In 2022, there were 1,217,117 real estate sales & brokerage businesses in the U.S. The competition is fierce, to say the least, and gaining a competitive edge is vital if you want to stand out in the real estate market. A quality proptech (property technology) and real estate solution may become a game-changer.
The proptech market offers various off-the-shelf solutions. However, the diversity of real estate needs is so big that it is very challenging to find a single real estate app that will cover all the demands of a specific real estate business. In many cases, you need to opt for a tailored solution that will cover your business gaps and offer a set of features demanded by your customers specifically. That’s why many real estate firms choose custom real estate software development as a preferred choice to using off-the-shelf proptech solutions.
Here is a detailed overview of technology features that may help your team manage real estate services more efficiently and improve customer experience to gain a competitive edge in the vibrant real estate market.
Types of Real Estate Software Solutions
The industry of real estate and proptech solutions is rapidly booming to revolutionize the way people buy, rent, and invest in property. There are many different types of real estate management software solutions, depending on their purpose and user group. The three most popular categories include apps for purchasing, selling, and renting real estate, property management solutions, and property finance software.
Apps for purchasing, selling, and renting real estate
Such software increases the efficiency of the real estate acquisition and rental process. These apps are useful to every party involved in real estate but are especially popular among brokerage firms. The core pillars of such solutions are powerful property search engines, real estate listings, commercial real estate CRM, and marketplace functionality. These solutions also help real estate agencies, property buyers, owners, landlords, and tenants find each other in a highly competitive real estate market.
Property management applications
These are the solutions that automate and improve interactions between real estate agencies, homeowners, and tenants. Such applications are especially useful to property owners or landlords interested in selling or renting their properties. However, these apps are also widely used by brokers for managing commercial real estate and interacting with potential customers. Property management solutions cover a great variety of real estate processes by providing functionality for real estate documentation management, tenant-landlord communication, real estate agent portal, and security deposits.
Property finance applications
Solutions from this category enhance finance-related real estate operations. They ensure transparency, efficient cost management, investment analytics, and financial reporting. Property finance applications can fit the needs of completely different parties in real estate but are typically oriented on real estate investors, brokerage firms, investment advisors, or financial institutions providing mortgages. Such apps provide features for secure invoicing, transparent mortgage calculation and management, leasing, and lending.
Top 10 Features to Include in a Real Estate App
Regardless of the real estate app type you need, you should come up with a clear list of features for your custom solution. Here’s the list of the 10 most interesting proptech app features that will help you streamline real estate services and increase customer satisfaction.
Interactive property search functionality
Manual property search may be a very time-consuming task for real estate agents, property buyers, and tenants. Search automation with a powerful search engine is a popular response to this pain. The core pillars of such a feature are a marketplace-like system of search filters and an interactive map of properties. As the location of the property is vital for both buyers and tenants, integration with Google Maps or other digital maps significantly boosts app usability. In addition, real estate agents can use such features to target the most promising real estate in the area they are working in.
A perfect example of an app with excellent property search functionality is Airbnb, known for its interactive map and a system of filters allowing its users to find the most fitting properties by many parameters. We at Leobit had an experience implementing quite similar functionality while developing an interactive property search portal for an Austin-based real estate company. Our solution provides a system of filters that helps real estate agents and buyers find the most attractive property by applying multiple filters, including property size, condition, number of beds, etc. The app also integrates with Google Maps to improve user search experience. We also integrated an interactive map with a blockchain-based real estate platform for buying and selling properties.
Property comparison tool
Real estate buyers, agents, and tenants often need to сhoose from a wide selection of properties. To make their experience more convenient and efficient, they need a functionality for detailed property comparison. This feature can be met in all types of real estate applications. It perfectly fits property purchase, sales, and rental solutions, as well as property finance software. Once a user has found numerous properties attracting their attention, they can compare them considering any vital parameters. For example, real estate investors can compare two properties by their fees, equity, ROI, tax-related information, and other vital data on the property. If implemented properly, this feature can improve the user experience and/or efficiency of real estate brokers dramatically.
