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The real estate domain is now rising like a Phoenix after its severe downfall during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, the world’s real estate market is going to hit $12,89 billion by 2025.
High-edge technologies and instruments of software development are not the last to foster this revival. And property management software development is one of the instruments that can take your real estate up the notch by streamlining the workflows and maximizing profitability.
At Uptech we have six-year-experience developing user-oriented products. More specifically we have experience developing real estate apps, like Nomad, so this article is based on real experience developing products of different complexities.
In this article, I will answer the most popular questions about real estate software development that clients ask me:
- What is the feature list for Property Management Software?
- What is the tech stack, and how much does it cost to develop Property Management Software?
- What are the steps of building real estate software?
So let’s start!
What is a Property Management System (PMS)?
A property management system is software that automates and simplifies critical business operations on property management. Finances, negotiations, data storage – a PMS helps organize and optimize all these operations. What’s more, property management software is usually placed in the cloud or on local servers.
There are many domains where property management systems are needed, for example:
- Hospitality Business;
- Production and Logistics;
- Commercial Real Estate;
- Industrial Property Management Software.
For sure, the market of real estate property depends on the real estate market. However, the property management industry has its trends and models. For example, the real estate management system is more resilient to economic fluctuations.
Types of Property Management Software to Develop
Want to create successful property management software? Well, take some time, and decide on the type of real estate property management app you choose to develop. For example, the options are:
- Office management software;
- Hostel and hotel management;
- Apartment management software;
- Rental property management software.
Ready Property Management Solution vs Custom One
When building a property management app, there comes a time when you need to decide whether to use existing property management or create a custom one from scratch.
Well, that's a dilemma worth a separate block in our article.
Indeed, there are plenty of ready-to-go apps, like:
- Zillow Premier Agent; Apptivo;
- Wise Agent; Contactually;
However, though not obvious at first sight, custom Property Management Solution can be a beneficial solution that brings its fruits for the business at the end of the day.
3 Benefits of Building a Custom Property Management App?
Here are 3 main benefits I see in developing a property management app.
It’s More Cost-Efficient in the Long Run
Building a custom property management app from scratch can sound overwhelming – in terms of money and effort. But let me put your minds to rest. Indeed, custom app development takes more of your resources.
Yet, once the app is built, you can adapt it to your needs and be your boss. Custom app development cuts you off the need to pay monthly subscriptions. And it totally pays off in the long run!
It Adapts As You Scale
No need to take your time here. Let’s put it straight – custom real estate app development fits like a glow. Being fully tailored to your needs, it works seamlessly with custom-built and integrated features.
Moreover, it will always fit and evolve only according to your needs. Need some special admin panel? Sure! Need super-specific analytics on your customers? No problem! This is how you know custom real estate software development is gold.
No Need For Many Integrations
When building a custom PMS, you can build up any feature you want the way you want it. In the case of off-the-shelf solutions, you would have to make a lot of integrations, which do not always play along. In the latter case, you might hire a specialist to manage things. And this is where you spend more.
So this is where the custom solution can be a money saver.
4 Cases When You Need a Custom Property Management System
Whether to use a ready-to-make solution or a custom one is tricky. In fact, there is no right answer here, as each case suits its cause.
Your Business is Scaling Fast
You can settle with a ready-made solution at the first stages of property management software development. But once your real estate business grows, finding a solution to have you covered in all terms will be challenging.
The thing is, ready-to-use solutions are hardly adaptable to the needs of a fast-scaling solution. Making changes to custom software is easier and faster in this case.
Your Business is a Little More Specific
In general, ready-to-use property management software is another Saas-based solution providing a certain amount of digital tools for a monthly/yearly payment. Usually, this is quite a generic tool that suits various businesses from different domains.
However, if your real estate business is specific and requires additional tools, custom-made property management software would be a better solution for you. For example, it can include the following lacking functionalities:
- Real-time apps for text editing;
- Access roles;
- Management of contact list;
- Automation in marketing processes;
- Analytics and reports.
Your App Has Many Integrations
Integrated solutions are third-party instruments or tools used as software functionality templates instead of building a new one—for example, Google tools or accounting applications, project management tools, or mailing.
Sometimes, when there are a lot of integrated solutions in your app, you need to hire a person who specializes in making integrations. This is where the process can become quite costly for you. So building a custom solution tailored specifically to your business can come as a cheaper and more convenient solution.
You Want Personalized Analytics
Analytics is a vital part of any real estate app development. In particular, you need an analyzing tool that will collect data for client analytics or pricing analytics.
Ready solutions do not always provide the necessary service to satisfy the user's needs. Moreover, hardly anything can be better than analytics tailored to your business.
