Cost Control and Expense Management: Your Ticket to Maximized Profitability


Cost Control and Expense Management: Your Ticket to Maximized Profitability


When it comes to the real estate sector, the balance between revenues and expenses can mean the difference between success and failure. Thus, mastering the art of cost control and expense management is paramount. Here's how economies of scale, regular audits, and tech-driven automation can help you trim the fat, streamline costs, and pave the way for maximum profitability.


Economies of Scale: Expanding Your Property Portfolio


Economies of scale are achieved when increased levels of production lead to lower costs per unit of output. In the context of real estate, expanding your property portfolio can result in reduced per-unit costs and improved profitability.


For example, consider a property management company that oversees a single property versus a company that manages a portfolio of multiple properties. The latter can negotiate better deals with suppliers and contractors due to the bulk of the work. So, if you're maintaining ten properties, the per-unit cost of hiring a lawn maintenance service is likely to be significantly less than if you hired the service for a single property.


Regular Audits: Spotting Inefficiencies and Cost-Cutting Opportunities


Conducting regular audits of your expenses allows you to identify inefficiencies and potential areas where costs can be cut without compromising service quality or tenant satisfaction.


Let's say, during an audit, you notice an unusually high water bill for one of your properties. Upon further investigation, you find that the property has a leaky pipe, leading to excessive water usage. By identifying and rectifying the problem, you can significantly reduce your water expenses, demonstrating the power of regular audits in cost control.


Tech-Driven Automation for Process Efficiency


Investing in technology and automation can seem like a significant expense upfront, but it often leads to substantial long-term savings by increasing efficiency and reducing errors.


For instance, using property management software can automate tasks like rent collection, property maintenance requests, and lease renewals. Not only does this reduce administrative costs, but it also allows for better record-keeping, more timely responses, and improved tenant satisfaction.


Or consider energy management systems that automate heating, cooling, and lighting in common areas based on occupancy. Such systems can lead to considerable savings in utility costs over time.


In conclusion, adopting cost control and expense management strategies can lead to maximized profitability in the real estate sector. By implementing economies of scale, conducting regular audits, and embracing tech-driven automation, you can make your business leaner, more efficient, and more profitable. The road to success in real estate isn't just about increasing revenue; it's equally about strategically managing and reducing expenses.

Financial Metrics and KPIs: Your Real Estate Performance Amplifiers


Financial Metrics and KPIs: Your Real Estate Performance Amplifiers


Numbers hold the power to speak volumes about the performance of your real estate enterprise. They distil vast complexities into quantifiable metrics, enabling you to track your progress and steer your business towards its goals. Although there are numerous financial metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that could be valuable to a real estate firm, the following are essential ones you might want to keep on your dashboard: Gross Rental Yield, Net Rental Yield, Return on Investment (ROI), Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR), and Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV).


Gross Rental Yield and Net Rental Yield: Gauging the Earning Power of Your Rental Properties


Gross Rental Yield gives you a quick snapshot of the rental income potential of your property relative to its market value. It's calculated by dividing the annual rental income by the property's market value.


For instance, if you receive $24,000 annually in rent for a property that's worth $300,000, your Gross Rental Yield would be 8%.


Net Rental Yield, on the other hand, is a more accurate measure of profitability as it accounts for costs like maintenance, insurance, and property taxes. If you have $4,000 of annual expenses on the above property, your Net Rental Yield would be 6.67%, giving you a more realistic understanding of your return.


ROI (Return on Investment): Measuring the Fruitfulness of Your Investments


ROI is a critical metric that helps you measure the effectiveness of your investments. It's calculated by dividing the net profit from an investment by the cost of the investment.


For example, if you purchased a property for $200,000, invested $50,000 in renovations, and sold it for $300,000, your ROI would be 20%. This simple yet powerful ratio allows you to compare the profitability of different investments, guiding your future investment decisions.


DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio): Monitoring Your Ability to Meet Debt Obligations


The Debt Service Coverage Ratio is a measure of the cash flow available to pay current debt obligations. It's calculated by dividing your net operating income by your total debt service.


