The Power of Partnerships: Chez Realty, Side, and Bench


Elizabeth Pandolfi


July 10, 2024

This article is Tax Professional approved


How Teaming Up with Bench and Side Made Business Easier for a Miami Real Estate Firm

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The real estate industry has been revolutionized by technology in the past 10 years. From listing sites like Zillow and Redfin, to remote closings, there’s almost no part of the real estate transaction that hasn’t been affected. 

Dexter Brandao and Jose Medina, co-founders of the Miami real estate firm Chez Realty, know this well. “We’re very techy, very plug and play,” says Dexter. Because of that, they knew that adding tech partners—Bench for bookkeeping and Side, a real estate brokerage platform—would be essential for growing their business.

Dexter and Jose spoke with Bench about how their partnerships have helped Chez Realty grow to serve clients throughout the Miami area, while streamlining the company’s operations and boosting its financial health. 

Moving from Quickbooks to Bench

Initially, the co-founders relied on QuickBooks for managing Chez Realty, along with their other businesses. While QuickBooks worked for them at first, it became overwhelming as their businesses became busier. 

Dexter's frustration peaked when he realized that managing the backlog was becoming an impossible task. 

"After you get a little bit of a backlog and delayed on QuickBooks, it just kind of starts piling up," Dexter explained. That’s when he discovered Bench, and decided to give it a try.

Transitioning to Bench was a game-changer for Chez Realty. “It was really cool to see how Bench was able to take over the books in a very streamlined process—it wasn’t hard to set it up at all, which is sometimes what prevents people like me from changing,” Dexter says. 

One of the most helpful aspects of Bench, according to Dexter, was the monthly one-on-one Zoom meetings with Bench representatives. Instead of meeting with his accountant once a year, Dexter now had real-time visibility into his business’s financial health. "I'm able to go on a week-to-month basis and see where I'm at, where the business is at," he said.

That visibility and ease of use are crucial for companies like Chez Realty. “The data is only as good as the person that's inputting it,” he says. “When you actually have a system and a process that does this for you, you can see clearly what's coming down the line."

Founding Chez Realty: From solo agents to business owners

Chez Realty was founded two years ago when Dexter and his Jose, both solo agents, decided to join forces. They transitioned from individual real estate agents to business owners, a move that required a new set of skills and tools. 

"We had to take off the agent hat and put on the business owner hat," Dexter explained. This shift was challenging but necessary for their growth.

The decision to partner with Side further accelerated their growth. 

"We started with Side about two years ago, and it helped us build the business at a rapid speed," Dexter shared. "The plug-and-play aspect is where I see the marriage with Side and Bench," Dexter said.

Managing the ups and downs of real estate

Real estate is a seasonal business, and there can be a great deal of variation from month to month. Having clear visibility into their financials helped Chez Realty manage these fluctuations effectively. Bench's profit and loss statements and forecasting tools allowed Dexter and his team to make informed decisions about marketing and expenses.

"It helps us determine, for example, whether to allocate more marketing dollars or pull back," Dexter explained. 

“Or forecasting for taxes—we’re often caught up in the day to day, and we get to the last quarter of the year and we’re not sure what to do with our profits. But having full visibility that whole time, we can make better decisions.” 

Bench’s automated, streamlined approach, combined with the high level of detail and accuracy provided by the human bookkeeper, is what makes it such an important part of Chez Realty’s business. 

"We're way too busy on a day-to-day basis to sit here and do accounting, Dexter says. “With Bench, the data is synchronized, and it's much more streamlined and easy.” 

The support from Bench’s team of accountants and CPAs was another major advantage. Dexter no longer had to figure out where to allocate certain expenses on his own. "There's certain things I know what it is, but I'm not sure where to put it. That's where Bench is helpful," he explained.

Side and Bench gave Dexter and his team the tools and support they needed to grow their business efficiently. With the right partners in place, Chez Realty is well-positioned for continued success.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.
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