Practical Guide on Real Estate CRM Software Development

4693 Updated 06.21.2022
Viktoriia Khytryk

Head of Inbound and Outbound Sales

5/5

Table of contents

CRM saves in a single database all real estate objects, meetings, deals, calls, and messages, offers for sales, purchases, and renting details about each client and stores all data on a cloud server.

CRM contains information about each stage of cooperation, particularly who and when intended to buy/rent or sell/lease real estate and what decisions were made. It also automatically allows you to evaluate the real results of transactions.

Real Estate CRM Software Development: Why Does Your Business Need It?

According to the international research VentureBeat, installing CRM software in the corporate environment has resulted in a considerable boost in the number of leads (potential customers) for around 80% of organizations.

CRM handles a variety of challenges that organizations experience on a regular basis and assists firms in being more productive. Real estate CRM software development has a lot of advantages. By developing CRM software, you will be able to:

  • Add the required level of system performance.
  • Get high interoperability by integrating with any third-party platforms you need.
  • Encrypt your system’s sensitive data with the latest security protocols.
  • Achieve high flexibility by creating a single IT infrastructure for all departments and easily scaling.
  • Get a cost-effective solution in the long run, as you don’t have to pay for every new CRM user and support.
  • Create an on-demand CRM system tailored to your specific and unique business needs and challenges.

And now let’s look at the main benefits of CRM software development for each real estate company department.

Benefits for Marketing Team

Real estate CRM software facilitates the following duties in the marketing team:

  • Creation of a client profile based on the collected data. Thanks to this, it is possible to timely adjust the range, features of the things and services provided.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of advertising, marketing activities, and calculating ROI. For example, you can manually calculate the estimated ROI using Excel.
  • Customer retention through increasing brand (product) loyalty. For example, an analysis of the audience that has attended a series of promotional lectures on effective product use will clarify that event marketing is better at reaching target audiences than other types of marketing used.
  • Estimate of marketing team efficiency, control of task performance, and compliance with deadlines.
  • Creation of individual sales funnels, budget planning, and team management.
  • Connection of lead generation channels directly to CRM.
  • Personalized lead criteria and filters, as well as estimate the cost of certain leads for your company.
  • Reporting, appropriate evaluation of advertising agencies, budgeting, and planning based on prior period statistics.

Benefits for Sales Team

Property investment CRM software makes it simple to arrange the sales department’s reports. CRM software serves as a tool for forming a sales funnel, from which the following points are determined:

  • where and when clients leave;
  • which client groups should be given the highest level of priority;
  • what is the probability of buying products and services of the company;
  • which processes in the company should be eliminated to improve the sales funnel.

According to some statistics, CRM software increases sales conversion rates by up to 300%.

Also, the sales team needs CRM software for the following:

  • maintaining all the leads;
  • assess the status of each lead;
  • automatic communication and mailing;
  • assignment of managers to the lead;
  • reports and statistics;

Benefits for Account Team

In a real estate CRM system, it is convenient to keep a history of clients relationships. A card is created for each of them, in which the main (full name, phone number, e-mail address) and additional data (date of birth, character traits, information about the client’s preferences, etc.) are noted.

This is particularly vital for developing ties with organizations and clients that utilize your services regularly. The managers can change, but the CRM stores data on transactions with a specific organization and, individually, with managers.

Therefore, you do not have to waste time restoring partnership relations. It is enough to create a card for a new manager (the company’s contact person) and attach it to the organization card.

Real estate CRM software also allows you to get information on all costs, including spending for particular teams or individuals.

Benefits for Management Team

Property CRM software may be used to manage teams. CRM can solve several issues:

  • monitor the performance of functional roles of the team;
  • automate the distribution of tasks between employees of different departments;
  • synchronize the actions of personnel;
  • quickly train new employees.

Custom Real Estate CRM Software or Ready-made CRM?

The modern market offers many CRM solutions tailored to different industries and business sizes. Why is it still worth choosing a CRM developed individually for your company?

High-quality ready-made CRM solutions are expensive, and more often than not, your company does not need the entire set of provided features. The cost of creating a custom CRM is also not small. However, in the case of individual development, you pay for the features that your company needs. Plus, employees will not have to spend a lot of time mastering the solution because the CRM will be initially created for the workflow already established in the company.

