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How to Build Proptech Software: Definition, Key Features, and Development Guide

July 13, 2021
18 min

The modern business world gladly accepts new technologies and innovations taking the most out of them to maximize profit and meet clients’ needs efficiently.

One of such new trends is PropTech which can be briefly described as a combination between ‘property’ and ‘technology’ similar to FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, and others.

This innovation is relatively new to the global business market, but lots of companies have already leveraged the benefits it provides.

According to Venture Scanner, the level of annual funding of PropTech or ReTech (as it’s called in the US) has reached $20 bln in 2018 compared to $8 bln in 2014. This way, the average funding of the PropTech industry has increased by 62% during the 2013-2018 period.

real-estate-funding-over-time-venturescanner

Real Estate Funding 2011-2018 by Venture Scanner

The graph above proves the fact that innovative products created by PropTech companies serve more and more business needs every year.

For this reason, we want to cover this topic and discuss the following aspects in our post:

  • PropTech definition
  • PropTech trends and statistics
  • Top 10 proptech software types
  • PropTech software development guide.

Let’s start right now by defining what is proptech industry.

PropTech: What Is It

PropTech is an umbrella term related to a wide range of technologies and tools used by real estate and property management companies. Be it a mobile or desktop application, proptech software facilitates the industry in lots of aspects:

  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Maintenance
  • Contract Management, etc.

Apart from software, proptech can be used as a hardware device like sensors, VR headsets, cameras, trackers, and so on.

So, proptech definition can be described as a specific real estate industry where innovative technology products serve business and clients’ needs to offer new approaches and methods of finding, choosing, leasing, and purchasing real estate properties.

In fact, modern real estate companies use at least 1-2 proptech software solutions daily.

For example, VergeSense, OnSiteIQ, Knotel, Homeday, HomeViews, Acaboom, and OhMyHome are among the most successful and popular PropTech startups.

 

Why is proptech software important for your business?

According to the KPMG Annual Real Estate Industry Report, proptech software helps the real estate industry to solve such challenges as building management, data security and privacy management, customer experience, and others.

Biggest-real-estate-challenges-proptech-help-with

The biggest Real Estate challenges PropTech software help with

The above graph shows the percentage of top real estate industry challenges PropTech software can help to solve.

How We Built Our Own PropTech Software AscendixRE CRM Salesforce App

Check our case study to know the key challenges and solutions we have developed in proptech CRM software development project AscendixRE.

PropTech Software Benefits

Let’s now discuss the key proptech software benefits it provides to real estate companies, property managers, landlords, and tenants.

 

Advanced Transparency

The rapid growth of PropTech Big Data and Blockchain technologies help clients track their property transactions with single-click ease which boosts customers’ loyalty towards your real estate company.

What’s more, with the establishment of Global Real Estate Transparency Index as a key industry benchmark, transparency of transactions and other property management operations has become one of the top priorities for customers while choosing a real estate company to work with.

For these reasons, usage of proptech platforms and solutions is beneficial for your company to boost customer loyalty, sales, and improve the decision-making process.

 

Improved Promotion

Proptech software also helps real estate agents to better promote properties by using advanced tools and functionality providing advanced insights into the floorplans, galleries, development plans, etc.

For example, Snaptrude is a proptech architectural design solution created to help real estate agents convert hand-drawn floorplan sketches into visually-appealing and insightful 3D models in a matter of seconds.

This way, leveraging the benefits of proptech software properly, you can improve your promotion activities and help brokers improve the lead-to-deal ratio by times.

 

Enhanced occupancy

One of the key components of modern PropTech software solutions is Artificial Intelligence. It uses smart algorithms to enhance property promotion and provide the most relevant landlord-tenant match.

Utilizing lots of criteria collected through search engines like requests, preferences, requirements, and other important data, AI algorithms help landowners and property managers find the right tenants in a fast and easy way.

 

Automation and Time Savings

The PropTech startups provide landowners with innovate mobile apps created to help them automate and simplify the rental process including rent tracking, right tenant attraction, safe sensitive data storage, and repair services management.

This way, landlords can benefit from using PropTech software by saving their time through day-to-day tasks automation, financial asset optimization, and rental holdings organization.