An excellent example of such an app is our investment solution for the real estate industry. A user can create a shortlist of properties and compare their prices, sizes, tax information, and other important features. This functionality can be easily improved and implemented across different platforms, depending on the needs of the business launching such an app.
Property cost and mortgage calculator
With a diversity of financial parameters, such as size, number of beds, location, condition, tax-related information, or loan parameters, real estate calculations may be extremely challenging. Property sellers, landlords, and real estate agents can use a property cost and calculator to objectively evaluate the property cost. A user should insert all critical parameters, to get an approximate cost estimate.
An in-app calculator is also a useful feature for mortgage solutions. A user can input critical details, such as the loan amount, interest rate, loan term, and property taxes to estimate monthly mortgage payments. Quite a similar principle works for real estate leasing platforms.
An example of a solution that provides such functionality is Real Estate Calculator, which runs the essential property-related calculations by estimating mortgage, house affordability, and refinance. You may integrate this tool with the existing real estate application or build a similar platform from scratch.
System of reviews
Real estate customers consider a variety of factors while making decisions, and a positive review can be extremely helpful. Any real estate marketplace requires a system or reviews to help users identify the best and the most reliable offers. Such a feature is also important for improving buyer experience with property sales or rental apps.
Tenants, buyers, or investors can use it to understand who they are dealing with. Real estate brokerage firms implement this feature in their customer-facing platforms to get feedback on the work of their agents and/or understand the reliability of landlords and property owners with whom they cooperate. Basically, a profile of any person involved in real estate can have reviews that tell a lot to other participants of real estate workflows. Whether it goes about open reviews or numeric scores, a quality system of reviews facilitates improvement or helps users be on the safe side during any real-estate-related operations.
A great example of an app that includes such functionality is Zillow. This app is primarily oriented on landlord-tenant relationships. It includes a system of reviews allowing tenants to check landlords and landlords check the reputation of their potential tenants.
Here is a feature that fits all types of real estate solutions and is especially frequent in real estate firm CRMs. Their operations are characterized by a permanent influx of titles, contracts, loan agreements, rental and tenant notes, and other documentation. Handling this stream of documents properly may be challenging, while failure to cope may lead to significant issues, including legal disputes.
Tailored documentation management functionality integrated into a real estate CRM is a game-changer. It provides secure storage, document processing tools, integration with document signing software, such as DocuSign, as well as permission management and documentation distribution and tagging features.
A great example of a proptech platform leveraging this feature is Brokerage Engine. However, as long as many real estate processes are completely unique, consider custom documentation management functionality for your application. You may also opt for a scalable and secure cloud storage for all your documents.
Integration with real estate property listings
Property owners or real estate brokerage firms can add properties to the catalog manually, but integrations with property listings save time and expand the offer. This functionality fits all types of real estate software, especially the apps for purchasing, selling, and renting properties. For example, IDX (Internet Data Exchange) integration allows your platform to display property listings from multiple sources. In the U.S., a popular choice is integrating a real estate marketplace with MLS (Multiple Listing Services), which is one of America’s biggest collections of real estate listings. It includes a variety of lists, including Bright MLS, Austin Board of Realtors, RealTracs Solutions MLS, Midwest Real Estate Data, NorthstarMLS, etc.
We at Leobit have successful experience in proptech app integration with MLS.Our team has developed an advanced property search portal that displays a comprehensive list of properties in New Austin, Texas, allowing the real estate agency to manage its services more efficiently. A custom algorithm based on the WP-Cron plugin retrieves data from the listings and automatically resizes all images to fit the platform’s UI/UX design.
Deposit security tools
The real estate industry is a realm where significant deals and substantial amounts of money take center stage. Each property owner or landlord may need additional security guarantees, such as a reserved deposit stored in a secure place for additional safety guarantees. This functionality is especially relevant to property management solutions oriented on household-tenant relationships. However, it is also a perfect match for all other types of proptech solutions, such as apps for property sales or real estate mortgage and lending platforms. Ideally, a real estate app should be integrated with a payment system, while a deposit security feature will ensure secure storage of deposits, helping property owners stay on the safe side.
