Bookkeeping & Finances in Your Real Estate Marketing Business

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It may not be the most glamorous topic in the world, but let's face it: staying on top of our accounting and having at least a basic understanding of our numbers, balances, reconciliation and the like is critical to running a successful real estate photography and videography business. Accounting may not be your favorite topic (but maybe it is), but knowing the basics of running your books is important. WOW Video Tours General Manager Derek Mayer joins Todd & Craig to talk about basic, solid accounting principles to help you get your business started, and to keep it running smoothly.

0:00-0:52 Preview

0:53-7:21 Intro

7:22-11:15 Why to not let accounting fall to the back burner

  • Need to prioritize accounting to know whether you are making money
  • Figure out whether you want to be the one to do it or find someone to do the numbers- Upwork, go local, get two or three quotes and clearly define what they will do for you

11:16-12:52 Generally costs $200-$400/month for a company shooting 300-2000 shoots/year

12:53-17:05 Business owners should have a basic understanding of accounting, even if they outsource

  • For those who want to do it themselves, it’s not that complicated
  • Take advantage of any resource you can find- YouTube has tons of videos, Google can help
  • Lots of software is available- QuickBooks (Derek’s recommendation, ~ $50/month), FreshBooks (~ $30/month), Xero (~ $35/month, bigger learning curve), Wave Accounting (free)
  • Try a variety to find what you like

17:06-18:52 What else does a photographer need to think about?

  • Get a business bank account and a debit or credit card for that account
  • Keep business and personal accounts separate- makes taxes easier
  • Software will help you import your transactions
  • Pick a payment provider- Derek recommends Authorize.net (no longer supported by Xero), Stripe and Square are also good

18:53-24:34 Basic reconciling

  • Reconciling is making sure every dollar is accounted for
  • Easiest way to know your numbers are correct
  • Whatever software you use, learn to reconcile, even if you have to pay someone to teach you
  • Easy to lose money when not reconciling
  • Don’t assume the bank is always right; they make mistakes, too

24:35-28:03 Find your system and lay a foundation

  • Sometimes you have to spend money to make money; you may need to hire someone to do your accounting
  • If you don’t focus on the numbers, things will slip by
  • One last tip from Derek: Have fun! Learn about your business and go make money.

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