Primarily, landowners get opportunities to focus on major rental business development instead of diving into hours of routine operations daily.

 

Direct Digital Engagement

There is no secret that technologies are designed to reduce time- and cost-consuming offline interactions and PropTech software is no exception.

The modern market solutions offer powerful direct digital engagement in housing including:

  • Cloud-based security systems with remote management
  • Contactless visitor management through access control systems
  • Online registration/sign-in support
  • Touchless access control systems.

So, direct digital engagement is one of the core benefits PropTech software provides allowing landlords and property managers to decrease expenses and increase efficiency.

What’s more, remote data access and management enables companies to get, administrate, and process required data from any location.

 

Virtual Interactions

PropTech startups are constantly building and improving digital experience of the offerings they provide to all real estate parties. And one of the core technological benefits of PropTech software is virtual interaction which eliminates the location issues for both landlords and tenants.

Besides, this technology provides unlimited opportunities for both sides to interact time- and cost-efficiently along with even more seamless customer experience.

Renters become able to review the preferred real estate properties anytime around the world. This becomes possible with virtual inspections, tours, viewings, closing, and front desks.

What’s more, video conferencing is currently gaining popularity as it also saves much time and positively affect the interaction and deal processes.

 

Key Players in Different Segments of PropTech

Ultimately, we want to share some leading companies and PropTech startups within multiple verticals so that you have a better understanding of how close is PropTech technology to our modern business world.

So, here is the list of proptech companies that dominate:

Key PropTech Players In Different Market Segments | Ascendix Tech

Key PropTech Players In Different Market Segments | Ascendix Tech

 

PropTech Trends & Stats

As we stated earlier, the PropTech industry is currently gaining momentum and now we want to discuss the key statistics and what to expect from PropTech business in 2021.

Considering the adoption of PropTech around the world, the United States has the biggest and most developing markets worldwide.

Namely, New York, San Fransisco, and Boston are the biggest PropTech startups USA centers providing property insights within construction, selling, purchasing, and renting real estate properties.

proptech-software-us-market-distribution-unissu

US PropTech Software Market Distribution By Cities

Unissu, the leading PropTech, ReTech, CreTech, and property ecosystem, stated that the US has already spotted more than 2,000 PropTech companies and this number tends to grow.

The below chart by Deloitte 2020 Real Estate Prediction Report proves this fact and shows the PropTech adoption by continents in percentage.

geography-proptech-companies-worldwide-deloitte

Worldwide PropTech Companies Geography by Deloitte

As you can see, the US and Europe are the two main adopters of PropTech platforms actively using its latest innovative solutions to revolutionize the real estate market.

In terms of commercial approaches, over 70% of US PropTech companies concentrate on the B2B sector, less than 30% opt for the B2C format, and only 3% of enterprises prefer a blended business approach.

What’s more, over half of PropTech startups are focused on the residential property section, less than 40% are involved in the commercial segment, and less than 10% are enabled in retail.

 

PropTech Trends in 2021

Artificial Intelligence

AI algorithms revolutionize real estate market development by empowering both landlords and tenants.

Artificial Intelligence allows landowners to use automated smart algorithms that utilize multiple criteria to search for the most relevant renters and accelerate the deal process.

 

Big Data and Digitization of property data assets

PropTech Big Data solutions provide real estate parties with powerful data-driven insights within all possible aspects like marketing, sales, investments, and others.

There are several key ways of how the real estate sector is transforming through Big Data solutions and now let’s discuss them.

 

Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology for housing

BIM helps clients get relevant answers to the following questions:

  • How a building will be built
  • How much time it will take to finish the development
  • How much it will cost and so on.

It becomes possible as answers become automatically generated based on analyzing PropTech big data of similar cases so that it saves much time for property managers and revolutionizes the real estate market.

 

IoT with drones for 360-view display

Internet of Things has already seized lots of market niches and now it comes to PropTech sector with sufficient benefits.

Simply put, it allows to simplify and automate most building operations in real-time by monitoring and storing important data from sensors, trackers, equipment, weather, and other devices.

What’s more, IoT even enables tenants to get energy savings through the automatic track of historic data collected from installed devices.

In 2021, PropTech startups began massively building advanced 360-view display drones that provide even more customer-oriented data.

