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Key Specifics of Property Management Software Development

  • 15-16 min read
  • February 14, 2022
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (3 votes)

Real estate business is considered to be one of the most profitable and challenging, especially when it comes to property management. After all, there are so many processes that should be taken care of – billing, accounting, booking, a lot of administrative operations, interaction with clients, understanding property valuation, construction work dynamics and many more. 

You probably know firsthand how much paperwork, effort and attention all those tasks may require and how hard it is to keep everything under control. Well, it should not be this hard, especially in 2022 when we have a lot of technologies and property management solutions making real estate business more productive than ever. 

When COVID-19 started reshaping our reality, many companies began implementing new solutions to keep working effectively even during the quarantine. For example, some real estate companies adopted VR and AR to introduce virtual house and room tours. And some companies selected more common smart property systems to streamline their processes. 

According to statistics, the global property management software market is expected to grow by $489.03 million through 2024. This means that companies are going to continue ramping up investment into reliable software and so should you. Wondering why? We will provide you with all the specific important reasons. 

In this blog post we will speak about property management software, its benefits and opportunities, real business value and of course main development specificities. You will find out what features can help you optimize property management and achieve truly ambitious business goals. 

Benefits and opportunities that property management software brings

To begin with, let’s define property management software (PMS). Basically it is a digital solution implemented to optimize routine and manual operations and reduce property management issues. Such software usually includes a lot of features that help with management of accounting, communication between landlords and tenants, documentation management, property reporting, ticketing, bookings, reservations, and many more. 

The functionality depends on the type of property management solution and the main goals and expectations you place on it. We will speak about all types of property management systems a little bit later. But for now we’d like to point out the main business benefits of property management software as being the following: 

  • Total automation of manual operations; 
  • Secure storage for all data and documentation;
  • Improvement of administrative operations;
  • Proper data processing;
  • Advanced reporting and analytics;
  • Improvement of client service and experience;
  • Much better employee performance rate;
  • Flexibility and scalability of all processes;
  • New opportunities for business growth. 

It’s all about processes optimization

Speaking about the property management system it is necessary to mention that the main value it can bring to real estate business is drastic process optimization. Whatever challenges you might have experienced in the past, with a custom property management software you can forget about them once and for all. Let’s take a closer look at the improvements that this solution can offer you: 

business advantages


Management of multiple properties
with a custom software you can monitor and manage several properties at the same time and not sacrifice neither accuracy nor efficiency. All information about your property, queries, tenants, reports and crucial numbers will be stored in one place and processed by a holistic software. 
Simplified accounting
you can forget about headaches caused by inefficient and complicated bookkeeping and accounting reports. The software can do all the job for you, minimize manual numbers input and let you concentrate more on data verification than data entry.  
Mobile property inspections
it is always a good idea to get a mobile version of a property management system to help you with the inspections. Check out certificates, insurance, bank information, get all necessary information about building conditions and generate holistic reports literally on the go.
Convenient e-documentation
paperwork can stop you from achieving more in the real estate business. After all, there are always human mistakes and lost data. With software and e-documentation you will never lose a piece of information ever again and be able to access any document, anywhere, anytime. On top of that, it is easier to edit and alter information if there is any mistake in it. 
Management of maintenance requests
it is not an easy task to handle timely and organized properly maintenance requests. And if any request is left unanswered then this is utterly disappointing. Property management software can help you handle all requests in a couple of clicks, categorize them, assign responsible parties, deal with scheduling, invoicing and maintenance payments. 
Automated lease renewal and rent payment
you will never have to worry about lease renewals since property management software can handle it automatically, and also send personalized notifications and reminders to residents. As to the rent payments, the residents will be able to pay online and receive their invoices. It’s fast, seamless and reliable. 
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Additional info
Our experts explored the market and compared one famous ready-made solution with a custom property management system. Check out what pros and cons each of the solutions has and what would be best for your business. 

Main types of property management solutions

Now when you are aware of the advantages that a custom property management solution can offer you, it is time to cover the main types of PMS. Basically there are solutions for residential apartment management, homeowners associations (HOA) and condo management, commercial property management, hotel and hostel management, and industrial property administration. Let’s see what separates them: 

PMS


HOA and condo management
the software that is used by the owners of condos, co-ops, townhouses, single-family homes and HOA property. The main goal of the software is to simplify accounting, provide e-payment options for residents, track information about tenants, manage their requests and perform general reporting. 
Residential apartment management
a solution that can handle long-term and short-term rentals, sign and save lease agreements, provide reminders regarding lease renewal, track occupancies, accept online payments, store digital contracts and many more. 
Hotel and hostel management
a system that automates front-desk and administrative operations and assists in arranging reservations, checking in and out all guests, managing their requests, tracking availability of rooms, handling payments and bills. 
Industrial property administration
this solution is used for leasing and renting offices, industrial properties, warehouses, logistics facilities or else. For industrial property management it is important to take special care of leasing agreements, facilities maintenance, property-related reporting, space management and all kinds of agreements. Everything should be done on time and the calculations should be precise, and that is exactly what a software helps to achieve. 
Commercial property and lease management
a solution responsible for tracking leasing payments, property taxes, insurance payments, maintenance fees and many more. Commercial property management is rather specific and requires a lot of e-documents and reminders to keep everything in order.

