The COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly all industry sectors to up their digitalization strategy, and real estate was no exception.
Real estate companies of all sizes were challenged with optimizing their workflows, reducing expenses, and shortening their lead conversion cycles to maximize profitability. Technology adoption provided one solution, which is why the market for property management systems (PMSs) and real estate management software is growing.
In a recent Deloitte survey of commercial real estate leaders, 40% of respondents said their company has a digital transformation plan in place. If you’re not one of them, it’s probably time to consider making the leap.
As an experienced technology provider, Relevant is no stranger to custom real estate software development. We develop property management-related tools that deliver all the functionality modern businesses need to keep their competitive edge.
Read on to learn why you should develop a property management system for real estate in 2021, what challenges you could face, and how to overcome them without breaking the bank.
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The real estate industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors in the coronavirus outbreak. The overall level of impact was influenced by geographical location, the class of property, and government measures introduced to offset the damage.
For instance, COVID-19 signaled the end of the office as we know it. Most businesses are rapidly adapting to the “new normal” of remote and hybrid work and have adjusted their requirements for commercial space to suit. Industrial complexes and shopping malls also stood deserted during quarantine and now face their own challenges.
Deloitte’s 2021 report shows that most aspects of commercial real estate fundamentals and operations (liquidity, leasing volume, capitalization rates, investments, and operations) were negatively impacted by the crisis in 2020.
Meanwhile, demand for rental and housing property rose sharply across the globe following the transition to remote work and related factors.
In short, while the need to digitize real estate management operations was obvious even before the pandemic, it became crucial in 2020.
Most companies had to reduce their expenses in order to stay afloat amidst the crisis, so they were forced to meet their customers’ needs in a more cost-efficient way.Here’s where proptech software development comes on the scene.
So, it’s no wonder that the global real estate management software market is on the rise—and projected to account for nearly $630 million by 2027.
What does this mean, and what are real estate companies doing in practice? To answer that, let’s take a look at the most common types of real estate management solutions on the market today.
Property management is a broad sector, which means no proptech software can fit every use case. Here are the most common types of property management systems:
Once you’ve chosen the type of software solution for property management that best meets your needs, it’s time to decide between a ready-made platform and a custom property management app.
There are a host of off-the-shelf cloud-based property management software solutions: some examples are HubSpot, Zillow Premier Agent, Apptivo, Wise Agent, Contactually, Appfolio, Buildium, and ManageCasa. Solutions like these are a good choice if you’re a smaller company looking to try out real estate software.
However, even the best online landlord software has limited customization, so if you want a solution tailored for your business, custom property management software development is the way to go.
Let’s run you through the advantages you get with this approach.
Ready-made tools aren’t always the best answer to your needs. For starters, advanced platforms like AppFolio or Buildium don’t come cheap, while simpler tools may lack certain features or be unable to integrate with the tools you’re already using.
Developing a custom property management system for real estate has multiple benefits. Here are some of the biggest ones:
Let’s assume you’re now convinced that you need to build custom real estate software. It’s time to consider what the development process looks like and the challenges you could face.
When you decide to develop a property management platform, you should clearly understand the way ahead. Here’s a roadmap to follow when building your real estate software and a list of things to keep in mind while you’re doing it.
The requirements for real estate software are actually no different from the requirements of any other management software: data must be stored in a database, users must be able to perform various tasks via a dashboard, the platform must ensure secure billing and provide in-depth analytics, and so on.
As a result, the key development phases are the same as for any enterprise-grade software:
As a result of this process, you get property management software uniquely suited for your needs and business goals. However, this is possible only if your development team delivers on its promises. If this doesn’t happen, you can end up with a mess of buggy code along with wasted time and opportunities.
Building a platform nobody will use is obviously not the best investment of time and money. As a result, you need to focus on the biggest concerns from the very start of the property management software development process:
The best way to meet these challenges effectively is to hire skilled professionals who can deal with them.
In general, there are two ways to access the expertise needed to develop real estate software: by building an in-house team or by outsourcing.
Outsourcing offers standard benefits such as cost reduction and zero recruitment expenses, but there are several more positive outcomes you may not have considered:
In summary, outsourcing the real estate software development process to skilled professionals is a good way to get a highly performant and robust platform with all the features you need.
This brings us to the next question: what should those features be?
Property management tools come with a wide range of functionality, but obviously, some features are core. Here’s a list of the essential features of real estate management software.
This list is not exhaustive and will be significantly expanded by a team that knows the details of PMS development.
How can you know which of the real estate software development companies you contact will be able to implement the features you need? The answer is simple—look at their portfolio. Make sure that when you outsource, the team’s previous expertise is relevant to your needs.
Relevant is a Ukrainian outsourcing technology provider with expertise in several domains, including real estate. Bidly is one example of a successful project we completed in the sector for a client from the Netherlands.
Bidly is a web app that helps landlords and tenants to interact, apply for rentals, pay rent, and manage rental income. The client asked us to refresh Bidly’s overall design, upgrade the existing platform architecture, and create a reliable CI/CD pipeline to ensure stable deployment and updates of the platform.
We developed the following functionality:
We used the following stack to implement the client’s brief: Angular, Node.js, GraphQL, Docker.
The core challenge was the existing ill-configured platform and Docker setup. We had to restructure the product and create a reliable CI/CD pipeline for its deployment and releasing new features. We also had to update the platform design and refactor the Angular frontend code to ensure stable backend interactions.
All of these challenges were addressed successfully. The customer hired Relevant for full-scale development of another product, and Bidly is steadily growing.
Whether you’re a property management company or a real estate software development provider, you need access to skilled professionals to ensure reliable software delivery. At Relevant, we know what it takes to enhance an existing PMS or develop a new property management app from scratch (or any other app, for example, IoT smart home app).
Whether you’re still at the PMS platform planning stage or need to hire remote developers to complete your current project, we’re ready to step in and provide all the necessary support.
Get in touch today to explore what value real estate management software development could drive to your business. We’re always ready to assist!