Suppose your property generates a net operating income of $120,000 per year, and your annual debt service is $100,000. Your DSCR would be 1.2, which is a healthy ratio as it shows you generate sufficient income to cover your debt obligations.


LTV (Loan-to-Value Ratio): Assessing the Risk Linked with a Mortgage Loan


The Loan-to-Value Ratio is a financial term used by lenders to express the ratio of a loan to the value of the asset purchased. It's calculated by dividing the mortgage amount by the appraised value of the property.


For instance, if you secure a loan of $180,000 to purchase a property valued at $200,000, your LTV ratio is 90%. A lower LTV generally indicates less risk for the lender.


In conclusion, these financial metrics and KPIs provide valuable insights into your real estate business's financial health and operational efficiency. By understanding and tracking Gross Rental Yield, Net Rental Yield, ROI, DSCR, and LTV, you can make data-driven decisions that enhance the performance and profitability of your real estate portfolio. But remember, these are not the only KPIs and financial metrics valuable to a real estate firm. Depending on your specific business model and strategy, other measures may be equally or even more critical to your success. In real estate, it's not just about numbers, but about the right numbers.


Debt Management: Making Your Real Estate Investments Shine


Debt Management: Making Your Real Estate Investments Shine



Debt, when used appropriately, can be an incredible growth accelerator in the realm of real estate. It can propel asset acquisition and expansion, transforming your real estate ventures into profitable enterprises. Managing this debt effectively is crucial to maintain optimal financial health. Let's delve into some of the strategies you can utilize: diversifying your debt portfolio, monitoring your debt-to-equity ratios, seeking refinancing options when needed, and routinely reviewing your loan interest rates and terms.


Diversifying Your Debt Portfolio


Just as diversification is a sound strategy for your investment portfolio, the same applies to your debt portfolio. Diversifying your sources of debt allows you to tap into different interest rates, payment terms, and loan conditions, reducing the risk of over-reliance on a single lender or type of loan.
For example, as a real estate investor, you might opt for a mix of traditional bank loans, private lender loans, and real estate crowdfunding platforms. This mix reduces the risk of being caught in a financial crunch if a particular lender changes its terms or if a specific debt instrument becomes unsustainable.


Keeping a Sharp Eye on Your Debt-to-Equity Ratios


Monitoring your debt-to-equity ratio, a financial ratio indicating the relative proportion of shareholders' equity and debt used to finance your assets, is key in maintaining the financial health of your real estate business.
A high debt-to-equity ratio could indicate that your business relies heavily on borrowed money, which could potentially alarm lenders and investors. On the other hand, a low ratio might suggest that you're not leveraging debt effectively to grow your business.
For instance, if your real estate business has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2:1, it means you're funding your assets twice as much with debt as with your own equity. If market conditions deteriorate, servicing this debt could become challenging, potentially leading to financial distress.


Seeking Refinancing Options When Needed


Refinancing your real estate loans can be an effective debt management strategy. It can help reduce your interest costs, change your loan term length, switch from variable-rate to fixed-rate (or vice-versa), or access equity from your properties.
Consider, for instance, you have an investment property loan with a high-interest rate. Given the current low-interest-rate environment, it might make financial sense to refinance this loan to a lower interest rate, reducing your monthly payments and freeing up cash for other investments or expenses.


Regularly Reviewing Your Loan Interest Rates and Terms


Interest rates and loan terms can significantly impact your loan repayments and overall financial position. Regularly reviewing these can ensure you're not overpaying and that your loans remain aligned with your investment goals.
Let's say you have a loan with an adjustable-rate that started with a low introductory rate, which has now increased significantly. If you were to review your loans regularly, you'd catch this increase and could consider refinancing to a fixed-rate loan or negotiating better terms with your lender.


In conclusion, effective debt management is paramount for a thriving real estate business. Diversifying your debt portfolio, vigilantly monitoring your debt-to-equity ratios, leveraging refinancing options when necessary, and frequently reviewing your loan interest rates and terms can turn debt from a challenge into a powerful ally. In the dynamic world of real estate investing, it's not just about the properties you acquire but also about how you finance and manage these assets over time.


