#Real Estate | 18 min read | Updated: 4/30/2021

How to Build a Successful Real Estate Mobile Application

, Project Lead

There was a time when people needed to look for a property in newspapers, and then view the house they liked in person.

But that world is gone now.

The modern world provides us with an opportunity to look for accommodations online.

Research shows that over 76% of internet users are looking for a house for sale using their mobile devices. Moreover, the business of real estate searching for mobile devices grew in general overall by 123% since 2018.

In this article, we’ll tell you more about real estate mobile app development: key real estate trends, mobile app monetization models, core features of a real estate mobile app, and the costs of implementation.

Types of Real Estate Apps

Before starting to build a real estate mobile app, it’s important to consider various types of potential services.

real estate mobile app development types

Home Valuation App

Home valuation real estate mobile apps provide their users with all the necessary data about a home’s value.

This means by using such an app, property sellers can calculate the value of the housing they are selling.

These calculations are based on information about the home’s location, size, state, and other data. The accommodation calculator uses AI and machine learning (ML) to evaluate a price.

Examples: Trulia, Zillow.

Real Estate CRM Mobile App

TheReal estate CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is software for real estate business management between real estate agencies and buyers or renters

Such real estate CRMs are helpful when it comes to selling real estate, responding to incoming requests, managing a sales pipeline, or getting feedback from users.

Examples: Contactually, Zendesk Sell.

Property Management System Mobile App

Real Estate PMS apps (property management systems), are a type of mobile app that is often used for the operations and management of such properties as hotels, commercial or residential accommodations.

Such applications can be helpful for accommodation managers, business owners, or hotel owners that need to create and manage multiple accommodations during their daily business activities.

Examples: Buildium, Tenant Cloud.

Real Estate ERP Mobile App

Real Estate ERP applications are special software tools that help real estate companies’ employees to control accommodation rates or inform the clients about new locations.

A Real Estate ERP mobile app can be great at collecting and managing information, gathering data, receiving real estate business performance updates, and using digital tools to stay in touch with external clients.

Examples: Buildium, ValueLink, Deskera.

Real Estate Investment Mobile App

Real estate investment applications help those who buy and who sell homes as a business to generate income when the price of accommodation rises in value.

The Real Estate Investment mobile app helps to determine the size of the mortgage, future interest rates, and taxes.

However, it is also possible to create a real estate investing mobile app that helps to invest in housing without buying a home.

For example, such a mobile app can help investors to decide whether there’s an optimal moment to buy stock in homebuilders, determine the risks, participate in real estate investment trusts and auctions, or create and invest in real estate crowdfunding projects.

Examples: Property Fixer, Realtor.com, ValueChek, BiggerPockets.

Renting Mobile App

Such applications allow people to rent out various kinds of accommodation for a short time (vacation, weekend, or business trip) or for the long term.

As a rule, such services pay additional attention to the description of amenities, pictures, location, and neighborhood of such accommodation.

Examples: Airbnb, Agoda, Vrbo.

Buying and Selling Real Estate Mobile App

The real estate mobile app for home purchases is focused on the buying and selling processes. Such applications aren’t completely automated, as it is with the Airbnb mobile app, where users just use a mobile app to create a profile and rent out accommodation.

In a buying and selling mobile app, there’s a human element too for example, the real estate and customer service agents who consult with and help housing buyers to choose and buy the perfect house for them. Plus, there are usually no transactions carried out via a mobile app.

Examples: Redfin, Trulia, Zillow.

Real estate mobile app development

Reasons to Perform Real Estate App Development

A recent reports state that 73% of housing buyers use digital tools to find a home, while 58% of them successfully use mobile devices to find a home.

If you are planning to build a business in renting, buying, or selling housing, below are listed the most common reasons to perform real estate mobile app development.

real estate mobile app development reasons

The real estate industry has adopted lots of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality. These technologies can be helpful for more precise accommodation value estimations, chatbot mobile app development, and online leasing assistants.

All of that helps to perform real estate app development that will provide a better user experience and help visitors to choose and buy the accommodation they dream of or sell the one they have stopped loving.

High user Engagement and Conversion

Real estate mobile app types are extremely popular in the rental field. According to Real Estate in a Digital Age Report, 56% of people aged 36 or below and 50% of those aged 37-51 found their new housing online.

At the same moment, the NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report state that over 73% of customers searched for housing for sale with their smartphones. This shows that mobile devices can be convenient tools that help users to find a home with a mobile app, without having to use a computer.

