Do you hate the thought of handling your real estate company’s financials? Is accounting software too “techie” a term for you? If so, perhaps it’s time to consider small business accounting software. It could be just what you need to streamline your financial processes and save you time. On this page, you will get basic information about this vendor-neutral kind of accounting software for real estate and several recommendations for it, so keep reading!
Are you wanting to learn more about best accounting software for real estate? Maybe even small business accounting software for real estate? If so, then you’ve come to the right place, because in this article I’ll show you how to find the right software for your real estate business.
Best overall accounting software for real estate agents and brokerages. Xero excels at integrations, offering more than 700 of them. A double-entry accounting option, Xero can be as lean or robust as the real estate agent or broker needs, providing essential accounting tools, commission and payroll management through seamless integration with Gusto, a wide array of contract management options via integrations, and more. Plus, it’s affordable and easy to use.
Cloud-based accounting applications such as Xero enable users to synchronize data with accountants and bookkeepers, which enable businesses to run smoothly. Xero is especially useful for portfolio management where most functions are automated and easily managed remotely.
Additionally, like Back Office, Xero comes with QuickBooks integration that lets you sync data between Xero and QuickBooks.
FreshBooks is an intuitive program that can be incorporated into real estate, offering tools for real estate income generation, customer lists, property tracking, and more. The interface makes it easy to manage expenses, revenue streams, banking, cash flows, invoices, taxes and receipts. Each of these can be applied in all real estate categories. Add a number of custom fields in FreshBooks for property tracking and easily manage, sort, and store critical information such as floor plans, property descriptions, lease dates, due dates, current rent, appraisal value, and maintenance. FreshBooks can be easily complemented by other accounting and budgeting software to sync with credit cards, investments and bank accounts among others.
QuickBooks Online & Enterprise
QuickBooks Online- This software comprises of really helpful real estate accounting tools and irrespective of your position as a broker or an owner; you can use it flawlessly. On the other hand, QuickBooks Enterprise is apt for managing accounting operations for mid-sized businesses across industry verticals like distribution, retail, real estate, construction, and more.
One can easily manage inventory workflows, multiple users, transaction data, locations, and more. In the USA, QuickBooks dominated the accounting software market in 2017, with 2.55 million subscribers worldwide.
|Provides ease of access (multiple locations and different platforms).||Spike in prices overtime.|
|Cloud-based functionality.||Limited number of users.|
|Data is always backed up.||‘Combined reporting’ feature not available.|
|Integrates with many third-party applications.||Not so effective payroll product|
The applications of this software provide real-time operational and financial insights, along with the option of automating processes which are critical.
It helps you effortlessly manage some of the prominent accounting operations like order and cash management, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, and more.
|Very flexible & easy to use.||Comparatively pricey.|
|Offers custom reports.||Not as versatile and offers less options compared to QB.|
|Cloud-based system.||No mobile app.|
|Provides many features.||Additional modules budgeting, interactive reporting cost extra.|
Best accounting software for start-up real estate agents. The only totally free option on this list is Wave, which provides the strong double-entry accounting new agents will appreciate without a financial investment. Payroll can be added for a low monthly cost, and contract management requires integrations. Tracking commissions requires some additional configuration, but it can be done.
- Outstanding property management features
- Separate profit and loss by property
- Allocate common area expenses to properties automatically
- Inexpensive for companies with 20 units or less
- Mobile app doesn’t include accounting functions
- Lacks common accounting features like mileage tracking and receipt capture
- Not very easy to use
- Essential: Monthly from $50 for 20 units or less to $235 for 150 units
- Growth: Monthly from $160 for 50 units or less to $5,400 for 5,000 units.
- Premium: Annual from $4,968 for 150 units or less to $159,000 for 5,000 units
If you have more than 5,000 units, custom pricing applies. Try out Buildium’s features by signing up for a free 14-day trial with no credit card required. The trial includes preloaded test data to see how Buildium works.
Buildium Standout Features
- Tenant evaluation: Buildium can help you screen tenants during the application process. This evaluation feature includes credit screening, criminal records, and eviction information. It also lets you customize credit score requirements.
- Specialized accounting functions: Buildium has all the necessary accounting functions you’ll need for real property management. It also features recurring invoices and automatic expense allocation, such as trash removal, among tenants.
- Marketing tools: Buildium can help you create listings that can be posted on managers’ websites, to Craigslist or to the entire Zillow network.