Mastering Your Money Moves in Real Estate: The Dynamic Duo of Budgeting and Forecasting

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Mastering Your Money Moves in Real Estate:
The Dynamic Duo of Budgeting and Forecasting


Who said ruling the real estate world was only about finding hot properties? Nope, there's a secret sauce—sophisticated financial strategy underpinning it all. And guess who are the rockstars in this band? Budgeting and forecasting!


Get ready to harness the power of cold, hard data, keep your finger on the pulse of market trends, and make technology your best friend. Let's dive into the exciting realms of zero-based budgeting and the constantly evolving world of rolling forecasts—your power tools on the journey to real estate stardom.


Zero-Based Budgeting: It's Like Spring Cleaning for Your Costs!

Imagine zero-based budgeting (ZBB) as your personal financial trainer— it won't let any cost sneak into your new budget without justifying its existence. This isn't your grandpa's old-school budgeting—ZBB starts fresh from a "zero base," putting every department under the scanner for its costs and needs.


In the bustling world of real estate, ZBB can be a game changer. It nudges you to keep a hawk-eye on all expenses and bid adieu to anything that's draining your resources without adding value.


Picture yourself steering a real estate company, with a portfolio chock-full of apartment complexes. With zero-based budgeting, you're dissecting each expense—be it maintenance contracts or landscaping costs for each complex, in every budgeting cycle. You're the budget detective, spotting opportunities for savings, whether it's time to renegotiate contracts or swap out vendors for more cost-effective ones.


Rolling Forecasts: Stay Agile and Keep it Real!

The real estate industry moves faster than a cheetah on a caffeine rush—a static forecast can quickly become a relic. Enter rolling forecasts, your secret weapon to maintaining forecasts that are as fresh as this morning's coffee. These forecasts are continuously updated, whether it's every month or every quarter, to mirror the latest data and market trends.


Rolling forecasts are your trusty navigator, helping you adapt your strategies based on the most current information. It's like having your very own crystal ball, keeping you prepared to dodge risks and snatch up any golden opportunities that come your way.


Let's say you're juggling a portfolio of rental properties, and suddenly, the market sees a surprise spike in vacancy rates. A static forecast would be left in the dust, but with a rolling forecast, you can revise your predictions to account for these new vacancies. Now you're ready to adjust your strategies on the fly—whether it's upping your tenant retention game or reconsidering your rent prices.


Tech to the Rescue for Budgeting and Forecasting

Tech tools have swept in like a superhero, transforming the budgeting and forecasting landscape in real estate. Software solutions like MRI Software or RealPage are like your trusty sidekicks, offering a suite of tools tailor-made for real estate budgeting and forecasting. They automate data collection, deliver real-time market trends, and provide predictive analysis to help you fine-tune your forecasts.


For instance, a software solution like Yardi Voyager doesn't just help manage property and financial data, it offers advanced forecasting features too. It takes your historical data and current market trends to craft insightful predictions, powering you to strategize and make decisions with a newfound confidence.


Wrapping up, budgeting and forecasting are not just necessary evils—they're your secret weapons in the quest for real estate dominance. Zero-based budgeting keeps your costs on a leash, while rolling forecasts equip you to dance with the market's ebbs and flows. And with the right tech tools, you're on the fast track to not just surviving but thriving in the real estate market.


Remember, in this game, it's not just about the properties you've got, but also the strategic financial planning behind it. So, let's rock this!

Cracking the Cash Flow Code:

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Cracking the Cash Flow Code:
The Real Estate Mogul's Fun Guide to Winning Big!


Whoever said "cash is king" was on to something, particularly when it comes to rocking the real estate world. Consider cash flow the lifeblood of your empire, powering your daily grind, settling debts, and igniting growth opportunities. Real estate conquerors know this: taming the cash flow beast can propel your business to unimagined heights. Here's the golden how-to:

Spying on Your Cash Flow: The Secret Sauce to Success

"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." That's a golden oldie that still rings true today. Consistently snooping on your cash inflow and outflow is like having your hand on the pulse of your empire's fiscal fitness. It helps you anticipate those inevitable highs and lows - like the summer surge in demand for leases or the winter drain on your wallet when that central heating system kicks the bucket.

