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PlanSwift

PlanSwift is the #1 Takeoff & Estimating software in the world! PlanSwift software is designed for Commercial, Industrial, Institutional and Residential GCs and Subcontractors in almost every construction trade. With PlanSwifts...Read more about PlanSwift

4.33 (393 reviews)

66 recommendations

ConstructionOnline

UDA Technologies’ ConstructionOnline offers a web-based, integrated approach to project management, project scheduling, and customer management. Designed for emerging construction businesses in the homebuilding and remodeling indu...Read more about ConstructionOnline

4.48 (463 reviews)

53 recommendations

Premier

Premier is a global leader in financial construction ERP software. Rated #1 Construction Accounting Software by Forbes Advisor in 2022 & 2023. Our modern SaaS solution is designed to meet the needs of General Contractors, Develope...Read more about Premier

4.61 (244 reviews)

17 recommendations

Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Cloud ERP provides the best business management solution for transforming your company to thrive in the new digital economy. Through leading-edge technology, best-in-class business functionality, and customer-friendly ...Read more about Acumatica Cloud ERP

4.49 (72 reviews)

16 recommendations

JOBPROGRESS

JOBPROGRESS is a cloud-based construction management solution for residential remodeling contractors. The solution works with small businesses and can be customized as per the needs of an organization. It offers estimating, projec...Read more about JOBPROGRESS

4.38 (354 reviews)

9 recommendations

A-Systems JobView

JobView by A-Systems is a software solution for the construction industry, specializing in construction accounting. It is available for on-premise deployment. Key features of JobView include job costing, payroll, a general ledger...Read more about A-Systems JobView

4.80 (20 reviews)

5 recommendations

monday.com

monday.com is an award-winning work and project management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, prioritize, manage, and execute their work more effectively. The platform offers solutions for a wide range of use-cases such...Read more about monday.com

No reviews yet

4 recommendations

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a work execution platform and collaboration tool with a familiar spreadsheet-like interface that helps teams plan, track, and manage projects in real-time. Smartsheet features include a range of project management to...Read more about Smartsheet

4.49 (2904 reviews)

2 recommendations

iSqFt for General Contractors

With iSqFt, contractors of any size can streamline their entire pre-construction process and bid effectively. Designed to address the unique challenges of general contractors, design-build firms, and construction managers, iS...Read more about iSqFt for General Contractors

4.22 (64 reviews)

2 recommendations

BidBook

BidBook is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution, built on Salesforce, that helps construction businesses manage bids, client relationships, projects, and revenue. The platform offers a host of features such as c...Read more about BidBook

4.50 (16 reviews)

1 recommendations

PMWeb

PMWeb is an all-in-one portfolio, program and project management construction software solution geared toward enterprise-level owner organizations. PMWeb serves organizations worldwide across a broad spectrum of industries includi...Read more about PMWeb

4.25 (8 reviews)

1 recommendations

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution designed for SMBs across different industry verticals such as construction, nonprofit distribution, manufacturing, and retail. With QB Enterprise solution, any business owner can exp...Read more about QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

Box

Simplify your tech stack and save on cost with the Content Cloud: a secure, easy-to-use platform built for the entire content lifecycle, from file creation and sharing, to co-editing, e-signature, classification, and retention. An...Read more about Box

FreshBooks

FreshBooks takes billing out of your hands and puts it on autopilot. Set up automated invoicing, online payment options (ACH and Credit Card), and late payment reminders to get paid 2x faster. Next, boost team productivity with pr...Read more about FreshBooks

AutoCAD

AutoCAD is a 2D and 3D design and drafting platform for architects, engineers, construction professionals, field technicians and contractors, which supports 2D drafting, drawing and annotation tools, alongside 3D modeling and visu...Read more about AutoCAD

Xero

Xero is an accounting system designed for small and growing businesses. Xero connects small businesses with their trusted advisors and provides business owners with instant visibility of their financial position. As a web-based so...Read more about Xero

Procore

Procore manages your projects, resources, and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows manag...Read more about Procore

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more about Wrike

Autodesk Construction Cloud

Autodesk Construction Cloud combines advanced technology, the industry’s largest builders network and predictive insights to connect people and data across the building lifecycle, from design through operations. Autodesk Construct...Read more about Autodesk Construction Cloud

Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, provides contractors, developers, and property managers with the most complete solution for managing the entire project or property lifecycle with confidence,...Read more about Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Small business real estate developers need to make many complicated decisions. Here's a look at just a few of their responsibilities:

  • Identifying property (land/buildings) for purchase

  • Creating project ideas (new construction/renovation)

  • Bringing together a team (architects/builders/engineers)

  • Procuring necessary finances (bank loans/investors/self-finance)

  • Managing compliance requirements (legal approvals/licenses)

To execute these responsibilities efficiently, real estate developers need to be able to record and analyze large sets of information, such as project cost estimations, profit and loss reports, invoices, subcontractors bids, change orders and a ton of legal documents.

