How to Develop a Сustom Real Estate Software? (Process, Best Practises, Pitfalls)

3183 Updated 10.07.2022
Yuriy Matviyuk

Development Tech Lead

5/5

Table of contents

In such a complex and large industry as real estate, proper management, clarity, adherence to rules and ease of operation are important. Real estate management software helps to take into account all the parameters.

Real estate management software helps optimize business processes and routine tasks, consider all the details, be sure of the accuracy and availability of all documents, and make your interaction within the company and with clients as fast and comfortable as possible.

Overview

Our new article is dedicated to real estate management software development and work with startups from the PropTech sphere. Based on our strong expertise in developing solutions for real estate companies, today we will address the following questions:

  • Popular trends in real estate management software development.
  • The main reasons why you should consider creating real estate management software.
  • Real estate areas that require the use of management software.
  • The process of creating real estate management software from A to Z.
  • Best tech stacks for development.
  • Functionality and the essential features of the system.
  • How much would such software cost?

We hope that this article will become a kind of instruction for you, using which you will create a really valuable and effective solution for your business.

Trends in Real Estate Software Development

Let’s first look at the main trends that are now at the peak of popularity in real estate management software development. Based on the research conducted by our team, we can identify the following 4 trends:

Real estate management digitalization

Real estate management will become more efficient in three ways as a result of digitalization. First, as a labor replacement, such as cleaning robots, IoT technology for inspections and patrols, and chatbots for resolving complaints. All of these will assist in reducing staff expenses. Personal staff may then concentrate on areas where the human touch is preferred.

Second, by optimizing the current wasteful process. Examples include online distribution and storage of general and board meeting materials, online resident surveys, digitization of inspection and maintenance records, and the implementation of an accounting system.

Third, the data collected through these digital activities may be utilized to enhance service quality and resident happiness.

Real estate management requirements are classified as standard or optional

When it comes to real estate management in the future, the services given by the management business will most likely match the services required by residents. Communication with residents will be critical in determining the amount of real estate management required and how much homeowners are prepared to pay for it.

Self-management assistance for multi-dwelling complexes

The growing trend of multi-family unit management fees may prompt more management associations to choose the third option: self-management. Rather than the distance from those associations that adopt this choice, we may anticipate requests for giving self-management assistance via the use of real estate management digitalization.

Self-management may be supported by providing support software and other tools. Even if the management association lacks specialized knowledge and experience in property management, management costs and hassle can be reduced.

It can be done if the association can provide one-stop assistance for tasks such as keeping track of contracts with service providers and orders, organizing occupant and owner information, and managing repair reserve fund income and outgo.

Collaboration among industry participants

Organizations that create digitalization tools may present their own tools to other companies, generating rental or use fees and lowering maintenance costs via scale. Meanwhile, tool users may keep system development costs and administrative expenses low. In the face of acute labor shortages and escalating human expenditures, there are limitations to what a corporation can accomplish on its own.

Few Cases When Do You Need a Custom Real Estate Software Development

When do you need to think about real estate management software development? Let’s look at a few cases:

1. You develop your own product

If you are a construction company and have a great solution that you want to sell as a SaaS, then you need to think about real estate management software. Also, if you are a startup that needs to complete its solution in the form of custom software, feel free to make a decision to create real estate management software.

2. High-security requirements

Any business, including real estate, requires data protection. It’s not a secret for anyone. Thanks to modern technologies and real estate management software, you can protect your business from data leakage, cyber-attacks, scammers, etc. Thanks to modern security systems that can be integrated into real estate management software, you will be calm about your company’s security.

3. Complex interdependencies within the business

If you are a big or medium business, then you definitely have a large number of interdependencies. In order to streamline them and organize the whole work in your business, you need a system that will allow you to set everything up as your business processes require. In this case, real estate management software can come to the rescue.

4. The need to grow quickly

If you have a plan to grow and develop your company in the future quickly, then real estate management software will be a great help for you. You will have a single system where you can store all relevant information and documents, manage resources, take into account and prevent risks, plan improvements, etc.

5. Maximum individualization is required

If individualization is important for your business, then real estate management software is what you need. Today, the creation of custom management software is an excellent solution to many company problems.