Therefore, real estate mobile applications seem to be a promising solution for future development.

Better Viewing Experience

According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) research, 77% of real estate agents conclude that it is easier to represent a house for a buyer if there’s the opportunity to visualize the house.

At this point, lots of real estate app companies include 360-degree interactive VR real estate video tours in their mobile applications for both iOS and Android.

vr real estate technologies

Real Estate Software Development Trends

Like any other industry, the real estate industry follows its own trends. In this paragraph, we’ll review the main trends of real estate application development.

Big Data

When it comes to very large amounts of data, the traditional data-processing application software may be too weak to process this information. Here comes big data – a field that helps to analyze or extract information from large sets of data.

In real estate applications, big data development helps to store, process, and gather information about the users. Later, this information is used to predict the behavior and decisions of each user, and create the perfect searching suggestions.

Examples: Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Airbnb.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a technology that makes computers able to understand visual perception, recognize human speech, translate between different languages, and even make decisions.

Together with big data technologies development, artificial intelligence helps to analyze the preferences and requirements of real estate app users. As a result, people get precise, fast, and personalized app suggestions about the accommodation they are looking for.

Moreover, artificial intelligence can assist with management, tracking listings changes, and price comparisons.

Examples: Redfin, Airbnb, Trulia, Zillow.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a system in which each record is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.

The blockchain technology development itself is transparent and is widely used to prevent fraud. In real estate, blockchain can be helpful when it comes to checking documents, security, and reducing the amount of red tape inside an app.

Examples: PropertyClub, Realblocks, Slice.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-like world environment generated by a computer.

In real estate mobile applications, augmented reality helps to visualize the property to show what it looks like in real life. Such an approach helps app users to make a decision about buying or renting.

Examples: iStaging, Lyon Real Estate App.

real estate mobile app development trends

How Do Real Estate Apps Make Money?

There are lots of real estates application types, and each of them has its own ways of monetization. In this paragraph, we will discuss the main ways of monetization of the most popular real estate app types: buying/selling and renting apps.

Fees

The users of real estate applications can be asked to pay commission fees. For example, the buyers can pay a fee after each property purchase. At the same time, the real estate agents can be asked to pay fees for featuring them on the service.

Examples: Airbnb, Redfin, Housing.com.

Advertising

Advertising is a way of monetization development for most existing services, and real estate mobile applications are no exception.

For example, it’s possible to offer ads for mortgage lenders, real estate agents, additional listings, interior designers and stores, and so on.

Examples: Zillow, Trulia, WeWork.

Premium Features and Subscriptions

Premium features offer people advanced subscription plans. Such packages may include extended options, premium properties, more listings, free consultations with real estate agents, and so on. It all depends on the type of real estate app you are building.

For example, the real estate agents who use premium packages can be visible to a larger audience of buyers, or appear in property listings more frequently.

Examples: Zillow, Trulia, Housing.com, Redfin.

real estate mobile app development monetization models

12 Core Real Estate App Features 

Determining the real estate mobile app features of the future service is one of the crucial steps of the product development process

According to our experience and market analysis,there are core features that can be used with various kinds of real estate mobile applications development.

Let’s take a closer look at the features of the most popular of them: renting, buying, and selling real estate apps.

real estate mobile app development core features

Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of introducing your application to people. It helps to inform the users about the main features and advantages of the real estate app.

At the end of onboarding, users continue to register or log in with social networks. At this time, it may be a good idea to let the users skip the registration process, in case they just want to have a look at your app first.

Though we are discussing the core features of real estate renting and buying/selling apps, onboarding is common for all types of real estate mobile applications.

real estate mobile app development onboarding

Zillow App Onboarding

Registration

The registration feature helps people to sign up or log in. Depending on the app’s purpose, the users may be able to book, buy, or sell real estate only after registration.

A standard registration requires the user’s name, email, and password. This information is enough for entering an app. At the same time, any other details can be submitted within the user’s profile. It is also nice to allow users to log in with their social network accounts. For example, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.

The registration feature is also common for all types of real estate mobile apps.

Personal Profiles

When developing a real estate mobile app, it’s essential to differentiate roles for user profiles. Different real estate apps will require different roles. Buyers and real estate agents for rental and home purchase apps. Buyers and brokers for realtor apps. Renters for office rental apps, and so on.

Here, each user role will need access to their particular functions. Agents need to have access to their properties, appointments, schedules, and profiles of potential buyers. Buyers and renters should have access to the list of their favorite properties and advanced searching and filters.

