The real estate business, like many others, has entered the era of digitalization. Owners increasingly invest in software development to keep pace with time and competitors. Such software usually covers mobile apps and CRM systems. The apps facilitate user interaction and give easy access to the property, docs, and managers. The CRMs automate the work process, gathering objects, customers, and transactions in one place.
Who orders software for real estate? The range of clients is extensive and includes construction firms, travel agencies, real estate agents, state authorities, and more. Their goals differ, and so do their apps. This post will review the types of property software and look at the unique features of each.
Table of contents
What Is Real Estate Software?
Real estate software automates all tasks related to property construction, sale, promotion, rental, maintenance, and modernization. It has a number of tools to help users add and edit information, run analytics, interact with clients, connect third-party services, and manage issues from the phone or desktop screen. Real estate software is built for external and internal needs. It may spread your brand awareness and drum up the workflow. Companies invest in web and mobile apps that range from property marketplaces to unique CRM solutions. Let’s see the main types of real estate software you may want to order for your business.
Types of Real Estate Software
Apps for Renting and Buying
These apps act as a meeting place for landlords and tenants. The landlords get an effective channel to promote their real estate, and the tenants access a wide range of properties with detailed descriptions and photos. Except for basic functionality that includes searching, viewing, and sharing real estate listings, some apps offer unique features. Below, I have listed a few examples of non-trivial apps:
Trulia Rentals focuses on the property location. It gives detailed information about who lives in the neighborhood, which schools, gyms, cafes, shops are close by and far away. The app is useful for those who move to an unfamiliar place as it depicts the place’s infrastructure and lets you guess if it suits your lifestyle.
HotPads shows users what property is the most in-demand. Each listing displays the number of views and contacts with the manager, so the potential tenants know the competition. The app also allows you to find roommates for mutual rental. For that, you need to make a post about the free place.
Zillow on the property market is like an iPhone on the mobile phone market. Thanks to many filters, high-quality pics, and handy share tools, users can search for the property in a fast and simple manner. Besides, Zillow offers a rent affordability calculator so that you quickly find rentals that fit your budget.
Apps for Managing Residential Property
Such apps aim to simplify the interaction of house residents with the management company. Instead of mailing to managers, calling, or visiting them, the residents can reach them directly through the app. In addition, the apps enable users to pay for utilities, vote for initiatives, suggest changes, order cleaning, repairs, technical services, and others. Here are a few examples of property management software:
Buildium is a cloud platform that covers all aspects of real estate maintenance. Managers can work on the go through the mobile app or in the office using the web version. Residents use the app for daily activities. For example, they can pay and renew rental, order insurance, submit requests, etc.
AppFolio is used both for residential and commercial property. The owners can process tenants’ requests, do accounting and reporting, send bulk messages, and more. The app allows landlords and property agents to post their real estate objects, and any prospective tenant can apply for it online.
Rentec Direct gives a 360-degree view of your property objects and ensures strong security. Managers can check users who have applied for rent by screening them for credit, criminal, and eviction records. Besides, the app supports multi-factor authentication and real-time backup to protect your data in case of an emergency.
Apps for Managing Vacation Property
The apps allow you to handle real estate objects rented for a short period – usually no more than two weeks. You can post there not only houses or apartments but also hotels, motels, and hostels. The apps typically act as aggregators of the most popular touristic sites and allow you to manage all listings in one place. They are handy for planning vacations and business trips and help you book and pay online. Let’s consider the most outstanding examples:
CiiRUS has cloud and on-premises solutions to meet any business needs. It allows to process bookings from many channels and synchronize posts across all the linked sites. With CiiRUS, you can schedule housekeeping works in real estate objects, which adds value to the overall property management.
Rentals United is a cloud-based solution with many in-built tools to synchronize and control all your property posts. The great thing is that you can update objects’ prices and descriptions from your admin panel, and the changes appear on all the sites at one time. The supported sites cover Airbnb, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, and others. Also, the service integrates with payment providers to accept online payments.
Guesty offers both web and mobile solutions to manage the short-term property from a single dashboard. It integrates with the majority of travel platforms and other third-party services. With Guesty, you can automate daily tasks, simplify communication with clients, and generate analytic reports in a fast and simple manner.