Apart from the aforementioned solutions, there are two main kinds of all PMS – server-based and cloud-based ones. Server-based PMS should be installed on a desktop or a laptop. They require a team of technicians to maintain and implement them, perform quality checks from time to time. 

As to the cloud-based PMS it is considered to be more convenient and scalable since it requires no installation, can be used from any device or browser, and lets you access all necessary data securely and in a blink of an eye. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a good device to work with cloud-based property management software. 

Mandatory feature set that helps achieve ambitious business goals

As you can see, there is a wide variety of property management solutions able to satisfy the needs of the most demanding business owner. You can develop a software that is a perfect fit for your business model and keep improving it with time. The most important aspect you should consider beforehand is the core feature set of your PMS. Since we have already developed several property management solutions, we want to share with you our own list of really useful features. 


Multi-calendar
sometimes property management gets messy, so to avoid this you need a well-organized calendar where all the information concerning important dates about current leases, vacant properties, number of tenants, rental terms and many more will be organized. A multi-calendar can help you organize waiting lists and with a single glance you will find all necessary information.
Tenant portal
if you want to save your employees time and effort you need to think about convenient communication channels for you and your tenants. A tenant portal can become your perfect helper and let your tenants check their leases and terms, create maintenance requests, manage agreements and get fresh news regarding the property or any upcoming changes. 
Accounting options
a property management system can be smart enough to process online rent payments, perform banking reconciliation automatically, control incomes and keep track of expenses spent on property, and generate holistic financial reports per requested time period. 
Property database
collect information about all properties for rent or sale in one safe place, add pictures and videos, fill in all the necessary details like price, conditions, description and many more. With PMS it is easier than ever to create online rental propositions and applications. 
Keyless access
if your goal is to increase the number of home showings and leases, then this option is right for you. Your agents can install an app on any mobile device to get temporary pre-approved access to a property unit and show it to potential tenants. Keyless access is also perfect for property maintenance as workers will be able to enter the property and do their job. 
IoT powered options
all tenants will appreciate smart home technology and ability to control a lot of hardware such as lighting, thermostats, locks or else using an app that is always right at their fingertips. You can also equip your property with smart smoke detectors and provide all necessary safety guidelines for tenants in the app. 
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What it takes to build custom property management system: GBKSOFT tips and experience

Now that all benefits and must-haves of a property management system have been discussed, it is time to pay more attention to the important development aspects. We have collected all information related to development specificities, duration, cost and recommended team composition to help you get prepared for this business venture. So let’s proceed to those valuable tips right away.

Key development aspects to consider

Before you actually proceed with the development of your property management software, we’d highly recommend you to spend some time and budget on the Discovery stage. It will help you eliminate all uncertainties, validate your app idea and get proper technical documentation that will help you with further development steps. 

Project vision document, specifications, functional and non-functional requirements – all this documentation allows to prioritize the features and minimize the risks that can occur during the development stages. 

The next important step is to choose the right software architecture. For property management systems it is essential to be scalable. And this can be achieved thanks to a three-tier architecture that is focused on three main aspects: 

architecture for PMS

For example, our team has highly skilled software architects that can turn your app idea into a well thought-out three-tier architecture. They also select necessary libraries, integrations and databases to create a solid ground of your future property management app. 

Another important development aspect is security and our specialists take good care of it. They use encryption, select only reliable databases and libraries, and implement secure authentication. We have already shared our best security practices, so in case you want to get additional information just read this post. 

In case you would like your property management app to be able to work with huge loads of data, make sure you implement all necessary technologies for this. It can be AI, Big Data, or maybe some additional business intelligence tools. 

Wrapping up, we’d like to point out some crucial aspects you should not forget about. First of all, don’t make your solution too complicated. A property management app should not be overloaded with lots of options or have too much design mixing. 

Second of all, make sure that the solution you are going to build will be compatible with your existing systems and tools. Otherwise you will end up having a bunch of software that makes the work of employees only harder. And last but not least, take care of sensitive and personal information upfront to avoid even the slightest possibility of data breach.

