Just like every other industry, real estate is also evolving as per digital trends and changing consumer preferences. If you are a realtor or have any business that revolves around properties, you already know how complex it is to get a potential customer.
You have to roam around cities with each client, arrange meetings, demonstrate that what you offer is the best, and then get into the hard-to-end negotiation discussions.
Still, there is no guarantee that you will be able to close the deal. After all these hassles, the leads might just go to your competitors, tell them what you are offering, and close the deal for a slightly less price. All your efforts are now in vain!
However, thankfully, times are now changing. Modern realtors are using mobile applications to do all the heavy lifting and it is becoming a bit easy for them to attract and retain leads.
With more than 40% of individuals looking for properties online in 2022 as per the National Association of Realtors, it has also become mandatory for everyone in real estate to build a presence online and on mobile. After the success of apps like Zillow, Trulia, Zumper, and Realtor.com, the real estate mobile app development industry turned into a lucrative sector for many budding entrepreneurs, and for all good reasons.
The industry is flourishing and there are many opportunities available for people having a solid plan of action. If you also plan to launch your own venture in the real estate mobile market, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss why it is a good idea to develop an app like Zillow and how much it would cost you to launch a real estate mobile app.
So, let’s get started.
There are many reasons that prove why building a real estate app like Zillow will be profitable in the coming years. Let’s shed the light on some of the major ones:
1.58% of Millenials & 46% of GenX Buyers Found their Homes on Mobile in 2019
As per reports, among all generations, GenX buys the largest homes with a median of 2k square feet. Also, they purchase the most expensive properties, at an average price of $305k. Thus, if you want to make more profits out of your real-estate businesses, experts say that you should target this demographic.
The second best generation to target is Millennials. And both of them use mobile devices to look for homes. Therefore, without a presence on mobile, you can not run a profitable real estate business and it is necessary to invest in real estate mobile app development.
Here are some more statistics on how consumers are searching for properties:
(Source: The National Association of Realtors, 2019)
2.Technology Adds Convenience to the Real Estate
Technology has been the driving force behind innovation in the real estate market for many years now. Consumers need convenience and full transparency when purchasing a property. A mobile app can help you provide a beautiful blend of both these things.
For example, one of the most-loved technologies in this sector is AR/VR that facilitates virtual home tours. As per research, 71% of property management organizations claim that the demand and their priority for virtual property showcasing prior to physical visits has increased in the last few years.
Because of adding benefits like visiting properties in far-away locations virtually, virtual property showcasing is a feature that is here to stay and it is also something that you can seamlessly implement in a mobile application. A win-win for all the stakeholders!
3.It Is Easier to Manage a Real-Estate Business Using a Mobile App
As a real-estate business grows, it becomes hard to manage all the operations and business processes manually. That’s where automation comes in. Known as a byproduct of Artificial Intelligence, automation can help in managing several aspects of a real-estate business, for example:
These applications and benefits of technology make managing a real-estate business seamless and profitable. And if you implement it over mobile, you will be able to manage and scale your business on the go while providing a seamless experience to your customers.
All the above-mentioned stats and facts state that technology is helping real estate flourish and a mobile application can add more charm to the benefits that technology provides. With that addressed, let us look into what features a real-estate mobile application would require to stand out in the market and how much it would cost to develop such an app.
Also Read: How to Pitch Your App to Investors in 3 Simple Steps and Get Funded
The cost to develop a real estate mobile app highly depends on the features you want to integrate into it. Depending on your app’s business model, the required features may vary but here are some of the common must-have features that almost all types of real-estate mobile apps should have:
1.Seamless App Onboarding
To make any application a success, it is mandatory to design an easy onboarding process for users so that they don’t have a hard time using your application. The easier the onboarding process you design, the more will be the chances of users not abandoning your app after the download.
The onboarding process should help users understand your app and its function. Along with adding value to the customer experience, you must aim to make the app navigation easier, especially during this initial step. Try to keep things as simple as possible. You can also invest in social media integration to allow your users to register and log in directly from the platform.
2.Different User Panels
A real estate mobile application can have different types of users depending on the business model it follows. For example, an app may serve sellers, buyers, real estate agents, homeowners, mortgage agents, and any other type of people.
So, depending on who you serve, you will have to build a user panel for every one of your stakeholders. The buyer panel should have features that allow buyers to browse different properties, request quotes, talk to agents, and do other things.
On the other hand, sellers should be allowed to list properties, find buyers, negotiate with them, and do other things depending on the app business model. Every one of the app panels should be seamless to navigate and engaging enough to keep the mobile app users hooked.
The database is a crucial element in every type of application. If you are dealing with information in your app, you will require a database to store and process it.
