but overall they have a healthy business.
The profit and loss statement says they made X number of dollars and that’s good. But then when we get to their bank accounts, they have no idea where the money is. They do not have money saved for taxes. So that’s always a stressful time of year for them. I remember that it was awful. I mean, it was absolutely awful, right? We’ve all been there. And so we learned that the hard way. A lot of times it took me three years of going through that to finally realized I should probably make sure I’m saving money for that stuff before I get to it. Right. Because the stress will just melt away and it does. And, and there’s a system, there’s a book that was written actually called profit. First. We are profit first professionals, meaning we’re trained by them.
But profit first is a book written by Mike McKayla, X, every business owner, big and small needs to read that and understand it and run it in their business. In my opinion, it helps you avoid things like taxes, do things like we got to the end of the year. And we don’t know where our cash went. Things like I didn’t save for the business going down in the winter months and my revenue decreasing, but my expenses staying the same. Right. We didn’t, we didn’t plan for all that stuff. And that’s where, that’s where this business can just suck to be honest with you. And it can make it not worth it, but it, because it’s so stressful, it can cause relationships at home to have struggles, right? Like that’s the number one reason people get divorced is financial struggles.
And so we can avoid all that. If we run a system of, of money management and that’s profit first, and it’s pretty simple, but the idea is this most businesses run their business. Like CPAs are trained to think, which is revenue minus expenses equals profit. In other words, I make money. I spend it. Whatever I have left is what I now have. And I hope I have enough to cover all my bills and taxes. Right. And, and that’s, we want to flip that on its head. We want to say revenue minus profit, predetermined, planned percentage of profit equals what I can now run my business with.
Right? It’s psychological, it’s all psychological. It, you know, think of it like a kid in a candy. They have a month, they have a pocket full of money. They’re going to spend every dime. But if they left half of it at home, because they knew that was going to happen, they could spend every dime in their pocket and be just fine. And that’s what we want to do in our businesses is make sure we don’t see, oh, I’ve got, I’ve got $10,000 in my bank account. I’m I can go invest in this awesome new lead source. Somebody told me about, we do it the end of the year comes and we’re like, oh shoot. I never put money in anywhere for taxes. Oh shoot. I never saved any money in a profit account and paid myself personally. Oh, oh. And then we just wonder where all this money goes.
So that’s something, I think every business owner and honestly, regardless of the, of the industry needs to be running big and small. You could be brand new in the business and you need to have predetermined profitability, saved tax dollars, you know, predetermined expense dollars. And they need to be going into accounts and not being looked at every day. So you feel like you have all this money sitting there, you can do. Right. Right. You don’t, you don’t have it even. So what are the things that you tell your clients? What are the, maybe the accounts that you tell your clients to open and how much should they be putting in every transaction or month or quarter?
What is your advice? Do you have? Oh, well it’s all based on revenue. The smaller amount of revenue that we have, the less percentage. Oftentimes we want to start putting into profit because we’re growing, right. We need to spend some money to grow so that we have different categories. If you read the book, it talks about this as well. He has a chart and it says, based on this amount of revenue, you should have these percentages put 15% in taxes, put 5% in owner pay, put 10% in profit, but the remaining and operating expenses. But those are usually the five main accounts are. So you want, you want the main account to be, you know, profit. Then you’re going to have a percentage of every dollar that goes in there.
And you do that twice a month. You want one for taxes because you don’t want to get too into here and have none in there. And you put a certain percentage in there based on your revenue. Then you want one for owner pay so that you have money to pay yourself a salary; consistent revenue. Then you want one for operating expenses as well, so that you can run your business. We also did like a community. We call the compassion fund. So every 2% of every dollar went into that. So if you run a charity or something, you want to give back to the community, you can preplan for every dollar that comes in, we did 2% to 2% went into that account. And then we could use it in different ways in the community. So whatever accounts, you know, if you read the book he talks about, but the main ones that can get us in trouble, our profit taxes and operating expenses.
If we don’t have money in those three predetermined percentages, then oftentimes we get into trouble. Yeah. So different accounts that just move the money around as it comes in, Correct? Twice a month. Yeah. The 10th, the 10th and the 25th is what we ran. It really doesn’t matter what days you do that. But on the 10th, you basically look at how much came in my income account. Okay. Today’s the day to transfer money. So I’m going to transfer. If I had a hundred thousand dollars sitting in an account, I need to transfer 15,000 into tax, the tax bucket, which is an account at a bank. It’s a savings account, right? I need, I need a 10% to go towards profits of 10 grand, goes into the profit count, 10% towards owner pay.
So 10 grand goes in the owner-pay. And then I didn’t do my quick math or whatever the balance is, goes into my operating account. And then all my bills are paid out of the operating account. Yep. And you know, then we’re back to zero in our income account. And then guess what? On the 25th, fifth, whatever income came in from closings, we do it again. And then we’re running our business from those four or five accounts. And then what’s cool is at the end of the quarter, we take what was in that profit account. And we transfer it to another bank. We call it bank B. That second bank is hard to get to. It’s like when you used to freeze your credit cards in the freezer so that they, the thought before you could use them, but it’s a second, it’s a second bank that you take half that profit and you at the end of the quarter and you put it in that bank account for a rainy day and it sits there.
