Development | 14 min read
Real Estate App Development Strategy: Reasons To Go Online
How often do you buy or sell real property? We think it is not about a simple visit to the grocery store. Before you do it, it is necessary to consider a lot of vital aspects. And you can do it properly with real estate software.
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That is why the real estate app development is a profitable niche where you can start your business. Moreover, if you are the owner of a real estate agency, you need to build an app for it by default. If you don’t have software — your business doesn’t have a future.
We want to help you keep up with the times. And we prepared the information about the benefits of the real estate app, top trends in the real estate sector, revenue models, and development steps. Keep on reading!
Why Should You Go Online With A Real Estate Business?
As the National Association of Realtors claimed, four years ago, in 2016, 44% of real property buyers used real estate websites to find and select the property they like. Today the number of buyers that use online services in the first turn exceeds 85%.
Besides, people tend to use mobile apps more often than real estate websites. And this applies not only to the real estate sector — people like using mobile phones to order food, buy clothes, consult with a doctor, etc.
The mobile app has more benefits than websites, and the main of them is their flexibility, especially if it is a native app. The native app uses the device's features and makes users' experience more in-depth and more comfortable. And mobile life makes people do everything on the go. So that is the reason for finding real estate app development solutions.
Benefits Of Mobile App Development For Real Estate
To be more specific, we will list the top benefits of mobile app development for the real estate sector. You will get it once you build your app.
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Customer loyalty. You can attract new customers by using new loyalty programs and make them use your app more often. But apart from exciting loyalty programs, the app should have high usability.
More successful deals. This benefit is tightly connected to the first one. An excellent and thought-out app improves the customer experience and motivates them to conclude more deals.
Personalized approach. Marketing tools allow you to analyze your target audience, analyze its behavior and preferences, and provide each customer with everything they need. This is another factor to increase customer loyalty, by the way.
Always connected. Integrated chat and contact details of real estate agents allow customers to stay in touch with them and get all up-to-date information timely.
Brand awareness. If you create an app for your real estate agency, it is the right way to make your brand recognizable. Custom logo, fonts, colors will contribute to it.
Reduced workload. The goal of the software is to improve, speed up, and optimize many routine processes. And real estate apps help real estate agents automate some processes and make interaction with customers more effective.
Top Trends In Real Estate Mobile App Development In 2020
Mobile app development for real estate will be more beneficial if your app uses modern tech trends. You need to get acquainted with the top trends if you want to stand out among the crowd.
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Big Data. It is worth noting that the real estate sector is not the only one where Big Data is popular. Today Big Data really matters. Your real estate app processes and stores a vast amount of data, and this amount grows exponentially. Big Data algorithms let you analyze all customers’ behavior and process everything faster. Simply put, Big Data is a tool for efficient data management.
Augmented reality. Augmented reality, or AR, is the right tool for customers to show them how the apartment or house will look after the redesign, furniture installation, etc. AR makes it possible to create a virtual tour around the real property.
Blockchain. Since blockchain is a distributed and transparent system, it may reduce the number of potential frauds and make all the deals secure and reliable. Smart contracts created in blockchain motivate both parties to fulfill their obligations properly.
AI. How can we stay away from artificial intelligence? This trend remained topical, it does today, and it will remain, we are sure. AI is used together with Big Data to make predictions and analyze the activity of each customer. Also, AI helps you manage possible risks.
How To Monetize Real Estate App
If you plan to use your app as the primary income source, you need to think about revenue models that will better fit your app. Below you will find the most widespread models to use, so you can make your choice and get the most of your app.
Monthly fees. Real estate agents will pay monthly fees to be featured in listings. Or they can pay to stay at the top of listings. You can also offer a trial period so users can test this feature for free.
Premium app. Customers can use a free version of your app, but it will have a limited number of features. Let them use your app to the maximum with additional beneficial features available on a paid basis. But premium functions should be precious to persuade customers to use a premium app.
Selling ads. Any third-party business related to real estate can post their ads for a fixed fee. Mortgage lenders, designers, insurance agencies, or any other will be able to promote their services in your app.
Commissions. Of course, the most popular monetization method is getting your percent of each successfully concluded deal. However, it shouldn’t be very high since it can make users switch to a competitor’s app.
Partnership. You can partner with one or a few banks to let them provide mortgage loans on favorable terms. Thus, such integration will be an additional monetization method.
How To Build A Real Estate App: Crucial Steps
Real estate app development can let your business prosper, or it can become the reason for failures. Everything depends on the implementation of the app. If the strategy of real estate app development is thought-out and elaborated, you will gain your profit. So proper development steps play a vital role in this process.
Research And Build Your UVP
Although all real estate apps serve one purpose, they are different. Moreover, such top apps like Trulia or Zillow became popular due to high-quality content and particular features. That is what you should do as well — make a unique app and provide a unique value proposition (UVP).
It would be best to start with research and market analysis, choose a revenue model, find out everything about your competitors, and define your target audience. Then you will be able to decide what features and particularities of your app will make it stand out among the crowd of competitive apps. And tech trends we mentioned above will help you achieve it.