In a real estate application, you will need to save and process a lot of information regarding different properties, owners, their locations, prices, interested buyers, property images, etc. Doesn’t matter what business model your app follows, this data is only going to increase after you launch your app. Thus, a strong database will be needed. The more updated and wider your database is, the more will be the chances of your app getting a success.
Thus, make sure you choose your data source carefully and integrate a database and servers that are flexible enough to support your app’s growth.
Also Read: Mobile App Backend Development: How to Proceed and Save Money?
4.Advanced Search Filters & Categories
Along with the passage of time, your app’s users and property listings will increase. After a point, it will become hard for users to find the right properties as per their needs, manually. That’s where customization comes in.
Along with increasing the relevancy of your real estate mobile app, it will also personalize your app’s UX by letting users filter out the suitable options according to their preferences like location, budget, etc. Here is how Zillow eases the task of finding the right property for its users:
Thus, you must define clear categories within your app and let users search for properties using different filters. You can integrate sort and search filters on the basis of:
5.Location & Maps
Map integration is an essential feature for a real-estate mobile app as it also adds value to the customer experience your app provides. It is your chance to help users reach the property location on time if they want to inspect or have a meeting with the seller.
You can also show nearby places on a map and provide other useful information like the crime rate in the area, the average income of residents living there, schools or banks available nearby, etc.
6.Wish List or Favorites
Just like for an eCommerce app, a wishlist is a must-have feature for a real estate mobile app as well. You do not buy an item on any application right after you see it and without exploring. So, how can a user buy a property like this? That’s why it is important that you provide them an option to save the listings of their favorite properties and take the time to analyze them.
This feature will make the property buying process easier for your customers as they can see the properties they like anywhere and anytime.
Push notifications are essential to make your app a success. The benefits that this feature will provide your business are hard to ignore. Push notifications let you stay at the top of your users’ minds, whenever you need to be there.
By adding this feature to your real estate application, you can update users about everything that they should be interested in, resulting in more conversions and revenue. Here is how Zillow uses push notifications to stay connected with consumers.
After the pandemic, virtual tours are becoming essential for real estate applications. Technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are enablers of virtual tours and you can use these to let your users visit the property virtually prior to making a purchase. This feature will have a real and positive impact on your app revenue and engagement.
So, that was all about must-have features of a real estate app. Now, which features you want to integrate into your app will impact the real estate application development cost. Before we discuss it, let’s check out what advanced features you can add to your app to make it standout.
Because of increasing competition in the real estate market, developing an app with just must-have features won’t be enough. You will have to add some additional features to it to make it stand out and secure an edge over competitors. Let’s check out what are these:
By integrating a chatbot into your real-estate application, you can address your consumers’ queries 24/7. It will help you answer frequently asked questions by consumers and they will be able to learn more about your app’s functionality and services. Plus, you will save costs on the customer support side.
A real estate application needs a lot of data to target the right people at the right time. Also, such apps have a huge database related to property listings that they need to manage, analyze, filter, and present.
Thus, you need to analyze all of this data to target the right consumers, run ads, and provide a seamless user experience. All the insights that you drive from this data is called Business Intelligence, which is a crucial component of success these days for many businesses.
Providing your users with a 3D view of the property can take their experience to the next level. This will result in an accelerated buying process. This feature can also help you increase the customer engagement rate as they will be spending more time on your app. However, you will have to spend a little more to integrate these features into your app.
Now that you know what goes inside developing a real estate application like Zillow, let’s find out about the tech stack that you need to use to build such an application.
While you can develop a real estate application in numerous ways, it is best to plan and analyze your tech stack before jumping into the development process. Also, the tech stack can vary from project to project and there are many choices when it comes to selecting the technologies.
Here are some of the common technologies that real estate developers usually use to build an app like Zillow. You can use all or some of them to build your application.
Now, coming to the main question, how much would you need to spend to launch your own real estate app in the market? Well, the answer depends on many things, for example:
There are some other factors as well that you need to focus on while deciding on the development cost of an app. Check out the blog here on Hidden Costs of Mobile App Development to have an overview of all these parameters.
However, in this blog, we will provide you with a ballpark number so that you have an idea of the cost. If you plan to build a real estate app with just the must-have features, the cost would be somewhere between $40,000 to $60,000. However, if you plan to add some advanced features as well, it can go up to $80,000.
Remember, before building a full-fledged application, it is always the best idea to develop a Minimum Viable Product. It will help you test your app idea while spending less. Reach out to expert real estate app developers at Apptunix to build and launch your app on the best budget.
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Nikhil Bansal is the Founder and CEO of Apptunix, a leading Software Development Company helping startups as well as brands in streamlining their business processes with intuitive and powerful mobile apps. After working in the iOS app development industry for more than 10 years, he is now well-equipped with excellent problem-solving and decision-making techniques.
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