RE software

Custom Real Estate Software: Do I Need It and Where to Start

No doubt, most industries have been embracing technological advancements of late, and the real estate industry has not been an exception. A recent report estimates that the global real estate technology sector will grow at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2021 to 2026 will be valued at $13.46 billion by the end of that period. In a world that is becoming competitive, it is paramount for real estate companies to move in tandem with the times in terms of real estate management software of risk sinking into the abyss of irrelevance. For any firm to derive the most out of software development for real estate, they must have a full understanding of what it is, how it is done, the costs, and the benefits that are associated with it.

RE software development

The most popular types and features of real estate software

The applications of real estate software solutions are vast. Any real estate business needs to evaluate which areas they might need the help of digital solutions to implement these that can make a real difference and optimize business processes. Described below are some of the most popular types of software and their features that real estate companies can incorporate into their operations.

Real estate management software

Managing real estate can be a daunting task. It is particularly true for companies that own multiple real estate properties. Failure to adhere to proper management practices can lead to the company having losses that would have, otherwise, been avoided. 

We know at least three features that make real estate management software worthwhile.

Real-time information

Real estate management software features real-time information. It is critical considering that events can occur quite fast in real estate. Sometimes, decisions are postponed because realtors will not be having access to real-time information at that point during their fieldwork. With web-based real estate management software, businesses can experience the convenience of working from anywhere at any time. It is because data is updated automatically and available online. As a result, employees can access all the required features from an Android or iOS mobile app.

Security

The other pivotal aspect of real estate management software is that it should feature tight security. Like any other business, real estate companies have to be the custodian of their clientele’s data, some of which might be sensitive. In this case, such data includes credit checks, lease agreements, ID information, etc. Usually, real estate management software ensures that there is no need to worry about data breaches as it features encryption technologies.

Data

In this day and age, businesses are increasingly becoming more reliant on big data. However, data analyzed from manual sources are usually unreliable and takes so much time that nobody actually does these analyses. Real estate management software allows users to run thorough analyses and make data-driven decisions.

Property management software and apps

Property management software and apps have features that optimize the job of real estate professionals. The most common features for this are highlighted below.

Property inspections

One of the most time-consuming tasks in real estate is property inspections. However, these are vital as they have a bearing on the valuation of properties. The good news is there are property management software and applications that avail useful inspection templates and generate insightful reports while in the field.

Enhanced communication

Property management also requires the seamless flow of information between the tenants and the real estate company. Property management software and apps also feature customer relationship management. They offer a platform for tenants to create their profiles, make payments and maintenance requests.

Reduced administration

One of the most tedious aspects of property management is administration. Entering information into spreadsheets manually is a task that most real estate employees find time-consuming and prone to errors. A property management software and mobile app give professionals the convenience of having their data automatically updated.

Real estate CRM software solutions

CRM platform is a powerful tool that helps realtors manage, attract, and retain customers, streamline transaction management, and close deals on time. It is an all-in-one customer services solution for real estate companies.

Real estate professionals will find helpful CRM systems like Hubspot, Zillow Premier Agent CRM, AgileCRM, Streak ​​CRM for Real Estate, Apptivo, among many others. 

Multiple listing service software for real estate

It is a platform that real estate brokers use to exchange information concerning properties and appraisals. It enables agents and brokers who are selling properties to connect with those who want to purchase and vice versa. Multiple property listing services make the entire property buying or selling process much easier.

Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) integration solutions

RETS also features on the list of the most popular real estate software. It is a powerful technology for simplifying user experience in real estate listings through a multiple listing service. It is displayed in a universal format to ensure that every realtor using the service can have an experience in sync with others on the platform.

Real estate valuation engines

Real estate valuation engines are some of the core aspects of the real estate industry. It is because of the paramount role that property valuation plays in financing, investment analysis, insurance, and taxation. Real estate valuation engines help real estate companies with evaluations, cash flow analysis, risk analysis, and mortgages. This software helps both agents and clients alike make informed decisions.

IDX integration solutions for real estate

It is paramount for real estate professionals to embrace Internet Data Exchange (IDX) as it plays a major role in lead generation and, ultimately, sales. The IDX is a policy within the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that enables agents to share listing details on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). IDX integration solutions provide easy access to the local MLS or a third-party listing service. It is in the best interest of real estate agents to join listing services such as Zillow and Trulia as they help them build the much-needed credibility.

How can you benefit from the best real estate software?

If companies are to obtain the best out of real estate software solutions, they need to be aware of the main advantages of the main solutions available on the market. There are several benefits that property owners can derive from real estate software. These are highlighted below.

Interact with clients

Real estate software provides an opportunity for real estate businesses to engage both their current and potential clients. Several real estate software has chatbot features that companies can use to keep in touch with their clients, creating meaningful relationships in the process and saving time for routine conversations.

