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profit first for real estate


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As a real estate investor, maximizing profit should be a top priority. You are in business to make money, after all. But have you ever considered a different approach to managing your finances that could result in more profit for your real estate projects? Enter Profit First, a financial management system that could revolutionize the way you do business.

What is Profit First?

Based on the book by Mike Michalowicz, Profit First is a systematic approach to managing finances in any business. The premise is simple: instead of putting all your revenue into one account and trying to manage expenses from there, you divide your revenue into separate accounts based on specific purposes. The main accounts are for profit, owner’s compensation, taxes, and expenses. This way, you ensure that you always have money set aside for profit and owner’s compensation, instead of only worrying about it when all your expenses are paid.

How does Profit First apply to real estate?

Profit First can easily be adapted to any industry, including real estate investing. In fact, many successful real estate investors have already implemented this system in their businesses. The benefits of using Profit First in real estate are numerous:

1. Consistent profit: By putting aside a percentage of your revenue as profit, you ensure that you are always making money on your real estate projects. Even if expenses are high or unexpected issues arise, you will still have profit to show for your hard work.

2. Cash flow management: With separate accounts for expenses and taxes, you can keep a closer eye on your cash flow and make sure you always have enough to cover your bills. This can prevent cash flow issues and help you make more strategic financial decisions.

3. Owner’s compensation: Real estate investors often forget to pay themselves, or only take money out of the business when they have a big deal. With Profit First, you set aside a percentage of your revenue specifically for owner’s compensation, ensuring that you always have money for your personal expenses.

4. Better financial decision-making: By having a clear understanding of your finances, you can make more informed decisions about future investments. You can use Profit First to analyze the profitability of each project and determine which ones are worth pursuing in the future.

Implementing Profit First in your Real Estate Business

Implementing Profit First in your real estate business is easy, but it does require some discipline and organization. First, you need to open multiple bank accounts for the different purposes outlined in the system. Most banks will allow you to open multiple accounts without any additional fees. Once you have your accounts set up, you need to establish a system for allocating your revenue to each account. You can do this manually, or you can use an accounting software that integrates with Profit First, such as QuickBooks.

The key is to consistently allocate a certain percentage of your revenue to each account, no matter how much you make. This way, you can ensure that you always have money set aside for profit and owner’s compensation, even if expenses are high. You can also adjust the percentage allocations based on the profitability of each project or the growth of your business.


1. How much should I set aside for profit?

The recommended percentage for profit is 5-10% of your revenue. This may not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time and ensure consistent growth for your business.

2. What if I have a lot of expenses?

If you’re just starting out, you may have a lot of expenses and not a lot of revenue coming in. In this case, you may need to adjust your percentage allocations to ensure you still have enough money to cover your bills. You can also look for ways to reduce expenses or increase revenue to balance out your accounts.

3. Can I use Profit First for one-off deals or flips?

Yes, you can use Profit First for single real estate projects. Simply allocate the revenue from each project to the different accounts and follow the same percentage allocations.

4. Do I have to use different banks for each account?

No, you don’t have to use different banks. Most banks will allow you to open multiple accounts without any additional fees.

5. Can Profit First help me pay off debt?

Yes, by allocating a percentage of your revenue to your tax and debt accounts, you can ensure that you always have money set aside for these expenses. This can prevent you from taking on new debt and help you pay off existing debt faster.

In conclusion, Profit First is a powerful financial management system that can help real estate investors maximize their profit, manage cash flow, and make more informed financial decisions. It does require some discipline and organization to implement, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned investor, Profit First can help you achieve your financial goals and take your real estate business to the next level.

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