 Thanks to customization, your company will be able to fully customize the system for itself by adding the necessary functionality and capabilities of the system.

6. The maximum level of process optimization

Business process optimization is a well-known desire of most real estate companies. Thanks to the management software, in order to interact with buyers or tenants, you will no longer need to arrange viewings for a long time and deal with a mountain of pieces of paper, which are then difficult to take into account or transfer to the system. 

All processes will be automated, all data will be in the system, and potential customers will be able to get an initial acquaintance with the object, for example, using a 3D room tour.

In Which Areas a Custom Real Estate Software Development is Most Effective?

Now let’s look at which areas of real estate most require real estate management software development:

Hotel Chains

In the first place, we have a chain of hotels. Large hotel chains often face the problem of lack of time to properly manage a large number of properties and communicate with customers. 

Real estate management software can help streamline all documentation, streamline hotel management, improve customer communication and ensure the smooth operation of all hotels in the chain.

Industrial Property

Industrial property sphere is a significant and complex business. Thanks to real estate management software development, this area can automate production management, establish the functionality of managing contracts, projects, risks, and budgets, and get a module for analysis, cost control, and forecasting. 

Such companies will not need to make thousands of notes, call dozens of people, maintain hundreds of spreadsheets and try to find an important document in piles of papers. All information will already be systematized and streamlined in management software. If you add an ERP module to the system, you will get:

  • versatility
  • scalability and flexibility
  • single management platform
  • distribution of access rights
  • quality planning and accounting

Commercial Rent

This area requires clarity and organization. Leasing offices, shopping centers, warehouses, individual offices, etc., requires maximum care and order in the documents. 

Thanks to management software, you can organize better work with your clients and directly with company employees. All important documents will be stored in one place and completely secure.

Residential Rent

If we are talking about renting out various types of real estate (apartments, villas, rooms, etc.), then real estate management software can help structure all the necessary information and documents, as well as establish work with clients and optimize most processes (signing and sending documents, communication with clients, property verification, etc.)

How to Develop a Real Estate Management Software? [Guide for C-level]

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Management Software Development Process

Now let’s talk about the real estate management software development process itself. We have identified several basic and fundamentally important steps to achieve excellent results:

1. Business Analytics: Road Map / Predictions

The first step from which real estate management software development begins is business analysis. Business analysis helps companies make key decisions about changing processes and developing new products. 

Business analysis is the study and evaluation of a company’s processes. It is carried out to find business growth points. The analyst should study the current situation, assess the goals that the company owner is striving for, and help find opportunities for their implementation.

Part of the business analysis is the creation of a roadmap. This will become a tool for visualizing the company’s development strategy, project launch stages and product promotion. 

The roadmap is used to coordinate work between departments, demonstrate to investors the stages and deadlines for completing tasks, and help team members better understand the process of achieving goals. It is also used by team leaders and CEOs, sales departments, and customer support services.

2. Project Plan: Timeline / Cost / Team

The next step you need to take is to draw up a project plan. First, determine the timeline – how long your project can last and when you plan to finish it. Secondly, decide on the budget – how much money you are willing to allocate for this project. 

Thirdly, decide on the team. We recommend outsourcing. Today, you can find an excellent product design and development team anywhere in the world.

3. Technical Documentation: Tech Stack / Features

Next, write technical documentation. This is an important document that your design and development team will need. It is necessary to determine which technical stacks you will use in development and write a list of features that should be added to your real estate management software.

 We recommend that you break down the list of features into important, optional, and standard. So it will be easier for you to organize the development process. You can read more about creating such a document in our article How To Write The Design Specification? [Quick Guide].

4. Design: UX/UI

Next comes the UX and UI design stage. UI – User Interface – this is the part that you see. All those buttons, icons, etc., that you interact with every time you open a website, program, application, etc.

UX – User Experience – in fact, this is an “interaction experience,” moments of “feelings” – areas where you consciously (and not) go towards your goal and/or get what you want. These are the possible thoughts, feelings, actions and impressions that you get when working with a particular interface.

If you want to know more about how the product design process should work, look here.

5. Development: Front-end / Back-end

After the design is ready, developers should use the documentation and architecture from previous steps to writing code for all the software components. The development part is divided into 2 steps: front-end development and back-end development. Here are the main tech stacks to use during front-end development: Angular, Vue.js, React.js.

