3 Major Benefits For Custom Software Development In The Real Estate Industryin Development
The real estate industry is pushed towards adopting a custom software development approach for service delivery, then continuing with its old school methods. This change is based on two main reasons: the evolution of technology and the fierceness of the competition. Building a website with one of the website building tools might look like a good idea to get your business online fast. We recommend you to examine your options before making any decision. Think on a long run, weigh the pros and cons of choosing already built CMSes (custom management systems) and off the shelf CRMs (customer relationship management) versus custom-built CMS and CRM software.
In this article, we are going to talk about the benefits of custom development in the real estate industry. Business owners have to make decisions that best fit their business needs. We will offer you some tips and tricks to stay ahead of your competition, so follow along as we dive deeper into this interesting subject.
Real Estate Website Builders vs Custom Real Estate Development
As we’ve mentioned above, there are two ways to build your real estate website: you can choose the available online website builders, or you can opt for a custom software development company to create your project from scratch.
The most common platforms for real estate websites are Wix and Squarespace. They serve the most simple websites, such as landing pages and portfolio types of websites. Now, let’s explore the pros and cons of a website builder for a real estate business:
- Easy to use, you don’t need technical or coding skills;
- The templates come with built-in functionalities that can be easily customized;
- You don’t have to worry about UX and UI design;
- These websites are usually responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Limited available features that might not fit entirely with your business needs;
- Low chances of being able to add other features than the pre-built ones. In case you can request such features, they are pretty expensive and it might take a lot of time to be developed;
- You might have issues with advertising your website, especially on Google. You need to have your own domain, unique name, and clear code to promote your services;
- It is hard to customize or improve the existing design, as the templates are static. But most importantly, your competition might have already used the design you would like or the designs are outdated;
- Do not hope for an outstanding user experience as you cannot achieve a specific idea or business goal because of a lack of customization. All your potential buyers will get the same monotone and flat customer experience.
When it comes to building a custom CMS and CRM system from scratch, we talk about 3 major benefits that will help your business overcome the main challenges in real estate: meeting your target audience’s experience, satisfy specific needs of your business, and ensuring proper, more efficient communication between real estate agents and potential buyers, and between your teams. Of course, custom development also has some disadvantages. Let’s talk about them and then dig deeper into the advantages:
- It will take longer to develop as it is going to require real estate market analysis, idea validation, finding a unique design concept, and testing;
- You will invest more money into the development stage;
- It will require some research from your side in finding the right software development company that has the essential experience and expertise.
As you may see, the disadvantages are not that many, and when thinking long term, they are almost nonexistent. We highly recommend you to opt for a custom real estate development if you want to be on top of the market and having a competitive advantage. Your potential buyers will not only have an amazing user experience, but your website will have a great design, will be responsive, optimized for mobile, your SEO will be rock-solid. More than that, your agents can see the customer life cycle, will have all the data in one place, and the teams can communicate faster and easily between them and with clients.
With this being said, let’s dive deeper into the main benefits of a custom CMS and CRM development for the real estate industry:
The 3 Major Benefits for Custom Software Development in The Real Estate Industry
The real estate industry is more and more competitive, therefore, being online is mandatory. Custom software for real estate is a very important tool whose utility and value increases with optimizations and versatility. We are going to split the benefits of a custom software development for real estate businesses into SEO and competitive advantage, user experience advantages, and better customer management for real estate agents.
1. SEO and Competitive Advantage
The competition in the real estate industry is strong and aggressive. To overcome this and ensure your success on the market, we stand by custom software development. The most important benefit of this type of development is that you will have a competitive advantage because you will get your offerings to the market faster than other companies in your industry. Through the years, your competition will offer the same digital experiences, because already-built software is identical and offers the same benefits. But a custom solution is unique, perfectly tailored on your business needs, and you will automatically have an SEO advantage. As your business grows, the software grows with you, adapting to your new requirements and needs. An off-the-shelf solution cannot be changed to fit your new demands. With a custom solution, you do not depend on other software platforms, plug-in updates, and programs. With a custom platform you can anticipate and adapt when changes are needed, so you don’t compromise your efficiency and customer experience. As we’ve mentioned before, you will have an SEO advantage from the start when opting for custom software. This translates into increased performance because you can optimize and customize a lot of processes; user retention because an authentic software is designed and has functionalities that provide your clients unique features, adapt to their demands and you can upgrade or downgrade your resources at any time; responsive to ensure the same experience across all devices; secure because you will use HTTPS. Check out what we can do for you in terms of SEO.