Here are some of the main benefits of using custom CRM software:

  • User-friendliness. Having your own CRM software is a less complicated and hassle-free process. The tailoring of a custom CRM is done according to the company’s needs to make it easier for employees to adapt. That will speed up the transition and increase the chances of successful implementation.
  • Competitive business advantage. Using a custom CRM will enable your business to make required automation and adjustments, providing you an edge over competitors. With a custom CRM, you can enable users to create effective business policies, giving leadership more significant influence over business and operations.
  • Greater analytics. A custom CRM delivers superior analytics to suit company requirements, while a standard CRM gives common reports that are highly essential to the organization. With the assistance of custom CRM, one may identify the vital processes and get comprehensive statistics for them.
  • Proper integration with business operations. By employing bespoke CRM software, you will provide your firm with additional flexibility in combining CRM with business processes and sales cycles. With a custom CRM, you may connect it at many contact points and departments as required.

Real Estate CRM Software Development: Must-Have Features

We’ve identified a few of the most important elements to add to your real estate CRM software. Here is a list of them:

Starting dashboard

This is the place where all work with your real estate software starts. The dashboard should display the most up-to-date information on various aspects of the work. To make the dashboard convenient, present all the data as graphs or tables.

Pipeline

A sales pipeline is a document, report, or summary that collects data on the movement of customers. The pipeline contains the statuses of all transactions: from filing an application to signing an agreement or making a payment. A pipeline usually looks like a large pivot table or a sales journal.

Analytics and reports

When your real estate CRM software offers automated data processing and analytics, you have a better overview of customer workflow and communication.

Thanks to this, you can assess the productivity of each employee, prioritize each lead and client, plan work and optimize almost all working processes. Or you can use reports in presentations to the board of investors.

Task management board

We need this feature to assign tasks to each employee. When the tasks are scheduled, and you see, for example, progress on them, it will be easier for you to monitor and evaluate the work of each individual employee, as well as the results of the company as a whole.

Transaction management

All detailed information about transactions should be stored in a separate place. Thanks to this feature, you will be able to analyze transactions by periods, for example, and also manage them.

Gantt chart

In the form of a Gantt chart, you can present the calendars in which the planning of projects and transactions will be carried out. With the help of Gantt charts, it will be possible to analyze the progress of each individual project, task, deal, etc.

Notification system

In order for company employees to always be aware of what is happening on the platform, add a notification system.

Personnel accounting

This feature will help manage company employees (for example, add new ones and delete old ones, add all the detailed information about the direction of work of each employee, etc.)

Materials Management

With this feature, you can keep track of materials, namely purchase, construction, consumption for a certain period, etc.

Support 24.7

This feature will help at any time to solve an urgent issue or get an answer to a question.

Marketing automation

We’ve identified a few of the most important elements to add to your real estate CRM software. After all, with its help, the team will be able to create marketing channels and automate most operations with a few mouse clicks.

All Do You Need to Know About Real estate CRM Software Development

How to start real estate CRM software development and create a solution that will perfectly suit any real estate business and meet any business owner’s needs? Based on Northell experience, we have identified several things you should think about first. Consider the following before you begin develop real estate CRM software:

  • Describe all business processes. For the process of creating CRM software to be organized and structured, you need to describe all business processes and indicate who will be responsible for what in your team. This way, you won’t get confused, and the development process will be fast and transparent.
  • Conduct research. You should spend a lot of time researching. You need to identify the main reasons why you want to implement CRM. Describe what specific problems you want to solve with CRM. Determine what can be improved and what results you want to achieve using CRM software.
  • Set realistic deadlines. Creating CRM software is a long and not exactly easy process. Therefore, it is essential to set adequate deadlines for yourself and understand that it will take quite a lot of time for high-quality implementation and results.
  • Consider all kinds of risks. Creating a new solution is already a risk. You have to think through all the possible situations that may occur during and after solution development and implementation. To eliminate all sorts of risks, you should have a clear plan of action in advance for any case.
  • Make it easy to use. Since real estate CRM is a complex platform with a lot of different features, it is essential to make it easy to use and user-friendly. User experience is everything, so don’t overload your CRM with unnecessary elements and take the time to build straightforward navigation.
  • Implement the solution gradually. For all modules of your CRM software to work smoothly, you need to implement them gradually and test each one separately. It is better to spend more time testing than later on solving a large number of problems associated with poor system performance.
  • Work only with experienced teams. When choosing a contractor team, analyze its experience, portfolio, feedback from previous clients, results of previous projects, etc. A good and professional team is the key to success, so take the time to find the best one.