10 Must-Have Features to Build In a Property Management App
Before actually developing the property management app, you need to complete a list of must-have features. This list will primarily depend on the individual needs of your real estate business. But here are the main features that your property management system might have:
This feature helps to manage the rental property and optimize all the tenant-related processes.
An important feature that provides reports in graphic and diagram formats.
A tool that is essential to manage commercial and industrial apps.
This one allows you to carry out and process payments within the app, track bills and rent collection.
In your PMS system, you must access your tenants promptly or process their requests. This feature allows us to do it quickly and smoothly.
The all-in-one place contains all the communication channels, calendars, listings, and other administrative tools.
This module helps users to book rental places for pre-screen.
Any real estate business should have a nice-to-have functionality of advanced search filters to allow users to find the place according to their preferences. For example, these could be geolocation options, object size, comfort and price.
The map technology integration allows users to identify the property’s location using third-party integrated apps like Google Maps. The location information should be precise and updated in real-time.
It is hard to imagine a multi-functional real estate app development without third-party integrations. Indeed, to make your property management app effective, you need to arrange integrations with services like Google, Facebook or Apple sign. Such integrations will simplify the sign-up process and allow smooth communication between users on the platform.
How to Develop a Real Estate Property Management Software in 6 Steps?
Building property management software is a challenging journey with several important steps. Here are 6 steps we follow while developing a real estate PMS:
Step 1.Discovery phase
The Discovery phase is the initial stage of property management software development, which includes market, user, and business research. During the discovery phase, we talk to the clients about all the project requirements and make assumptions that should be validated with users.
Research at the discovery phase is essential to determine the real estate app market gaps and understand user needs.
The Discovery phase is important for understanding user needs and outlining the project scope and roadmap.
Still not sure if the Discovery Phase is important enough? Check our article “What “Discovery Phase” Actually Means For Your Project?”.
Step2. Creating a real estate listing
Without integrating or creating a listing, you can hardly build a real estate property management app. A listing is necessary to provide your users with a broad database of rental offers. The good news here is that in the majority of cases, you do not need to reinvent the wheel and create the database by yourself. Instead, you can connect to the existing real estate listing, like Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is compiled and provided by real estate agents.
The bad news is that in specific markets, an MLS can be absent, so you have to build the listing yourself. This is precisely how it happened in the Nomad project that Uptech has worked on. Nomad is a real estate platform targeted at the Dubai rental market. Back then, the real estate system in Dubai was chaotic and complicated and provided little value to potential tenants.
So starting to work on Nomad, we had to work on our database of rental offers. By creating Nomad, we solved this problem and streamlined the process of real estate rentals in Dubai.
Step 3. Building prototypes
At this stage you need to build functioning and clickable prototypes of all the app’s screens to test the user flows and validate your ideas.
Want to know more about prototypes in app development? Check our article MVP Vs PoC Vs Prototype: What's The Best Approach?
Step 4. UX/UI Design
Based on the user research and the validated prototypes the design team builds the UI/UX design. Though sometimes overlooked, UX/UI design is a very important part of the product development, as it shapes the way of how users will interact with the app. In fact, UX/UI design is more than just the image of your app, but the carcass that the users will be moving through to their end point.
Read more about how Uptech built UX/UI design for the Nomad real estate platform.
Step 5. Development
This is where the front-end and back-end teams finally get together to bring your idea to life. Using the cutting-edge and necessary tech stack, the developers make sure to build a working app, and the QA team ensures there are no bugs.
Step 6. Release and Maintenance
Finally, your real estate property management system is released. However, the work of development does not stop here. The project still needs short-term or long-term support, updates, and maintenance.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Property Management Software?
The cost of the property management software development is influenced by factors like:
- Complexity of features;
- Hourly rate of developers;
- Collaboration model with your team.
Let’s take for example a classic app development lifecycle and make a cost breakdown for it:
The cost of developing a property management software varies depending on an individual request. Averagely, the breakdown in the following:
- The Discovery Stage would cost about $10-20k,
- Wireframing – $8k,
- UX/UI Design – $8k,
- Front-End and Back-End Development – $50k,
- Post Release Maintenance – about $50k.
Tech Stack and APIs
Here is the tech stack that you will most likely need to build a property management software.
Real estate is one of the most competitive markets right now. This fact can’t help but influence the real estate app development industry. Thus, creating property management that keeps up with the competition is challenging.
Yet, with an experienced team of engineers, who are good at product development, you are very likely to succeed.
Uptech has broad experience building real estate apps from scratch. Our competitive skill provides a full-cycle of the product development process, which makes your app competitive and outstanding even in a tight market like real estate development.
Contact our Sales Managers to discuss your project!