Property Management Software Development: 7 Things You Should Never Do
Today, construction management companies operate in a highly competitive environment. To attract and retain customers, they focus not only on increasing quality but also on communication with tenants and diversity in customer service.
Property management software is a powerful tool that facilitates dialogue between managers and apartment owners. It automates various processes from making rent payments to submitting complaints, helps everybody stay up-to-date concerning in-house matters, and allows timely reactions to urgent issues.
Property management software may differ by purpose, end-users, and features. However, whatever solution you develop, you should avoid common mistakes, which negatively affect the quality of the end product.
Do poor market research
A successful software product starts with a successful product strategy.
- Who will use the application?
- What problems will it solve?
- What markets will it target?
- What value will it bring?
- How will it differ from its competitors?
These questions should be answered before you invest the first dollar in rental property app development. Therefore, a big part of your development journey will be spent on market research, creating user personas, assessing competitors, and defining product-market fit.
Only after you make sure that your product will be in-demand, can you proceed to build a property management application. Remember that careful planning and thorough analytics are already half the success.
Build non-scalable applications
Scalability means the ability of an app to grow and handle increasing volumes of data and users without any degradation in performance.
Imagine, for example, that you built an apartment building and created an apartment management software application for its residents. Next, your construction company made a good profit and invested it in another house, then another, and another.
As your business grows, you face a dilemma — to develop new applications for each house or create a separate instance of each house in a ready-made app. Obviously, the second option is faster, simpler, and more economical. But to be able to use it, you need to set up appropriate IT infrastructure and select a specific tech stack in advance.
For example, cloud solutions open up ample opportunities for rapid scaling of property management apps. Providers like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure offer various cloud resources on-demand. This means you can extend server space, grow data storage, or implement new features without terminating your app and harming user experience. Also, you can opt for advanced functionality, such as purpose-built analytics, image recognition, or AI-based assistance using proprietary AWS/Azure tools when you need them.
The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, and this does not include the company’s good name and reputation. Last year, 1,862 data breaches affected more than 189 million people. On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity.
Obviously you wouldn’t want to lose everything you’ve been working hard on because of security gaps in your property management system.
In today’s environment of increased cyber attacks, you need to think about security long before the first line of code is written. Reliable storage, encrypted data transmission, and strong firewalls should be priorities for a development team working on management software for landlords, tenants, or house seekers.
To ensure that your app will easily resist even the most sophisticated attacks, you need to adhere to a secure development cycle, which includes:
- evaluating security risks
- ensuring compliance with security standards
- modeling threats and potential attacks
- following a CI (continuous integration) model throughout the project
- studying firmware reports
- checking system integrity
- monitoring security as the app goes live
Ignore blockchain-related technologies
Blockchain is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions. This could be a huge benefit for real estate platform development as it could provide a more secure way of tracking and managing property data.
The most common ways to use blockchain in software for rental property are:
- paying rent with cryptocurrencies
- concluding a rent/purchase agreement based on the smart contract technology
- tracking the progress of the construction using immutable records in a distributed ledger
- proving property ownership based on decentralized identities
- registering land titles in a digital blockchain-powered format
Create standard UX
It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to rental property software design. Don’t create a standard, boring UI — make it interesting and engaging. At the same time, don’t forget the common rules of interacting with an app. First of all, make sure your system is convenient to use. After that, focus on creating a unique appearance. The smart combination of usability and non-trivial UI elements will keep your users coming back for more.
To create an effective design for a property management app, the design team must do a lot of work, consisting of the following steps:
- running quantitative and qualitative product research
- developing personas
- setting up the information architecture of an app
- creating wireframes
- developing prototypes
- creating UI design
- running usability testing
At each stage, the client can make suggestions and adjustments. A well-coordinated collaboration between the customer and the development team allows the desired result to be achieved faster and at a lower cost.
Rely on developers with no relevant experience
Today, many development companies offer their services at different prices. Thanks to the variety of tools for remote cooperation, clients can hire development teams in any region whether it’s the expensive USA or more affordable Ukraine. The diversity of IT firms allows quick access to an extensive talent pool with no need to spend on recruiting an in-house team. However, such a variety of software providers becomes overwhelming for clients, complicating the choice of a reliable technology partner.
In order to make the right decision when choosing software developers, study their experience in the field of real estate. Check their previous projects, read reviews, book a call, and ask for a project estimate. Only after you receive their development plan and review the development contract, can you decide if the team is right for you.
Take your time when making your choice. It is better to spend more time planning and preparing rather than redoing low-quality work.
Push investors and the release date
It’s important to remember that you’re working with investors, and they have a vested interest in your company. Given this, you need to approach your choice of developers seriously, prioritizing those who can set realistic deadlines and complete the project tasks on time. After you sign a contract with reliable developers, let them do their job while keeping your participation at a reasonable level. You can take part in meetings, be aware of current problems, offer solutions, but do not put speed over quality.
To enable effective communication with your team, create a product roadmap to see the main development milestones. The roadmap graphically illustrates long-term and short-term plans for house rental software development and shows the sequence of features to be implemented. As the project evolves, the roadmap may change. However, careful planning should eliminate the occurrence of any radical changes.
Finding common ground with developers is one thing, but reaching an agreement with investors is another challenge. To promote your rental app fundraising, tell your investors about development progress, upcoming plans, and expected deadlines. Introduce them to the development team that is working on the product. A reliable software provider will increase investors’ confidence in your project and contribute to further productive cooperation.
How to build a reliable apartment management solution
Property management app development is a complex process that can be easily derailed by making some common mistakes. However, knowing the main pitfalls, you can take timely measures to bypass them and keep your development process on track.
The primary conditions for creating a successful product are
- market and competitors research
- development planning
- minimal viable product (MVP) implementation
- filling MVP with advanced features after expected demand is confirmed
An experienced development team will help you handle all these tasks. Knowing the ins and outs of property app development, such a team will avoid critical mistakes and deliver top-notch software right on time.