Quinn Driscoll a business coach and money mentor talks about her experience as a sought-after financial expert witness who worked in the high-stakes world of litigation. Quinn discusses how she helped a lot of agents manage their money and accounts. Quinn describes what differentiates people who are successful in sales from the rest of us. Lastly Quinn gives her expert recommendations for agents.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Quinn Driscoll can be reached here.
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
We talk a lot on the podcast about how to increase your revenue. But today we’re going to talk about keeping more of the revenue you already have through better money management for realtors. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with money management expert for realtors, Quinn Driscoll, but before we get to Quinn, I wanted to say that we are now experiencing a lovely boom in our numbers. Because we’ve started doing these short form video clips to reach more audience and give more content to you guys on a daily basis or a weekday basis. I don’t do it on the weekend. So if you’re not currently following us on social media, and we are literally on all the major channels, not Friendster, not MySpace, okay, that’s an old bad joke. But on all the more current ones, tick tock Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, of course and Twitter. So if you are not following us on there, and there really never was a good reason to follow us before unless you just wanted to get announcements about our episodes. While we said we need to give you more. So we now produce Monday through Friday, short form video clips from our episodes kind of like the best of from these episodes, the short form clips. And this way you guys can get a little daily dose of something that our our audience has, or sorry, some thing that our guests have said that we think is really super important. And we’d love that you listen to the entire episodes too. But if you just want the short form clips, please find us on social media we have different handles for all the different social media accounts. So just Google or sorry, go into whatever social platform you use search for keeping it real podcast and you’ll see our logo and hit that subscribe button so just wanted to let you guys know if you’re not currently subscribed to that we it’s a big deal for us. We love it. We’re getting 1000s of additional views and listens now to our podcasts just from these short form clips so please follow us we would appreciate it alright guys enough for me way too long to listen to me. Let’s get to the main event my conversation with Quinn driscoll.
Today on the show we have money management COACH QUINN Driscoll with value Gao also you can learn more about her at the value gal.com But let me tell you more about Quinn. Quinn Driscoll is a CPA and ABV. She’s a money management coach for real estate agents and brokers. As the founder of value gal she teaches successful business owners how to follow a money management system so that they can stop feeling confused, anxious or worse broke. Prior to working with value gal or at or creating value gal Quinn spent more than a decade as a sought after financial expert witness who worked in the high stakes world of litigation consulting. She is a frequent speaker and guest expert on financial topics including building a valuable business money mindset and goal setting for business owners. She is a superstar in the financial services world and we are so excited to have her on the show. Please follow her again. Go to her website, the value gal.com And also find her on Instagram at value gal Quinn qu I double n value gal Quinn Quinn Welcome to the show.
Quinn Driscoll 4:55
Thank you so much. So happy to be here.
D.J. Paris 4:57
I am just happy to talk to somebody With a lovely Minnesota accent so you’re from the Twin Cities and it’s a very mild but it’s a lovely accent I’ve always been a fan of of that little aspect that people in that area have. are you originally from the area?
Quinn Driscoll 5:14
I am originally from North Dakota so you Oh, that’s what I’m hearing. Okay, you’re more with belong. Oh is Yeah.
D.J. Paris 5:23
It’s one of the if there’s no I’m gonna sound like I’m bragging, I’m not bragging because I had a job that took me all over the country wasn’t like I planned out. But North Dakota is one of the six states I haven’t yet been to. So one of these days, I’ll make it over there. But Minneapolis and the Twin Cities is awesome. And you guys, one of the great great bands actually there in New York band, but they sing a lot about the about Minneapolis is the hold steady. So anyone out there wants to find a good rock and roll band The hold steady. They’ve been around forever. They sing a lot about Minneapolis and Husker do I think is also from anyway, doesn’t matter. All right, let’s get to the main thing here. Let’s talk about I could talk about music all day and bore our audience. But I don’t want them to leave. So I want to bet my background, I actually was a financial advisor, not a CPA, and certainly not not kind of having the credentials that you had. And this was a million years ago in a former life. But I find that we have here at our company, we’ve got almost 800 agents. And not only that, but I work with a lot of other agents and other firms because I volunteer with our local realtor Association. And so I hear a lot about money management. And it seems to be one of the big challenges of Realtors, because of course, those Commission’s kind of roll in when they roll in. And sometimes we need to sort of smooth out that roller coaster ride. So I am this is the first time in almost 500 episodes, I think that we’ve ever had a financial services person on so I am super excited about any tips and tricks that you can help our audience to better you’re getting smooth out those bumps in the commission payout world. But before we get to that, how did you get into, you know, dealing with with money and being a financial services person?
