The On & Off Factors That Affect the Real Estate App Development Cost

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 24/11/2023

The On & Off Factors That Affect the Real Estate App Development Cost

Digitalization has disrupted the whole business landscape, regardless of fields or industries. Especially when the global nightmare – called the COVID-19 pandemic – hit the world hard and turned the world upside-down, traditional businesses, for the very first time, were pushed to a corner to transform not only in operations but also in business models and strategies.

Soon enough, this paradigm shift has also been reflected in the real estate industry, which is often perceived as a traditional one. More and more real estate companies bring in digital solutions - be it mobile and web applications - to streamline as many procedures and intricacies as possible within the interactions between property sellers and buyers.

Much like any other software development project, developing real estate software from scratch is not as simple as making a declaration. In actual fact, it is nothing less than an expensive venture that requires significant investment. For such costly endeavors, many real estate businesses falter in making one of the most critical decisions - whether to go for internal development or outsource mobile app development.

If the monetary and budgetary concerns are what you are pondering over, then this write-up will ease your mind a little by uncovering various elements that determine the real estate app development cost and somehow giving you just a rough estimate of what kind of budget you need to set aside for your mobile application.

What Is a Real Estate Mobile App?

What Is a Real Estate Mobile App?

By nature, a real estate mobile application is a software or platform designed to facilitate transactions, including selling, buying, and renting real estate properties. The key proposition is the ability to connect prospects and investors - who have demands - with real estate agents or companies.

Users can browse the real estate listings, filter out properties based on their preferences, explore the landholding images and descriptions, schedule visits, and snoop through the owners’ contact details. Along with that primary function, it also serves as a digital portal for information exchange regarding real estate market research – such as property values, trends, and local markets. Such apps are built to operate on mobile devices, namely smartphones and tablets.

Key Features of Real Estate Software

While most real estate development software is created to be a one-stop solution for all processes and services, others emphasize one specific function or a few key features, such as:

Property Search & Filter

It is as simple as its name sounds. This feature of a mobile real estate app enables potential buyers or renters to access one centralized platform where they can navigate through all the properties effortlessly, thanks to the advanced search functionality.

Based on your given search criteria, the application sorts the property details by geographical location, price, size, type (commercial/residential), status, style, and proximity to certain amenities (I.e., schools, hospitals, transits, and more).

Real estate app developers can now integrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms into these platforms to optimize search capability. Furthermore, advanced features like 3D map view, saved search, etc., are also included. Search apps even utilize augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to enable a virtual tour for prospects to give them a realistic feel of the property details.

Property Listings

This is the core function of any real estate company app. Insiders often refer to these applications as real estate aggregators.

Basically, a real estate agent, company, or individual can list their properties for rent or purchase with all the necessary details, such as location, price, range of area (square feet), and more. Moreover, in addition to basic information, sellers can upload high-quality images/videos of their properties and descriptions to entice potential buyers further.

Through mobile real estate apps or websites, sellers or landlords can promote their properties to the right target audience, while buyers or tenants can explore the databases and compare multiple options right from the comfort of their homes.

The listing functionality often goes with a suite of supporting features. Real estate apps are integrated with live chat or call - facilitating direct communication between sellers and buyers - and push notifications, which provide instant alerts for property listings in the buyers’ preferred locations, budget range, and criteria. Moreover, payment gateways are also integrated into such apps so that buyers can proceed with online transactions - making the buying or renting process even more convenient for everyone involved.

Property Valuation

Real estate valuation engines are now standard in many mobile real estate apps. This is an appraisal feature using an algorithm to calculate and estimate price ranges for real estate based on a combination of data, including recent market trends, location, size, condition, feature, and more. Property valuation is essential for a real estate business deal as it helps both parties assess the property’s market value for a fair purchase or renting decision.