Real estate CRM Software Development: Top Mistakes

One of the fundamental mistakes that companies make when developing real estate CRM software is determining the wrong target audience and missing onboarding. Most competitors have already successfully solved these problems. Throughout our work, we have highlighted other widespread mistakes that should not be made when creating custom CRM:

Make the CRM too complex

Even the most sophisticated technology will not enhance the company’s processes if end-users cannot find a feature they need. An overabundance of components on a CRM interface, rather than streamlining operations, may confuse people and decrease their productivity.

Another common mistake that leads to project failure is concentrating only on what components to include in a CRM system while disregarding how employees will actually use them.

Not including analytical tools

Whatever kind of custom CRM system you develop, it will almost certainly gather a large quantity of data. However, if a system lacks the capabilities to evaluate data, you will lose out on the opportunity to fully use the potential of your CRM.

You won’t be able to get valuable insights into your company’s present status, in particular. Without such insights, the company’s management would struggle to make data-driven choices and uncover bottlenecks in key processes.

Lack of communication

CRM creation is often a time-consuming and complicated process. Consequently, without good communication with a development team, you’re unlikely to achieve the desired outcomes.

If you restrict your participation in the project to a brief explanation of your requirement, developers will be forced to make several critical CRM choices on their own. Because they don’t know your company as well as you do, some of their actions may be incorrect.

Poor integration with third-party services or sales channels

If you want your CRM software to become your indispensable assistant, then don’t forget to integrate it with third-party services and sales channels. Thus, many processes in your company will be automated and more organized.

No potential for growth and scaling

A huge mistake when creating CRM software is to create a solution that is not suitable for growth and future scaling. Over time, your business will change and evolve. Therefore, your system should be adapted to any changes within your company and rapid improvement on your part.

Real Estate CRM Software Development? [A Step-by-Step Guide]

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Real Estate CRM Software Development Cycle

Now is the time to consider the most interesting topic of how to build real estate CRM software. Based on our deep knowledge in the development of CRM systems, the Northell team prepared a step-by-step guide for you to real estate CRM solutions.

Step 1. Write a Project Plan [Budged, Goals]

How to start real estate CRM software development effectively and smoothly? Of course, with the help of a project plan. For the custom CRM development process to be organized and structured, you need to make a good plan. First, define your primary goals. Why are you creating this solution? What result do you want to get in the end?

The next step is to set a budget. How much money do you need to spend on project design and development? What is the total budget for this project? How much money are you willing to allocate for the separate stages of building custom CRM software?

Then set the timeline. Setting deadlines will help you be more organized and your team more disciplined. Set separate deadlines for each stage of the project. The Northell team advises not to set deadlines too short or too long. Of course, it all depends on your capabilities, but it is always better to have a little lead time. In case of unforeseen circumstances, you will need it.

Step 2. Write Design & Software Requirement

At this stage, you need to write design and software requirements. Software and design requirements describe exactly “what” your system must accomplish. They are essentially a checklist that your designers, developers, and QA engineers will use to ensure that you receive the system you want.

The first step of a good software project is defining strong requirements. You are defining the issue, the future vision and objective, and the specifics of the solution. You can read more about how to write design and software requirements in our article, which is completely devoted to this topic – How To Write The Design Specification? [Quick Guide]

Step 3. Hire Real Estate CRM Software Development Contractors

Choosing a reliable and experienced contractor is one of the deciding factors of whether you will be successful in developing real estate CRM software. However, where can you find a good contractor? We’ve highlighted several ways you can find and hire a contractor effectively. Among them are:

Use social networks

Social networks like LinkedIn offer numerous great and qualified specialists. You can find there all the necessary information about the contractor’s experience, projects his team was working on, skills, reviews, etc. Using such platforms as Clutch.co, you can get detailed feedback about a contractor’s work from his clients.

Ask community

You can ask your community for a recommendation. Perhaps your colleagues or partners have already worked with reliable and experienced contractors and can connect you with them.

Use Google search

This is probably one of the easiest ways, but the longest, and not the fact that it is reliable.

The Northell team has highlighted a few important things to consider when choosing a contractor:

  • experience;
  • portfolio;
  • projects results;
  • reviews and testimonials;
  • location and cost.

If you want an experienced and reliable design and development team for your real estate CRM project, we will be happy to help you. Just get in touch with us!

Step 4. Start Product Discovery / BA [Main Part]

When you have completed all the preparatory steps, you can proceed to the product discovery phase. Product discovery shows whether a new product or feature will be used. For designers and product development teams, it allows them to see how their product benefits many people. Developing a deeper understanding helps teams create products that customers want.