Quinn Driscoll 7:08
Yeah, so my story like many the story of many Realtors is I’m an accidental entrepreneur. So I always pictured myself safe and snug in a little cubicle, never thought from in a million years that I would be a corporate drop out with my own business. But I worked for 10 years in a very deadline driven high stress and perfection demanding job. So I did get the opportunity in that job to work with hundreds of small businesses and see behind the scenes of their financials. So that was such, you know, an interesting and weird and great experience. I was a CPA worked, as you mentioned earlier as a business valuation advisor in the litigation space. So working as an expert witness, you know, keep putting one foot in front of the other. And one day it was like, you know, you look around, and it was like, this is not another 30 years for me. So I realized that I had so much small business knowledge and experience that I wasn’t able to share in a way that I really enjoyed. I live like we mentioned in the Twin Cities, which is very much a big corporate town, a lot of big employers here. And literally, it didn’t know anyone who was a CPA mother of two small children who was running a, you know, basically an online business. So it was a super scary leap to decide to go out on my own and very unnatural to be taking a risk. So CPAs not known for our big dreams and like just going for it. So but you know what I had to do it. So I just had to, I had to figure out a way that I could help the smallest small businesses that really don’t get a lot of attention from you know, they’re priced out by CPA firms, and they just don’t have the, the attention of kind of the financial professionals world. But I also you know, I knew that I could not have started my business if I had spent every dollar that I made along the way. So the money management piece of it is just so you know, close to my heart from you know, My professional background standpoint, but also personally just knowing like it is really scary to own your own business. And to the extent that I can help real estate agents and brokers get a handle on those money management issues. It is just such a good match for what I Want to do?
D.J. Paris 10:01
Here’s how I know that the money management piece of being a realtor is difficult. I and my, my boss and my business partner created a commission Advanced Business simply to give people their Commission’s ahead of closing. And the only reason we need to even even though the only reason this business even exists is because of the challenges that Realtors face and don’t let not that we’re doing anything wrong, we love our commission Advanced Business, we’re grateful to be able to provide that service. But basically, you know, we’re charging people 10% To give them a loan on their money, which is going to close you know, in 20 days or whatever, whatever it is. And that’s just how commission advanced businesses work. But that wouldn’t be necessary if people maybe had some better spending habits or saving habits. And the challenge, of course, as a realtor is that is, is one of the least sort of impressed upon skills when somebody becomes a successful or even just a new realtor, you know, they’re not, they’re just trying to survive, they’re trying to, you know, eat what they kill, they’re trying to pay their bills, save for taxes. It’s and again, you were saying the smallest business as a realtor is about as small a business if you’re an individual practitioner, as possible. So what are some of the first things that anyone who is listening who is a realtor who’s not on a salary, which is unless you work at a company, maybe like Redfin, or some of those have salaried realtors, but everyone else is on their own, what are some suggestions that our audience can start taking advantage of to better, you know, handle their money?
Quinn Driscoll 11:40
Yes. So one thing that I have noticed with real estate agents, is that the people who are successful on the sales side are way ahead of anybody else, because you have learned how to follow a system. So you know that if a system works, if your lead gen system works, that you are going to get sales. So it’s the same concept for the expensive side, it’s you if you know what steps you should be taking, you know that you can implement those, right? So you’re a hard worker, you’re a go getter, you know that if you have the steps, and you have, you know, the support, and you know what to do, you can get it done. So the really interesting thing I think that just needs to be talked about a little bit is that with real estate agents, you have no problem talking about, you know, here’s my sales volume for the year, here’s my gross commission income for the year, everybody’s sharing that with each other, you know, it’s competitive, it’s kind of fun to see who can be a top producer. But then it’s like the conversation just stopped there. And not only does nobody talk about what it costs to run that business, but nobody talks about just nobody talks about the fact that you have to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money. So kind of just having that in your mind and being aware of the fact that, you know, there is a way to get a handle on your expenses. And just because nobody’s talking about it doesn’t mean that it’s not really important. So the first very first step is once you have those commissions coming in, no matter how kind of rudimentary the system is, you have got to start tracking your expenses too.
D.J. Paris 13:43
And what do you recommend? As far as a tool to do that there are obviously a million different tools. Do you have one that you prefer? Or is it whatever system you use is fine, just pick one. I’m curious to get your thoughts for tracking expenses.
