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Real Estate App Development Guide For 2020: Types, Features & Cost

Real Estate | 13 min read • 19 November 2019
Real Estate App Development Guide For 2020:  Types, Features & Cost

Mobile device usage for real estate is scaling continuously, meaning real estate app development is a truly profitable investment for this industry. More and more people are using smartphone apps for selling and buying houses, agents use them for daily tasks, communication, and collaboration between themselves and clients, marketing activities.

If you aren’t convinced yet, consider this. According to the Real Estate in a Digital Age 2018 Report by the NAR , 73% of homebuyers use digital tools as mobile app or website at some point during their search while mobile app importance for a commercial property business is incrementally increasing:

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Thus the real estate seems to be the industry where mobile applications are particularly well suited. One of the reasons why it is because this business has always been eager to embrace new technology and adapt to new challenges. The high competition in real estate increases the fact that for this business is essential to build the superior digital solution, that can help agents in their work or assist clients in finding what they’re looking for. These solutions can vary from an exceptional real estate website, to a custom mobile solution for internal employees usage or mobile app for providing better services for clients. As we have already discussed what features real estate websites should have, let’s cover mobile solutions development for this industry in 2020 in this article

 

Why Real Estate Mobile App Development Is One Of The Trends Of This Industry?

But if you still think that a mobile app for real estate is unneeded spending, let’s prove why it is not anything else as a profitable investment.

Speaking honestly, the mobile app for your real estate business is what sets you apart from the competition. If you have an app that is more engaging and useful than their offering, it’s highly likely that a potential customer will choose you over a competitor. Let’s go into a little more detail about what a custom real estate app offers for you.

High Customer Engagement and Faster Sales Process

Through the use of a customized app, agents can facilitate a faster sales process. For example, an agent might use their business app to send notifications of special offers that they’re running, like slightly less commission on a property sale for app users. Interested clients that are using mobile will be eager to take advantage. They might jump at the chance instead of dragging their feet during the purchase process.

According to a recent Criteo research study, real estate finder mobile apps are 2 times more likely to retain users than those meant for desktop or laptop use

24/7 In-App Communication Channel And Better Decision-Taking Process

The time when someone is looking to buy a property can be hectic for them. They might have several options on the table, and they may need to make a decision quickly. They’re going to want to be able to get in touch with their agent or realtor at all times. Having an app to find rental home options that they can use as a 24/7 communication method saves the need for frantic late-night phone calls or e-mails if a client is ready to make an offer.

Furthermore, you can go even deeper and provide your clients with not only an in-app handy communication tool but real-time data along with analytics on the client’s campaign as LJ Hooker Avnu app built by our development team provides. Hence the clients can easily track the progress of their campaigns that fast the decision-making process.

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Rapid Business Expansion With The Right Commercial Realtor App 

It’s a rare real estate company that isn’t interested in rapid expansion. Former communication methods like phone calls, text messages, and emails aren’t sufficient anymore. With the best app to find rental home options, you can be sure of reaching clients wherever they are and whenever you need to. That way, they won’t ever miss their chance to snatch up a property in the event that they’re involved in a bidding war.

Way of Building Your Brand Identity

It’s important that you build a brand identity for your business, regardless if you focus on real estate or anything else. You need to be instantly recognizable, and that comes from things like the color scheme you use, the font on your website, and the way that you market yourself and your company. A personalized app for buying a house or apartments is a way for you to do all of those things. The better designed it is, the more it tells your customers that you’re better than any alternatives they might have been considering.

New Marketing Channel for Your Business

At the same time, your app serves as a convenient marketing channel for your real estate business. Every time someone uses it, they’re looking at your offerings. That’s why you should have fresh content on your app every time someone pulls it up on their phone or tablet. Informative articles, links to social media accounts, and ideas or notifications on how to get the best deal on their new home or investment property should all be prominently featured.

More Rewarding Customer Experience

A top real estate app provides every one of your clients with a customized experience that fits their needs perfectly. For example, you can impress them if you have an app that utilizes the latest technology, like 3D property showcasing with fantastic UX. You want to feature technology that someone of any skill level can use. That way, none of your clients or potential clients will ever feel alienated.