As a rule, any real estate mobile app will provide its users with personal profiles. It is important to validate users before letting them rent, buy, or sell property.

real estate mobile app development personal profiles

Zillow App Personal Profile

Listings

Listings are an important part of the real estate mobile app. They contain information about the properties your app has to offer. In other words, people can use real estate listings as a database of properties.

The bigger the listings database the better. So you can be sure your potential buyers will be happy with lots of listings.

real estate mobile app development listings

Zillow App Property Listings

Search and Filters 

Searching for a perfect property may be a tough task. But it is possible to make it a friendly experience. For example, by including lots of advanced categories, services, and filters.

All real estate apps have a search feature to let their users start looking for a property. However, the filtering may be different for various types of real estate apps.

Also, it would be useful to include filters. For example, numbers of rooms, beds, home type, reviews, amenities, services, dates, location.

As for other apps, there would be other special filters to develop. Buying and selling apps offer such filters as home size, lot size, garage, outside features, community amenities.

Therefore, people will be able to specify their required services and filter out only the most suitable property options.

real estate mobile app development search and filters

Zillow App Search and Filters

Property Pages

A property page should allow the real estate agents to share all the extensive information about the properties they are selling, renting, or in the process of building.

Therefore, it should be possible to post photos of the property, place a description, add information about the price and dates, list the amenities and services, and so on.

The property pages feature development is common for such types of real estate apps as renting apps, buying/selling apps, and home valuation apps.

real estate mobile app development property pages

Airbnb Application Property Pages

Favorites

When people are able to shortlist the properties they like, they are more likely to choose the one they like the most. That’s why it’s important to include a wishlist feature in a real estate mobile app. So the users can spend less time searching for the accommodation they liked before.

The Favorites feature is often seen in home valuation apps, renting apps, buying and selling apps.

real estate mobile app development favorites

Zillow Application Favorites

Calendar

The calendar in a real estate mobile application helps both property buyers and real estate agents. It helps to choose an appropriate date and time to schedule offline appointments.

Almost any real estate mobile app provides people with a calendar feature. So it’s easy to find the dates to book, buy, or sell a property. Or book meetings with agents or business clients, or make an appointment.

real estate mobile app development calendar

Zillow App Calendar

Request Button

It is important to include the functionality that will help to connect people with real estate agents.

To let users call agents, it is popular to use business features as such a call button, request a call back button, online chat, or a request form for a consultation with agents.

This feature development is also common for apps such as home valuation apps, renting apps, and buying/selling real estate apps.

real estate mobile app development contact

Zillow Mobile App Contact Buttons

Maps

Maps are needed to show buyers the location of the desired property. But not only this. 

To help the buyers to make a decision as to whether to buy a property, you can use app maps to add data about the neighborhood, infrastructure, transportation, stores, crime rates, or the risks of natural disasters.

real estate mobile app development maps

Airbnb Mobile App Maps

Notifications

When creating a real estate mobile app, don’t forget to include push notifications services. This feature is important when you need to retain users and notify them of important events.

As a rule, the real estate app users receive notifications about price changes, new properties, agents’ services, or updates on listings. Therefore, notifications are common for renting apps and buying/selling apps.

You can also use artificial intelligence development. For example, to make the notifications more personalized and bring more value to users.

Property Value Estimator

There are several types of calculators, depending on whether a user is buying or selling.

Sellers and real estate agents use these calculators to calculate the approximate value of a house according to various criteria. The calculator considers the estimated market value of a user’s home or the home they are interested in.

Buyers use mortgage calculator services to estimate their monthly mortgage payments. A perfect price calculator for buyers should be a tool that shows the final price. It is based on the mortgage price, initial payment, loan interest, and loan repayment period.

real estate mobile app development mortgage calculator
real estate mobile app development property value estimator

Realtor.com App Mortgage Calculator

Cost to Build Your Own Real Estate App

The real estate app development cost depends on various factors. Among them are the app’s functionality, and technologies. It also matters if you are working with a development agency or real estate app developer.

But it also depends on the stage your product is at. The discovery stage, MVP development, or product scaling.

Discovery Phase 

It doesn’t matter whether you are working with a real estate mobile app development company or using a website builder with a ready-made template. The best way to start the development process is to conduct a discovery phase.

To provide cost-efficient real estate mobile app development services, we always recommend our clients start with the discovery phase for their product. In simple terms, the discovery phase is aimed to find ways for correct and suitable idea implementation.

discovery phase

As a result of the discovery phase, the client receives all the important information they need to start product development.