Features of Real Estate App
As you can see, various real estate apps differ by purpose, content, and target users. The feature set depends on the type of software. However, some essential functions make up the app’s bulk. Let’s review them, keeping in mind that one app part is developed for those who want to rent or buy a house/ flat/ room and another – for those who want to lease or sell.
Real Estate App for Tenants
Home seekers use the app to find accommodation, so it’s crucial that each post is as informative as possible and contains high-quality images and, preferably, a virtual tour. Make sure the user can quickly figure out how to view a post, zoom in / zoom out a picture, add to favorites, share with friends, and so on.
It is very convenient to pay rent or mortgage, utilities, and other services directly from the app. Consider adding a payment history and push notifications to remind users that the due date is coming. You may also want to add a currency converter and payment reports.
A mandatory feature that shows where the property is located and how to get to it. Also, the user can see the neighborhood of future housing without leaving the app.
Prospective tenants may want to clarify some details of a specific object, and residents may wish to contact the manager on various issues. You can implement in-app chat or integrate with popular messengers like Telegram or WhatsApp to simplify interaction and boost UX.
Here the users may see news related to a residential complex they live in. It is usually about significant events in the home’s life, such as installing chargers for electric vehicles or opening a new playground. The feature is useful for forming a local community and a positive attitude to the management company.
When users are not at home, they are still aware of who comes to their place. They can even let a guest in through the app, which is very convenient if, for example, you are waiting for a courier. You can track what time the guests came in and went out. If you have cams in your apartment, you can watch what they do.
This feature is vital in vacation property apps. With the help of an AI bot, users can book suitable accommodation by given parameters. Talking to a virtual assistant brings a fresh experience as the users have a sense of live communication.
Real Estate App for Landlords
It is necessary to implement different access levels for employees. For example, operators can work with chat and calls, accountants – with finance, analysts – with reports. The admin area contains various tools to let real estate managers control business activity and choose further growth path.
This feature allows landlords to post content that will further appear to tenants, buyers, or residents. The content nature depends on the app type and target audience. It can be a sale/lease announcement, residential complex news, company documents, and so on.
You can distribute tasks among employees, set deadlines, and track progress. If, for example, you lead a group of real estate agents, you can assign persons to show the objects. If you manage a hotel, you can assign cleaning or repair work to staff members.
With this feature, you can inform clients about upcoming events, share news, or run polls. You can send messages to all users or selected groups. The messaging statistics will help you track users’ activity and analyze what communication channels are the most preferable.
Analytics and reports
It is an essential feature of real estate CRM that will keep you up to date about the current business state. Depending on the real estate app type, you may run different analytics. For example, managers of the residential complex may want to track customers’ payments for utility bills, and hotel admins may need to analyze profitability depending on the season.
For hotels, it is a handy tool to manage reservations, check-ins, check-outs, etc. For rental property agents – appoint meetings with clients and third-party partners. The users can also add the event description, so they never forget what it is going to be about.
You could integrate your app with smart things like a smoke detector or robotic vacuum cleaner. Not only will it make your life easier, but improve the experience of clients who live in the building you manage. Besides, you should have access to cams that show what’s happening outside and inside.
Do You Need Custom Property Software?
A real estate app is a step forward to optimizing your business through all-round automation. It provides customers with a pleasant experience of searching and living in the house and employees – with a useful tool for delivering an excellent service. If you want to develop a real estate app, you should first find the right approach.
Sometimes, it may be OK to use off-the-shelf software; in other cases, a custom solution would be a better pick. For example, if you own a small real estate agency, you can use existing platforms to promote your property. If you run a construction firm, a custom app with tailored features will be a perfect match.
At Softensy, we have vast experience in building real estate software. Our recent project was implemented for a big construction company Saga Development. We have produced a complex solution consisting of a desktop app for managers and a mobile app for tenants.
If you are interested in a real estate app and looking for a reliable team, we can help. Drop us a line to get a free consultation. Our experts will advise on the best solution depending on your business state and needs.