Team composition and development cost

As you can see, the development of property management software can be tricky. So it is always better to hire a cohesive and experienced team like GBKSOFT to minimize development risks and get a great solution. It doesn’t really matter whether you build a software for real estate from scratch or modernize you existing PMS, in any case you need a team that includes the following specialists: 

  • Business Analyst who will suggest to you the most suitable feature set and tech stack for your future solution. 
  • Designer able to create wireframes and provide you with an overall design concept of your property management software.
  • Developers who will be responsible for front-end and back-end coding, integrations, and implementation of property management software.
  • QA specialists responsible for manual and automated testing and all kinds of security, quality and performance checks.
  • Scrum Master who will control all processes, provide you with all necessary progress reports and updates, and make sure that the deadlines are met and the budget is not exceeded. 

The GBKSOFT team can also offer the services of DevOps specialists and software architects in case your project is complex and requires people with a solid technical background. Speaking about the cooperation model, we would recommend you to choose the dedicated team approach if you do not have any in-house specialists, or a team extension in case you have an in-house team but lack extra hands or some specific experience.

And now let’s talk about the development costs. Of course it is hard to provide you with a perfectly accurate quotation since the final cost and number of development hours depends on PMS type, complexity and requirements. However, based on our experience, we can say that an average monthly check for the development services would be about $50,000

The real estate software development timeframes can vary, starting at 3 months and extending all the way to 6 or even 7 months for the longest projects. The first few weeks will probably be spent on the Discovery stage and writing of all technical documentation. And then after that all of the development stages will follow. 

Choose our skilled team to build your own PMS

GBKSOFT can become your technical partner and help you with the development, implementation and maintenance of your property management application. We have already mentioned that we have a cohesive team full of specialists of different seniority levels. They can work with you according to your preferred cooperation model and deliver a top-notch application at great price\quality ratio. 

Many of our developers have already been involved in the development of property management software. So let the case studies speak for us. At the moment we are working on a new software for property managers, owners and tenants.

The main goal of that solution is to help establish cooperation between the three aforementioned parties and let tenants book houses via a mobile app. At the same time managers will be able to monitor properties from the advanced admin panel. Apart from these main features, the solution will work with electronic documentation, accept online payments, send invites and notifications to tenants, manage rentals, have listings of property owners and many more. 

And earlier this year we released a solution called Highrise (soon it will be available for viewing in our portfolio of solutions). Highrise is a property management software that parses the data from the public boards of building violations and helps to optimize the time of the fee payment processing. It is a holistic system built using PHP and (namely Yii 2 framework). We have also integrated Stripe to make online payments easier and faster. As to the feature set, Highrise has: 

  • Advanced admin dashboard;
  • Data synchronization option;
  • Holistic properties list;
  • Notifications;
  • Payments for services and many more. 

highrise system

While working on these and many other projects, we have gained incredible experience, adopted best practices and found effective ways to overcome technical challenges. All our expertise, skills and knowledge can be used to build your project and refine it. 

Everything depends on your business goals and size of the company. We’d say that small and middle-sized companies can successfully use ready-made solutions. But for mid-to-large sized organizations, those solutions may not be enough. Mostly they lack customization, have limitations when it comes to integrations and cannot be easily scaled up. Plus there can be a fee per each user which is not cost-efficient for a big company with plenty of employees who will need to use the software. Custom-made PMS will be tailored to fit your business and can be altered exactly how you need.
If you already have a property management system but it seems outdated or lacks some crucial options, then you can contact a team like GBKSOFT and ask to perform code review and modernization of your PMS. For example, we can help you spice up your PMS with analytics powered by AI, or implement IoT technology to improve property maintenance practices, or else.
Among the most influential trends you will see implementation of Artificial Intelligence, adoption of virtual house and room tours, usage of cloud computing and IoT technology, and of course intelligent home systems. So depending on your type of property management software you can consider integrating one of those tech trends and benefit from it to the fullest. 

Conclusions

Having software for property management is the key to success for your real estate business. The power of custom solutions is undeniable. By implementing them you can forget about worrying about human mistakes, ineffective data use, major or minor productivity issues, and everyday hustle and bustle. A custom PMS lets you focus on your main goals and use the technologies to achieve them. 

Property management software development can be challenging and yet it is really worth it. By hiring an experienced team of developers like GBKSOFT you can be sure that you will get exactly what you need. Your custom property management system will be feature-rich, user-friendly and built using the latest technologies and following the latest design trends. This software will last you for years and become your major digital helper in all working areas. 

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Creator

I am mainly focused on enterprise mobility and digital business transformation, and highly curious about all emerging tech trends. Before writing about any topic I try to find answers to a lot of questions and perform serious fact checking.
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