Quinn Driscoll 13:57
Yes. So for tracking expenses, I always recommend number one having at least one business bank account, and at least and only one I should say business credit card. So job one, separate your business and your personal finances and have that dedicated business account and dedicated business credit card. At this point in 2023, pretty much any bank any credit card is going to have online tools for you. So whether it is allocation, enabling where you can, you know, go through your credit card statement and say here’s the category for all these things. That’s a great thing to do if that’s how you like to do it. Just even downloading at the end of the month to excel, the transaction data and going through and doing that yourself is a great way to do it too. You know, it doesn’t need to be fancy. It does doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s just starting with anything is really the best way to do it. When it comes to tracking your expenses,
D.J. Paris 15:10
and expenses, you know, I’m going to let’s back up even prior to that, because I Yes, we do want to track expenses, we you need a system, and you want separate accounts. So separate bank account, separate credit card, and you’re going to make those purchases, but not everybody even understands. Well, I’m gonna get off of expenses just for a moment, because I realized I had a really important question. And this, I’m curious if you can speak to this. When should someone decide to either become an S corp, or continue on or maybe an LLC, or continue on as an independent contractor. So when when when we become realtors, we join a brokerage? Almost certainly, we’re an independent contractor by default, and we’re going to get 1090 nines at the end of the year based on all the commission we’ve earned. At what point does it make sense to possibly create your own corporation, and then be an employee of your own corporation. For example, I have an S corp. I’m not a practicing realtor, but I’m kind of paid the same way. So imagine that I’m basically a realtor. So I have an S corp, I am a the sole employee of my company. Can you speak to why agents may want to consider that as an option as well? Yeah, so
Quinn Driscoll 16:29
I can speak to that a little bit. The first thing I would say is that you should have an LLC right at the beginning, definitely make sure that you have that state filing status is usually LLC, and then a Federal Employer Identification Number are kind of the two things you’ll need those to open your business bank account, to show that you are actually a business. So definitely start with an LLC right away. And that is a, that’s just start getting that separation from your business and your personal and start, you know, running your business as its own entity. And then from there, the you can still have an LLC that’s taxed as an LLC versus an S corp. So the time to switch to an S Corp is going to depend on your situation,
D.J. Paris 17:26
or depend on the amount of income you’re generating for the business.
Quinn Driscoll 17:29
Yeah, so I don’t have a, you know, hard and fast number. I would say that is something that you would want to talk to your tax advisor about, and definitely have a tax advisor.
D.J. Paris 17:42
Yes, it might I remember, when I set up the S corp, it was suggested to me when I got to around. And this is a long time ago, but I think it was around maybe $80,000 in in salary, or in commission or whatever income, maybe it was 100,000, somewhere in that neighborhood is when it started to make sense to explore S corp versus, you know, another system. So again, please get yourself a tax accountant, somebody that can actually answer these questions, because we’re talking about massive tax tax savings. And it for those of you that aren’t familiar with S corp, and one of the cool things is if it’s if it’s your company, and you’re an employee of it, you actually technically have access to the entire assets under under the company. Now you’ll pay yourself a salary. And you can pay yourself, what I think the IRS says is a fair and reasonable salary, which you can get calculated through your tax advisor. But I am telling you this is probably the biggest missed opportunity that many successful realtors have not explored is creating some sort of whether it’s S corp or LLC, whatever. And understanding why you want to be an employee of your own company. And when not and why there’s, you know, it’s kind of like when you buy a home and all of a sudden you realize, oh my gosh, the tax benefits from the mortgage interest are really great. And you didn’t really understand that before. This is the same sort of deal. You can reduce your tax liability to two for personal income when you have an S corp to very, very low. So anyway, we can move off of that. But please, everybody, get yourself a CPA. And if you don’t have one reach out to Quinn. She is She is the best. So let’s jump forward to Commission’s because this is what our audience cares about. This is how they get paid. This is how they eat lunch. So commission comes in now what how do we start? Like how much of that should I put aside for taxes? How should I do that? What are some strategies just to make it as automated as possible, so I don’t spend it all?
Quinn Driscoll 19:49
Yes. So the first thing that you want to think about is, you know your commission checks are not the same as your paychecks. So start with that mindset. have exactly like you’re saying, as soon as it comes in, if you have, you know, if it’s already spent, or if you’re thinking, Okay, I know exactly where this whole thing is going, you need to stop right there, because that’s what’s going to keep you on that roller coaster. So you, you really want to start with a system, a percentage based system to allocate each and every one of those commission checks that’s coming in. So it depends on the size of your business revenue wise, but for the smallest businesses, if you’re under 250,000, in revenue, what I suggest starting with is about 15% for tax savings, and target 30% For for your business expenses, and 50%, to pay yourself. So if you think through that every commission check that comes in at 50% is what’s available to you to pay yourself, that is a good place to start.
