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Despite higher mortgage rates and an increase in housing supply, home prices have continued to surge – the numbers still show the market is quite resilient, and costly. According to Forbes, the US median listing price for single-family homes In June 2022 was $450,000, up 16.9% from the same time last year and more than 31% from June 2020. As a result, it is not uncommon for businesses to automate procedures to satisfy clients and increase revenue. For real estate agencies and hotels, some purchase popular property management systems; others invest in customised software.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ report of 2022, among all generations of home buyers, the first step taken in the home search process was to look online for properties. If you own a real estate company, you will want to work with a platform or create your own custom system to capture a portion of that traffic.
If you have a real estate business, you'll want to do business with a platform or set up a proprietary system through which you can grab some of that traffic. As a result, in this article, you will learn how to develop a property management system for real estate, why your business needs one, essential features to include, and the developmental costs. We offer you a glimpse into real estate software development through the lens of more than 8 years of our experience in development of successful real estate solutions such as Rently, RadPad, and Real Estate Association. Read on to learn more!
Property Management Software Market Share
Despide COVID-19 crises, there’s still a shortage of homes for sale and strong demand, which makes prices rise. The median price of existing homes hit $407,600 in May. That’s up from $358,800 in December 2021. Fannie Mae predicts home prices to be up 10.8% for the year. And even though we saw the number of home sales decline from their 2021 highs and return to pre-pandemic levels in the first five months of 2022, supply is still very tight, with about half as many new homes being built as there were in 2007.
Real estate experts state that buyer demand will still stay pretty strong in the second half of 2022. According to NAR, in May 2022 home sellers received roughly 4 offers from buyers, which is lower than April but still about double the number of offers sellers received per month before the pandemic.
In 2020, most homes stayed on the market for 21 days. In 2022, we’re seeing homes selling after a median of 16 days. And there’s a good chance homes will continue getting snatched up fast in the future. Which means the competition and activity on the real estate market is still very high.
What Is Property Management Software (PMS)?
A property management app is a piece of software that helps automate corporate procedures in the real estate industry and reduce manual labour to minimum. Some of these can include billing services, booking reservations, checking in or out, showing the property, automatic listing, and marketing. It can also provide landlords and tenants with the possibility of instant communication as well as virtual 3D property tours.
Types Of Property Management System
The following is a list of different types of property management system software:
Residential Property Management For Houses, Apartments, & Multi-unit Buildings
These types of custom apartment software development apps are designed for leasing companies and landlords. This software will allow owners to file for managing rental properties, scheduling maintenance work, and handling multiple leases whether they are leasing an apartment, house, or multi-units. Tenants can also use this solution to pay their rent online and sign digital contracts. Buildium and AppFolio Property Manager app are two examples of this type of software.
Condominium Property Management For Office Buildings And Retail Sites
Similar to residential property management applications, this type of management software is designed for commercial real estate owners. Users will be able to customise online reports, acquire lease data from their contractors, reduce property maintenance wait times, and schedule rent increases. Tenants will also be able to pay rent online, and landlords will be able to collect it immediately. A few examples of this software are Easy Storage Solutions, InnQuest, and Rentec Direct.
Hotel And Hostel Management Systems
Hotel and hostel operators can use these management systems to automate and manage day-to-day tasks, such as front-desk and office duties. Some examples of these responsibilities include assigning rooms, arranging reservations, checking guests in and out, managing bills, and tracking room availability. Some solutions of this type include Preno, Little Hotelier, and WebRezPro.
Homeowners Association (HOA) Management Systems For Condominiums And Property HOA
HOA software is designed to be used by owners of condominiums, co-ops, single-family home developments, townhouses, and property HOA. It can be used for accounting, e-payments, tracking information about homeowners and condo association participants, managing member meetings, and general reporting. Condo Control, Concierge Plus, and Wild Apricot are just a few examples of these systems.
Industrial Property Management Software
Owners and rent managers of offices, logistic facilities, industrial properties, and warehouses utilise industrial property management software to lease, rent, and do business. Some key features include lease administration, scheduling facility maintenance, space management, property reporting, and common area maintenance calculations. Two examples of this software are CRESSblue and SOFT4RealEstate.
In addition to these types of property management apps, there is also the category of real estate system customization. These solutions are substantially more expensive than mass-market offerings, but they have many more benefits. Not only can they be tailored to your specific requirements, but they are also quite scalable. As a result, custom property software development is gaining intense traction these days.
Why Build A Custom Rental Property Management App?