And every quarter it accumulates. Sometimes if you absolutely have to, you can use it to solve problems in your business. Like, Hey, we had a really bad quarter. I got to cover bills. You have that money there. Right? You do the same thing for taxes. You, you drain your tax account at bank a and you throw it into big B. So your mind thinks I don’t have that money to work with because otherwise here’s what we do. We say, you know what taxes aren’t due for like six more months. And I really want this lead source. I’m going to go ahead and pull my money out of that tax account and spend it because I’ll make it back later and I’ll be fine. And then it doesn’t happen. Yeah. So, Yeah. So we want to put that money in a second bank that is hard to get too hard to transfer out of. Maybe it’s even in a different state.
So we don’t even, can’t even stop by a local brand. Right. And make it hard, Make it hard because we are humans have to work with our nature and that’s our nature. So we have to have a setup system that works with our nature. Yeah. And then at bank aid, we have the other half of that profit, guess what that gets paid to us as the owner in distributions every quarter because we have to benefit from our business. If we don’t the old saying, I believe is if you can’t make a dollar, you can’t make a difference. And so you could be able to make money. I’ve never heard that, but I’m going to use that. Andy, if you don’t, if you can’t make a dollar, you can’t make a difference. That’s so true. So true. And our life and in the lives of everybody that we could possibly make a difference in.
So I love what your, what your, I love this topic because I think I see so many real estate agents get in trouble financially, especially because we get these big checks and they see the big numbers and then they spend this money. And then there’s the, oh, I remember still, when I first started making money in my business, I wasn’t really aware of all this stuff. And I got an email from my, my CPA that said it was no big deal. Hey, you gotta write a $50,000 check today to the IRS because it’s due tomorrow. And I panicked.
Right. And I was like 50 grand. You can’t just spill that on somebody. Right. But who’s responsibility is it to know that I have this $50,000 and luckily I had it, but I certainly did not have it in the accounts that you’re talking about. I certainly didn’t know to plan for it. And, and it was such a shock to me. And so to avoid all that, like, I love the simple way that you’re approaching it. Now you have a tool, a budgeting tool that you’re giving our audience for free. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how we can all get a copy of it? Yeah, for sure. I mean, it goes back to me being pretty simple-minded person.
I, I do not like things complicated. And so, as you can tell with our business, it’s Simple Numbers and our, we have the five Simple Numbers and we keep it very simple. Simple is not always easy, but it is simple. And so the budget tool is what we call the five-minute budget and it, and it literally takes five minutes to complete once a year. And you will have your five Simple Numbers in your business based on what you think you’ll do for sides, for sales. So you have to enter a couple of data points, like how many listing sides you’re going to do this year, how many buyer sides, what’s your average sales price, and average commission percentage. And then it’s going to calculate everything for you.
You tell it how much you think you’re going to spend, or you plan to spend, or you’d like to spend. And it shows you that your whole year plan as well as by quarter and by month, the goal with it is for you to use as a tool that when you look at your financials, you can compare it to this budget and say, am I on or off track with the five numbers? That’s it. And now if you’re off, you can dig deeper into your books and say, where am I off? Why am I off? What mistake did I make that I do not make enough money? Did I spend too much that I not plan correctly? And you can fix it, right? And that’s the whole point. It’s not to be perfect right off the bat. It’s to have information that helps you get better as time goes on.
So you, And make decisions. That is what your books, that’s the major purpose of having all this stuff for is, is to make business decisions on your financials. And so, yeah, they can go to the number five men, M as in Mary, I N a budget.com five men, budget.com. And there’s, I have a little 20-minute training video that they can watch on how to complete it. It just shows them how to complete it. And then the right there’s the download for the actual, it’s just a simple spreadsheet they can use. So if it’s helpful, obviously, they can use that for free. Yep. I’m excited to download it. I really appreciate it. And I’ll also link to it for the show notes on this page.
So you can go to The Agent Grad School.com/5simplenumbers, and you’ll get that link. And I’ll also link to your website. Andy, you have a lot of really great tutorials and videos on there about what we should know about our numbers. And it’s geared towards real estate agents. Andy, you were a real estate agent. So you’re coming, you’re coming at us from our own perspective, which I’ve never had a CPA or a bookkeeper or financial person come like, right. It’s so different as a real estate agent because we have all these other things that we like, what other, what other small business owners, commissions to their broker, what other small business has a cyclical, you know, cycle, very predictable cycle to our market.
And so I love, I love that you’re here and I love that you’re talking to our audience because you’re coming to, to a financial planning perspective because you’re one of us. So thank you so much for the work you do. Thank you for giving up. You’re looking at your real estate business to help us all be better agents financially. Thank you for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. We purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial-free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that will help them grow their real estate business. And how about life? They love outside the business too, but we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents.
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