The first year in real estate can be overwhelming on so many levels. Between legal details, marketing techniques, and the general mounds of paperwork, there is so much to learn, to know, and to file away for safekeeping. CRM programs, franchise-exclusive databases, and even good old Excel are all your new best friends. Here are three things that you need to keep meticulous records of.

1. Past Sales

You need a list of all your past sales that includes the client's name, new address, phone number, email, and any other contact info, including social media handles. Record the date of the sale so you can send them anniversary cards each year. Did you know that only 17 percent of clients use their real estate agent again? The sad fact is that many agents just do not bother to keep in touch. The simple act of mailing an anniversary card each year gives you a valid excuse to do just that. 

2. Receipts

Save all your receipts, from donuts for the office to your annual NAR membership dues. Instead of having a giant, overflowing shoebox come tax time, take the time to organize your receipts once a month. Paperclip similar receipts together and write each category on the front of a business envelope—clothing, memberships, marketing, photography, virtual assistant, office fees, etc. Be sure to jot down your mileage on the outside of the envelope too. Come tax season, you will have 12 neat and organized envelopes to hand over to your accountant. You can also do this task digitally in the cloud—just be sure to save it all for seven years to keep the IRS happy. 

3. Current Sales

As soon as you get an accepted, bottom-lined offer, you need to start a sales file for that client. You may have digital copies, but it is always a good idea to have a hard copy file as backup. Your file should contain the listing paperwork or exclusive buyer's contract (depending on who you represent) and the offer, including all signed addendums. Be sure to add copies of additional paperwork and addendums as you receive them. Your file should have a checklist for each step in the process showing when it is scheduled, a box to check when it is complete, and a box to check when the paperwork is received. Be sure to include the inspection, appraisal, pest inspection, repairs, and closing details, including the address, title work ordered, and final HUD statement received.

While the first year in real estate can overwhelming, keeping lists, particularly those that help your tax preparer, can be a life-saver in keeping you organized, prepared, and productive.

To learn more about keeping records for tax purposes, contact an accountant like Christopher Bush CPA.