It's not about becoming a number-obsessed hermit. Rather, it's about uncovering the trends, deciphering the market's mood, and learning to predict the impact on your own fiscal tides. And with a little planning, you can even schedule those costly property makeovers during the quieter rental periods. Sneaky, right?

Building Your Treasure Chest: Because Surprises Happen

From sudden boiler bust-ups to unexpected market downturns, the real estate world is full of surprises. Having a treasure chest of cash reserves makes you the financial Indiana Jones of the real estate sector, always ready for the next adventure.

But this isn't just about having a 'break glass in case of emergency' fund. It's about the freedom to pounce on those oh-so-tempting investment opportunities that suddenly pop up. Consider stashing away three to six months' worth of expenses. It's like having a personal genie granting you financial wishes whenever you need them.

Mastering the Cash Flow Tango: Timing is Everything

In real estate, timing is not just a good thing—it's everything. Syncing your income and expenses is like finding the perfect rhythm in the cash flow dance. It ensures you always stay ahead of the beat.

Try to get your rent payments in before those nasty bills strike. If your mortgage takes a bite on the 15th, ensure your rent comes in by the 10th. Smooth-talking your vendors into aligning their payment schedules with your income stream is another smart move. It's all about owning the dance floor!

Tech Magic: Your Personal Cash Flow Oracle

Today, technology is like a sorcerer's stone, transforming cash flow management from a cumbersome task into a fun, manageable process. There's a treasure trove of applications out there that act like your personal finance wizard, casting an overseeing spell on your cash flow.

Automating your tracking, forecasting future trends, alerting you to upcoming cash crunches, and showing the impact of various scenarios on your cash flow - these apps do it all! QuickBooks, for instance, is like having your very own financial wizard, helping you master the mystical art of cash flow management.

Being a whiz at cash flow management is not just about making sense of cents—it's about adopting a 360-degree approach. By turning cash flow watching into a strategic game, padding your financial safety net, nailing the timing of income and expenses, and embracing the power of tech, you're not just running a real estate venture—you're reigning over an empire! Because in the world of real estate, the chant isn't just "location, location, location"— it's "cash flow, cash flow, cash flow".

Elevating Your Real Estate Business: The Power of Financial Management Excellence

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Elevating Your Real Estate Business:
The Power of Financial Management Excellence

Are you ready to take your real estate business to the next level of success? It's time to uncover the secret of the industry leaders - Financial Management Excellence. This isn't just about crunching numbers. It's about insightful planning, strategic resource utilization, adept cash handling, smart investment decisions, and savvy cost controls. This is your road to unparalleled growth, profit maximization, and economic resilience. Let's explore how!

Mastering Cash Flow Management for Real Estate Powerhouses
Cash flow management is your secret weapon. When skillfully handled, it not only fuels your operations but also services debt, and powers growth opportunities. Become a master of:
    • Regularly tracking and interpreting cash flows
    • Setting aside a safety net of cash reserves
    • Strategically timing income and expenses to maintain a cash flow surplus
    • Harnessing tech tools for real-time cash flow oversight.
Budgeting and Forecasting – Your Path to Real Estate Dominance
Ready to set your financial targets and outperform them? Budgeting and forecasting are your trusted navigators. Use historical data, market trends, and innovative business tools to forecast with precision. Adopt:
    • Zero-based budgeting for stringent cost control
    • Constantly updated rolling forecasts for greater flexibility and accuracy.
Debt Management: Making Your Real Estate Investments Shine
Debt can be a powerful ally in real estate, catapulting your asset acquisition and growth. Handle it wisely to keep your financial health in peak condition. Become adept at:
    • Diversifying your debt portfolio
    • Keeping a sharp eye on your debt-to-equity ratios
    • Seeking refinancing options when needed
    • Regularly reviewing your loan interest rates and terms.
Financial Metrics and KPIs: Your Real Estate Performance Amplifiers
Nothing speaks louder than numbers. Financial metrics and KPIs quantify your performance, guiding you to your goals. Keep these vital metrics on your dashboard:
    • Gross Rental Yield and Net Rental Yield: To gauge the earning power of your rental properties.
    • ROI (Return on Investment): To measure the fruitfulness of your investments.
    • DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio): To monitor your ability to meet debt obligations.
    • LTV (Loan-to-Value Ratio): To assess the risk linked with a mortgage loan.
Cost Control and Expense Management: Your Ticket to Maximized Profitability
Trimming the fat and streamlining your costs is your golden ticket to maximized profitability. Implement:
    • Economies of scale by expanding your property portfolio
    • Regular audits to spot inefficiencies and cost-cutting opportunities
    • Tech-driven automation for process efficiency.
Capital Structure and Financing Options: Shaping Your Real Estate Empire
Your choice of capital structure and financing options is a cornerstone of your firm's financial health. Make strategic decisions based on market conditions, interest rates, and risk appetite. Explore:
    • Equity financing from investors or profits reinvested into your business
    • Debt financing, like bank loans and bonds
    • Hybrid options, like convertible securities.
Building an Unshakeable Financial Strategy for Economic Storms
An economic downturn isn't a setback – it's an opportunity. Be ready to stand tall during the storm, maintaining liquidity, controlling costs, and seizing golden opportunities. Build resilience by:
    • Creating a diverse property portfolio to distribute risk
    • Carrying out contingency planning and stress testing your financial models
    • Spotting and seizing counter-cyclical investment opportunities.
Real estate financial management isn't one-size-fits-all. It's about shaping your unique blend of strategies to fit your vision, market conditions, and ambitious goals. By embracing the pillars we've just explored, small to mid-sized real estate firms can cultivate the financial resilience, supercharge their profitability, and carve out their path to enduring success.