D.J. Paris 21:05
I think the mindset is so important, it’s a depressing, I have a little bit of a depressing mindset as I see a commission and I divide it in half and go, Okay, that’s really what I get to spend. So I understand the inclination to look at the entirety of it. But I think when you have these kinds of systems in place, and you just automatically like you were saying, allocate to you know, retirement to taxes, you then start to look at your Commission’s differently. And you’re right, it’s not a paycheck, it’s a it’s a sum of money, some of which you can use as a paycheck.
Quinn Driscoll 21:42
Right. And that mindset is really important to set you up, like we said, to be off the roller coaster. So let’s say that you’ve decided you are going to, you want $5,000 A month to go to you for your living expenses, just as an example. So that means if you have a $10,000 month, great 5000 going to you perfect, if you have a $20,000 month, then 5000 is going to you and 5000 gets to kind of you know, hang around until you actually need it maybe the next month when you don’t get 20,000. So it’s the the mindset of what is available to me, for my personal paychecks is different from what I’m actually going to take out every single time. So I should say there’s kind of a distinction there of the paycheck it or the commission check is deposited 50% is available to you. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to be the amount that you take out, you’re going to have a regular amount that is consistent coming to you.
D.J. Paris 22:54
I want to go back to expenses for just a moment. And I will want to tell you about something that really transformed my life as a I’m a creative person, mostly, which means I’m not particularly strong. At the financial side of business, I’m good at creating ideas and you know, being goofy, and that, you know, doing podcasts and things like that. But what I’m not good at is managing money. So what I did is I I never in my life had actually had a budget. And it sounds so simple for people that have budgets, like how can you run a business without a budget? Well, I didn’t. And how do you run your personal life without a budget? Well, I never did. So I three years ago, I started using you need a budget, which is an app online, it’s a web app, it’s like maybe 100 bucks a year or something like that. I am telling you it completely, I was able with three minutes a day now I spent not even three minutes, maybe two minutes a day, I’m able to reconcile all of my expenses, I’m able to see where I’m spending my money, all of my accounts get pulled into one location, one website, everything gets gets dropped there, and I can literally account for almost every single dollar that comes in or goes out. It sounds like a lot of work once you get the hang of it. Even for somebody like me who’s not numbers minded at all. It’s actually really, really easy to figure out. And it helps you really track the ins and outs. So I’m curious if if you have any thoughts on budgeting?
Quinn Driscoll 24:23
Yes. So I am curious about what made you kind of take the leap to become a budget person because a lot of people, they just have a negative connotation of budget like depressed Do you know what I mean? So if you were willing to share
D.J. Paris 24:39
Well, I just I knew that I was so here was here was my the impetus for me doing it. I suspect a lot of our listeners can can relate to this. I was like I bet I’m spending too much money in certain areas of my life that aren’t necessarily obvious like yeah, okay, if we go to Starbucks every day and we spend $10 or whatever, then you That’s pretty obvious. But there are like little things like subscription fees that I wasn’t realizing how many of those I have. I was how much am I spending on restaurants and dining out in entertainment? How much am I actually, like, I just wanted to know what percentage of my expenditures are for the things that I think are healthy and reasonable. And when you know, when everything is two taps away on your phone, and it’s not, you’re not physically handing over cash and receiving cash back, everything’s digital, it’s invisible. It doesn’t feel like anything. And I knew that it’s so much easier to you know, get Amazon boxes delivered every day and not think about the total amount I’m actually spending, right. So it was for me, it was because I am, it’s so easy to buy things. I wanted to make it just have like a little checks and balances, because I know I’m not going to stop buying things. But I wanted to know, how do I at least keep it in the front of my mind of how much am I actually spending?
