The real estate market is like a tank with sharks — everyone has teeth and can bite off your head.
In 2020, 97% of consumers used online resources to buy or rent a house. Around 76% of them used a mobile device.
In the first quarter of 2021, there were more than 23 million real estate app installations in the USA alone.
In this article, we’ve covered all the aspects of real estate app creation.
7 Key Challenges that Real Estate Apps Help to Cover
Let’s review some of the benefits.
1. Improve your clients’ experiences
2. Leverage data
The number of customers who find properties online is growing by the year. According to Statista, around 80% of Millennials, 78% of Generation X, and 68% of younger Boomers use mobile devices to find their homes in the USA.
3. Organize your team of realtors
4. Increase market share
5. Increased property sales and lead retention
6. Routine task automation
Here are a few reasons to create a real estate application:
- Better customer experience
- Access to all the data your business generates
- Insight into customer behavior for better data-driven decisions
- The ability to increase market share and reach new audiences
- Automation of routine tasks
Shape of the Existing Real Estate Market & Trends
In spite of all the predictions, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic ignited new growth in the real estate market.
Let’s review some of the statistics showcasing the current state of the market and what to expect in the future:
- Gen X (born between 1965 and 1979) is the most significant proportion of homebuyers in America, at 24% of the market. Older millennials (1980 to 1989) are the second-largest group of homebuyers, at 23%.
- In 2021, home buying power increased by 21%.
- So far in 2022, over six million houses have been sold in the USA.
- Houses don’t stay on the market for long. The average availability is around 38 days, but they usually sell even faster than that.
9 Real Estate App Types & Potential Ideas
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of apps for real estate.
1. Mobile solutions for real estate agents
Examples: Redfin, Lovely, Dotloop, Calendly, Trafft, Quickbooks, Yaza
2. Property listing apps
Examples: Zillow, Xome, Realtor.com, Trulia, Nomad
3. Property management apps
Examples: OnCite, Buildium, Rent Manager.
4. Smart home access apps
Examples: Google Home, Apple Home
5. House hunting or renting apps
Examples: Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Nomad
6. Home valuation
7. Virtual tour software
8. Real estate marketing apps
9. Real estate investment software
Examples: LoopNet, Xome, DiversyFund, ArrivedHomes, EquityMultiple
Top 4 Real Estate App Market Players to Learn From
Let’s get a powerful dose of inspiration from the market leaders.
Zillow is one of the USA’s most prominent real estate applications.
Around 80% of US homes have been viewed on Zillow.com. The app’s users view 420 million homes per month on their mobile devices. Zillow focuses on the entire lifecycle from shopping for a home to living in it.
Trulia is an app concentrated on the home search process.
To help users make the best choice, the app allows them to explore neighborhoods on a full-feature map by browsing through photos, viewing drone footage, and reading resident reviews.
Realtor.com is an official search portal for the National Association of Realtors.
The solution has integration with the Multiple Listing System (MLS), which allows users to get more comprehensive data on listings.
Redfin is a real estate search engine designed to help customers find homes for sale or rent.
Real Estate App Development: Feature-Sets
The final set of features will depend on the type of app you want to create, your target audience, and your business objectives.
Let’s review some of the most popular real estate app features.
- User onboarding (Signup/Login)
- User Profiles (User, Sellers, & Agents)
- Database and listings
- Categories and filters
- Map integration
- Property profiles
- Save search and favorite listings
- Property cost and mortgage calculators
- Feedback system
- Push notifications
- Administrative panel
Advanced Real Estate Functionality
Let’s find out how you can make your app more exciting for users.
- Navigation and street view
- Real-time messaging
- Advanced search functionality
- 3D virtual tours
- Comparison feature
Tech Stack & Integrations for Real Estate App Creation
The table below represents an approximate technology stack.
5 Innovations to Use in Real Estate Apps to Stand Out
Let’s review some of the innovations to consider for your application.
Artificial Intelligence in combination with Machine Learning makes it possible for an app to study user behavior and preferences and use the data collected to provide accurate and personalized recommendations and suggestions.
2. AR & VR
Augmented and Virtual Reality are technologies with the power to increase sales. If you decide to add them, users will be able to take remote, virtual tours around the property.
The Internet of Things is another technology that you should consider, and possible implementations are limitless.
You can set up beacons throughout the property to allow users to interact with their surroundings in real-time. These beacons can also tell users which properties are for sale or rent nearby.
4. Big Data
Big Data allows you to store and process huge amounts of information, usually collected with the help of Artificial Intelligence. The technologies can be used to predict user behavior and decisions and to provide a personalized experience.
Blockchain is a true life-saver in the retail industry and is used to prevent fraud in real estate. Blockchain can store all the information about a property and allow you to double-check all the documents. At the same time, blockchain provides transparency and guarantees that no documents can be forged.
5-Step Process for Real Estate Mobile App Development
App development comprises different stages and processes. Usually, it can be distributed into five main steps:
- Market analysis
- Defining strategy and USP
- Collecting listings
- Choosing IT partner and tech stack
- App development
It’s time to take a close look at every stage and what each is dedicated to.
1. Analyze the market
Thorough market analysis will help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that you create an app that has a chance for success.
Here are a few steps that you’ll need to take care of:
- Identify your target market
- Choose your target audience
- Explore the market, user pains, and competitors
2. Define strategy and how to stand out
After you’ve done the research and have identified and explored your competitors, you can move to the next stage — identifying how you can stand out. What will be your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and what functionality will you need to develop?
Functionality is not a single USP that can help you be different. Sometimes, you can stand out thanks to the availability of the best offers on the market or thanks to an unprecedented level of services provided.
3. Collect the listings
Property listings are the basis of mobile app development for real estate. For the markets where MLS (multiple listing service — stands for connecting brokers and receiving data about selling properties) is available, you can integrate your app with these listings and save a lot of time.
However, MLS is available not in all markets. In these cases, you’ll need to contact brokers, real estate agencies, and individual agents to collect listings of apartments, houses, and other properties.
4. Choose an IT partner and tech stack
You can collect an in-house development team, hire a software development company, or opt for a dedicated development team. Usually, the app development team consists of the following professionals:
- UX/UI designer
- Software architect
- iOS developer
- Android developer
- Back-end developer
- DevOps engineer
- QA engineer
There are a lot of companies that provide software development services, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding your perfect IT partner.
5. Develop Real Estate App Ver.1.0
You can start by developing an app with a basic set of features in order to test and validate your idea in real life.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Real Estate Business?
The app development costs range from $60,000 to $250,000 depending on the complexity of features, the number of integrations, and supported platforms. Please note that this cost is calculated based on the average developer rate of $40 per hour in Eastern Europe (Ukraine).
You might be surprised by the cost differences, but, in fact, a number of factors influence the final cost:
1. Size and location of the IT vendor
2. Complexity of functionality
3. Back-end infrastructure and connected APIs
4. UX/UI design
5. Branded visuals
6. Number of platforms