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Additional Monetization Channel Within The App

If you build different versions of the property showing app, then that’s a way to potentially monetize it. For instance, you might have a V.I.P. option that’s only for agents. It will have access to exclusive features. For a nominal fee, agents might be able to see things like what neighborhoods are hottest, the ratings of school districts, how much public transportation is immediately accessible, etc. They can then convey this information to those who are considering particular properties.

Automation of Agents’ Routine Tasks

If you’re assuming that real estate agents are going to be using your house-buying app, then you can automate many of the routine tasks that otherwise would be so time-consuming for them. For example, an agent could manage aspects of the selling process right in the app where once they would have had to use a multitude of other resources. They’ll be able to save time by consulting the app rather than piecing together property information from a myriad of other places.

 

Real Estate Apps Ideas & Types

You should not make the mistake of thinking that there is just one sort of real estate app that you can create. On the contrary: the custom real estate app serves many purposes. You should think about that before you start considering things like what tech stack yours should be compatible with and what features it should have. Here are a few examples of the sorts of real estate apps that are on the market, while there are new ones appearing almost every day.

  • The House Hunting or Renting App

    You can put in any address, neighborhood, state, or city, or you can modify your search in all kinds of different ways depending on your requirements, budget, location, etc In results, you get the list of properties for buying or renting created specifically for your needs. The examples of this sort of apps are Zillow, Trulia, or Onradpad apps. Here is one of the examples of this kind of mobile solutions that is one of our mobile development project of OnRadpad app:

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  • The App for Real Estate Agents

    This software can serve for different purposes as communication with other agents or with clients, documents management or multiply properties management. For example, the last ones are designed for agents who have many properties that they’re showing, and they want to simplify their listing and sale process. This sort of solution reduces legwork for agents and makes their job easier.

  • Property Management Apps

    These apps are designed so that property managers can have some idea of what is going on with their properties at any given time. They can use the app to see how much rent is for each property, for instance, and when it is due for each of their tenants. Our property management software development project of Proper app can show you what these kinds of apps are like.

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  • Real Estate Investment App

    This is a kins of the house-purchase app for an individual or entity that wants to invest in real estate. Like most of these apps, the ideal one will be highly customizable, so that only properties will show up that match specific criteria that spark the user’s interest.

  • The Real Estate Marketing App

    These are the apps for those who are trying to sell real estate and want to come up with creative or unusual ways of doing it.

 

How To Develop Real Estate App: Tech Stack

Before choosing a tech stack for your real estate app, you should decide on what platform you’re going to develop: native, cross-platform or hybrid.

If you develop a web app you can choose a new trend in web development as a react-native real estate app

You should think about what operating systems people are likely to use when they engage with it. For those who use Android, the tech stacks that make the most sense would be Java or Kotlin. iOS uses predominantly Swift and Objective C. Smart real estate app design means compatibility with these platforms.

You can also choose to do cross-platform development. This is a way of providing a single codebase that is shared across different platforms, like both iOS and Android. If you go this route, then ideally, you will end up with a web page with the functionality of a mobile app that is a PWA or Progressive Web App. An example of this is a react-native real estate app.

 

Must-Have Real Estate App Features

When you look at what features real estate apps should have, what you most need to consider is who the target user is for the app and what its functionality will be. Let’s go over some of them in a little more detail.

  • Databases

    It’s critical for an app for realtors with property listings to have integrated databases. Users find this useful because they can quickly find listings in an area that match the criteria for which they are looking. These sorts of apps typically use the MSL system.

  • Advanced Search Functionality

    This is crucial for users because it allows them to assess whether a given property has potential commercial value. The better structured your data, the better your app’s UX. You should try to organize information so that property listings highlight the most popular criteria for home buyers. That might include things like location, property type, and price range. Things like square footage, on-site parking, in-unit laundry, and the year the property was built might play a part as well.

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  • Save Search or Favourite Feature

    This allows users to create a list of properties in which they have interests while the realtor can see what a client prefers. Based on that, they can suggest similar options.