To fortify the storage, companies can implement administrative functionality for solving problematic situations in manual mode and logging for all administrative actions. Also, to comply with PCI Security Standards, real estate firms store private user data in externally integrated systems providing the highest levels of security.
Such functionality can be also integrated with real estate insurance platforms. Powered with the best data security scripts, deposit safety features ensure that property owners’ funds are safe and come with guarantees in case of any unforeseen issues.
A perfect example of an app that provides such functionality is a cloud-based real estate guarantee solution for security deposits developed by Leobit. It supports the quick and secure completion of rental agreements. Primarily oriented on landlord-tenant relationships, this tool protects landlords against any financial losses. However, it brings specific benefits to tenants as well, as they don’t have to tie up their money in a rent deposit.
Tenant screening functionality
To feel secure about their property, landlords should know their tenants. Manual research may be time-consuming and require certain skills. That’s why automated tenant screening functionality is a must-have feature for property management solutions oriented on landlord-tenant relationships. Screening functionality can use custom algorithms to retrieve information on tenants’ credit history. It can also help them get generally available information to be sure that the people who rent their property are reliable. There is also an opportunity to use services supporting AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Client) regulations and standards for different countries in order to review customer reliability.
A perfect example of an application including this functionality is a real estate guarantee solution for security deposits. This app allows landlords to check the basic information on their tenants and understand what to expect from them.
Real estate investors have much information to care about, and having all the investment data in one place is a perfect solution for them. Adding a real estate investment portal to a proptech app is an excellent solution. Such a feature allows users to track critical parameters of their investment, estimate real and expected revenues, create investment plans, and generate investment reports. Supplied with a quality administration platform, this functionality also allows the users to review investment portfolios. Based on analytical scripts, such a feature may also provide comprehensive investment reports, statistics, and taxation information, especially relevant to the Exchange 1031 rules. An investor portal feature becomes even more convenient and useful when available on mobile platforms. Our team can enhance its outreach with either native or cross-platform mobile development approaches.
Leobit has implemented this feature while developing a real estate investment management platform for property investors. Investor functionality allows users seeking to exchange real estate according to the Exchange 1031 rules to compare properties, get detailed asset descriptions, investment plans, PDF reports, and risk-adjusted investment portfolios.
Real estate investment advisor
This functionality saves tons of time for real estate investment advisors and perfectly runs with real estate investor and admin platforms. Real estate investment advisor allows real estate agents to get a detailed portfolio with the best options available to potential investors. The portal provides advisors with all tools and data required for making informed decisions and offering strategic guidance to the investors. There is also an opportunity to enhance this functionality with AI scripts that provide smart suggestions and offer even more detailed estimates on real and potential property income.
Real estate advisor functionality has been implemented in the real estate investment management platform developed by our team. This tool helps real estate advisors receive real estate investment portfolios and get precise estimations of various properties’ investment potential. It also automatically synchronizes with the app’s investor portal.
Benefits You Gain with a State-of-the-Art Real Estate App
The above-mentioned features of a real estate app may fit completely different use cases. Most probably, you won’t need to implement them in a single real estate platform. Instead, choose the ones that fit your specific vision, and ask experienced real estate software developers to deliver this functionality with all necessary customization. Proptech software with features from our list will bring you tangible benefits, allowing you to:
- Save time through automation
- Save budget through process optimization
- Increase customer satisfaction through customer-centric design
- Ensure regulation compliance through secure documentation management
- Boost profitability by finding better properties and making more precise calculations
- Enhance your reputation and boost marketing by improving customer relationships
So, these were the most interesting real estate app features for 2023. This list can be expanded with more basic functionality, such as in-app messenger, interactive calendar, mailing automation, or more ingenious features, such as IoT or blockchain integrations. After all, when it comes to building a real estate app, everything depends on your profile, your needs, and the demands of your customers.
All that remains is finding a reputable real estate software development company to implement your goals. Leobit is ready to help you build an excellent real estate app powered with the features you need. Listed among Ukraine’s best .NET developers and driven by a rich real estate software development expertise, we are open to your most ambitious ideas and goals. Contact us and let our team help you choose and build the right functionality for your game-changing real estate app!