Real Estate Development Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: December 06, 2023
Real estate companies are presented with several challenges when it comes to reducing their expenses, optimizing workflows, and shortening lead conversion cycles to maximize profitability. They have to stay on top of truckloads of things, which is why they can’t afford to spend hours on top of hours managing the same menial work tasks for every single client. Thankfully, automating all these time-consuming tasks has now become easier than ever with the real estate development software. It helps realtors grow their business while sharing, storing, and collaborating on all their development deals in a secure, digital location.
Whether you are looking to invest in a software for real estate developers for the first time or upgrading your current system, this guide can help you get started. It will closely examine the key factors that small business real estate developers should keep in mind while evaluating these software solutions. We will also walk you through the core features of real estate development tools and suggest a direction to move when selecting the right platform.
What you'll find inside:
- Understanding real estate development software
- Benefits of real estate development software
- Tips on how to identify your needs
- Salient features of real estate development software
- Assessing the expenses
- Considerations when choosing real estate development software
- Popular real estate development software
Understanding Real Estate Development Software
What is real estate development software? Real estate development software are designed to help realtors track and analyze development projects. These technology-driven tools come with robust process automation functionalities that simplify project management, financial analysis, and subcontractor management. Real estate developers can rely on them to manage client information, automate workflows, and track interactions with customers. It helps increase efficiency and makes it easier for real estate professionals to close more deals and transactions. In addition to this, these dynamic tools support automatic analysis of project feasibility, including calculations of property lot types, loans and estimated expenses, as well as the tracking of budget reports, financial reports, and cash flow.
Benefits of Real Estate Development Software
The key benefits of real estate development software applications include, but are not limited to:
- Maintains legal compliance
- Simplifies complicated workflows
- Reduces human error
- Retains relationships with customers
- Team management
- Workflow automation
- Invoicing and billing
- Client data storage
- Faster payment
- Automated follow-ups
- Data security
- Online payments
Goal Setting: Areas You Want to Improve
Not all real estate development software applications are created equal, so make sure you choose the one that meets your needs precisely. What problems in your current processes do you think need to be addressed by the real estate development solution? Make a comprehensive list of everything you want to use the software for in order to get closer to the right platform for your business. Before arriving at a decision, you should understand your software requirements and tie a product’s capabilities or features to your desired outcomes.
The software you end up with should be the solution to your problems and provide all the necessary tools and functionalities to reach your business goals. Have a solid plan, one that will help you measure if a product fits well to your entire team and can help you complete all your development projects efficiently. You should also know your budget, research and evaluate your potential software options, and talk to peers to get their recommendations. We’d also suggest that you do the necessary leg-work on the technology advancements and popular features of software for real estate developers.
Define Your Current Problems Before Seeking a Solution
A crucial step when evaluating real estate software products is identifying your specific pain points and challenges. You are not just looking for a new software application just because you have to. There must be some processes you want to automate, information you need to manage, and problems you need to solve. Pinpoint the problem areas that exist in your current work processes and identify your desired outcome. Identify the deficiencies and shortcomings in your workflows, and ask yourself why they exist and how to avert them. Sometimes, the answer to this might not be as noticeable or obvious. If you don’t find any error-ridden results, painstakingly-long processes, or difficult collaborations, you should spend some time noticing if there are any bottlenecks in your current work processes, ways to get the most out of the same inputs, or aspects you think you can improve.
All of this will help you make a wise decision for your real estate business as you will be able to understand which of the options are potential fits and which aren’t worth your attention. We’d suggest that you evaluate the potential features and functionality of a product so that you can identify the ones that correspond the most to your processes. Moreover, ask detailed questions during sales discussions and product demos.