Quinn Driscoll 26:00
Yes. So one thing that I find really helps a lot of business owners on both the business and personal side is before you start thinking about making a budget, and that seems like scary and a lot of work is to look back at what you have actually spent as a starting point. So a lot of times I will get into, you know, working with a client and we’ll pull up their QuickBooks financials and I’ll be like, Okay, so we have general business expenses here. $30,000. Last year, like let’s talk about what that is. And I give everybody a mini heart attack with this question. Because they’re like, $30,000, like, I don’t know. But then when we get into it, it’s like, Oh, yeah. Okay, that that was this. And that was, you know, all Yeah, these things, I guess that does add up to 30,000. So that makes sense. So it’s the kind of the process of the information gathering and the getting through the shock of what the actual numbers are. And then realizing like, okay, yeah, it actually this does make sense. And this is necessary. And so now I can feel good about that number in my budget, because I know that it’s real. And it’s I’ve done it before it’s doable, or the other way around, like, oh, I can’t believe I spent that much money and didn’t get anything out of it. So, you know, then it’s easy to be like, No, I’m not going to do that anymore. So yeah, it’s really once you start kind of getting the information and getting past that, I don’t want to look at it. Like I don’t want to log on to my bank account, or I don’t want to log on to my QuickBooks because I’m, I’m worried about what I’m going to find. That’s the hardest part, I think
D.J. Paris 27:42
it is it is the hardest part, and it is uncomfortable. But that discomfort quickly changes to comfort. Because what it allows what it does is it it creates this feeling of responsibility and power. So initially, yes, I totally am with you that it’s scary. It’s sort of like oh my god, I don’t want to like It’s like looking at looking at yourself naked in the mirror and seeing all the imperfections, you’re like, I don’t really want to do that. But once you start going, Okay, now I’m gonna start targeting these areas of my expenses. There are so many realtors who work incredibly hard, and build up amazing businesses treat their clients well really go above and beyond. And then because of their inefficient ways, or ineffective ways of managing their money are broke. And this is or even worse, I’ll hear somebody at an event, a realtor event, say I need to put a new addition on my house, meaning I need to go sell it, and they’ll say I need to sell another home to do that. And I’m again, I understand that. I mean, we can think like that, that’s fine. But instead of thinking transactionally let’s come up with a process to where you can have more regular income prediction, right so that you’re more predictable stream, so that you’re not worried about Okay, I gotta come up with another 10 grand to pay my taxes this quarter. Right and which is which is what just happened. So the good news for all of you out there listening who are like I’m not good at managing money. You can hire people to help you do this. They’re ridiculously inexpensive, in my experience, they’re super helpful and they will protect you from going broke. If nothing else, you should have a fear of going broke. I don’t mean you should be terrified. But you should have a healthy fear of losing all of your money because the reality of is realtors have to do everything they have to wear every single hat that a business owner has to wear and you know the skill sets that make you a great realtor might not be the same skill sets to be a great financial planner. So which is why you know, people like Quinn are so important to our industry. Quinn, what are some of the mistakes aches that you’ve seen Realtors make with respect to poor sort of money management?
Quinn Driscoll 30:06
Yeah, so I think the first thing and the number one thing is spending the commission check before it even hits the bank, you know, you know what you’re gonna spend it on. And so really starting out right away with that allocation system, and I like how you use the word target, because that is a great way to think about it, like, Hey, you might not be hitting your targets for expenses, or you know, anything in your business. But that’s okay. It’s just a it’s just a checkpoint, right? It’s, I’m going to check in with this and figure out, am I on target? And am I not on target? And what do I need to do to fix that? So I think the, you know, just having kind of a regular check in on what is happening with your money is huge. So many clients who I work with, are kind of blown away when we start working with a commission pipeline. So that’s kind of a fancy way to say, what deals are closing in the next two months? And how much are you expecting to get from that? Let’s, let’s put it on a literal calendar. So you can see when money is coming into your business, and just doing that, and updating it on a weekly basis is like, it’s so helpful to give you that clarity of like, Oh, if this was my revenue goal for this quarter, and I have this much coming in, I’m actually yeah, I’m gonna hit that goal, or like, No, I’m not, and I don’t have anything else cooking. So, you know, this is probably not the best time to be blowing up with a huge client event or something like that, you know. So it’s, it’s having the check ins on a weekly basis, I recommend with your commissions and your expenses, to just start, start having that flow of information where you know, where you stand?