This process moves from basic features to creating solutions that solve a problem and become an absolute necessity for companies. The product discovery process ensures that product managers and teams are on the right track in prioritizing and creating a solution that will be successful.

Product discovery is the process of figuring out what is ultimately going to be created. It reflects your vision, provides a clearer understanding of user needs, and provides key answers to questions that arise when building a roadmap.

  • Is it worth solving this problem?
  • Will our solution work?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you will have to go back to the marker board. Product discovery is the process of working on your idea, interviewing your customers until you get clear, positive answers to all three questions.

Step 5. UX Design

After the product discovery phase, you can start creating UX design. Think back to your last visit to a café or restaurant. What was your first impression when you entered it? How was the menu designed? Did you get the food quickly enough, and what was the taste like? How well were you served? Would you go back there again?

The answers to these questions, including all the emotional experiences from interacting with a café or restaurant, represent UX. Today, UX design has become synonymous with good business because products and services are successful in the marketplace only if they provide a seamless user experience.

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Northell Case Study – NWCC [wireframes]

Usually, information architecture and wireframes are created during the UX design stage. Information architecture is about organizing and dividing content. Without proper content sorting, most of the users would be lost when navigating a website or app, and as a result, the value of the product would be questioned.

Wireframes are schematic screen layouts. Their goal is to show what the project will be like. Classic wireframes are built from gray and white blocks. The use of symbols is allowed. But there shouldn’t be any images.

Step 6. Testing

After creating a UX design, it needs to be tested. The Northell team strongly recommends not skipping this step. It helps identify possible problems and mistakes early in the development phase when there is still time and opportunity to fix them.

Often, when partners come to us with finished products, conducting a conversation with them, we find out that many skip this stage. After launching a product, they naturally run into mistakes, and the product has to be completely redesigned. And this takes a lot of time and money.

At Northell, we have launched our own UX Laboratory. Our team uses UX Eye Tracker that allows exploring user behavior during interaction with the product. Only 1% of companies use this method. An eye tracker is a unique tool that captures the movement of a person’s gaze and helps get a record of where and for how long the user was looking.

User testing with an eye-tracking tool allows us to watch the live eye tracking stream provided during usability testing. It also provides us with a deeper understanding of behavioral patterns and allows our team to ask more relevant and personalized questions for fuller insights into the user’s interaction.

Step 7. UI Design

How to develop a real estate CRM software that will make users fall in love at first sight? The answer is simple – create a great UI design. UI design is the process of translating user experience into visual details, which was developed based on studying the client’s world, researching the target audience.

UI Kit

NWCC Case Study – UI Kit

UI design includes stages of work on the visual or graphical part of the interface: buttons, menus, icons, animations, illustrations, menus, collages, and fonts.

Step 8. Build a App Development Process [SDLC]

Now comes the most important stage. You need to turn the design into a real working solution. We divided the entire development process into several steps. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Product Technical Documentation

During this stage, all the relevant information from the partner is collected to develop a solution as per expectations and requirements. The team should write technical documentation and choose technical stacks.

At this stage, the team should also define the requirements for functionality (requirements for the admin panel) and user roles (admin and super admin). The team should finalize the estimate and scope of work.

Development

Using the documentation and architecture from previous steps, software developers write code for the components. The tasks are divided between the team members according to their area of specialization.

Front-end developers are responsible for the client side of the application. Back-end developers are responsible for API and database development. The DevOps team works on the CI/CD process.

Testing

QA engineers test all delivered code and carry out manual testing for developed components.

Deployment and Integration

After the development and regression testing from the QA team, the team switched to production deployment and integration. The tested version of the solution is delivered to the users for beta testing. The team collects user feedback, fixes all the bugs, and implements some improvements.

Maintenance

After deploying a product in the production environment, maintenance of the product, i.e., if any issue comes up and needs to be fixed or any improvements are to be done, it is taken care of by the development team.

Step 9. Copywriting

It’s also important not to forget about content. In a CRM system, text blocks must be written correctly and concisely. Also, if you need a website, copywriting is a must-have. Usually, the content of the site is filled by a copywriter together with a marketer.

Step 10. Integration

The last stage of real estate CRM software development is integrating the system with other tools used by the company. Most often, a CRM system is not used alone. It is integrated with various supporting software for more efficient work.

Therefore, you should ensure that your CRM system integration runs smoothly and that everything works as you expect.

