Are you interested in custom real estate software development?
The global real estate industry market will be worth $5.85 trillion by 2030. According to a market trends report, 88% of all sellers used a multiple listing website and 50% used a real agent website to sell their properties.
Real estate software offers buyers and sellers easy access to services that expedite the process resulting in more house sales, etc.
Let’s see how you can undertake customer real estate software development for your real estate business.
Customer Real Estate Software Development – A Guide
You will need to undertake the following steps for custom software development to build a real estate market application.
Decide the type of real estate software application
Firstly, you will decide the type of real estate software you want to build for users. Generally, there are four types of real estate software:
Real estate CRM software
A real estate CRM application helps real estate companies to manage clients’ information and communicate with them efficiently. A lot of recurring tasks can be automated such as sending emails, responding to texts, etc.
It also helps to manage contracts and transactions between sellers and buyers, etc.
Real estate ERP software
An ERP or enterprise resource planning software assists in managing different real estate business processes. Business owners and managers are able to track daily activities, locate project risks, and analyze business progress in terms of sales, commissions, etc.
Easy access to all the important data in one place helps measure the progress of the overall real estate business and also of individual brokers, real estate agents, etc.
Real estate management software
Management software helps increase productivity by efficiently managing processes including accounts, rent from properties, buyers’ and tenants’ agreements, etc.
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Such real estate software solutions save a lot of time otherwise spent doing things traditionally.
Real estate multiple listings and virtual tour application
Multiple Listing Service software is used by brokers and real estate agents to display properties up for sale or rent to interested buyers. Buyers can view all the property details on the listing platform and even do a virtual tour in the form of 3D videos.
Such applications are frequently used by home buyers as they can efficiently shortlist houses they are interested in instead of visiting each of them physically.
The contact information of an owner or real estate agent helps in efficient communication between the concerned parties.
Decide the features of your custom real estate software
After deciding the type of custom real estate software that you want to build, decide on the features that your real estate software will have. Here are some of the essential features of a real estate application.
An advanced location search feature to locate property right on the map. This helps users to easily navigate the property location including nearby areas.
Virtual Tour of Property
Feature to add 3D pictures and videos of the property. This will help interested buyers to view the whole floor map, including the rooms and their design.
A complete listing of houses that users can browse easily. Each property post will show all the relevant information like the number of rooms, age of the property, additional amenities, net area, etc.
Interest Rate Calculator
To provide various statistics, especially to real estate brokers and sellers like total revenue, rent multipliers, return on equity, etc.
A chatbot based on Artificial Intelligence to assist users with their queries 24/7. This will share the workload of sellers and dealers. Moreover, users will get instant assistance on your platform.
Plan customer real estate software development project and perform requirement analysis
At this stage, you can perform market research to understand how your competitors are performing. Also, decide the business requirements that you want to meet through your real estate app.
A project specification document completed at this stage will help your project team to choose development technologies, frameworks, and application architecture patterns that meet your project’s functional and non-functional requirements.
Build a project team
Your real estate software development team will include:
- A business analyst;
- A UI/UX designer;
- Frontend/backend developers;
- A Quality Assurance engineer or tester;
- A project manager.
Implement real estate software development infrastructure
Now, you have to provide resources so that your developers and designers can get to work. This will include your app storage, servers, databases, networking infrastructure, and different development platforms, and tools.
Businesses are popularly using cloud-based infrastructure today for software app development and maintenance.
Cloud computing provides the required computational resources over the cloud servers and it provides a lot of advantages such as access to many latest technologies, easy scalability of resources, better resource maintenance by professionals, etc.
We advise you to use cloud infrastructure for your application development. It will free your software developers from installation, upgrades, and maintenance of backend resources and tasks. They will, therefore, be able to dedicate their full time to application development.
Decide the Software Development Methodology
Before your designers and developers get to work, decide on a software development methodology and then related frameworks to plan and manage your software development process.
Software applications are largely built today on agile methodology. The Scrum technique is quite popular with system-of-engagements development such as web or mobile applications. Such platforms tend to undergo frequent changes in user requirements and Scrum helps with this.
In Scrum, the entire development process is broken down into small manageable development iterations or sprints. Small cross-functional dev teams work on the sprint and deliver a deployable product at the end. It is similar to Agile in this way, however, the Scrum technique empowers the team in more ways to ensure they can make decisions to ensure the best and most efficient development process.
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This product is launched in the user market and feedback is collected. The data on user experience is taken into account in the next iteration and helps in improving the overall software product.
Read more on Scrum development in this article.
Design the Software Application
With backend infrastructure in place and sprint planning completed, your UX/UI designers will start designing the application layout. The user interface should be interactive and in accordance with UI guidelines.
Designers and front-end developers use prototypes and mockups to build the initial layout of different application features. This helps them in quick visualization of their ideas and see if they work in terms of elements placements, color palette, brand theme, etc.
Designing the front-end user interface (UI) of a software application involves several key steps. Here’s a general guide to help you get started:
Understand User Requirements:
Gain a deep understanding of your target users, their needs, and their goals. Conduct user research, surveys, or interviews to gather insights into their preferences, behaviors, and pain points. This knowledge will inform your design decisions.