D.J. Paris 32:05
Yeah, this, it’s the idea of like, it’s like stepping on a scale when none of us want to do it. But if we make a habit of it, we can start to notice trends, right? We don’t need to know, every moment of the day what our financial, you know, bottom line is, but we need to know where it’s headed. Right? So we need to know, are we heading in the right direction? Are we on top of it? Are we aware? Are we paying our bills, just working to sort of, you know, outpace expenses, you know, is this sort of cycle that Realtors get into, right? It’s like, I’ve got expensive sell a home got, you know, and it kind of cycles through, and it can be very stressful. And what we’re what we’re really talking about is minimizing anxiety, what we would really want to do is your job is hard enough, as a realtor, it’s already a anxiety ridden and difficult. And let’s make the financial part of it. The end goal, the actual where when you’re celebrating in the endzone with a touchdown, let’s make that the easiest part of the transaction, meaning, let’s not worry about overspending, you work so hard for this, let’s set up systems to automatically delineate those those assets as they come in to separate accounts. Let’s save some for retirement, let’s save some for taxes, let’s put some back into the business. Let’s pay our bills. But also, let’s evaluate our expenditures. Quinn says weekly, I would even say look at your expenses daily, which by the way, you can get down to about one minute if you use, you know, like mint.com or, or you need a budget is the one I use. But a lot of these these web apps are so helpful because they can literally pull all the data from the various accounts, put it in one dashboard for you. And you can just kind of do a check in and by the way, I found a even just I mean, it sounds so silly to say this, but like I found somebody charged me $300 For something that I didn’t recognize last month and I was like, oh, and I got the money back because it was it was actually a mistake. So if I wasn’t paying attention to that I would have just paid it.
Quinn Driscoll 34:15
Right and let me tell you from personal experience, if you have children who are on the iPad, who are buying sneaky apps, you gotta get a handle on that before it gets out of hand and they bought like all the you know Roblox characters or whatever it is. So check the statements.
D.J. Paris 34:32
Hilarious. Yeah, yeah, kids in the microtransactions. We need to evaluate this. Again, guys. What we’re trying to help you do is really take the hardest part of the business, the financial management part, the business part of it out so that you can be as you know, focus on what you do best, which is getting in front of clients helping clients buy and sell homes. So Quinn is this is what she does. So talk about how do you help Realtors better sort of plan for the future?
Quinn Driscoll 35:05
Yes, so I teach a five part system. It’s the acronym is clear. So C L E, AR Commission’s lifestyle expenses, allocation and return, those are the five areas that we are looking at, to figure out is everything, you know, at the level that it needs to be, so that things are working together. So the C Commission’s piece, you know, that’s obviously the money coming into your business, if you’re, if you have a successful real estate agency, you have your lead, Gen, you have your sales, you have your money coming into the business, that’s great. Because the other pieces are the parts that you can honestly control yourself, the Commission’s piece is the piece that’s most out of your control. So once you got that piece down, then the rest of it is actually a lot easier to deal with. So the L is for lifestyle. So we talk about, you know, how are you spending your time, your money and your energy in your life, not just in your business, but with your family, with your health, with your community involvement, all of those types of things? To understand, you know, are you doing the things that you want to be doing, and how is your money helping you with that. The next piece is expenses, as we’ve talked about. So looking at what you are spending your money on both in your business, and we can look at your personal two, if that is something that’s helpful to you. But to get into those details, and I am there to, you know, not shame you or tell you that you’re doing everything wrong, I think a lot of people get worried about that, like, Oh, this is it’s so bad, I just don’t even want anybody to know, but you know what, I’ve seen it all, don’t worry about it, we’re gonna get in there. And we’re gonna look at what you’re spending your money on. And are those things that makes sense are those things that you need to be running your business the best way you can. allocations, we have already talked about a little bit, having those targeted percentages is really helpful. So that every dollar that comes in, you have a you know, a mental map of where everything is going. And you know that you’re always going to have what you need available in your savings, and then return. So looking at the the ways you’re spending your time and money, and what is the return that you’re getting on those. So if you are running the same ads that you ran three years ago, that did great for you. And you haven’t looked at it lately, like, am I actually getting any leads from these ads? Maybe that’s a place where, hey, that’s a big chunk of budget that can go into a different type of ads or just, you know, into a different type of lead gen strategy. So really looking holistically at what are all the things that are happening, and what are the tactical steps that you need to take, but I’m help happy to help you with like is it we need to be on a zoom call, and we’re gonna walk through logging into the bank account, and we’re gonna cancel all the subscriptions that we don’t use anymore, you know, so I am there to be accountability, coaching, advice, sounding board, you can vent like all of the things, you know, it could be a little bit of a therapy session, because money is a tough, tough area. For a lot of people