Northell Experience in Real Estate CRM Software Development

Northell team has vast experience in various solution development, including real estate CRM software development. One of our partners, NWCC, a construction finance control system, has been functioning for more than 35 years.

Case NWCC

Northell Case NWCC

The product was old and difficult to use. The lack of functionality did not allow the product to meet all the needs of people working with the company. Not all processes have been optimized due to human influence leading to problems and loss of time and resources. The task was to develop the missing functionality, refine and improve the product, giving it the opportunity to be relevant for the next 3-5 years.

Northell team has improved process optimization, reduced costs, and covered new business processes with an updated software. That allowed to raise not only the quality of the user experience but also to provide a reliable platform for business scaling.

After implementation and a/b testing, we collected user feedback and saw that satisfaction levels increased by 19%. The new functionality has reduced the influence of the human factor and accelerated the exchange of information between personas. The company has gained a powerful space to scale and increase its customer base for the next 4 years.

You can read more detailed information about the NWCC project and its results here: NWCC Case Study.

How Much Does Real Estate CRM Software Development Cost? [Timeline]

How much does real estate CRM software development cost? Of course, you are interested in this question. Let’s figure it out.

Of course, the price and time required for development will depend on the complexity of your system. The more features, modules, sections, and more complex they are, the more expensive the design and development of a CRM system will cost.

The location of your contractor will also affect the price. We have identified the main 4 regions that offer experienced and skilled IT specialists. Let’s take a look at approximate prices for different stages of real estate CRM software development based on this factor.

Product discovery UI/UX design Development QA
Eastern Europe $35-60/hr $35-60/hr $30-80/hr $25-50/hr
Western Europe $45-90/hr $45-100/hr $55-100/hr $30-65/hr
South America $25-55/hr <$45/hr $25-55/hr $20-40/hr
Asia $15-25/hr <$40/hr <$45/hr <$30/hr

Let’s also consider how long it takes to develop a CRM product. For your convenience, we calculated how much time each stage of CRM creation will take for different sizes of businesses:

Product discovery:

Enterprises: 60-120 hours.
Middle-size project: 30-60 hours.
Small projects: 15-30 hours.

UI/UX design:

Enterprises: 100-250 hours (UX), 200-300 hours (UI).
Middle-size project: 60-100 hours (UX), 55-110 hours (UI).
Small projects: 30-45 hours (UX), 25-50 (UI).

Development:

Enterprises: 20-50 hours (technical documentation), 250-500 hours (frontend), 300-600 hours (backend).
Middle-size projects: 12-25 hours (technical documentation), 120-200 hours (frontend), 130-210 hours (backend).
Small projects: 8-10 hours (technical documentation), 70-90 hours (frontend), 80-100 hours (backend).

QA:

Enterprises: 80 hours.
Middle-size projects: 40-80 hours.
Small projects: 40 hours.

Having this information in mind, you can calculate the approximate development cost and timeline of the entire project.

Real Estate CRM Software Development: Final Thoughts

Сreating a custom CRM system requires planning and an in-depth study of the company’s business processes. However, the outcomes are worth the effort.

You will receive a CRM system that will help you optimize your operations and get insights into your clients if you create a custom solution that fits your company objectives and needs. That is something that no off-the-shelf product can accomplish for you.

The Northell team has significant expertise in real estate CRM software development. We design and develop custom solutions that assist businesses in increasing their productivity by combining cutting-edge technology and innovative concepts. Data security is critical to the CRM development process so that you can be sure of the product’s dependability. If you wish to discuss a project or obtain an estimate, just contact us. We will work together to discover the finest software solution for your requirements.

FAQ

Can I Start From MVP?

It is not only possible but also necessary. Starting with the MVP, you will be able to check the product's effectiveness and the new business that you want to start. Check our article How To Build a Minimum Viable Product for Your Startup [Handbook for CEO]

How To Scale a CRM?

The main drivers in product scaling are good onboarding, adding new system features, design improvements, enhancing UX, and working with a new target audience.

Which technology stack is best to use?

A project's technological stack defines the software's overall success in the future.

It has an impact on its security, performance, and efficiency, among other things.

Because CRM software must process large amounts of data and complex user flows, selecting the optimal tech stack is essential.

Java, .NET, Node.js, and PHP are the finest backend technologies.

We recommend React, Angular, and Vue.js for frontend development.

We Design & Develop World-Class Digital Products

Our team builds strong digital solutions that have a positive impact on organizations.

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