This way, Internet of Things is about powerful and automated facility management in the real estate business that wasn’t available before.

 

Chatbots for customer-focused interaction

Modern PropTech software solutions have integrated chatbots designed specifically to greatly boost customer experience and provide tenants with immediate answers.

Chatbots become a win-win strategy for all parties as landlords can save much time answering basic questions of leads or clients about the building, licenses, etc.

This way, PropTech software with chatbots helps improve communication with clients thus increasing customer loyalty and boosting deal closing ratio.

 

Contactless Software Entry System

There is no secret that COVID-19 has greatly impacted most aspects of our life and PropTech software market is no exception. The market leaders and companies have sufficiently adapted to current circumstances and began investing time and funds into touchless software entry systems.

This technology provides lots of innovations like contactless check-in software, guest management, smart home systems with automatic and self-managing sensors, etc.

For example, rental platforms like Airbnb and Booking greatly benefit from smart check-in technologies as travelers can now check-in without any contact with landowners.

First, this is super valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic as it reduces potential risks to expand infection volumes.

Second, it saves pretty much time and boosts customer satisfaction while traveling.

Latch is one of the leading proptech startups delivering smart and contactless software entry systems for both commercial real estate market and non-commercial enterprises.

Smart access, guest and delivery management, connectivity technologies, smart home and sensors, and personalization are among its core proptech software offerings.

 

Key PropTech Trends of 2021 | Ascendix Tech

Key PropTech Trends of 2021 | Ascendix Tech

5 Must-Have Features of PropTech Software

As proptech software is a complex term that includes lots of different application types, niches, sub-niches, and other variations, we want to share the key 5 features any perspective proptech software should have in 2021.

 

#1 Short and simple registration

As we’ve already mentioned, PropTech software is about high convenience and improved user experience which starts with the first contact – sign-up process.

Make it as intuitive as possible by avoiding dozens of fields so that users enter the most important data like full name, email, and password.

Also, implement the social sign-in/login feature which allows customers to get into your system with single click ease. The most popular options for social login are Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

What’s more, a Single Sign-On feature is gaining momentum right now and the market is predicted to reach $1.6 bln in 2021 at a CAGR of 13.6% during the 2016-2021 period.

According to Kevin White, Marketing Manager at Gigya, companies contemplate 20-40% increase in the number of sign-ups by adding SSO functionality.

Simply put, SSO functionality means that users can use the same specific credentials to sign in to multiple different applications and systems.

It provides multiple advantages to both businesses and users and now we want to share the benefits of the Single Sign-On process for your company:

  • Employee & IT productivity boost
  • Robust security enhancements
  • Integration with Risk-Based Authentication (RBA)
  • Streamlines the user experience
  • Software adoption rate increase.
Single Sign-On Benefits for Business | Ascendix Tech

Single Sign-On Benefits for Business | Ascendix Tech

 

Below you can see an example of a great sign-up stage with social log-in options by Airbnb, one of the biggest global rental platforms with over 8 million active listings.

airbnb-easy-registration-process-proptech-software

Airbnb easy registration process with social login functionality

 

#2 Property listing

PropTech software revolutionizes the real estate market by simplifying most landlord-tenant interactions and providing digital transparency to both customers and businesses. And one of the must-have features is property listing.

First, it allows property managers or landowners to upload lots of important information regarding the assets that help customers get the required data contactless and quickly.

Second, property managers and brokers can create listing links and mass email them to prospects in a few clicks, so it boosts promotion and sales activities.

Third, you can also integrate a brochure generation tool that allows real estate agents to create visually-appealing property reports with the required data for leads and customers.

This way, property listing functionality is a win-win-win strategy for all parties which transforms their interactions into a time- and cost-effective digital experience and becomes a powerful marketing tool for brokerages.

Here you can see a feature-rich property listing portal we have built for our MarketSpace app.

 

Listing Portal Development MarketSpace Case Study | Ascendix

Feature-rich listing portal development

 

#3 Filters and search

The real estate market implies large volumes of data that need to be found, analyzed, and processed daily.

For this reason, powerful search experience and filters functionality become a must-have feature for your PropTech software in 2021.

