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These days, the real estate industry is growing at a rapid pace. 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 customized software.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ report of 2019, 44% of home buyers began their search online and utilized websites and mobile apps, especially among the younger generation. 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.
As a result, in this article, you will learn how to develop property management software for real estate, why your business needs one, essential features to include, and the developmental costs.
What Is Property Management Software (PMS)?
A property management app is a piece of software that automates corporate procedures in the real estate industry. Some of these procedures can include billing services, booking reservations, checking in or out, and marketing. It can also allow for instant communication between landlords and tenants.
Types Of Property Management Apps
The following is a list of common types of property management 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 customize 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 utilize 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 you might want to think about developing your own property management software with a mobile app.
#1 - Cost Reductions
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.
#2 - Scalability
A ready-to-use app won’t be able to scale with your business. It may also be unable to keep up with new real estate technology, particularly as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) evolve at a rapid pace. With a customized 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.
#3 - Data Security
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 personalized 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.
#4 - Automated Tasks
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.
#5 - 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 Apps for Landlords
#1 - Property Listings Manager
If you have many leased properties or work as an online travel agent, a customized 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 personalize 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 summarize 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, 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.
Property Management Apps 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.
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 utilized 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 utilize 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 typically ranges between $5,000 and $8,000.
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.
This step normally costs between $6,000 and $7,000.
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 $5,000 and $7,000.
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.
This can cost anywhere between $120,000 and $145,000.
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 summarizes each stage and its associated property management software development costs:
|Discovery Phase||$5,000 ~ $8,000|
|Wireframing||$6,000 ~ $7,000|
|UI/UX Design||$5,000 ~ $7,000|
|Front-End and Back-End Development||$120,000 to $145,000|
|Total Cost||$136,000 to $167,000|
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.
Proper, for example, is an app that connects landlords, tenants, and third-party contractors to streamline the communication between all three parties. Rently, a unique app also developed by our development team, eases the rental process for both landlords and tenants. Another real estate solution that we have developed, RadPad, connects landlords and tenants through an end-to-end application, and has been voted as one of the Top 10 Best New Apps for two continuous years.
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. We have also created Renlty - real estate iot app for a US-based real estate client.
Softermii offers a variety of unique real estate development services that enable us to produce customized 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.
With over 100 experienced engineers and IT specialists on staff, we’re excited to collaborate with you on the next big project!
The global market for property management has developed significantly in the previous decade. Analysts estimate that it will reach $12.9 billion by 2025. In 2020, there were more than 270,000 enterprises in this industry in the United States alone, and according to Ehotelier’s research, 30% of hotel visitors were millennials, who chose their properties based on the technology component of its management services.
Based on this information, it is evident that this is a hot market that many companies are venturing. It also has a broad scope, ranging from residential property and commercial management to hotel and HOA management. With several benefits, such as cost reductions, data security, automated tasks, and multiple property management, property management software is extremely useful.
However, to establish a robust app that can survive in the marketplace, it will need essential features, such as task management, analytics and reports, payment solutions, and communication channels. It will also require an experienced development team to create a solution that can be launched successfully and then maintained on a regular basis using cutting-edge real estate technology trends.
Softermii ensures that you are well-informed about the industry and the possibilities of your solution so that you understand the entire process. We focus on long-term engagement to guarantee that our clients are satisfied with their projects long after the development process is completed and that their solutions continue to be successful.
Contact us for a consultation and we can discuss your future property management software!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
A few benefits of this type of software 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.
Yes, utilizing 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.
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?
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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