D.J. Paris 38:34
money is really associated with lots of shame, too. And that’s, that’s the big thing I want everyone to it’s, again, it’s the idea of getting naked and stepping on a scale, it’s not an easy thing for everybody to do. And it’s hard enough to do. Using that same metaphor it you know, by yourself in your own bathroom alone, but then to then say here is me to the entire to someone else like yourself and say here’s all of my financial nakedness. It can be a little tough and people feel you know certain ways about their past spending activity. But guys, what I will tell you is get over that. People when you hire a CPA to help you with this, they don’t care. They just want to help you. And so even if you are if you have negative equity, or if you have credit card debt, or whatever the situation may be that you’re like, I wish I didn’t, or I wish I was in a different position. Get past that because what we really need to do is we want you to be able to pay your bills and plan for the future and build a successful business. So many Realtors leave the industry, not because they don’t have enough business because they don’t manage their finances. It’s like the silent killer that nobody talks about in this industry. Because we are all talking Talking about deals, deals, deals get more and more and more deals. And there isn’t any sort of, you know, like, if you go to the NFL and you’re, you’re a football player, and you can focus exclusively on the, you know, playing on the field and lifting weights and you know, doing all of this the skill building that you need to do to be a good professional athlete, they have people in the background, making sure that when you retire, you have a pension coming in, well, that doesn’t really exist for real estate. So you have to take control of that, unfortunately, that we haven’t figured out a way to automate that for people. So Quinn and and people like when are available to help you figure that out. Because there’s nothing worse than working for 30 years to realize, Oh, I didn’t save as much as I could have. Or even better, I didn’t take advantage of as much of the deductions that I could have. Right. My dad did his own taxes. He was a CPA, but that wasn’t his profession. But he did it for like 15 years, many a long, long, long time ago. And then finally, he started going to a CPA, and turns out that he had been doing it wrong the whole time. And the CPA was like, I cannot believe you are not in my dad was unintentional, but he was like, can’t believe you’re not in jail. That because I mean, it actually, my dad overpaid his taxes funny enough for like 15 years and so the the IRS had to give us a big check. Basically, don’t, don’t try to do everything yourself, get a professional, go to the value gal.com to learn all things Quinn Driscoll, she is going to help you manage your finances, guys, just hire somebody for this, don’t try to do it yourself. It’s too much. You have too much too, too many other things on your plate at once as a realtor, don’t put this on your plate, hire somebody, trust me, my my CPA, shout out to Debbie the crazy tax lady. That’s her her moniker which is hilarious. And she is not crazy. But that’s what she calls herself. And Debbie is my Savior. She tells me every year like for example, when I’ll talk about this, we’re going back to the beginning about like starting an S corporation. One day, Debbie called me and said, Hey, do you have monthly meetings for your board as board of directors, which by the way, I’m the only person on the board of directors for my silly little company? Yes, I she says well, you can expense those. And I can have two parties a year I think as well, like a holiday party. So there’s all these cool little ways where you can take advantage in an ethical way of the IRS tax codes by maximizing your deduction, deductions and your expenses. But you need to go to a professional for this tax, you know, just doing it online. Maybe it would give you some of that you know, using but going to a highly respected and competent CPA and money manager will be able to help you figure that out. And also we need to read just save for retirement to
Quinn Driscoll 43:04
Yeah, we sure do.
D.J. Paris 43:06
Was a lot. I was I was giving I was I was saying a lot there. And I apologize for that. But I was just trying to save money is it’s the thing we don’t talk about. And in this industry. Quinn, what what are the first steps? So so we talked about the first steps being when when when, when commission, first of all, establish yourself as an LLC, we talked about that and talk to a CPA about why that makes sense. We talked about creating an allocation strategy when Commission’s come in, they’re automatically distributed to channels that we don’t touch retirement taxes, etc. Expenditures. And then we also talked about return on investment, right? Like how do we actually evaluate our business expenses that are generating income for us and somebody like you can come along and take a look at all of our books and say, Okay, this is working for you. And this isn’t? Where do you see Realtors struggling the most when they hire somebody like you?
