Managing development tasks is much more than just checking off a few boxes. From keeping an eye on the budget to submitting permit applications, legal reviews, feasibility studies, and delivery, commercial real estate software developers must stay organized, on the same page, and schedule for all their projects. As the real estate business becomes more dependent on technology, developers have turned to real estate development software to speed up the time it takes to get a project on the market by managing it all in one place.
Mistakes, omissions, and delays can cost money in the form of fines and lost opportunities. Real estate software development brings together teams around a central location for up-to-date project information and important dates. This helps keep projects on track and reduces risk. Read on to find out what you should think about when deciding between different kinds of technology.
Why Real Estate Software Development is Becoming More Important
In September 2022, the number of housing units being built hit 1.7 million for the first time. This came after the number of apartment units being built had been going up for several years. Even though core markets like offices are having trouble, other growing verticals, like industrial and life sciences, still have a lot of promise for big returns.
As the market asks for more development, software developers must find a way to cut costs without losing competitive benefits like speed, accuracy, and size. Even though 48% of CRE executives have to think hard about how to cut costs, including software, the right options can help improve efficiencies. Real estate software development can be very helpful for users because it can help them measure and report on results while allowing them to do more with less.
6 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Real Estate Development Software
You Can Track Against Critical Dates In Real Time
Some problems are unavoidable, but all developers try to stick as closely as possible to the dates they’ve set. But it’s not possible to update schedules as projects change. As you look at different proptech development software choices, consider how they help teams keep track of the many steps between buying land or a building and delivering it.
The most important thing development tools should do is tell everyone how projects are going in real time. Executives need a big-picture view of progress and milestones, while project managers need a more detailed view of tasks done and not done, as well as important dates. Also, team members should be able to add notes to deals that give more information about them. When everyone in a company can see important dates in real-time, they can work more efficiently and effectively.
Teams try to keep track of these timelines together because some development jobs can only be started once others are done. Development software should also show how quickly the real world is always changing by including dependencies. Dependencies let companies change the due dates of tasks that depend on each other without having to change them all by hand.
The best real estate development tools will cover more than just building but the whole asset lifecycle. This ensures workers have all the information they need about the whole project.
Technology gives people in development an edge by making it easier for agile deal teams to keep track of moving goals in one place.
Software Standardize Repeatable Real Estate Development Task Checklists and Automate Workflows
Your company shouldn’t have to start over with new job lists for each project. One of the most important goals of property development software for project management is to standardize and automate processes. This includes routine deliverables like permits, environmental reports, and many others. This helps your team work in a way that can be repeated as new jobs are added to the pipeline.
This will be taken further by sophisticated software that can automate processes based on different conditions. You can use these lists based on the property type, development, area, etc. For example, if all projects that start from scratch need a certain permit, that job should show up for all properties that fit that profile. In the same way, if every multifamily deal needs a full evaluation of zoning, that should be part of the workflow.
Collaborate with Internal & External Real Estate Development Partners Directly in the Software
Many outside people, like lawyers, environmental experts, architects, and others, are very important to the development process. An analyst’s job is to communicate with and enter information from these third parties, which can be time-consuming and leave room for mistakes. One of the main goals of real estate development tools should be to make it easier to work with third parties without having to go through email.
The best software for business real estate developers gives direct access to third parties. This allows them to enter data, attach documents, or discuss the assigned job. This makes your team more efficient and gives them more time to do strategic work to close more deals. These changes will be clear and easy to find when looking at growth deals in progress or getting more information about a specific deal.
Managing construction or high-level software for building real estate
Developers must also keep track of construction, adding building supplies, managing contractors, and much more to the already complicated pre-development process. It’s important to keep track of work against planned milestones, but your development team may not need access to this information at a granular level.
As you look into commercial real estate development and investment software, think about the needs of your company and the amount of detail you need to track progress accurately. Investors usually don’t care about the small details of the building. Instead, a bigger picture of how the project is going in terms of time and money compared to its goals is more useful. On the other hand, tools like Procore are more useful for general contractors who are in charge of land development.
Software to keep track of budgets and finances
Along with daily deliverables and timelines, real estate development investment software should be centered around deal management, which includes many financial factors.
Your company should be able to keep track of high-level financials with land development software by sharing feasibility analyses, pro formas, and other documents. It may have some accounting software features for real estate development, but keeping track of key data in one place is very important. Putting all of this information in one place can also help with more in-depth financial studies, such as figuring out the rate of return.
Keeping track of this information in purpose-built software lets you see data more clearly and avoids problems with different processes like Excel spreadsheets. Over time, you can also see trends that can teach you something for future projects. For example, do manufacturing project permits cost more than other asset classes? Having this information in real estate investing software also ensures that other people in the company can use historical data to plan more comprehensively.
It’s important to keep the leadership and investors updated on how the growth project is going and how much money is expected to come in, but this can get complicated and take time. For many companies, though, making accurate reports means finding data and talking to different team members about where projects are at and where papers are. Instead, real estate software development should make reporting easy and give you many choices.
Depending on your goals and who will be reading the report, you should be able to set the criteria to give you the right amount of information, whether you need a broad overview or a more detailed look at deals in certain stages of the process. Automating this reporting saves much time on routine work, and stakeholders are kept up to date in real time.