Stay tuned! We're about to dive even deeper into the seven pillars of Financial Management Excellence. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be poised to elevate your real estate business to unprecedented heights. Let's unlock the potential together – because in real estate, the sky truly is the limit.

Small Business & Bookkeeping – Time Tracking

Let me start with an apology. I am sorry I didn't post last week.

I want to jump right into it because with all the talk about COVID-19 and employers moving to a virtual working environment, this post is NECESSARY.

By now employees are being clocked via badges issued so that when they scan it to enter the building, they are officially "on the clock". With the move to remote offices and virtual working environments, this is not happening. I DO have a solution.

Tsheets by Intuit is your time tracking solution both remotely and in-house. It handles it all! With its geo-location tagging, you, business owner or HR Director, can see where an employee is when they clock on.
From the admin screen you can get a quick glimpse of who is currently working, who is on break, track their paid and unpaid leave hours, approve shift changes and time off requests.

Employees can clock in from their phones via the smartphone app, the website, or using a tablet set up as a kiosk. This is great for in house because that kiosk can be set to snap a photo at clock in so there will be no more clocking in for friends who are late!

Employees can choose from a list of their job duties what they were working on and give a summary in the notes section. I use Tsheets as I work on my clients and I send those reports directly to them so they know exactly what their money is getting them in terms of service AND value.

Tsheets by Intuit is this bookkeeper's COVID-19 approved time tracking software.

Sign up with me and receive great discounts.

Schedule a call now. Let's talk!


Small Business & Bookkeeping – HubDoc


For small businesses, automation is a MAJOR key to succeeding. When you have to do everything on your own, having some powerful tools in your tech stack (software and apps used to run your business) to alleviate a lot of the data entry can be LIFE CHANGING.

One of the tools that should be in EVERY small business' tech stack is HubDoc.

The power of HubDoc comes from the over 700 suppliers (banks, credit card, and utility companies) you can import documents from and the way you can upload documents like receipts. You can scan them, take a photo with your smartphone, or email them.

In addition to where you can get your info from and how you can upload that info to HubDoc, are the ways your HubDoc account can be maintained.

Self-Managed is just as is it sounds. You, business owner, will manage your account including adding your own bank and utility accounts that will fetch statements and invoices. You must invite your accountant/bookkeeper to your HubDoc account in order for them to have access to the documents and be able to sync information between your cloud accounting software and your HubDoc account. The self-managed option is best if you do not want your accountant/bookkeeper to have access to your financial institutions' login information.

Next is Firm-Managed. In this instance the accounting/bookkeeping firm manages the HubDoc account for you with the login information to your banks, credit card companies, and utility company. This is the best choice in the opinion of THIS bookkeeper because it eliminates a constant barrage of emails, texts, or calls in an effort for the firm to get information or updated information especially if you have your accountant or bookkeeper pay bills for your company.

