Any real estate company is bound to reach the point when its top executives have to make a decision regarding what software to use to automate the daily routine. At this point, you usually have two options: either acquire a subscription for a third-party ready-to-use solution or invest in developing a custom software solution.
Some may argue that the first option is better, some may defend the second one until their last breath. Even though using pre-made solutions has its benefits, those benefits can’t compare to the ones of using custom software.
First and foremost, custom software development allows you to get a fully personalized solution that includes only the features that you need. So, you won’t have to overpay for the features you won’t use.
Secondly, even though it may seem counterintuitive, it makes more financial sense to develop a custom solution. It will be cheaper for you, in the long run, to invest in the development once and the solution’s continuous support than constantly paying the monthly or yearly fee.
Thirdly, a custom solution allows you to scale your business effortlessly. Your needs and requirements may change over time, and it is easier to customize your own solution to meet them than spend time and efforts looking for a new ready-to-use one.
All these benefits are amplified in the real estate industry because scalability, economic viability and personalization play a more important role for real estate agencies and agents working on their own. So, we would like to present you with a comprehensive guide on the custom real estate software solutions. Enjoy!
Real Estate Management Software Types
Let’s start with one thing to be on the same page – namely, what types of solutions you can have developed and what areas of your daily business operations they can cover. There are four types of real estate software:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM solutions are aimed at optimizing the way you deal with your clients and improve the quality of your interaction with them. Such a solution is that one place where you can keep all the information you have about your existing and potential clients. Besides, it allows managing the contracts and transactions, keeping track of purchases and sales made, as well as lead generation, communicating with the clients, etc. It can even have an inbuilt messenger to keep the interaction history even as your staff changes.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
ERP solutions’ purpose is to bring all the internal management processes to one place. With an ERP solution, you can view all the information regarding the real estate property available, human resources at your disposal, etc., and manage them effortlessly.
Features dedicated to making marketing easier for you can be included in CRM solutions; however, a standalone marketing software solution provides you with a more comprehensive understanding of the results of your campaigns and helps you automate some actions. For instance, you can schedule posts for different social media accounts in one place, automate follow-ups, manage email and SMS marketing, etc., and then track how successful they are in numbers: e.g., you can track conversion rates.
Accounting and finances can be a living hell for some employees that takes a lot of energy and time to deal with. If you don’t have any specialized solution for accounting installed, the chances are your employees have to carry out many tasks that can be automated manually. Accounting software solutions allow automating the routine and present you with detailed reports of your agency’s financial results in real time. Such solutions can also be integrated with your bank account.
Real Estate CRM Software
So, you have decided that you need a real estate customer relationship management software solution. However, finding a ready-to-use solution that would have all the features you need to suit your particular company’s specifics is very tricky and, what is more important, time-consuming.
If you stick to using a CRM solution that doesn’t meet all of your requirements, it just won’t be efficient in use, and you’ll be wasting your money on a solution that doesn’t help you improve your working processes. Besides, imagine all the efforts you’ll need to waste migrating data from one solution to another in case you need to try a new CRM solution. Why is it so hard to find a perfect CRM solution? Well, if you have been running your business for some time, you already have certain established working processes and ways of fulfilling certain tasks. Completely changing the way you’re doing business just to adapt to a new CRM system is guaranteed to lower the quality of your interaction with clients and make your employees annoyed at best.
Even though it is so problematic to find a CRM solution that would be a perfect fit, you can’t hope you will figure out how to operate without it, especially if you are a large company or aiming to be one someday. You need to process the information about your clients and keep communication in one place. If you don’t, you will lose the clients in case the agent they were talking to leaves because another agent will not know how to approach them and what they may be interested in. Therefore, the best way to invest your money in a CRM solution that will truly optimize the way you deal with your clients is to develop a custom CRM solution.
ERP Software For Real Estate
An ERP system is supposed to optimize your internal workflow. In case of ERP software for real estate, ERP systems should optimize at least two areas: property management and human resources management.
The former one is all about having all the details about the property available now or before. The latter one is about making sure that task management is done right and your agents are working efficiently. Surely, these two points are not the only ones that should be included in an ERP system; however, they are the most crucial ones.