Such an approach helps to predict and lower all the possible risks. And create a detailed development plan. All of these helps to implement the product idea more quickly and cheaply.

An average price for the discovery phase development is usually $5,000-$10,000.

MVP Development

After the discovery phase, we recommend first creating a real estate mobile application MVP. Don’t jump straight into building a fully-featured product development right away.

An MVP is the first version of the product that includes only the core features. But with enough value needed for the product to be represented on the market.

MVP development

In general, a product MVP development can cost around $30,000-$35,000. For example, if you are outsourcing a real estate app to countries with budget-friendly rates.

Product Upgrading and Scaling

After the successful real estate mobile app development and launch, it comes time to think about some upgrades. Collecting users’ feedback helps to understand what was missed. Also, it helps to understand what features need some improvement.

After you fix all the issues and get a product with a stable income, you can think about scaling your app.  

A word of advice: don’t start scaling until you’re sure you have a good user base, have reached your previous business goals, have a stable cash flow, and have minimized all the risks.

Tips on How to Build a Successful Real Estate Mobile App

To build your own real estate app is never enough. 

You’ll need some clever and unique solutions to become really successful in creating a convenient and user-friendly app. Here are some development tips.

Improve Searching Functionality

When people look for real estate via mobile apps, they don’t have a lot of time to scroll through irrelevant search results that they can’t even filter. Create a powerful search system and provide filters, sorting systems, and suggestions to make the user experience smooth.

It’s better to include filters such as location, year built, parking, and local specifics.

Provide Efficient Communication

When looking for a property, people always have lots of questions. These questions may be related to housing features or booking. So it’s important to create comprehensive communication between buyers, real estate agents, and sellers.

At this point, it would be crucial to include a mobile chat or messaging system. It helps to provide the opportunity to contact a real estate agent. Or, for example, book an appointment with them.

Use Graphic Elements

Graphic elements in the real estate app design also help to attract users’ attention to the important mobile features of the product development.

For real estate mobile app development, this is important. The graphic elements help the users to sell and find appropriate real estate more quickly.

Useful tip: Try to create and present all the categorized data in a visual manner, and add icons and illustrations. Such an approach helps to perform real estate app design development. Also, it ensures a user-friendly design for users.

Real estate mobile app development

Our Experience

Moovle

Moovle is an Airbnb-like rental service based in Belgium. When we met our client, the product was in its idea stage, so we had to implement an MVP of the product.

In particular, our goals were to:

  • create the core features;
  • integrate the external APIs for listings synchronization;
  • implement the whole listings management mechanism. 
Moovle

Moreover, we had to implement all the required functionality within 1.5 months so that our client could showcase the solution to the investors.

Our app solutions for the business:

As a result of Sloboda Studio’s work, we created an MVP just in 6 weeks. And our client successfully pitched it to the investors.

All in all, we create core mobile app features such as:

  • User registration
  • Property page
  • Listings development
  • Search and filtering system
  • Create search personalization
  • Accommodation requests
  • Admin panel

Real Estate CRM

Real Estate CRM is a leading regional residential real estate agency. It helps people with buying and selling residential properties. 

When we met our client, their company had expanded in both staff and users. That resulted in a need for centralized data management software.

Our goal was to build a real estate CRM that would allow clients to create and organize all the data, and be tailored to the company’s business processes development.

real estate CRM

Our app solutions for the business:

Sloboda Studio created a custom real estate CRM. We also helped the client’s business to automate the work. This resulted in sales increase, better conversion, and productivity.

During our development, we implemented mobile app features such as:

  • Dashboard
  • User contacts
  • Communication page
  • Contact user groups
  • Programs
  • Pipelines
  • Deals

Final Thoughts

Building a real estate mobile app is a complex task. Basically, this is the whole system that should work with loads of data and thousands of people.

So how do you start to create your real estate mobile app?

First, conduct discovery research. By doing so, you can learn about your business competitors. Also, discovery helps to understand market trends and target the audience of your mobile app.

Second, create your own real estate app MVP. It should include all the core mobile functionality. At the same time, it is budget-friendly and quick to create. This will save you time and money. And deliver your business to the market faster than some of your competitors.

Third, update and scale your mobile application. We advise, first of all, to make sure you have all the needed resources. So, it would be easier to further grow before scaling.

Got any questions about how to create a real estate mobile application? Feel free to contact Sloboda Studio for a free consultation!

Our company has experience in building real estate websites and mobile apps. We know how to create Airbnb-like marketplaces, property management systems, and CRMs.

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