What becomes an administrative nightmare is when SMBs manage these responsibilities using cumbersome manual methods, such as Excel sheets. Moreover, costly human errors creep in, which limit businesses from making timely and accurate decisions.

The way to tackle this is by using real estate development software that helps small developers manage their work more efficiently.

That said, the right real estate development software for your business depends on factors such as what type of features you need, whether you own a full construction company or are looking to subcontract most of the work, and, finally, your software budget.

In this Buyer's Guide, we will closely examine the key factors that businesses should keep in mind while evaluating real estate development software.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Real Estate Development Software?

Common Features of Real Estate Development Software

What Type of Buyer are You?

Key Considerations

What Is Real Estate Development Software?

Real estate development software helps businesses analyze and track development projects. The software comes with process automation functionalities that simplify financial analysis, subcontractor management and project management.

An example of automation is the automatic analysis of project feasibility involving calculations of property lot types, estimated expenses and loans, as well as the tracking of financial reports such as profit and loss statements, budget reports and cash flow.

Budgetrac-project-budget-estimation-interface

Construction project budget estimation in Budgetrac

Using the process automation features of these solutions, real estate developers can make better land purchase and construction decisions.

Common Features of Real Estate Development Software

Besides managing financial data to make faster and more accurate business decisions, real estate development solutions help developers manage different aspects of real estate construction, such as subcontractor compliance. The tool can be used to automatically identify and block subcontractors whose certifications have expired.

Likewise, these solutions offer many features that help developers manage various stages of the development process.

Here are some of the common features:

Finance management

Conduct automated profit and loss calculations, create project budget, monitor accounts payable/receivable and track invoices/billing.

Project management

Monitor each facet of the job to ensure all tasks are moving along in accordance with the schedule. Determine process efficiencies to shave off tasks/time.

Document management

Build a centralized file repository, that provides version control and allows teams to share and retrieve relevant project documentation such as change orders, contracts, RFIs etc.

Bid management

Receive job prospects, upload plans to an online plan room, solicit and procure bids from subcontractors and put the best bids together in a quote for the job.

Reporting

Understand financial status and project profitability with cost breakdown reports such as charts and graphs.

What Type of Buyer are You?

The right real estate development software depends on various factors, but most importantly on which industry you belong to and your business size.

Listed below are three buyer types of real estate development software and their typical concerns:

Small business buyers: By small business buyers, we mean those that are currently using manual methods to manage and track real estate development projects. At best, these buyers would be using Quickbooks or other basic accounting solutions to build project costs estimates, track payments and invoices.

These buyers are typically evaluating real estate development solutions for the first time. Hence, they would be primarily concerned with software costs, rather than checking out specific features.

Enterprises buyers: Theses buyers are large real estate construction companies that are looking to replace existing systems with solutions that can meet their needs for large scale project management and financial analysis.

These buyers typically work on multiple projects spread across different locations and time zones. As a result, they need a system than can consolidate different aspects of managing real estate development projects such as financial accounting, bid management, compliance management and even sales/marketing management.

Best-of-breed buyers: Owing to the variety of real estate development projects, there are specialized solutions catering to the needs of businesses working in a niche space. For instance, if you're a real estate builder specializing in home construction, then what you need is home builder construction software.

Likewise, if you're a developer who also needs to manage the property post-construction, then you need property software for maintenance management, tracking tenant details, lease dates and collecting rents.

Key Considerations

Businesses buying real estate development software need to understand more than just features to make the right choice.

For instance, small businesses typically do not have experienced technicians to manage bug fixes and install upgrades to the software. In such cases, a cloud-based tool where the vendor takes care of software maintenance is more preferable than an on-premise solution, in which the company has to manage data storage and software maintenance.

We have grouped the key considerations when buying real estate development software into two categories:

Software budget. The pricing of software is a primary concern for small business real estate developers. As a result, cloud-based tools with a subscription-based pricing is easier on the wallet than on-premise solutions, which come with an upfront license fee.

However, tracking just the license fee for using the software is not enough. Businesses should also account for additional software costs, which include fees for phone support and third-party software integration costs.

Size of projects. Businesses working on multiple and large scale projects need advanced functionalities, especially when it comes to project accounting. This makes integration with third party core accounting solutions a key requirement.

Likewise, large businesses also need to integrate with their existing enterprise solutions, which typically consist of CRM solutions and ERP software. Last but not the least, mobile access is also important to manage and track the work of field service agents.