Server-side development is another name for back-end development. 

It is everything that users do not see and includes all of the actions behind the scenes when they do any operation on a platform. It largely focuses on databases, back-end logic, APIs, and servers. Here is the main tech stack to use during back-end development: Node.js.

6. Testing

At this step QA engineers should test all delivered code and carry out manual testing for developed components. Here are the main QA aspects to use: CI/CD, Integrational, Automation Strategy, Regression, Resource planning.

7. Deployment & 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.  

8. 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.

9. Onboarding

And the last step is onboarding. You should familiarize every employee of your company with a new solution. We recommend that you start onboarding gradually so that your employees can get used to a new tool and learn how to use it.

What Tech Stack is the Best For Real Estate Software Development?

Now let’s talk about tech stacks. Which tech stacks are most suitable for web real estate management software, and which ones for a mobile application?

Web

If you are planning to build web real estate management software, then we recommend using the following tech stacks:

  • React.js
  • Node.js

Mobile

How to develop real estate management software and use it on mobile phones?  

IOS

Here is what we recommend to use to build inventory management system for the IOS system:

Language: Objective-C, Swift. 

Core: iOS SDK, CocoaTouch / Multimedia.  

Analytics: Firebase, Amplitude, AppsFlyer, Facebook.   

Data: Realm, CoreData, UserDefaults, KeyChain, CryptoSwift.

Android

For the Android system, we advise your team to use the following for custom inventory management system development:

Language: Java, Kotlin.

Core: Android SDK, Android Jetpack.

Analytics: Firebase, Amplitude, AppsFlyer, Facebook.

Data: Realm, SQLite, Shared Preferences, Room.

Pitfalls in Custom Real Estate Management Software Development

Every process has its own pitfalls. Let’s look at what pitfalls you may encounter during real estate management software development:

Proper architecture and technical stack

For the product to work as you intended and perform the actions you need, you should think carefully about its architecture. Without a well-built architecture, your system will crash and misbehave. Also important is the right technical stack.

Security

The real estate sphere involves the storage of a large number of documents and contracts. If you do not want all company information to fall into the hands of fraudsters, then you should think about setting up security for your system. Thanks to modern digital tools, you can easily protect your company from unwanted data leakage.

Usability

Usability is the ease of use of a system. If users of your management software find it difficult to find something in the system or they take a long time to perform the target action in the system, this is an indicator that the system has poor usability.

 Good usability will help your company use management software to the maximum and, most importantly, quickly and efficiently get the desired result with its help.

Integration with third-party tools

In order for your management software to perform all the necessary functions, it must be able to integrate with other tools that you use. For example, it can be a CRM system where all the data about your customers is located.

Special attention is paid to business analysis

We mentioned earlier that business analysis is extremely important to create a truly valuable product. 

Try to give this stage as much time and attention as possible. Without business analysis, you will not identify the main problem that needs to be solved with the help of management software. Also, you will not be able to choose the correct functionality and capability of the system.

Team integration and onboarding

And the last one is onboarding. Onboarding is about showing and telling your team how and why to use a new tool. If the team does not know how to use the system, there is no point in creating it. Try to give enough time for each employee to know about all the possibilities and features of your real estate management software.

Must-Have Features in Real Estate Software Development

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Northell Case – RhinoDox

Now let’s talk about functionality. What are the main parts of your real estate management software? Let’s look in detail:

Inventory tool

Inventory tool is a tool with which you can manage your inventory. This tool is a necessary component for management software companies that are engaged in construction. Here are a few tasks that the inventory tool can perform:

  • Inventory management 
  • Inventory planning 
  • Inventory data collection
  • Deep analysis of the used inventory 
  • Inventory usage control

Asset management tool

Asset management tool is needed to control and manage company assets. This tool will help control the use of assets and optimize the processes associated with them.

Brokerage tool

Brokerage tool will help you to get smooth work with your brokers. All documents and contracts concluded with brokers will be in one system. You can easily get the information you need about brokers using this tool.

The Northell team recently worked on Agent Scout, a real estate platform with the most extensive USA agent base. We thought over the logic of the platform from scratch, and thanks to our created solution, users can quickly buy or sell real estate with the help of the best agents in their region.