For sellers, they can stay up-to-date with the current market value and align it with their properties’ prices at a competitive asking rate. Meanwhile, buyers are provided with an estimated value of land, house, or building that they have eyes on. This prepares them in an active mode to negotiate better deals and make informed decisions.

By simply entering a property’s location and necessary information, users can get an estimated value within seconds - saving them time and effort from seeking professional advice for valuation. However, it is usually recommended to consult with professional appraisers or real estate agents for a more accurate valuation and estimate.

Mortgage Calculator

A mortgage calculator integrated into a real estate application assists buyers or investors in making a financial decision by giving them a rough estimation of their mortgage payments. Unlike the valuation feature, where the calculation is mainly based on data, mortgage calculators factor in mathematical algorithms to estimate monthly payment amounts and interest rates. The calculator asks for a property’s value, down payment amount, loan term or duration, and interest rate. Based on these parameters, users can easily visualize their monthly installments and make an informed decision about mortgage lending by banks or financial institutions.

Auction Feature

Some real estate app developers have included auction functionality in their platforms, enabling competitive bidding. Through such a platform, real estate developers can bid for the properties they are interested in. Sellers gain a chance to get higher prices than listing prices, allowing buyers to snag good deals that may not be possible on the regular real estate market.

Why Needs Real Estate Apps? - Business Benefits

Why Needs Real Estate Apps? - Business Benefits

Currently, top players in the game of real estate mobile apps can be listed down to Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Homesnap.

Visibility

No more dependence on solely real estate flyers or billboards. Digital platforms on mobile devices have cut the short-term effort to the long-term benefits of conventional marketing methods. Real estate apps can bring high visibility and attract more users than traditional channels. Builders, owners, or sellers can publish and promote their properties on multiple listing service platforms, and potential investors can access them effortlessly from anywhere or at any time.

Connectivity

Real estate applications are all about connectivity. Via in-app chat and call support, prospects - buyers or tenants - can contact sellers, landlords, or agents directly for further discussion. Sellers can receive instant notifications for inquiries raised, and buyers can receive updates on their desired property’s availability as soon as it hits the market. In such an optimal operation, convenience and transparency are ensured on both ends.

Automation

Automation is a future-proof way of innovation for software development and all industries. In real estate, automation is taking over the manual ways of document processing, data entry, and marketing tasks. In-built form fillers can automatically add all necessary details about a specific property using MLS or IDX integration. With automation, agents or sellers can save time for more significant tasks like listing new properties or engaging with potential buyers.

Versatility

More often than not, developers aim to build their one-stop solution for all real estate transactions and activities. Therefore, a lot of the app’s features are included to not only solve real-life problems associated with property buying or renting but also cater to many other needs. For instance, industry news, market trends and analytics, mortgage interest rates, property tax calculators, and more useful capabilities are added to real estate mobile apps.

Credibility

Building trust is the backbone of every business. Real estate apps can directly impact establishing credibility and confidence among buyers, investors, or sellers. A professional and intuitive user interface with easy navigation and secure payment gateways are crucial factors in impressing users and building brand trust. Moreover, verification processes for agents, sellers, and buyers can add another layer of trustworthiness to the application.

How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Real Estate App?

Mobile app development or any kind of custom software development can be a pricey endeavor. The development process of a decent application product calls for a considerably large investment of not only money and resources (an experienced development team of web and mobile developers) but also time, effort, and patience, not to mention that you cannot guarantee there will be no additional expenses along the way. For that reason of costs, most companies and teams hesitate to materialize their best real estate app ideas.

On average, the development cost can be roughly estimated to fall somewhere between $50,000 and $200,000. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to come up with an exact amount of spending on an app because the total expenditure is decided by various factors.

Factors That Impact the Total Cost of Real Estate Application Development Process

The following are the primary factors that impact all stages of the development process of your real estate mobile application. By switching on or off these parameters to some extent, you can add up or reduce your budget according to your preference.

Scope & Complexity

What a simple logic! The more complex the functions you want to have in your app, the higher the cost can be.