Here are a few reasons why to use property management software and it’s high time to think about rental property management software development:
For start-up businesses and small landlords, ready-to-use solutions may be too expensive. There are often hidden fees, maintenance and integration costs, per-seat prices, and other expenditures in addition to subscription prices. However, when you create your own property management software, you can set a budget and know exactly what you’re paying for. As a result, you will be able to receive all of the features you need without having to pay high costs.
A ready-to-use app won’t be able to scale with your business. It may also be unable to keep up with new technology, particularly as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) evolve at a rapid pace. With a customised property management app, you will be able to scale your solution as your business grows and add new features at any time. You won’t have to wait for other companies’ apps to be updated and released before you can use them. You will be able to make your own decisions and maintain your independence.
When working with personal sensitive data, it is critical that they are properly safeguarded. You would be personally (and possibly legally) liable if there was a data breach. In addition, you will never know when or if there will be a leak if you use another company’s software, but with your own personalised solution, you will be able to rest easy. You will be able to protect your information with encryption, two-factor authentication, and other protection methods, and know the status of your data security at all times.
Any custom property management app should aim to reduce the amount of everyday tasks. By delegating much of the mundane and routine work, you can considerably reduce the labour and resources you’d ordinarily employ. Not only will you be able to save time and money, but you will also be able to focus on more productive duties, such as lead processing. Furthermore, because everything is done by a program, the chances of human error are greatly reduced.
Multiple Property Management
If you use a property management system, you will be able to handle several properties in a single solution. You won’t have to handle multiple listings at the same time or worry about getting your wires crossed because everything will be located in one software. Furthermore, these applications can help with bookkeeping, tenant communication, reporting, and delivering comprehensive analytics.
Features Of Rental Property Management Apps
As you can see, custom management solutions are crucial for any property management company. There are no strict rules when it comes to how a management app should work, but these must-have features should be taken into account.
Property Management Software for Landlords
#1 - Property Listings Manager
If you have many leased properties or work as an online travel agent, a customised property listing feature is highly beneficial. You will be able to see all of your listings in one place, and it’ll be easier to publish a vacancy to multiple channels.
#2 - Task Management
As you develop rental property management software to take over some of your everyday responsibilities, you should consider incorporating a task management feature. Your team will become more adaptable, and they will be able to complete their tasks without any ambiguity about who will do what and when. Detailed task reports and smart notifications will also help your team stay on track.
#3 - Automated Tasks
Consider which activities do not require human observation and are repetitive when creating a PMS. By automating repetitive tasks, you will be able to focus on more important activities. Some examples of automated operations include auto-responses, billing, listing properties, and payments. You may also personalise some automatic tasks, such as designing email templates that may be delivered at different times and circumstances.
#4 - Multi-Calendar
Multi-calendars are used to display multiple reservations at a single location, room availability, and guest statuses. With a single glance, you will be able to gather crucial information on each visitor and booking on any dates you wish to verify. If you have a multi-calendar, you can also avoid double-booking, quickly access tenant scheduling, and automate a waiting list if you are fully booked.
#5 - Analytics And Reports
It is critical for a property company to receive regular reports that summarise crucial data and show how the business is doing and where it’s going. As a result, your reporting function should cover all aspects of your business. Some examples can include expenses, fees, revenue, property availability, and smart statistics. You should also allow for customization so that you can add or delete what information you want to see, as well as downloading the reports in various formats.
#6 - Payment Solutions
Allowing in-app online payments reduces transaction costs and improves client satisfaction by providing convenience. You can offer payment options and reminders for tenants, monitor account balances, collect receipts, and track payment-relation information. You can also receive real-time notifications for every transaction.
#7 - Health And Safety Regulations
Today, the use of IoT technologies in real estate is on the rise. As a result, by integrating IoT connectivity into your software and developing a cloud-based property management software for real estate, you will be able to better manage the properties in which you have a controlling interest. Connecting smart devices like smoke detectors or furnaces to your app is one approach to verify that safety regulations are fulfilled. You will also be notified if anything goes wrong.
#8 - Communication Channel
A solid communication channel should include email, texting, audio, and video. By allowing all contacts to be made on the app, landlords and tenants will be able to communicate more easily and quickly. Furthermore, you will not need to remember the names and contact information for each person you will need to contact as all of the information will be stored in the app.
#9 - Keyless Experience
These days, you can add the function that allows a potential tenant to view a property without having to use a key. This can result in a higher number of home showings and faster lease signings. Our Softermii engineers have implemented this feature into the Rently app to provide keyless access, which has significantly increased user satisfaction.
#10 - Integration with Various Rental and Listing Platforms
One of the features that might come in handy might be an integration with the most popular or commonly used rental and listing platforms in your area. If you’re thinking about short-term rentals or quick selling, you’d like to have the opportunity to put your property out there without additional efforts.
