Enterprise Resource Planning software is known among the business community as a powerful tool for business to induce their productivity and transform their processes. The ERP market has been growing, and now it offers a wide range of different ERP systems, including industry-specific ones.
As for the real estate industry, ERP software may become a game-changer for the business processes of the company and the quality of services provided for property owners and tenants. So, the main question arises: what is the best real estate ERP software, and how to choose it? Let’s dive in and describe what features should ERP software for a real estate company have to bring maximum value.
ERP System is a Key to Changing Your Real Estate Business
Real estate, being a very traditional industry, has heavily relied on paperwork, and face-to-face meetings. However, the old-school approaches are losing weight, because new generations of customers are seeking digital services. People nowadays are used to managing their lives online or through mobile apps, and the absence of such an opportunity may push them in the direction of your competitors who will be able to provide desired services.
It’s a valid point to consider digital transformation for your business, but it’s not the only one. Leveraging paperwork and simple spreadsheets is clearly inefficient practice in a highly competitive and rapid world. Switching to digital tools and business automation software helps to unlock the hidden potential of your real estate business and access higher profits, reduced expenses, a better quality of services, and enhanced customer experience.
For these purposes, real estate ERP software here is the best instrument the market may offer you. Due to the multifunctionality of such a software solution and its flexibility, it is possible to develop an ERP system specifically for your business and hence, enhance any aspects of your operations, from data processing to customer support.
How ERP for Real Estate Industry Can Improve Your Processes
Implementing ERP software is a step into the new era of how your business can operate, and it might include the next changes:
- your employees can give up manual data entry and report generation as this task would be covered by software;
- all data will be collected in one system and accessible by your employees at any moment with only a few clicks;
- you will be able to automate some mundane tasks like invoice generations;
- you can set up a notification system that will notify you about upcoming payments, ending leases, etc.;
- you can automate your marketing efforts, e.g., cold emails.
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Benefits & Opportunities with ERP Software for Real Estate Industry
Implementing ERP means changes in the usual way how things were done. But what is the unique value of these shifts and why should you embrace them? Here is a list of the main advantages you may gain with the right ERP software for a real estate company.
The biggest benefit of any ERP software is the automation capacities it gives to the business. Basically, the main purpose of such an application is to loop repetitive operations and relieve employees from mundane, time-consuming tasks where creativity efforts and human involvement aren’t really required. Usually, it includes data entries, report generations, calculations, estimations, etc.
As a result, you are able to save your employees’ time and redirect it into more interesting and strategical tasks. The efficiency of the team grows, and the accuracy of data or reports increases too, as software is less likely to make an error than a human. Moreover, the absence of repetitive, manual tasks from job descriptions means that your employees can be more fulfilled and satisfied with their work.
Real-time access to data
Real estate companies operate great volumes of data, including information about properties and rentals, tenants and landlords, leases, and payments. Storing this information and providing quick access to it may be a challenge, especially if your company still relies on basic spreadsheets that are scattered around different devices of your employees.
ERP may become a centerpiece that will simplify data operations within the company. Instead of going through cumbersome e-mail communications and waiting till the required spreadsheet will be sent over, you can find the necessary data in the ERP system within a few minutes.
At the same time, an ERP system can also create a basis for real data-driven decision-making and predictions. The software helps you structure and organize the data you obtain, whether it’s a financial record or the information on your clients’ profiles you will leverage lately for marketing and sales activities. This way, it guarantees long-term data storage, easy and quick search, and automated reporting and analytics, as these functions are usually set by default in any ERP software for real estate company.
Connectivity within the whole company and other stakeholders
The real estate industry suffers from a lack of communication between major stakeholders, namely landlords and tenants. Real estate managers are a link that connects these two groups, however, the situation may still stay critical. The real estate ERP software can help you solve this issue and provide connectivity to everyone interested.