Essential features, such as listing, search, and selling, will cost much less than incorporating advanced ones like mortgage calculators, auction functionalities, or augmented reality. Additionally, more features added also ask for an advanced technology stack, skilled developers to execute them, and more resources - time, money, and effort.

Platform Compatibility

Android? iOS? Hybrid? Web-based? This is a vital factor that dictates your app development cost. iOS apps are known to be more expensive than Android ones, while a cross-platform app can save you some costs. However, it all depends on the platform your target audience prefers.

UI/UX Design

Visual design is not something to be taken lightly, and neither is the user interface (UI) or user experience (UX). It would help if you decided on a user-friendly, easy-to-use application with an elegant and intuitive design.

A good app designer can add a higher cost to your budget. Still, the effect of a simple yet eye-catching design cannot be dismissed; it can significantly increase the chances of your app’s success.

Backend Infrastructure and Database Development

The backend infrastructure and database are the engine room that powers your entire application’s performance. This involves server setup, database design, data storage and retrieval mechanisms, and more.

The more sophisticated and scalable you want your server-side architecture to be, the higher the development cost can go. Depending on your needs and budget, you may also need dedicated servers or cloud services.

Integration with Third-Party Services (MLS, IDX)

Third-party integrations are necessary for real estate apps to provide accurate and updated information about available properties.

But, integration with MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is not free; you will need to pay a monthly or yearly fee. If your app’s scale and complexity increase, so do the fees.

Security and Data Protection Measures

Data and information security is the all-time concern of today’s digital era. Therefore, any platform needs robust security measures to safeguard and protect user data (Could be sellers, buyers, renters, landlords, companies, or all.).

This involves encryption, secure user authentication, data privacy measures, and compliance with regulations like GDPR. These measures can add to the development cost but are an essential aspect that cannot be compromised. Neglect of data security issues now at this point, mainly because of cost constraints, may result in more costly legal consequences or user dissatisfaction later.

Testing and Quality Assurance

It is essential, or a must, to be exact, to have your application tested throughout the development cycle, from its MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage to full-fledged deployment.

Thus, a skilled QA (Quality Assurance) team must be convened to run tests and detect any bugs, glitches, errors, or faulty operations before releasing the app into production. The expenditure, for that reason, can fluctuate much or less, higher or lower, depending on the app’s complexity, features, and functionality.

Marketing and Maintenance

Developing a real estate application from scratch is one thing, but bringing it to the market and acquiring users is another thing. And guess what? Keeping it up-to-date is another mission on the list. To be exact, we are discussing the marketing and maintenance activities, and both are non-negotiable costs if you want your application to be successful and stay relevant in the market.

Ready to Kickstart Your Real Estate App Development with Us

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Of course, meticulous calculation and estimation of the budgetary factor are fundamental steps in the early stage of your journey of bringing a real estate platform to life. However, real estate and mobile application development can be a little bit too overwhelming for some companies, those with little experience or resources, to conduct the whole project from start to finish all by themselves.

There is still an open door - outsource your real estate application to a third-party company that excels in this field. No more worry about cost miscalculation or mis-estimation because you have experts working on that with you. At a reasonable cost, the service provider will handle the entire process, from planning, designing, and developing to testing and maintaining your application, buying you time and effort to concentrate on the business acumen and marketing activities. Even if you have nothing more than a vague idea, a software development outsourcing company can help you define and figure out the right direction for your future product.

Interesting? All you need is a discussion with Orient Software’s team of professionals. Why Orient? Why us? We have “weighed” lots of product development projects like this across fields and industries.

Expertise? Experience? A dedicated team? Or else? At Orient, we have precisely everything you ask for to materialize your best real estate application in either your imagination or expectation. We commit to delivering outcomes of the utmost quality yet at the best price you can find in the market. Without further ado, let’s “build” your success story together. Now, and always! Contact us today!