Property Management Software For Tenants
#1 - Payment Solutions
Tenants should have access to the same payment system that the landlord does. Due to the integration of electronic payment gateways, tenants will be able to pay their rent and set up automatic payments. This will result in an electronic trail as well as increased convenience. Check out our development of the RadPad app to discover how our developers implemented in-app rent payments.
#2 - Communication Channel
Both the property owner and tenant can benefit from a two-way communication channel. Tenants will be able to request apartment maintenance and have their questions answered in a timely manner.
#3 - Maintenance Tracking and Reporting
Tenants should be able to make service requests and track their progress online. Proper, a property management app developed by Softermii, has this functionality. This allows tenants to easily connect with landlords about any repair needs, share images, and even obtain third-party contracts to get any issues resolved swiftly. Contractor bills can then be shared and paid using the app.
#4 - Document Management
Using a paperless document system, tenants may easily store, retrieve, and upload papers to share with their landlord. These can include cheques, credit scores, tenant forms, and insurance documentation. Users should also be able to tag, manage, and sign through the application.
#5 - Tenant And Lease Tracking
Tenants should be able to view the terms of their either long or short-term rental agreement and follow the progress of their lease. With this feature, they could keep track of their residential contract conditions, move-in and move-out details, and outstanding costs. If notifications are enabled, user retention will improve.
#6 - Virtual Assistants
If you’re focused on a guest-centric approach, you will most likely prefer a virtual concierge. It will also appeal to your guests and tenants as they will be able to get accurate and rapid automated responses, check-in and out on their own, choose their room or apartment rentals, and pay additional services all from the app.
#7 - Smart Technology
Tenants will benefit from the ease of a smart home that links directly to their smartphone. They will be able to access hardware such as thermostats, lighting, and locks through a single central hub.
#8 - Online Leases
With online leases, applicants can immediately submit digital lease offers to landlords. They will also be able to apply for screening and credit reports using the app, which will speed up the process, as well as pay any application fees.
#9 - Receivables/payables tracking
In the world of single-click payment systems, you wouldn’t want to look at the physical pile of growing bills and invoices. To avoid that, you might want to consider adding automated receivables and payables software. A single dashboard of accounts payable management and accounts receivable will make your life much easier.
#10 - Automatic bank reconciliation
Automatic bank reconciliation or auto-reconciliation can speed up the accounting process and enable you to cut down on the time, cost, and potential errors associated with manual bank reconciliation as well as help to reduce your business's overall financial risk.
#11 - Housekeeping module
Housekeeping Management System allows to view and control housekeeping operations in real-time as well as streamline the performance of the employees. The module is designed for housekeeping staff to improve their performance and communication, they can change cleaning statuses online. Also, the module may display the check-in room status, as well as the comments that were entered in the guest card.
Property Management Software For People Working in Office
#1 - Space management
Space management allows you to track, audit and manage your property’s physical space. It gives an opportunity to automate the process of planning, tracking the allocations, controlling occupancy, regulate the inventory, assignments, and utilisation of the spaces within a facility.
#2 - Visitor management
Visitor management offers a wide range of features – it helps track attendance, increase security, provide badges and keycards, allow access to the facilities, track time spent in the office, and even send notifications.
#3 - Ticketing
Ticketing feature helps to facilitate communication between employees and help desk workers. It allows to create tickets regarding some concerns, leave reviews, report problems, send requests, track down the progress of the task, receive responses and get notifications when a request has an answer.
#4 - COVID-19 safety
After the first wave of COVID-19 subsided and people started coming back to offices, a very important question arose – how to simplify the COVID-19 certificate checks not to make the process unnecessarily overloaded, yet to ensure workers’ safety. The answer was easy – COVID certificates with QR codes in apps. It allows you to quickly scan it right on the entrance to office premises.
Property Management Software For Housing Associations
#1 - Payments processing
As well as for most services nowadays, the property management can integrate with the payment systems. It can provide the possibility of one-time immediate payment, automatic monthly payment, notifications, and payment tracking system.
#2 - Arrangement of maintenance works
This kind of software makes the rendering of any essential work super easy – it helps tenants easily communicate any issues that come around, make and download photos of the things that need to be fixed, remind the landlords about their pending requests and hire professionals to resolve these problems.
#3 - Inspection planning
Inspection planning helps you to describe and arrange how a quality inspection of one or several materials is to take place. In the inspection plan, you define the sequence of operations and the range of specifications available for the audit of the inspection characteristics.