Primarily, these features allow your company to simplify and accelerate business operations.

Powerful filters allow your employees and customers to search for the required information using multi-select criteria that narrow down the search requests of users.

They can sort listings, availabilities, property information, location, and other property-related data to become even more efficient.

Also, relevant autosuggest functionality is also a time saver for users as they can get inquiry-related hints that fit the current search request the most. It becomes possible with Artificial Intelligence algorithms of PropTech software that bring high automation opportunities.

Below you can see diverse search and filtering tools we have improved for our MarketSpace app users providing them with advanced map search functionality to view listings on a map and draw custom shapes of locations to see specific availabilities.

Search & Filtering Tools Development MarketSpace Case Study | Ascendix

Search & Filtering Tools Development MarketSpace Case Study | Ascendix

 

#4 Powerful Analytics with Dashboards

Large volumes of data are nothing without proper processing and analysis as your key goal is enhanced data-driven insights, not the raw numbers.

It means you should implement analytics tools that allow you to visualize collected statistics and convert them into an improved decision-making process.

Create a functionality that gives your employees an opportunity to build insightful dashboards with charts and graphs taking into account the KPIs you monitor.

This feature should provide enough customization capabilities so that you analyze different values and transform them into data-driven results.

Below you can see an example of advanced PropTech software analytics tools we have improved transforming default Salesforce functionality into customized tools within our MarketSpace app development.

Ascendix Marketspace Dashboard Functionality

Ascendix Marketspace Dashboard Functionality

 

#5 Easy-to-access and Secure Deal Rooms

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main tendencies in proptech software is touchless interaction with remote access to the required data.

For this reason, secure and real-time deal rooms for deal discussions are a must-have feature for your modern proptech software.

First, they allow both managers/landlords and tenants to share sensitive data on-the-fly in a fully secure way and without complex email chains that reduce conversion rate and provide a worse user experience.

For instance, your employees can offer clients to sign non-disclosure agreements right in the deal room real-time using a digital signature and being protected by strong encryption protocols.

Second, secure rooms allow both parties to access the deal conversation anytime and anywhere just having a mobile phone and Internet connection.

At Ascendix Tech, we have created the functionality to create robust and conversion-boosting deal rooms for Colliers International. Now their brokers can collect clients’ requirements and provide specific property-related data with its availabilities.

Below you can see an example of a deal room functionality developed by Ascendix for Colliers International.

Ascendix Marketspace Collaboration Rooms

Conversion-Boosting and Secure Deal Rooms for Colliers

PropTech Software Development: Key Steps

 

1. Define Your Business Goals

PropTech software is designed to solve businesses and customers’ needs which means you should first define what problems you want to solve.

For example, you may want to reduce operational costs with automation, increase revenue, boost market share, and others.

Depending on a specific challenge, the requirements and development plan for building PropTech software may differ significantly.

In case you want to achieve cost reduction, consider energy-saving PropTech solutions like smart HVAC or advanced lights systems as your top priority.

Also, we recommend identifying the exact lifecycle stage like planning, construction, investment, property or facilities management, tenant experience you want to improve by implementing PropTech software.

 

2. Choose the Right PropTech Software Type

Apart from creating a list of business challenges you want to solve, choosing the right PropTech software type is also crucial as it is designed to meet the specific needs of your business operations.

Let’s now shortly discuss the most widespread options.

 

Search PropTech Solutions

The software is designed to improve the search experience for both brokers, landowners and tenants.

The latter get lots of opportunities to find relevant availabilities, view properties virtually and remotely, get access to B2C and C2C marketplace platforms with lots of listings that match their search criteria.

Landlords and brokers can easily list the available properties and upload as much relevant data as possible to find the right tenants faster.

Here are the key solutions search PropTech software includes:

  • Data brokerage
  • Data and analytics
  • Marketplace solutions
  • Virtual viewing, etc.

 

Property Management PropTech Software

These solutions focus on improving property management efficiency for facilities, property managers, and landlords. Below is the list of the main solutions:

  • Communications
  • Smart building solutions
  • Portfolio management apps
  • Task management tools
  • BIM
  • Building warranty.

