Whether you’re buying, selling, investing or managing real estate, driving is probably a big part of the work your realty group does. Viewing and managing properties, conducting research on markets, participating in investor, broker, banking and vendor meetings – travel is just as unavoidable as tracking all of this mileage (or at least, it should be).
If you have an established home office, all of these miles your agents rack up are considered business miles and are tax deductible within your “tax home”. The challenge is finding a reliable, accurate way to track trips and report them for reimbursement. Depending on the size of your operation, having each person keep a mileage log and submit travel expense reports quickly becomes a tedious process for everyone involved.
That’s why investing in a mileage app for realtors now will set you up for success later, at least from the perspective of your business taxes. Here’s how an app can help you.
Real estate is all about location, which means your agents likely spend more time traveling around your area than sitting at a desk. Business trips are a tax deductible expense if you report them correctly. There are two ways to deduct business mileage. You can either calculate the actual expenses of owning and operating a vehicle, or you can use the standard mileage deduction. The latter option is a lot easier, requiring only that you track your mileage and multiply by the standard mileage rate.
No matter what you choose, all realtors will need to keep a mileage log that complies with IRS standards for reporting. That means for each trip, you need to have a record of:
- The date of the trip
- The business purpose
- The location of the trip
- The mileage for the trip
Obviously this quickly turns into a lot of information that must be recorded throughout a normal day of visiting properties and attending meetings. A mileage app for realtors will help streamline these activities and save you time. An app will allow you to quickly check in and record your GPS location throughout the day. Then at the end of the day, each person simply sorts their travel into trips and submits them for approval.
There will be no need to manually keep track of mileage and record odometer readings before and after every trip. This will also result in greater accuracy, since mileage inflation, estimation and unqualified travel will no longer be an issue.
Keep an integrated Address Book
You may find yourself returning to the same locations time and time again. If you manage rental properties, property managers likely routinely travel to check in on them and address any issues. If you’ve invested in property to develop, visiting the location is important to properly overseeing its progress. Other regular destinations may also include the bank, your attorney, your broker and so on.
A mileage app for realtors makes it simple to manage these routine trips. An integrated Address Book will ensure that everyone at your firm will have access to the addresses they need throughout the day. It also reduces the time it takes to create and submit trips as all the information will already be available in-app.
Submit Trips for Reimbursement
Rather than verifying miles driven after the fact, a mileage app for realtors simplifies mileage reporting, submission and review. Trips can be submitted in a matter of minutes, containing all of the information required to be tax deductible. With the starting and ending points of each trip, it’s easy to determine the most direct route and the mileage accrued.
Once a trip is submitted, this business travel needs to be approved before you can issue a reimbursement. This is often where expense management procedures can get caught up in administrative siloes. Mileage reimbursement software should help automate and streamline your approval process, allowing you to tailor it to your organizational structure. With the help of technology, you’re able to significantly speed up the time between submitting trips and issuing reimbursements which makes everyone from your CPA to your realtors happy.
Utilizing an app to track and submit business travel will also allow you to monitor the activities of your realtors and other employees. Know where they go throughout the day, how many properties they visited, how long they spent at each location and more.
Save Time and Money Through Automation
SureMileage, created by CompanyMileage, provides companies spanning across multiple industries with an accurate accounting of employee mileage. Our software calculates the distance between the beginning and destination of each trip, eliminating the possibility of trip detours or mileage estimates winding up in the final trip expense report.
With SureMobile’s Quick Capture feature, it only takes a moment to check in at each property and record the GPS location, date and time. Instead of taking hours out of the work week to keep track of their mileage logs and complete the necessary paperwork to turn in, employees spend just 1-2 minutes each day managing their part of the process. All levels of the system can be tailored to your specific goals and processes, and all reimbursement requests will automatically move through your approval workflow to ensure employees receive payments as expediently as possible.
CompanyMileage customers have saved 20-30% on their mileage reimbursement costs, and this doesn’t even account for all the time and effort saved by foregoing wasteful manual processes. By implementing a mileage app for realtors and any other employees in your workforce, you’ll be able to close the final gap in expense management processes and manage travel to properties much more easily. Request a demo with CompanyMileage today to learn more.