#4 - Legal compliance support
Regulatory compliance is one of the most important areas for social landlords to get right. Even though housing associations may have different requirements, legal compliance support usually offers to cover all the aspects of fire, health and safety services available as well as data protection.
#5 - Accounting management
Accounting management helps streamline the financial processes, track and collect multiple rents, compile financial reports with proper cost breakdown analysis, control costs, prevent frauds, and integrate with operational systems including housing management systems.
Steps For Building A Custom Property Management System
Concept, strategy, and planning are the first steps in the development process. Business analysts, designers, developers, and marketers are all involved at this stage to study your company. A general overview will be conducted of your needs, target audience, goals, and objectives. As soon as you have a clear idea for your product, the team can begin. However, this stage should not be rushed as it can save both time and money in the long term.
This stage involves the creation of a prototype. It is a preliminary model, not a minimum viable product (MVP), that may be measured and updated. User flows, journeys, and processes are created, and the deliverables are hi-fi wireframes, low-fi prototypes, and a visual presentation of the design concept. After you’ve approved the prototype, the UI/UX design will begin.
You will now begin to decide how your future product will look and be used. It is crucial to note that property management software is used by more than just landlords, owners, and managers; it is also used by applicants and tenants. As a result, two user portals, each with its unique set of features, should be considered.
Front-End And Back-End Development
This is when your developers will begin working on the real estate management software features that you want. You will choose the technologies to utilise and decide whether your product will either be a property management solution or a combination with a real estate listing app. You will also discuss with your team about the databases, customer relations management (CRM), and programming languages that will be used. To match your timeframe and budget, you must choose the best solution for your app. QA and feedback processing are also carried out throughout this stage.
After the product has been built and deployed, you will continue to collaborate with the development team so that maintenance and support can be provided. They will continue to test the functionality and performance of your solution, as well as correct any bugs and technical issues. In this stage, it is extremely advised that you keep the same development team that built your software as your IT department. Because they designed it with specific code, customizations, and integrations, they will know the ins and outs of your app more than anybody else.
Custom Property App Development Cost
The cost of developing property management software varies depending on several criteria. Some of these factors include the intricacy of your app, whether you’re building a property management software in-house or outsourcing it, and the overall features. As a result, there is no definitive answer.
However, we can look at the major stages of the development process to get a ballpark figure for the costs. The following information is based on a $30 to $50 hourly pay.
This is a time-consuming procedure since advanced analytics, marketing, management, and goal-setting cannot be rushed; they must be done slowly to avoid problems in the long term.
This stage’s approximate cost is $8,400.
The wireframe is the product’s backbone and serves as a visual guide during the design process. It becomes the building blocks of the final product because it is frequently employed as the skeletal framework for mockups.
The approximate price of this step is $8,000.
The goal of UI/UX design is to improve the features of a digital product. It aims to increase the product’s accessibility, branding, functionality, usability, and overall satisfaction of users.
This process can cost between $7,000 and $10,000.
Front-End And Back-End Development
This is the most crucial step as it is here that your solution will be created. During this stage, your development team will devote the majority of their time and effort to creating an app that meets all of your requirements.
Depending on the complexity of the solution and the number of features, the development stage can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $45,000.
Finally, your product has gone live, but that does not imply that your work is finished. You’ll require continuous IT services, therefore there is no predetermined price or range for this stage. A general hourly wage, on the other hand, can be provided.
Post-launch support is usually charged at a rate of $50 per hour.
The table below summarises each stage and its associated property management software development costs:
$7,000 ~ $10,000
Front-End and Back-End Development
$30,000 to $45,000
$53,400 to $71,400
It is important to remember that this is merely a rough estimate, and prices may change. Your goal, business requirements, and functional needs are three key cost drivers that can influence the final cost.
Challenges To Watch Out While Building Property Management Application
Complex Architecture And Interface
If a user has trouble navigating around your app and cannot complete their task, they will abandon it and move on. As a result, your user interface should be simple and focus on a mix of text and images.
You may find that your solution is incompatible with existing management systems, causing data import and export challenges. While you design your PMS, keep your current and prior programs in mind and make sure that they all operate with one another.
Users should be allowed to tailor their experience with tools such as filters, and new features should be released on a regular basis. Your app will be irrelevant if it cannot keep up with the ever-changing business environment.
Because property management software often contains highly sensitive and personal information, security should be your first priority. To avoid data breaches and legal issues, you should use encrypted protocols.
Lack Of Customer Support
Many solutions claim that they provide 24/7 support, but fail to deliver. Furthermore, customer service representatives may lack the necessary knowledge and abilities to resolve any technical issues. Therefore, make sure that you create automated chatbots and stay in touch with their development team so they can respond quickly to any difficulties.
