Accounting services can make a difference in all types of small businesses. My Small Business Pro has been fortunate enough to work with The Carter Property Group at Keller Williams Chicago—Lincoln Park for four months now. That’s not a long time, relatively speaking, but in that short time, we’ve managed to help this established outfit—in business for nearly two decades—streamline its finances, demonstrating that even successful organizations can benefit from expert financial advice.
Recently we chatted with Ashley Carter about his organization, and how MSBP helped give his already thriving business a boost.
Please tell us a little bit about your organization—what services you provide, the audience you serve, and the talented people that make up the staff.
We’re a full service residential real estate company with 19 years of experience in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. We specialize in all aspects of residential real estate, from single-family homes, condos and townhomes, to investment properties (typically two to four units) and multi-family residential (anything five units or more). Our team is made up of three full-time professionals and a large network of industry partners.
How has the real estate business changed since you first entered the game?
The speed and abundance of information available online, the tools that we use to promote properties, and the tools we use to sign contracts and conduct business have all changed dramatically. The changes are all for the better; however, it makes the need for an experienced team to help our clients decipher the massive volumes of data even more important than ever.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
- educating people to understand their range of options when it comes to real estate and, specifically, how to use real estate to positively impact their net worth
- as a by-product of the education process, actively helping them achieve their goals.
What sets you apart from other companies doing (or trying to do) the same thing?
Again, two things:
- our ‘net worth first’ approach puts our clients in a position of choice as to how they want to use real estate as part of their financial picture
- our results—we sell property for 5% higher value (from original list price to close price) and 18% faster (less time from list to contract) than the average agent in our “multiple listing service.”
What were some of your biggest obstacles in getting your company off the ground?
Overcoming all the distractions of business and life and staying focused enough on finding business. When you are 100% responsible for your own business, you have to be disciplined, otherwise it’s incredibly easy to be busy doing the wrong things.
Let’s talk about life before MSBP’s accounting services—what was your financial situation, and what were some of your finance-related challenges?
Before MSBP, we were doing well; however, we were not running the financial side of our business like a business. We did not have the visibility and clarity that we do today with exactly where we were investing our marketing and discretionary dollars. We were managing our business out of the checking account and not from the business principles of a Profit and Loss Statement and balance sheet. NOW we are!
How did you come to be in contact with MSBP? Please tell me a little bit about your relationship with that company early on?
I met Daliah through my business-to-business networking group. Initially, I felt that MSBP could help us in our business; however, I still delayed in utilizing their services.
What convinced you to engage MSBP’s accounting services?
I instinctively knew that the “outside” help and accountability of hiring a professional to assist with managing my financials was exactly what I needed. I simply had to commit to the process of making it a priority to integrate into my business. We, like most small business people, are not wired to be great at all the details. We are “technicians” by nature in our chosen profession, and having the outside help made all the difference.
What are your business’s goals for the future (both short- and long-term)?
We want to continue to grow our residential real estate business to 200 closed transactions in calendar 2020, and to use this new-found business knowledge and discipline to start and grow additional “complimentary” real estate businesses.
What would you say to a small business professional who hasn’t yet engaged with an accounting services outfit like MSBP?
It’s very simple—if you can’t produce a YTD and MTD P&L statement in 30 seconds or less, you have no idea how your business is really doing. Also, stop delaying one of the single most powerful tools you can implement into your business, and admit you need help. It is extremely empowering to “know your numbers” all the time.
We are fortunate to have Ashley Carter among our clients—and we would love to have you join him. To learn more about our accounting services and how MSBP can help give your small business an edge, email me at Daliah@MySmallBusinessPro.com.