Apart from automating your inner communication and workflow, your ERP solution may have separate modules for tenants and landlords that will be connected to the database. They will also get updates on their lease status and receive notifications on the latest updates, complaints, or notices. Digital communication will simplify the interactions between three sides (landlords, tenants, and real estate companies), speed up the solution of different problems that may arise and worsen the experience of tenants, and give landlords a better insight view into their properties’ management.
An automated, connected system means that the whole productivity and throughput of the company increases significantly. Manual, repetitive tasks that we have already mentioned may be simple but demand too much time. When they are passed to the machines, you will have significantly higher results: first, the software will be able to complete some tasks much faster than employees, and second, the employees will have the opportunity to focus on quality work.
With a set-up system such as ERP real estate software, it will be easier to keep track of your project and ensure standardization. Establishing standards and streamlined operations means that every step is thought through and there is an action plan for almost every outcome. This way, the managers will be able to align their projects with common standards and keep all required documentation in the system.
Why Do You Need to Choose a Custom Real Estate ERP
So, what is the best real estate ERP software? It’s quite a loaded question, as the market is full of ERP solutions, both universal and designed for real estate companies specifically. At the same time, there is another option: custom development of real estate ERP software.
Custom and ready-made solutions have their pros and cons respectively. Let’s compare the main advantages and risks related to each option.
The most popular and common enterprise resource planning providers include SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. These companies have a wide range of solutions available, including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS cloud computing services. Most likely, you will be able to leverage their offers to run your real estate business, as these companies have already generated a strong base for business software.
However, you can also try a bit smaller providers, but those who cater to the real estate companies and develop their software to cover exactly the needs and requirements of the niche. Here are the main players you may encounter while researching:
As you can see, the functionality of the aforementioned ready-made software pieces is generally similar. However, companies implement functions differently, so you may need some time to figure out how to work with a new system.
Despite the visible volumes of the market, ready-made ERP for real estate may bring some issues for you.
- Even choosing ready-made solutions, you will need to allocate an additional budget for its integration. Though you don’t need to hire developers to develop a software solution, you will still need outside involvement from ERP specialists who will set up the system and help you transfer data, so the implementation won’t be instant.
- Nowadays, SaaS solutions offer a lot to businesses. However, they are still designed for a general audience so that the software will fit many businesses. And it’s a catch: a universal solution will cover some of your needs, but it will never be 100% suitable. There will still be some of your business processes that ready-made ERP systems won’t be able to reflect or enhance. As a result, you will be bound to manage them outside the system and lose some opportunities for automation or change them for ERP software, which may be inconvenient.
We will say that ready-made ERP systems may win in the context of price, as you will need to pay a certain amount for integration and then only monthly fees. However, if you need a robust ERP system that you will use for years, you may find out that the budget for 3 or more years of paying for the ready-made solution will be equal to the cost of custom development. Custom ERP real estate software will give you more flexibility than ready-made, and it’s only one benefit you may find.
Custom ERP real estate software development
Custom software opens a lot of opportunities for your business, and hence, it might be the best ERP software for real estate. Basically, you won’t need to adjust your business processes to match the ERP system: it will be designed from the beginning to accommodate your needs and business requirements.
Moreover, you won’t be limited in the capacities of the software: the required features, such as, for example, a dashboard for tenants and landlords may be included in the scope of work.
Custom-developed software also means higher cybersecurity and stability. You will be the only company that uses the system, hence, the matter of data security is in your hand and the hands of the development team. You will have more control over what security measures are implemented, and how data is stored and protected. The same goes for stability and failure recovery: you can ensure that the system is developed to be stable and withstand required user loads. Unfortunately, with ready-made solutions, you have little control over these aspects.
Another point you should pay attention to is the scalability of the system. Quite possible, that your business will grow over the years, and your ERP system should scale along with it. Instead of moving from one ready-made ERR software to the other, you may start with a pretty basic custom one and add the required capacities over time. It won’t interrupt your business operations and keep the company functioning.