Wrong Technology Stacks
Using the wrong technology to build a solution can almost completely invalidate the success of your product. If it’s outdated, it won’t be able to keep up with the rapidly changing technological environment, and if you switch development teams, they might not be able to work on it without having to start from scratch. As a result, it is critical that you select a team that is technologically current.
Softermii has developed real estate technologies of varying sizes and complexities for over seven years. We’ve completed over 70 successful projects, including professional software development for apartments, houses, condos.
We offer a variety of unique real estate development services that enable us to produce customised products with various technologies. We follow GDPR, local data privacy and protection policies, and regulations, and we keep up with legislations on a regular basis to ensure that our apps follow real estate laws and are ready to be used at any time.
RadPad, our most popular rental real estate software, has gained widespread acclaim and has been called one of the Top 10 Best New Apps for the past two years in a row. It has a strong backend that supports a large property database, advanced search and filter, an interactive map, and real-time chat. We were able to build a rental search app like RadPad and turn it into the powerful end-to-end application that it is today by doing a thorough user experience analysis and usability testing.
Read Also: Rental Platform Development Guide
Rently is a digital platform that brings IoT into Real Estate and makes it integral to the property demonstration process. Rently reached us with the request to resign the product.
Analysing the app, we've determined some of the biggest pains to fix. Complicated registration forms and poor UX maps were among them. Our team worked on the major issues intruding the best practices, market research, and our own experience in real estate apps development. To redesign Rently, we came with the following solutions:
- building the initial wireframes
- creating new user flows
- redesigning the visual layout
Currently, Rently is widely adopted by the real estate industry. It covers all major US cities and continues to grow demographic scope.
Another one of our successful cases is the French Real Estate Association – a mobile app used by realtors that can provide real-time information about the properties available for purchase or rental. For the French Real Estate Association, we developed a mobile iOS application that allows interaction between agents and clients. It helps to improve customer satisfaction and increase the number of successful transactions. We introduced the following features to the product:
- real-time visibility of the market section with the option to geolocate and filter searches to identify properties that meet customer requirements
- detailed descriptions of property added to the platform
- real-time comparison tool
- collaborations between agents and agencies
- custom zones option
Currently, over 3,900 agencies are using the software. Also, the solution achieved MobileWebAwards Best Real Estate Mobile Application for the 2020 award.
We have also developed Apartmii, a one-of-a-kind engine that can be immediately integrated into any real estate solution. Its inclusion allows developmental processes to be accelerated or even skipped as it makes use of new technologies that make the experience easier for consumers. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn about user behaviour, virtual reality (VR) for virtual tours, augmented reality (AR) to highlight features, a simple UI that anyone can use, and automated credit checks for rental applicants.
With over 100 experienced engineers and IT specialists on staff, we’re excited to collaborate with you on the next big project!
After mobile applications were introduced to the real estate industry, purchasing, renting, or managing property has become simpler than ever. All parties involved in the search process, from agents to brokers to consumers, benefit from these apps. Especially as homebuyers and tenants are more likely than ever to use online searches, a professional and well-developed real estate app can be a huge success.
Softermii ensures that you are completely prepared to join and remain in the market with a competitive app. We will help you discover the digital potential of your real estate business and turn your idea into a seamless digital experience. Contact us for a free consultation and begin your developmental process now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a property management system?
A PMS is a software that helps businesses in the logistics, hospitality, manufacturing, and real estate industries by managing their operations. They are capable of automating back-office activities and maintaining records without the need for human intervention.
What are the primary benefits of a custom property management system?
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to start your real estate management software development journey, you should know a few benefits of this type of software. These are the ability to save time, offer an enhanced and customizable experience for applicants and tenants, have automatic analytics, decrease costs, and maintain swift communication.
Is developing a property management system for real estate beneficial to a real estate company’s growth?
Yes, using a PMS is extremely useful to real estate businesses. Companies can focus on more productive activities, such as acquiring leads and contacting clients, because it automates repetitive operations. A PMS can also supply you with accurate insights to help you manage your business more effectively.
What are some of the most common mistakes when creating a real estate management system?
The more prevalent mistakes are a lack of required functions and customizations, a confusing UI, incorrect technology selection, and poor cybersecurity.
How do you find a reliable real estate software development company?
When you decide to develop apartment property management software, you will need a corporation with experience and knowledge in the field. This is extremely crucial as choosing a reputable property management software development company necessitates working with you and tailoring the software to your specific requirements.
Softermii works with clients as partners to design the most advanced and stable applications that will suit all of your development needs. Together, we can create real estate software that completely suits your business principles and expands your market scope.
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