One more awesome feature of HubDoc is how it can simplify your bookkeeping. Here is what HubDoc has to say about that:

" How Will Hubdoc Simplify my Bookkeeping?
Audit-Proof Your Business: Have a source document for every business transaction, and a bank statement for every month of business activity. Hubdoc goes to each website and fetches your documents.
One Secure Hub: Store unlimited documents in a single, auto-organized hub. Never lost sight of a statement or invoice again.
Easy Collaboration with Your Advisors: Your accountant and bookkeeper will instantly have access to everything they need. No more time spent on monthly hand-offs, and no hassle over lost documents. "

HubDoc is cloud storage for your financial documents 10x'd to do MORE than just store your paperwork. When set up and used properly, HubDoc can sync with your QuickBooks Online,, and QuickBooks Desktop and carry over bills and invoices to be paid; making both you AND your accountant/bookkeeper more efficient and effective with how the time is spent.

For more information about HubDoc, click HERE.

Already using HubDoc or want to get started, schedule your consultation TODAY!!!

Small Business & Bookkeeping – Choosing Software

Switching from spreadsheets to accounting software is a big deal and you want to first and foremost ensure you are getting the software that fits your BUSINESS needs. With cloud accounting software becoming increasingly more popular, it gives you another option to consider when switching to a computerized accounting software.

Let's discuss the options available.

Intuit Products - QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

Here at AMH, we are AVID fans of QuickBooks Desktop. It is, by far, the most robust accounting software available to small business owners. It handles payroll, inventory, cost accounting, property management, and much more. To make this more of a better option, your desktop file can be hosted online, giving you anywhere access to your accounting information as long as you have secure internet connection (recommended).

QuickBooks Online is a good option for those just starting out and want to keep good records. With its "scalable" options it is a good fit for many. Like its desktop counterpart, QuickBooks Online can handle payroll, inventory, and cost accounting. It can handle all of this for a business with multiple locations. This is especially good for construction business or contractors who have jobs in multiple locations. For more information on the QuickBooks Online options, click HERE.

AMH does not work with any QuickBooks Online products.

The remaining accounting software that I'm going to mention are all online only and I am not as well versed in those as I am Intuit products.

Other popular choices for accounting software:

Accounting Suite
Sage50 Cloud

Clicking on any of the above will take you their websites where you can learn more about them.

If you have already chosen QuickBooks Desktop as your accounting software, have it hosted in the cloud, and are ready to get started, schedule a consultation and a setup appointment with AMH today!

Schedule C & E: Using These Forms for the Setup of Your Accounting System

Schedule C

Depending upon your entity type and industry for your business, setting up the books for bookkeeping can be quite simple. For the purpose of this post I am going to discuss the two setups I am most familiar with.

The first is based upon the IRS Form Schedule C. Page one of the form handles the income and expenses of your business to arrive and the profit and loss. The business expense categories listed are all that is needed in your accounting systems' Chart of Accounts. Having this form handy keeps the Chart of Accounts clean and streamlined. You can always add sub-accounts for the things you want broken down for reports to be used internally.

Another form I like to use as a reference is the IRS Form Schedule E. I love this form because my specialty is rental property accounting and it helps keep my clients Chart of Accounts clean as well. Page one of this particular form deals with the income from rent or royalties and the other page deals with other kinds of passive income such as income from Partnerships or S Corps. For this purpose, only the rents concern us. When you have property that you allow others to use, you must report all the income and expenses for EACH property, using multiple sheets for multiple properties, on the Schedule E.

Schedule E

Using a combination of these forms, in particular the listing of expenses on each, and the classes feature in QuickBooks, the Chart of Accounts will be comprehensive and will make creating a tax return a lot easier as all of the information for these two forms will be incorporated into the business books. This method keeps thing simple, organized, and clean; just one aspect of quality you can expect from AMH Bookkeeping, LLC. For more information on our setup process or to work with AMH, schedule your consultation HERE. AMH Bookkeeping, LLC...Your Books. Clean and Simple. 

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