However, the main concern for custom ERP development may become price and timeline. In any case, it’s always a big project that demands a lot of resources. However, the outcome is worth it. According to our clients, the ERP development recoups itself in 2-3 years, as the ERP system implementation helps to work more productively and generate more profits than without it.
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What ERP Do You Need for Your Real Estate Business?
So, what characteristics should a custom ERP software for a real estate company have? From our experience, we have gathered the main features and requirements the system should have for seamless and efficient work.
Product Scope for ERP real estate software
As custom development allows designing any type of system possible, we suggest not only including the modules for company management but additional portals for tenants. It will give them a useful digital experience that will keep them satisfied and simplify the relationships with them for you as a mediator between these two groups.
So, the main list of key features includes:
- Leasing: client onboarding, retail leasing and property management, listings management, property maintenance, procurement management, property leasing.
- Accounting: financial management, accounting management, invoicing, budgeting, employee payment management, fixed asset accounting, investment accounting.
- Procurement: vendor management, inventory management, purchase order, and contract management.
- Maintenance: tasks & ticket management, security day-to-day checklist, property inspections management.
- Communication: communication within the company, project management, correspondence.
- Reporting: financial, rental, compliance, transaction, task, property reports, KPIs.
- Analytics: forecasting and analytics on different business aspects, and marketing campaigns.
- Tenant portal: tenant account, booking management, communication, maintenance requests.
- Advanced features: ePayments, data search, eSignacture, customer loyalty.
We also consider the additional features the real estate company may need, e.g, HR department functionality, CRM for real estate, proactive maintenance, big data, and predictive forecasting, virtual reality tours of properties, etc.
It’s also important to mention that it’s possible to build a mobile version of your ERP solution or some modules of it, so its users may benefit from cross-platform system capacities and connect from mobile devices from any part of the world.
Non-functional requirements (NFRs) for real estate ERP software
Non-functional requirements are essentially equal to functional ones. While the latest determine the purpose of the software and its role for business, NFRs ensure that the system is viable, is able to operate correctly and withstand the realistic system loads.
Here we focus on the next basic NFRs:
- Performance: auto-scaling if required by using Amazon;
- Maintainability: monitoring and alerting through AWS application insights and log analytics (AWS Cloudwatch); Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR) no more than 30 minutes;
- Recovery: backups with an incremental strategy for 30 days; 15 years for archived data.
Correctly written non-functional requirements are key to developing the best ERP software for real estate.
GBKSOFT as The Best ERP Development Vendor
GBKSOFT has gained more than 10 years of experience in business software development. We help companies improve their operations and increase profits through developing and implementing custom software, including real estate ERP software.
Choose us as your ERP real estate software vendor and benefit from:
- a big pool of talented developers, QA engineers, UI/UX designers, business analysts, architects, etc.;
- accumulated experience in software development for the real estate industry;
- set up development process;
- a high level of ownership over the project;
- flexible cooperation and pricing options;
- customer success team that will ensure seamless negotiations and communication.
What Team Composition Do You Need to Build ERP solutions?
For efficient real estate ERP software development, you will need a team that consists of the following specialists:
- Business Analyst
- Solution Architect
- Front-end developers
- Back-end developers
- Mobile developers (in case you need a mobile version)
- QA and AQA engineers;
- UI/UX designer;
- DevOps specialists.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop an ERP for Real Estate Industry
We can provide you with such a team. Depending on its composition, the monthly check will be around $40,000-50,000. On average, the development of basic real estate ERP software takes around 6 months, but the timeline may be extended proportionally to the scope of work.
For every project, our solution group creates a separate estimation, where we describe the system functionality, timeline, and cost of every step of development. You will receive a detailed estimation document with every expense item described, and our sales managers will be glad to answer any questions.
As you could have guessed already, in our opinion, the best real estate ERP software is a custom-developed system attentively designed by an experienced team of developers. In such conditions, you will be able to obtain the most suitable and convenient ERP real estate software for your business.
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