Quinn Driscoll 44:12
That is a great question. So struggling them. I think the struggle is at the very beginning of just getting over the I haven’t done everything right. And I know I haven’t and so I just feel like I’m going to be judged. Or I feel like you know, there. A lot of people honestly will be like, I don’t want to feel like I’m getting in trouble in math class again, because I’m not good with numbers. You know, so it’s really those kinds of deep seated emotional Shame, shame it is the shame so that’s tricky, but it’s it’s kind of like once you once you make the commitment, I think making the commitment is the hardest thing that you We’re gonna, you’re going to jump in, you’re going to do it, it’s going to be not perfect at the beginning, it’s going to take, you’re going to try stuff and it’s not going to work, and then you’re going to try something else. And you’re going to forget the other thing you were supposed to do. And that’s okay. It’s all part of the process. So, you know, just being okay with that as much as you can, when you are like an overachiever. You know, like a lot of a lot of the top producers and high performing agents are, it’s hard to let those kind of vulnerabilities show a little bit. So I think that’s honestly the hardest piece
D.J. Paris 45:37
I’ve had so many top producers on our show talk about I was my gross commission income was 500,000, or a million dollars, and I had no savings. Like people would say, yes, on paper, it looks like I am incredibly successful because of all of these transactions. And yet, I really have nothing to show for it in the bank. And that’s where this guilt or shame comes in of like, I don’t really want people to peel back the curtain and see, but the only way out of that is funny, I’m pretty confident in saying the only way to expel shame is by bringing it into the light, meaning expose yourself to somebody who can help guide you through. So even if you feel crummy about we’re current financial. Oh, and by the way, little pro tip for everyone, or little truth bomb, everybody feels crappy about their financial situation all the time. Nobody feels like I’ve got enough money. I mean, maybe 1/10 of 1% of the population maybe feels that way. For the rest of us. Everybody wants more money. Everybody wants to save more, spend less. We all feel like I should do better. Right? So your total, it’s totally normal to feel like I should be spending less and saving more. And I should be earning more. Right? Like that’s totally, totally normal. So don’t worry, find somebody like Quinn so quick, the best way that our audience can can deep work with you. And by the way, pick a CPA that has experience dealing with realtors, because they understand when for example, understands the realtor money sort of circle she understands that process. Pick somebody who gets working with small, independent businesses like yourself, like like realtors. But please, for everything to learn about when and what she offers go to the value gal.com also wants you to follow her on Instagram at value gal Quinn. We’ll have links to the Instagram and her website in the show notes. Quinn, any last tips or advice for our audience?
Quinn Driscoll 47:45
Um, yes. So I think as you just as you just alluded to, everybody thinks that they are the actual worst with money and that everyone else has it all figured out? That is not that is not correct. Nobody has it figured out. Everybody’s just doing their best. So you know, just do your best. And if you do need help with it, find somebody to help you. And my other my other thing I would say is that, you know, cut us CPAs and accounting brains a little bit of slack. We’re not trying to be confusing, or, like, you know, just giving you the profit and loss statement and talking our weird language that doesn’t make any sense to you. That’s just that’s just what we know. So ask the questions, ask so many questions. We really want you to feel good about where you are with your money. So if you don’t understand something, just sit ask your ask your financial person to explain it again, a different way. You know, just keep asking until you get it because they are here to help you.
D.J. Paris 48:52
Value gal v value. gal.com is where you can go we have a a thing that we’re going to be sending or we’re going to be providing to our audience. So I apologize, I’m jumbling it a little bit. In our show notes, you will see a link to get some help from Quinn. But please visit the value gal.com also follow her on Instagram as well as links to both those in the show notes. You guys need to get a CPA and a money manager reach out to Quinn if she can’t help you. She’ll know people that can on behalf of our audience. We think Quinn for coming on our show today and helping our audience stay in business and manage their money more effectively. Guys, this you worked so hard for it, let’s keep as much of it as possible. So on behalf of the audience, thank you Quinn for coming on and spending an hour with us. And on behalf of Quinn and myself. Thank you to our lovely beautiful audience. We had almost 50 people watching at one point during the stream here we’ll have 10s of 1000s more we’ll listen once this episode drops, we love all of you and so are so grateful to all of you. So for it Newsweek Thank you for supporting our show. And the best way that you can help us grow is by telling another realtor or anyone that owns a business, or anyone that is struggling managing their money about Quinn, and also any other realtor that wants to learn how to manage their money, tell them about keeping it real. Send them over to our website, keeping it real podcast, Jeff sorry, what’s our website, keeping it real pod.com Is every place you can go or you can just pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real. Hit that subscribe and like button and let us know what you think of the show. Give us a review. We appreciate it. And we read all of your comments and reviews. So Quinn, thank you so so much. Oh, and by the way, I’m sorry. One last thing I want to announce after five years of being on the show, and I should have done this many many years before but I finally doing it. Now we have this short form clip video clips that we post every single weekday on Facebook, Instagram, tik, Tok, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, we post these short form 62nd clips from episodes like like this one. And we post them everyday. So you get a bite sized nugget of information that will help you run your business. So check us out on social media, our link tree which has all of our social plans, all of our social channels will be in the show notes as well. So click on that and follow us on this social network of your choosing. All right, Quinn, thank you so much for being on the show. We appreciate you and we look forward to seeing everybody on the next episode. Thanks Quinn. Thank you