Vendor Shopping: Features to Look For
Property and land management software solutions come with a wide range of functionalities, but remember, the feature list is a double-edged sword. An extensive range of features is no indication of having the right platform. In fact, a software system with too many features may end up as a disaster for your work processes and deliver poor user experience. The key is to ensure that the tool you choose to implement offers all the relevant features required to ensure seamless processes, nothing more, and nothing less. All things aside, your real estate development software selection process should always begin with assessing the needs. A real estate development professional first needs to consider whether their technology adoption indeed can offer any advantage and uplift their current business process. They need to find out what they want the software system for, in terms of their pain points and challenges, and then prioritize the feature list towards tackling those challenges.
Keep a few features of real estate development software in mind as you evaluate the potential options. A rule of thumb says that you should sit with your team to know what functionalities they look for and then shortlist the best features. You should ask around before finalizing any product or features.
As mentioned earlier, these technology-driven tools are crossing boundaries with their diverse range of functionalities. You should pick the software features based on your unique business needs. Make sure that the tool you choose to implement for your business allows you to automate your daily work processes and streamline financial analysis before you lock yourself into a contract with the vendor.
When exploring real estate development tools for your projects, be sure it comes with the following features:
- Finance management
- Document management
- Project management
- Bid management
- Property Profiles
- Property Cost Calculators
Finance management: This allows you to conduct automated profit and loss calculations, monitor accounts payable/receivable, create project budget, and track billing.
Document management: When buying real estate development software, you should consider if it lets you create a centralized file repository that gives version control and enables team members to share and retrieve various relevant project documents, such as contracts, change orders, RFIs etc.
Project management: This is one of the staples of real estate development software. It allows you to monitor each facet of the project to ensure all tasks are being performed according to the given schedule. Moreover, you can also assess process efficiencies to shave off tasks.
Bid management: You can use this feature to upload plans to an online plan room, receive job prospects, procure and solicit bids from subcontractors and send out professional-looking bids in a quote for the job.
Reporting: This helps you understand the project profitability and financial status with detailed cost breakdown reports, such as graphs and charts.
Property Cost Calculators: The price calculator feature can be a useful addition to your software solution for real estate developers. This custom cost estimation feature helps users in determining the total property cost.
Property Profiles: These include detailed information about the property, such as photos, videos, description, price details, rich media, value proposition, owner details, neighborhood information, and much more.
Assessing the Expenses
The deployment method you choose to implement can significantly affect the amount you will pay for a real estate development software system. Technology providers that offer perpetual licenses require you to pay a heavy upfront amount, while others that provide subscription-based software solutions or services ask you for monthly charges. Be sure to consider a software’s total cost of ownership, and always ask the vendor if they provide monthly or lifetime access. The cost of real estate development applications also varies depending on the factors mentioned below.
- Number of users supported
- Customer support
- Contract terms
Some pricing plans for these solutions are as high as $1,600 per year per user. Others will cost you around $15 a month per user. For systems with one-time perpetual license fees, you can expect to pay around $30,000 while other subscription-based products are available for $395. The real estate development software market caters to almost every budget.
Considerations When Purchasing Real Estate Development Software
Real estate developers shopping for software solutions need to consider more than just features in order to make the right decision. We have summarized the key considerations for buying real estate development software into the following two categories:
Size of projects: Businesses dealing with large scale real estate development projects should look for advanced software functionalities, especially for project accounting. They have to make sure their software supports integration with third party core accounting solutions.
Software budget: The pricing of a solution is a grave concern for small business real estate developers. Therefore, they should look for cloud-based tools with a subscription-based pricing model as they are easier on the wallet, unlike on-premise systems, which require users to pay upfront license fees.
The Top Real Estate Development Software
The following integrated real estate development applications have positioned themselves as market leaders:
Choosing What's Best for Your Company
Every real estate development business has different software needs, so selecting the most popular solutions or the industry-leader isn’t a good way to move forward. The right software solution will help you bring all the important aspects of your business together and make you feel confident that you’re making knowledgeable decisions with reliable information. If you consider the factors mentioned above, you’re one step closer to selecting the best technology provider for you, and one step closer to growing your business.