Accounting and Finance tools

Accounting and finance tools are needed to control and manage all financial transactions in the company. This could be paying for materials, getting rent, paying wages, etc. This tool is important so that you have a complete picture of what your budget is. It will also help you facilitate many processes related to finances.

ESG Reporting

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) is a set of characteristics of company management that achieves the involvement of this company in solving environmental, social and management problems.

The ESG Reporting feature will give you the opportunity to receive reports on the conduct of any ESG-related processes (if your company is involved in this).

CRM tool

CRM, through process automation, helps to build a dialogue with customers more effectively, avoid mistakes in work and, as a result, sell them more. A CRM system is necessary to store all the necessary information about your customers and optimize the process of working with customers.

If you want to learn how to build a CRM system for real estate, read our article Practical Guide on Real Estate CRM Software Development

Task management tool

This tool is necessary to ensure that all tasks in the company are carried out in an organized and efficient manner on time. Also, this tool is necessary so that all employees of the company have a clear idea of ​​what they need to do.

Lease tool

This tool is extremely important for those companies that are engaged in leasing various types of real estate. Such a feature will help to control, manage and optimize the process of renting out real estate, control financial transactions, and also establish communication with customers.

ERP System

ERP for real estate is a comprehensive system that provides planning and management of business processes of construction organizations. A unified digital environment combines disparate software systems into one integrated solution. The management receives an effective tool for monitoring and managing the life cycles of construction projects.

ERP system has functionality that allows you to solve tasks such as:

  • management of all stages of the company and its links;
  • accounting and tax accounting;
  • keeping records of contracts with contractors;
  • formation of calendar plans;
  • accounting for the actual performance of work;
  • financial planning and budgeting;
  • management accounting of cash flows of a company or an entire holding;
  • maintaining mutual settlements with involved structures;
  • planning your own work and automatic calculation of resource needs;
  • receiving timely reminders of various events;
  • control over the terms of approval, storage and documentation movement between employees, etc.

If you want to know more about ERP development, read our article How to Build Your Own ERP System From Scratch? Ultimate Guide 2022

Northell Expertise in Real Estate Software Development: Our Clients Success stories

Northell team has a wealth of experience in different kinds of product and solution development, including real estate management software development. Our team uses cutting-edge technologies and practices to develop products and solutions that help real estate businesses improve and streamline their processes, improve customer interactions, and enhance employee engagement.

Recently we worked on the RhinoDox project. RhinoDox is a construction bid and proposal management software that helps teams create data and process automation that allows generating bids with greater consistency — faster — and delivering the analytics people need to make informed decisions. 

Our team needed to make custom software for RhinoDox, which could transform into SaaS over time. Our partner wanted a user-friendly product with diverse functionality that would cover all the users’ needs and would work smoothly and quickly.

The main challenge for our team was to understand the idea of ​​the platform, the interaction between the primary personas of the platform and the main product goals. User Testing helped us to cope with this challenge.

We did a full-cycle development for the RhinoDox project. Thanks to our solution, RhinoDox combines control, information, and a system that can be easily scaled to an unlimited number of teams in one tool. 

The platform reveals the problem of planning, evaluation and costing. It optimizes these processes and opens up opportunities for their improvement. Moreover, it eliminates the human factor from the process as much as possible and prevents many operational losses. 

In case you have any product ideas in mind or want to know more about how to create a real estate management software, contact us!

How Much Does Real Estate Software Development Cost?

We have already figured out how to develop real estate management software, what problems you can face during real estate management software development, what features to include, etc. 

Now is the time to find out how to create real estate management software and not lose a lot of money. The cost of real estate management software development can vary greatly depending on the business size and the required functionality, so it is impossible to give an exact development figure.

However, we have compiled a table of approximate prices for different stages of development, depending on the country in which the design and development team is located.

Rough project costs

Rough project costs

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

Real Estate Management Software Development: Conclusion

Creating real estate management software requires a lot of effort. To create really valuable and effective software, you need time, good business analysis and a team of professionals.

Before starting this process, don’t forget to research your company and identify the problem you would like to solve with this software. If you have any other questions regarding this topic, feel free to contact our team. We are happy to help you find the best solution for your business!

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