 

Sales PropTech Software

This type of software is designed to help real estate brokers and managers promote properties efficiently thus boosting marketing opportunities and results of sales. Here are the key solutions:

  • Property listings management
  • Contract management
  • Collaboration and deal rooms
  • Email marketing tools
  • Financing solutions.

To sum up, you can combine different PropTech software types by blending several features to build your own technology solution tailored to solving your specific real estate problems and helping to achieve goals.

 

3. Choose the Development Approach

Before starting the development process, we recommend selecting the most suitable option for your project requirements, timeline, budget expectations, and other criteria.

Let’s discuss the most widespread and effective development approaches out there:

 

#1 Hire a PropTech software development company

Outsourcing software development of your proptech solution to a technology partner with a solid experience in proptech sector first means that you will mostly get a high-quality final product following the latest standards and trends.

This becomes possible as a software development provider having case studies in developing solutions for the proptech industry perfectly knows what tech stack, features, and scalability are needed.

For example, our Ascendix Tech development teams have helped multiple real estate enterprises like Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Cresa, Transwestern, Stiles, and other companies implement customized cutting-edge solutions focused on solving their business needs through proptech software.

Here are the core benefits of hiring a proptech software development company:

  • Tried-and-true high product quality
  • Result-oriented proptech consulting (the company analyzes your business goals to provide the most relevant technical solutions)
  • Increased flexibility and scalability of your proptech software
  • Time savings avoiding talent acquisition and onboarding activities
  • Quick access to a large pool of technical professionals
  • Cost savings in the long run.

 

#2 Find a Chief Technical Officer/Partner

This option means you search for a tech-savvy and business-oriented soulmate with solid experience and background in proptech industry. This specialist will fully take care of project technical issues allowing you to focus on strategic tasks like funding, marketing, sales, etc.

The most effective ways to find a CTO are offline conferences/meetups/tech-related events and online platforms like ProductHunt, Reddit, LinkedIn, Founders Network, and so on.

The core benefits of finding a technical partner for your proptech business:

  • Unique mind and skillset
  • Keen understanding of technologies
  • The same passion to create proptech software that rocks
  • Delegation of technical project issues.

 

#3 Partner with freelance development teams

Hiring a freelance team of developers means using online platforms like UpWork, Credo, Fiverr, Outsourcely, Freeeup, and others to find technical specialists that meet your project requirements, preferred development rates, and have reliable experience in building technology solutions for proptech business.

The main advantages of this approach are the reasonable rates, wide talent pool, and faster project delivery. However, you may bump into communication issues, low product quality, project security risks, and failures to meet the set time constraints.

 

#4 Build proptech software yourself

This option supposes you have solid technical skills that allow you to implement at least the skeleton of your proptech software and transform business requirements into useful functionality.

Developing proptech solutions locally may require help from additional specialists like DevOps engineers, QA specialists, and others who will handle important project development activities.

To sum up, this option may become the most cost-efficient, but rather long-running as you should allocate lots of time on proptech software development yourself.

Our PropTech Software Expertise

At Ascendix Tech, we have 25 years of experience in CRM consulting, over 10 years of expertise in delivering technology solutions for real estate companies, and 10 years of custom software development background.

This tried-and-true combination allowed us to build our own proptech software products and help dozens of large market players meet their business goals through high-quality technical implementation and serve thousands of clients around the world.

Now we want to share several proptech software case studies to showcase our technical expertise in delivering cutting-edge solutions for proptech business.

 

Colliers PropTech Real Estate Lisings Software Development

There is no secret that Colliers International is one of the biggest real estate services companies with over 18,000 employees and $2,8 bln annual revenue as of 2018.

The company contacted and hired Ascendix over 13 years ago to help them implement and customize Dynamics 365 to boost productivity and improve performance of internal teams.

In 2020, Colliers International asked us to build a Property Listings Platform and help their brokers promote availabilities for sale and lease.

Apart from this platform, they also wanted to improve communication and security issues by using robust collaboration and deal rooms and this is how ColliersView appeared thanks to Ascendix Tech’s real estate software development services.

So, here are the key challenged we faced:

  • Create a Convenient Way to Promote Listings
  • Automatically Generate PDFs
  • Integrate the Property Listing Platform with Dynamics 365 CRM
  • Enhance Communication of Brokers with Investors.