2. Outstanding User Experience
A user-centric approach in the real estate industry is crucial for business success. We believe that focusing your software around user’s interests should come first and foremost. These days, a website should obey the user’s needs and not vice versa. In case your site does not meet their needs, you might lose a potential client.
Below we are going to enumerate how you can deliver an outstanding user experience and convert your website into a lead generation magnet, step by step:
- Think about how they can complete their goal, find useful information, and what matters to them. Take a look into your Google Analytics, map out the user journey and analyze the data you already have. This will help you understand where your potential clients get stuck and why they do not convert.
- Next, it is time to study your competitor’s websites, identify their strengths and weaknesses.
- Your website’s usability should be the focus, and the aesthetics fall into second place. We recommend you to use only necessary visual effects and not overdo it. Our suggestion is to keep a simple and intuitive navigation, with fast page speed, and mobile-friendly layout.
- Make your website a powerful property search tool by providing a proper “shopping experience” of your online listings. Think about adding search filters for every tiny detail of interest for your target audience such as the number of bathrooms, home type, neighbourhoods, price, etc. Allow users to search by keywords and add listings to favourites.
- Use strong call to actions (CTAs). Use specific real estate language, stimulating verbs, evoke feelings and emotions, etc.
- Do not forget the importance of beautiful, high-quality images of your listings.
By providing every small detail that your target audience might look for, you will definitely offer a great user experience and significantly increase the chances of converting users into buyers. Our suggestion is to keep the user experience simple, clear, consistent, and with the help of the right development company for building your custom software, your success is guaranteed.
3. Better Customer Management for Real Estate Agents
Real estate businesses are using CRM tools to reinforce the relationship with the clients, to keep a proper workflow and a clear, complex data management system. Custom CRM software has many benefits that are perfectly tailored to your needs, operations, and sales processes. As your business evolves, you need more customizable features and functions.
We strongly believe that a custom customer relationship management solution is the best choice when it comes to nurturing lead acquisition and conversion processes. Customers in real estate have more specific and unique requirements, which off-the-shelf CRM solutions cannot completely satisfy. Custom development will help your employees to facilitate the communication with potential clients, they will be able to identify trends in client requirements, which will eventually allow you to split your customers into different segments that align with your unique sales process.
Implementing a custom real estate software will help you with:
- Leads Prioritization – a CRM tool will allow you to sort and monitor your leads. A great approach in achieving results and a high conversion rate is to pursue the leads that have a big potential to convert. Not having a custom real estate management system, will waste time and resources in pursuing pointless leads. With an excellent piece of CRM software, you will be able to arrange your leads based on the engagement levels. Therefore, you can create separate action plans for different types of leads. Besides, your teams will focus their efforts in the right direction and can monitor the entire lead database.
- Client Information – another important that comes with implementing a custom CRM is that you can organize all client data efficiently. You will have all the information about leads and existing clients in one place. The entire team will have access to all critical details and can monitor the sales cycle. As you know, in the real estate industry, the sales process can be long and might take months for a potential buyer to convert, but having all the information and communications from the beginning of the sales process to the present day, will save you a lot of time and you will know exactly how to re-engage the lead.
- Sales Process Mapping – the biggest challenge of a real estate company is to manage leads at different stages at once. Having property visits, phone calls, negotiations with different clients on the same day can be difficult to handle. By using a CRM application that allows you to map the details of the entire sales process will ease your work and will keep you organized. Custom CRM applications use features that allow real estate agents to check the progress of every lead with a single glance.
- Client Relationships – a custom software solution will help you offer a great experience to current and future customers. The features in a real estate CRM tool allow you to centralize and facilitate customer interactions. This will improve user experience, engagement, and will result in highly satisfied customers. You can transmit information to your clients based on their needs via a newsletter. Besides that, you can also store personal information about your clients such as birthdays, anniversary dates, and you can congratulate them on these occasions to boost their engagement with your company. Custom real estate software development can include the needed features that help you increase your relationships with your clients.