Define the Information Architecture:
Organize the content and structure of your application. Create a site map or a flowchart to visualize the hierarchy of information. Determine how different screens or pages will connect and how users will navigate through the application.
Sketch Initial Ideas:
Begin with low-fidelity sketches or wireframes to quickly iterate and explore various layout possibilities. Focus on the placement of key elements, such as navigation menus, content sections, and interactive components. Consider the overall visual balance and usability of your design.
Create Mockups or Prototypes:
Use design tools like Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, or InVision to create more detailed mockups or interactive prototypes. Pay attention to typography, colors, spacing, and alignment. Design individual screens or views, incorporating visual branding elements.
Ensure Responsive Design:
Consider the responsiveness of your design to cater to different devices and screen sizes. Design for mobile devices first or adopt a mobile-first approach. Ensure that your design elements and layouts adapt and rearrange themselves gracefully on different screen resolutions.
Focus on User Experience (UX):
Design with the user in mind. Ensure that the interface is intuitive, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. Pay attention to usability principles, such as clear labeling, consistent design patterns, and easily discoverable actions. Minimize cognitive load and aim for efficient user interactions.
Use Visual Hierarchy and Consistency:
Establish a clear visual hierarchy to guide users’ attention and prioritize important information. Utilize contrast, color, size, and typography to emphasize key elements. Maintain consistency in design patterns, icons, button styles, and overall aesthetics throughout the application.
Incorporate Feedback and Iteration:
Seek feedback from stakeholders, users, or usability testing sessions. Iterate on your design based on the feedback received. Continuously refine and improve the UI based on user needs, usability, and accessibility considerations.
Collaborate with Developers:
Work closely with the development team to ensure the feasibility of your design. Understand the technical constraints and possibilities of the chosen frontend frameworks or technologies. Collaborate on design implementation, animations, and interactions.
Test and Validate:
Conduct usability testing with real users to validate your design decisions. Gather feedback on the user experience and make necessary adjustments. Test your design across different browsers, devices, and operating systems to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.
Develop the custom real estate application
Now, your developers can start coding the application features. You may want to develop a minimum viable product first. An MVP is a basic software app with the core features that you want to deliver to your audience.
A business starts with deploying an MVP with essential features and keeps on building it depending on the target user market’s demands.
Read our guide on how you can develop a minimum viable product for real estate companies if you wish to learn more.
Your software developers will use specific software development frameworks for a specific type of custom real estate software development.
For example, to develop a mobile app, you will either go with native app development or cross-platform app development. For native real estate apps, you will first decide the mobile OS you want to build for.
Android mobile app development will require expertise in Java and Kotlin programming languages, Android Studio IDE, etc. Whereas, for Apple, your developers will use Swift programming language, Apple XCode IDE, etc.
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Hybrid apps are web apps developed using frameworks like React Native and Xamarin and run within a native app container. Although such apps can be deployed to any mobile OS, they are unable to fully utilize the app’s hardware capabilities like security, memory, processor, etc.
If you plan to develop a custom web application for your real estate business, your technology stack will be different. You can use technologies like Node.js, ruby on rails, ASP.Net, etc. for back-end development, angular, react, etc. for front-end application development.
Your developers will also perform some integrations into your real estate app.
Apart from basic integrations like social media, push notifications, etc., some will be industry-specific. For example, Internet Data Exchange (IDX) to access multiple property listing services.
For app features that are unique to your real estate software, your developers can use the REST architecture protocol to develop APIs. They can use tools like Postman to design and test them and Swagger to document them.
You will need some other expertise too for secure and innovative custom real estate software development.
Your software developers should be experts in understanding cyber threats and ensuring the security of your app. They will use techniques like multi-factor authentication, encryption algorithms, etc. to deliver a secure user experience.
This is important as you will be using users’ data on your application whether they are buyers, sellers, or real estate agents.
The latest technologies like machine learning, natural language processing, virtual reality, etc. will help you develop features in your app that are unique and based on cutting-edge technologies.
Test the Software
Your quality assurance engineers and developers will use different tools to test your application. For example, Espresso for testing Android apps, XCTest for testing iOS apps, Appium for hybrid apps, Selenium for web applications, etc.
Your software developers will also conduct code review sessions and use test routines like unit testing, integration testing, etc. to ensure their app code meets the set requirements.
Deploy and Maintain
When you are satisfied that the real estate application is working as planned, you can deploy it for the user market. Your software app developers will use industry-standard techniques like continuous integration/continuous delivery to deliver tested software to production.
Planning for custom real estate software development?
The development of custom real estate software requires expertise in the latest development tools, technologies, and practices to ensure you develop a market-competitive and secure real estate application.
DevTeam.Space has been providing expert developers to client companies for almost a decade. Our community of field-expert software developers has a wealth of knowledge-building applications in the real estate industry.
If you wish to learn more you only need to send us your initial product specifications and one of our account managers will get back to you to answer any questions that you might have.
FAQs on custom real estate software development
A custom real estate CRM helps real estate businesses with customer relationship management including, sellers and buyers. They can also track daily business activities and help with transaction management, sales process, property management, lead management, etc.
Depending on the application features and complexity, custom real estate software development and testing can take up to a few months.
A real estate application allows users to browse property listings, contact the property owners and real estate agencies, link their social media accounts, view property locations in 3D, etc. Good software will provide all these features and more.