  • List View & Map View

    For property listings, this is especially helpful to have for an MLS listing app with a short description of each property listing. While the map view is helpful that users can see not only the property itself but what is around it. Neighborhood information plays a tremendous role in any real estate app. Homebuyers will always carefully scrutinize the community in which they plan to live.

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  • Social Media Integration In-App

    Real estate agents can share the property profile on their social media channels, attracting any interested parties. At the same time, property hunters can share the property listing on their accounts to get feedback from friends and family that they’ll take into account when considering whether they want to buy it.

  • Mortgage Calculator

    Some quick mental math is sometimes needed for homebuyers to try and figure out whether or not they can afford the property on which they have their eyes. A real estate calculator app for mortgages means that no mistakes are made. You can also feature an interest rate calculator as part of the app if you think that will be beneficial.

  • Detailed Information for Property Listings

    The more someone knows about a property, the more likely they will make up their mind and buy it rather than spending an excessive amount of time weighing the pros and cons. Look how we implemented this feature for OnradPad application:

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  • Instant Messaging

    This is an ideal way for customers to get the support they need from realtors or agents. They don’t have to waste time trying to get in touch with them via phone or email.

  • Admin Panel or Profile Functionality

    This aspect can include many different features, depending on your app’s purpose. For instance, this might be the place for user management, property or revenue management, or an archive for highly detailed reports. As an example, Onnradpad rental app has a personalized profile for every user with activity history and helpful credit reports that users can see the payment history.

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  • CRM Solution and Push Notifications

    Customer relationship management in this context is a way for realtors to gain a better understanding of how people use their apps. They can use CRM to come out with better, more streamlined versions of the application in the future. Push notifications, meanwhile, allow for additional customer engagement that leads to faster sales.

  • 3D-Model Showcasing Option or Street View

    This is a great feature for users that you can build with AR/VR integrationc. For apps where you are trying to attract investors, like for property rehabilitation, this is a must-have. Look how StreetView feature our development team built for Rently house renting application for showcasing nearby street where the property is located

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  • Customer Support Panel and Lead Management Panel

    Depending on the app’s purpose, this will be a place where the user can go to customize their search, manage listings, set up tours of the properties, etc.

 

Innovative Technologies You Can Implement in House-for-Sale Apps

There are all sorts of new and emerging tech that you can use to make your real estate app better. Some of that might include

  • AI for Task Automation as for example property listings management;

  • AR/VR for Property Showings;

  • IoT technologies for real estate, for example for property management. This might include Smart Home devices or Smart Lock technology our development team applied for Rently app development, mentioned earlier. That allows real estate agents to unlock properties for showcasing remotely when the client is visiting it;

  • ML and Big Data for superior data analysis.

 

Real Estate App Development Cost

At this point, you may be wondering about how much one of these apps is going to cost for your burgeoning real estate business. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that. Part of it is going to depend on how simple or complex your particular application is going to be.

Another aspect will be whether you are handling the app in-house or you are hiring a real estate mobile app development company like Softermii to build it for you. It’s probably going to be the latter. Most real estate companies don’t have a team on-staff with the tech experience to build an application from scratch. One thing is clear, though: you need to figure out a way to get your app running sooner rather than later. Until you do, you are missing out on valuable customers.

A post on the O'Reilly Digital Media blog sums up the situation for higher expenditure apps: a full-time contract iPhone developer costs $5,000/week. It may take four-to-six weeks for an application to be developed, and it could cost anywhere from 40k to 60k. You can add to that development some other tangential costs as well. Those would be things like project management, design, QA, and marketing.

If you are looking for a more complex app for a recognized brand, you could be seeing an expenditure of $50,000-$150,000 or more.

So, as you can see real estate app can be a truly profitable investment into your real estate business. With the right custom mobile solution, you outrank your competitors and open new business opportunities.

You might think that the more costly solution is to buy a license for some software but it usually can’t meet all the requirements for your business needs. While the custom app for your real estate company developed especially for your business purposes fits all your goals.

If you still are unsure of what technologies to implement, our team has extensive experience in the development of different types of real estate apps. Hence, we know what works for this market and what technologies help to implement that. Send us a quick request and get a full free estimation on your real estate project along with recommended technologies and features to implement in it. All specified according to your business needs, budget, and clients.

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