Offers big data in commercial real estate

The other advantage of embracing real estate software is that they give companies the much-needed big data that enables users to have the latest market insights that are key for decision making. What’s more, based on this data, the software can make more targeted offers to users.

Higher lead conversion rate

The other benefit of real estate software is that they result in higher lead conversion rates for real estate companies. Some software solutions feature artificial intelligence add-ons that go about doing lead capture online with higher accuracy. Therefore, it is paramount for real estate companies to invest in such software as it drives up the number of paying customers.

Digital marketing campaigns made easy

Some real estate software also offers social media posting services that are focused on lead generation. It works in the way that automatically creates your social media posts and shares the updates as soon as they are created on the RE platform.

Tracks the sales process

The other benefit of real estate software is that it can be used for the entire sale process from the first user’s contact with you. It is key as it helps businesses optimize their sales by identifying problematic areas across the process.

Automation of tasks

As highlighted before, the real estate industry is characterized by numerous repetitive tasks that employees may find tedious. Real estate software offers realtors to automate some tasks, saving the much-need time and money in the process.

Custom real estate software development or off the shelf solution

One of the toughest decisions that real estate companies face is whether to implement customized or off-the-shelf software solutions. Each approach has its pros and cons, which are going to be discussed below. The best course of action would be to assess your business requirements and opt for the approach that is best suited for you.

Custom real estate software

Custom software solutions are those that take into account all aspects of your business activity. It is the perfect choice for large enterprises that require unique features or operate in narrow niches.

Pros of custom RE solution

  • It results in long-term savings as there is no need for a monthly subscription fee and other charges.
  • There is room to add features or functionalities.
  • It can be easily integrated with other applications. 
  • There is a right of ownership.

Cons of custom RE software

  • The system usually takes a long time to develop.
  • It requires a huge capital outlay.

Off-the-shelf software solution

Off-the-shelf software solutions offer basic tools that are useful across the entire real estate industry. They avail standard operations and are not tailored for particular industries or markets.

Pros of ready-to-use RE solution

  • They allow businesses a free trial before implementing them on a large scale.
  • Since they are readily made, they are suitable for fast implementation.
  • Customer support is available.

Cons of ready-to-use RE software

  • Since the system is not customized, there might be functionality gaps.
  • There is a continuous need for a subscription fee.

Mainstream technologies used in the real estate business

People will find that high-end technology that has been developed over the years has also been found useful in real estate development. These are described below.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have had widespread applications in the real estate industry. These two have played pivotal roles in driving personalization, for instance, in a mobile app that provides data delivery to individuals. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have also been used for their predictive abilities of future real estate metrics with up to 90% accuracy.

Augmented and virtual reality

Both augmented and virtual reality solutions have enabled prospective clients to take virtual tours of properties before making a final choice. It has eliminated the time, energy, and expenses associated with visiting multiple properties, some of which can be removed from the buyer’s property base of potential purchases via virtual viewing. 

These features are extremely useful in times of COVID-19.

Internet of Things

IoT features are amongst the technologies that have infiltrated the real estate market. Technology has been used to make real estate spaces smart and energy-efficient.

Data science

Nowadays, businesses are increasingly being data-driven. Big data collected on companies’ digital platforms have become a source of vital market insights. Players in the real estate industry have also used data science and analytics to optimize operations and make decisions that have long-term bearing on their businesses.

Chatbot

Chatbots have become a popular feature on most realtor’s platforms. These have emerged to be a handy tool in keeping potential customers engaged and informed.

Location-based service

Real estate agents are increasingly adopting location-based marketing. This tool has been found to result in higher conversation rates relative to its untargeted approach.

Blockchain and smart contracts

Blockchain is also amongst some of the technologies that are altering the real estate space. This technology is being used to secure crucial real estate documents such as title deeds and contracts due to its encryption abilities.

How much does it cost to build a real estate website or software?

Several aspects affect the pricing of a real estate website or software. These include the problem the tool is supposed to solve, workflows, project length, and size. The total cost is a combination of these aspects and can be as low as $20 000 to as high as $100 000.

Custom software for real estate

Wrap up

The real estate market has not been an exception to the technological tools that have taken center stage in most sectors. These have offered several benefits such as real-time information, better customer care, increased leads, and future market insights. Both real estate professionals and clients alike are increasingly becoming more reliant on artificial intelligence and machine learning; augmented and virtual reality; data science, IoT, and blockchain technologies for their daily engagements. There is absolutely no reason to wait. If you are in real estate, the time to adopt these high-end technologies is now.

Written by
Svetlana Shevchuk

Digital Marketing Specialist at YouTeam, a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for building remote dev teams.

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