- Performance Analysis – custom software solutions help you in evaluating the performance of your business and your teams by gathering data about the number of leads that were converted during a specific timeframe. You can identify buyer behaviour, a useful piece of information when thinking about planning your next strategies. Moreover, you can easily see the return of investment and calculate the cost of each acquired lead. The financial reports will be generated quickly and you can also monitor the performance evaluation of your employees individually.
As seen above, custom solutions have a tremendous impact on your business performance, can help you with the customer acquisition optimization processes, and will lead you to business success by improving the overall efficiency.
Bonus Benefit – Third-Party Integrations for Customer Satisfaction
Another essential feature that is supported by custom management software is third-party integration. This is a huge benefit because you don’t have to change the platforms you are currently using and start everything from the beginning. Let’s have a look at what third-party integrations for your business strategy you can take advantage of:
- Marketing Automation – advanced and well-built CRMs have modules for marketing campaigns automation, where you can create, optimize, and implement your strategy by setting tasks, tracking them, adjusting your budget, and sending personalised emails. Do not forget that content strategy is one of the most important aspects nowadays. The team of software developers can build easy-to-use content editing, formatting features, and add other features that will help with your marketing strategy.
- Real-Time Communication – customer satisfaction is directly proportional to the quality of the services a property company provides. You can opt for features such as integrated chats to aid the communication process between the buyer and seller, one-click-to-call options, real-time chatbot, or even an AI-based virtual assistant. We stand by all these communication channels that can be integrated into one solution because real estate agents can quickly reply to any client request, give advice, share documents, and keep everything safe.
- Integration Compatibility – your CRM system should be compatible with any existing system you might need such as Google tools, MailChimp, or other emailing platforms, click-to-call tools, contact forms, CMS platforms, etc. The integration should be painless and smooth.
You have endless possibilities of third-party integrations to choose from. Do not overdo it at first. We recommend you, to start with the integrations you are familiar with and are aligned with your business goals.
Stay Ahead of Your Competition
In this section, we are going to share with you some tips and tricks that will put you at the top of your industry. Adopting the latest technology trends will show your audience that you care about offering a great user experience and you are determined to succeed and grow. Therefore, let’s explore together what features and services you can implement:
- 360 degrees videos are a great way to show your buyers, in a very comprehensive way, a property listing worth visiting. Especially in these times of social distancing, this feature will boost the user’s interest.
- Mobile app or a mobile-optimized version of your software is a great addition to your estate management software. Your agents will have every piece of information on the go. Even when they are on the field, they can still engage in real-time with buyers and potential clients.
- Do not forget about SEO! This way, you will deliver a complete and complex experience not only to people but to search engines as well. Your website will look beautiful and your content will be relevant and well optimized.
- Focus on website navigation because this feature is your “money maker”. Offer a sleek property search experience, make the next steps intuitive, add very detailed filters, and for sure, you will convert more users into buyers.
- Combine usability with aesthetics by remembering that an outstanding photo will fail in attracting users if you don’t meet customer’s expectations and needs.
- Monitor and optimize your services based on user behaviour. Perform periodic analysis on users and market trends to find out what is changing and how users react to different implementations, services, property listings, etc. Based on the findings, optimize your strategies and software accordingly.
We offer software development services, tailored perfectly on business needs, goals, and targets. We understand the important aspects of the real estate solutions as we partnered with Blitz Imobiliare, the biggest real estate agency in Cluj-Napoca, and one of the most influential companies in Romania. The project was to design an adaptive CMS and a CRM with custom-built modules that suit their business requirements.
The challenge was to develop a CRM that will fit a huge database in one place and a website redesign that better fit their vision and direction. The goal was to deliver a strong software development solution that will accommodate all the needed features, make it more accessible to everyone in the company, and end-users.
Read this case study to find out all about our approach, information architecture, development process, prototyping and testing, implemented solutions, UX and UI, and SEO strategy.
We are a full-service digital agency with expertise in a wide range of industries, that strives to deliver top-notch services and products. We always follow the best practices, we do our research before any project, to make sure that we deliver great results. Contact us and let’s talk about your custom software development project.