- Very affordable
- Track P&L by property
- Manage lease terms, rental rates, security deposits, and maintenance
- Track personal finances, retirement accounts, and self-employed income
- Doesn’t track assets and liabilities so it can’t print a balance sheet
- Cannot include more than one user
- Software must be installed on your computer
- Starter: $35.99 per year for Windows and Mac
- Deluxe: $51.99 per year for Windows and Mac
- Premier: $77.99 per year for Windows and Mac
- Home & Business: $103.99 per year for Windows only
Quicken Standout Features
- Necessary accounting functions: Quicken features all the necessary accounting functions to help you manage your real estate transactions. It has invoicing templates, estimates, receivable and payable tracking, and a tax deduction finder.
- Market value tracker: Quicken can also give you quick insights on the current market value of your property portfolio that can be classified by type, sector, or the integrated Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool.
- Tenant management: Quicken can help you manage your tenants in one software program, keeping track of their accounts and managing their payments easily.
- Online document storage: Quicken also has cloud storage for saving receipts and other business documents. We like this because you can keep copies of lease contracts in the cloud.
An agency that needs to manage agents, transactions, and vendors along with accounting will appreciate the real estate focus of this accounting software option. It’s both an ERP and an accounting option. Lone Wolf Back Office is designed for large real estate firms but can also be a software that works well for a smaller brokerage. Lone Wolf software is great for large firms with more than one location because the technology provides a way for the broker or managing partner to track the entire business easily.
Lone Wolf Back Office is a software that uses a general ledger, accounts payable, payroll, and bank reconciliation to keep your accounts in order with ease—with no need to manage double-entry accounting on your own. When it’s time to get your books in order for the end of the year, Lone Wolf Back Office provides you comfort with making sure your numbers are in order and avoiding audits during tax season.
Lone Wolf Back Office provides flexible commission management and calculates commissions and commission splits accurately. The commission calculator allows agents to know the exact amount they will earn from commissions without having to do anything to come up with the number.
Contract management is offered and made easier with the eSignature tool, which provides the ability to start and finish contracts quicker online. Lone Wolf Back Office not only makes it easier on the agent but also on the client for finding their next home. Real estate agents can send and review contracts quickly, allowing the client, agent and employer to view and sign the contracts rapidly.
Lone Wolf Back Office provides customizable reports, but they can be challenging to customize. Customization availability changes as the software is upgraded. There are a lot of reports available and easy to run with a couple of clicks. The amount of information in the reports can feel clunky or cluttered with unnecessary information. Financial reporting can be done by the company or agents, and the operational reports are included.
Lone Wolf Back Office offers mileage tracking through Hurdlr. This third party software helps agents not only track their mileage but also helps them find ways to cut down on expenses to save money. This is one of the many product features that Lone Wolf has integrated into its software.
Lone Wolf Back Office also has an optional bookkeeping offering called WOLFwatch that tracks the numbers your firm spends and earns and provides a monthly check-up to ensure the books are up to date. WOLFwatch takes over the bookkeeping so the client doesn’t have to spend time worrying about it.
Access & users:
Lone Wolf Back Office provides a robust ability to assign access to users by role. Employers can assign access to individuals on specific contracts and reports and with the single sign-on integration feature for the Lone Wolf Back Office it makes it easier for agents to easily move across the different Lone Wolf technology, such as WOLFwatch, ShowingTime, Hurdlr and every other feature that has been integrated into Lone Wolf. Instead of signing into each feature independently, agents will only need to sign in once relieving them of the headache for signing into multiple Lone Wolf products.
Ease of use:
Lone Wolf Back Office is user friendly once a person learns the system. However, it is extensive, so training will be necessary. It’s so extensive, in fact, that finding the function you need can be difficult. The mix of Canadian and American terminology might confuse some users. On the plus side, Lone Wolf Back Office does update frequently to meet demands of ongoing changes in real estate business. Customer support by phone is responsive but there can be delays. Users can also access email support. The Lone Wolf Technologies website provides a space for Community self-service. There’s also a Product Help section providing articles and discussion across a variety of topics from troubleshooting to integrations. Training options include online, in-person, training packages, and custom training.
The pricing model for Lone Wolf is through subscriptions. Contact Lone Wolf for specific pricing information on its subscription packages. Software training varies from two to eight hour packages depending on how many employees the firm has. Training includes options for in-person and virtual and comes with the option to customize the training package that fits the firm best. Software training is highly recommended with this product.
Things we liked:
- Automatic commission calculations
- Multi-office support
- Easy contract management with eSignature
- Designed specifically for larger brokerages
- Built-in home tour technology
Things we didn’t like:
- Steep learning curve
- Inconsistent terminology (Canadian and US)
- May be hidden fees, including ongoing training
You’ve made the decision to work for yourself and have purchased or leased an investment property. Congratulations! It’s one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. Working for yourself, however, does come with its challenges. It can be stressful if you don’t know how to track your business finances correctly.