You have two options for implementing an ERP solution into your workflow to optimize it:
- you develop the custom software according to the workflows that are already there and optimize them,
- or you change the workflows to make them fit the ready-to-use software.
Which one do you think is the wiser choice?
If you think it is the second one, you may want to reconsider. Adapting your workflows to a certain ERP solution means:
- making your employees frustrated because they need to learn again how to do their job;
- as the result, a decrease in the overall performance;
- using resources inefficiently because the new workflows dictated by the solution are not guaranteed to fit your business needs.
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Real Estate Marketing Software
You can find plenty of marketing software solution out there. For instance, there are solutions allowing you to sync your posts on different social media platforms, schedule posts, manage email marketing and bulk emails specifically, the list goes on. You can use some of them for free and some of them work on a paid subscription basis.
However, the issue with ready-to-use solutions remains: they don’t cater to your particular business needs. You can find a really good solution for managing your Facebook page efficiently or a great one for email marketing, but it’s impossible to find a solution that would allow you to manage all the marketing channels you are already using.
The thing is, you are probably advertising your services via a bunch of marketing channels, both online and offline. Online channels may include sponsored content, your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. As for offline channels, they include channels with certain peculiarities: billboards and other ads, business cards, even word-of-mouth marketing – all of them deserve your attention.
A comprehensive custom marketing solution can allow you to compare these channels’ efficiency by providing you with the statistics. Numbers are objective and make it a lot easier for you to understand which channels deserve to be focused on. So, you will be able to come up with a well-thought-through marketing strategy, and strategic approach to marketing has proven to be the most efficient one.
Accounting Software For Real Estate
A commercial real estate accounting software solution can help you get rid of any unnecessary headaches. With its help, you can automate generating invoices, charging your tenants regularly, charging late bills fees, etc.
The chances are you are already using real estate bookkeeping software as it is impossible to run a business without it. You may be satisfied or frustrated with its efficiency, but you know you need to use one anyway.
If you decide to invest in developing a custom ERP solution, it is recommended to integrate it with the accounting system or build a new one into the solution. If you do so, everything will be in one place which will save your employees’ time. Besides, you’ll be getting more comprehensive statistics on how your business is doing and you’ll be able to see dependencies more clearly.
Real Estate Development Accounting Software
Anyone who runs a construction business knows how difficult it is to find a ready-to-use accounting solution that would be a good fit (we’re not even talking about it being perfect). The thing is, you need to have some features that are quite specific: for instance, calculating the project costs, loan draw management, etc.
This is the main reason construction companies opt for custom software instead of ready-to-use one: they want to save time and efforts just like any other company but they need a very specific solution. Besides, it is obvious that the price of miscalculations in, let’s say, the project costing is too high to risk it.
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Real Estate Agent Accounting Software
It may seem that if you are a real estate agent working on your own, it is enough to use Google Spreadsheets for accounting purposes. This is the case only if you are ready to waste your time doing everything manually: filling out the income and expenses, generating invoices, sending them, etc. Software for real estate agents is supposed, first and foremost, to save your time. If you opt for custom accounting software development, you will be able to decide what features will be there. So, you won’t have to overpay for the ones you won’t ever use.
As the result, if you don’t waste time and do your accounting chores in a couple of clicks, you’ll be able to focus on what is truly important: working with your existing and potential clients.
Real Estate Agency Software
The perks of accounting software are quite obvious. Your employees will be able to save their time if you automate every action that you can automate. So, they will be able to focus on what is truly important – checking the data and analyzing the bottom line.
Moreover, accounting software, if developed properly, can make them more satisfied with their job as very few people like doing a boring manual job like inputting the numbers. Automating certain tasks also means that you don’t need a huge team of accountants anymore, so you can optimize your labor costs.
Accounting software can also bring analyzing your financial situation to a new level. With a comprehensive overview of incomes and expenses, your financial analysts will have more data to use for creating a strategy for increasing the profits. Therefore, you will be able to cut costs where possible and make a higher profit.
The Bottom Line
Running a real estate business, just like any other business, requires setting up smooth workflows and optimizing them as your business grows. This can be achieved by employing the software that has all the features you are sure you need in one place.
Are you willing to optimize your workflows and increase the performance as the result? Reach out to us to discuss what software solution you would like to get!