 

Below you can see technology solutions we have delivered:

  • Created a multi-channel real estate listing platform to help brokers promote building efficiently
  • Implemented robust and safe deal rooms for collaboration with investors and tenants sharing sensitive data, signing non-disclosure agreements, and getting feedback from clients without multiple email chains
  • Built collaboration rooms to interact with prospects which allowed to boost the lead-to-deal conversion rates
  • Customized and improved search and filtering tools
  • Adjusted automatic and regular synchronization with CRM
  • Integrated powerful availability report generation tool
  • Implemented effective image management for uploading visuals from both a CRM and a platform.

This way, we have helped Colliers International automate their daily business operations even more and increased real-time data accuracy streamlined the lead-to-deal process, and empowered with advanced promotion opportunities.

Learn what Saimir Qalliu, Managing Director at Colliers International, said about our cooperation:

We wanted to make better use of our data and present it in a format that our professionals and clients would find attractive and easy to access. This required a new digital solution, hence the engagement with Ascendix on this latest project.

The idea of presenting data in an easily accessible and pleasing way to the consumer was not new. We just wanted to have our ability to execute it within our space, with our own data, for our professionals and clients.

- Saimir Qalliu, Managing Director at Colliers International
custom-real-estate-listing-software-development-case-study-ascenixtech-colliers

Custom Real Estate Listing Software Development for Colliers International Indiana | Ascendix Tech

 

JLL PropTech Software & Custom CRM Development

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is a leading global commercial real estate services company with offices in over 80 countries and $16.6 bln annual revenue as of 2020.

Initially, JLL contacted and hired Ascendix in 2010 asking for CRM consulting and proptech software development services. Since then, we have implemented multiple technology solutions to simplify their CRM data usage and integrate their assets into Dynamics 365.

In a while, Jones Lang LaSalle asked us to increase internal team productivity and performance thus providing their brokers and managers with a more powerful digital solution for handling daily routine tasks smoothly and quickly.

Let’s now check the core challenges we faced while working on JLL proptech software development:

  • Dynamics 365 CRM customization
  • Data search improvement
  • Custom report and PDF generation tools
  • Opportunity management process improvement
  • Deep analytics and dashboards implementation
  • Record deduplication tool development
  • Stacking plan builder implementation.

 

Below you can see the technology solutions we have delivered for Jones Lang LaSalle:

  • Building custom CRM app on top of Dynamics 365
  • Providing white-glove concierge, 24/7 support, and operations teams
  • On-premises to cloud hosting migration
  • Developed a powerful opportunity management application
  • Implemented lightning-fast brochure generation tool
  • Dashboard with graphs and charts
  • Data Import/Export to Excel or CSV.

So, our JLL proptech software development services helped Jones Lang LaSalle achieve a six-time Dynamics 365 adoption increase and get enhanced customization abilities for hundreds of JLL offices around the globe.

 

Here is what Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT at JLL, said:

Ascendix are true consultants, meaning they don’t just do as they’re told without providing feedback and input where they feel it would be helpful.

They actually think through the process and are knowledgeable about commercial real estate. Not many consulting firms can offer that kind of expertise and industry knowledge.

- Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT at JLL
custom-dynamics365-development-cloud-migration-jll-ascendixtech

Custom Dynamics 365 Development and Cloud Migration for JLL | Ascendix Tech

Want to Build Your Own PropTech Software that Rocks?

Trust proptech software development to Ascendix with over 25 years of experience in CRM consulting and 10 years in delivering technology solutions for real estate companies. Answer a few questions and get a ball-park estimate for your project.

Bottom Line

Proptech software development is a relatively new, but extremely promising direction for real estate businesses and clients helping both parties revolutionize their interaction and take the real estate services market to a new level.

The process of building proptech software is a complex of skillsets and latest trends combined to solve real problems of all parties. At Ascendix Tech, we have solid experience in proptech software development and would be glad to help turn the challenges of your company into tailor-made technology opportunities that will help you grow and scale.

If you want to discuss your project idea, feel free to check our case studies and contact us. We will be glad to engage in a discussion to better understand your goals and objectives and if appropriate, provide you with a free estimate of your proptech software development requirements.

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