Choose The App Type
You also need to determine what type of real estate app you need. If you create an app for your agency, it works as a digital representation and face of your business, so it should be made following some custom color models and use your logo. It must be recognizable. By the way, mind to think up a short brand name — people will remember it better.
The second type is the real estate app that works as a mediator between realtors and customers. Thus, freelance agents can upload the listing of real property they offer, and buyers may look it through and contact agents directly.
Think About Real Estate Application Features
The real estate app should have a raw number of features, and it doesn’t matter what app type you will opt for. But an app for the agency should be created in two versions — for agents and buyers. At the same time, features for real estate apps for both parties will not be too different.
The app for agents should contain two must-have features that buyers’ app may lack — sign up and user profile. Thus, agents need to sign up using social media or email and create their profile to provide potential buyers with comprehensive information about the agent. It will increase the trust of customers and make the connection more transparent.
However, if a buyer decides to contact a real estate agent, they will need to sign up and create a profile as well. In this case, a user profile is also a must-have feature.
Sign up can also be available in the app for real estate buyers, but users don’t need to sign up if they want to look through properties, check prices, etc.
Standard features in both app versions will be the following:
Listings. The list of available real estate properties must be available for buyers and agents. In apps for connecting freelance agents and buyers, agents should be able to add their listings. It is recommended to enable map integration and make it possible to show on the map each property displayed in the listing.
Advanced search. Apart from searching agents or buyers, the app must allow customizing search and use filters and categories to find everything users need faster. Buyers can filter the properties by location, crime rate there, nearby schools, etc.
Chat. Let agents and customers communicate with each other via integrated chat. Your app may contain a video chat feature, but it will be more complicated and costly to integrate.
History. This feature is more critical for agents since they need to monitor the history of deals and check their statistics.
Favorites. Customers can add properties they like to favorites. It will help them make a decision faster and sort out the most exciting variants.
Map. Neither agents nor buyers use your app without this feature — an interactive map with available properties and their precise location, along with relevant information about each property.
Property profile. Each house or apartment should have its profile or page with a detailed description of all necessary particularities.
Realtor profile. Each realtor should have their profile with a detailed description of their experience and rating.
Rating/reviews. This feature is tightly connected with the one above — rating of each realtor will be an identification quality mark. Also, reviews of buyers may describe their experience of cooperation with one or the other real estate agent.
Push notifications. Important news and notifications about new messages or some changes in deals will be vital for agents and homebuyers.
Cost calculator. Let buyers estimate how much they will need to pay for an apartment or house, including some custom factors like district, number of bedrooms, number of floors, etc.
These features are the must. As for additional ones, you can also add a mortgage calculator so buyers will calculate their mortgage payments. And there can be a virtual tour feature with AR technology to let buyers see the property in 3D.
Remember About Security
You should remember that security is the priority in any business. And your real estate app must provide security measures for buyers and agents like ID scanning (to ensure that persons are real, and it will reduce the risk of frauds) and two-factor authentication. Apart from social login, users will need to add a phone number and password to protect their profiles.
Real Estate UI/UX design
Real estate app UI design (along with UX) is what makes your app user-friendly. Neat features are useless if your app design is disgusting. So your app should include clear images and videos, heatmaps to improve customer experience, clear dropdown menus, easy navigation, etc.
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Of course, the UI design pattern of your app shouldn’t replicate any existing app. As for the UX, there are conventional patterns that all users are accustomed to, so they may be similar to other real estate apps. Anyway, UI/UX designers in real estate app development company need to pay attention to it and make your app outstanding.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Real Estate Mobile App Builder
There are app builders that allow you to create your mobile app quickly and at an easy rate. However, you won’t benefit from it. The app will have a limited number of features, primitive design, and it will look like dozens of existing apps. Moreover, scalability issues will also appear — it will be impossible to predict the app behavior during vast data processing. So you need to invest more money in custom app development.
For a start, you need to hire a real estate mobile app development company like Cadabra Studio that will include the required staff like UI/UX designers, app developers, QA engineers, project managers, business analysts. Designers will conduct detailed research, create a real estate app prototype for your consideration, and then developers will create the app, including all your requirements.
We can create an MVP of your app first. You will be able to collect feedback and gather statistics to determine the right direction. Why may an MVP be the reason to start? This guide will spell everything out.
Real Estate App Development Cost
The cost of real estate app development can be different depending on many factors. And the main factor is the location of the software development team. Because the hourly rate of each company directly depends on its location.
Cadabra Studio is located in Ukraine, Eastern Europe. The rates in this region are between $25-50. In contrast, Western European development companies charge $75-100 per hour. The US-based companies are considered to provide the most expensive services — their rates start at $125 and may exceed 200$ per hour.
So you can make your choice. But remember that the quality of services doesn’t depend on the rate level — Ukraine is famous for many world-known startups, and its developers have a robust technical background.
Well, enough said. Cadabra Studio is always ready to become a troubleshooting company for you. Contact our experts to get a detailed estimate and any other necessary information for your future real estate app.
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