In business, the acronym ERP stands for enterprise resource planning.
While that term might sound complicated, it’s conceptually quite simple. Microsoft defines ERP as “business process management software that manages and integrates a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities.”
In other words, ERP is software that combines all the company’s activities into one central system. While some of the business aspects in Microsoft’s definition don’t apply to real estate, many ERP real estate software packages automate and streamline standard business practices in the industry.
If you’re looking for the best ERP for real estate, read on for everything you need to know – including what ERP real estate is, how it can benefit you, and what are some of the best programs out there.
What Is ERP Software for Real Estate?
While real estate may not have some typical business components, like a supply chain or manufacturing, it still benefits from ERP software. Brokers can use ERP to manage sales and deal with contractors. Real estate investment firms frequently use ERP solutions to collect payments, pay subcontractors, and manage leasing or rentals. New construction businesses use ERP software to deal with clients, schedule constructions, and pay the bills.
Most large businesses in the industry use some form of ERP real estate software. Once a company has plenty of rental units or inventory, keeping track of all that by hand becomes nearly impossible. At that point, businesses turn to ERP software to help them out.
Broadly, ERP software can:
- Organize and report on finances
- Provide access to customer data, including all historical contacts between the customer and the company
- Manage inventory
- Manage marketing campaigns
- Automate the pre-sales process (automatic text replies, for example)
- Manage employees with integrated HR functions
- Property database to record all relevant details
- Provide booking management so you can ensure your customers have a smooth experience visiting one of your properties
Since the term ERP is relatively loosely defined, real estate ERP software may have all, none, or some other features than those listed above. However, those are the most common ones that these packages will offer.
How Can ERP Help Your Real Estate Business?
Many real estate businesses can benefit from real estate ERP solutions, even if they’re not using one of these systems right now.
Remember that ERP automates and streamlines many of the resource questions that enterprises have. That type of software is perfect for a resource-based industry like real estate.
One way in which these ERP programs can help your business is with lease management. If you own multiple rental units, either through multi-family homes, apartment buildings, or even numerous single-family homes, then you likely know how hard lease and tenant management becomes. Keeping track of tenants, including their renewal dates, complaints, maintenance requests, etc., can become very overwhelming when you have hundreds or thousands of people. ERP for the real estate industry solves that by having everything handled by the single system, so there’s nothing for you to track manually.
Another way in which ERP for real estate can help is with finance management. With ERP software, you can get a crystal-clear overview of your business’ financials. Track your profit/loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements with ease. You can also see who has and hasn’t paid rent, which contractors need payment, and perform the appropriate actions right from the ERP system.
Finally, ERP assists with day-to-day tracking tasks, like shipments, managing projects, and procuring materials. If your real estate company does new constructions, these features are particularly useful to know that your projects will complete on-time and on-budget.
What Is the Best ERP?
As you may have guessed, the best ERP software for real estate depends heavily on the user. If your company is in pre-construction, you’ll have different needs than a commercial real estate business.
Given this, let’s take a look at nine popular real estate ERP software packages to see which one might be right for your business!
Aspire Systems iEstate
First on the list is Aspire Systems’ iEstate ERP software. With offices worldwide, including Singapore and India, the developers behind this package have a significant amount of expertise in ERP systems.
This comprehensive package provides almost all features necessary to run a property management business. In particular, iEstate has:
- 360° Property View: Build better relationships with clients and understand their preferences using this tool. With geocoding and GMAP features, there’s nothing else quite like it on the market
- Property Sales & CRM: This comprehensive ERP package manages customer relationships and nurtures them through the sales pipeline
- Leasing and Rentals Management: iEstate handles leases, payment plans, collections, and personnel related to all of those areas. Furthermore, it works with residential, commercial, and rental leasing, so no matter what your business does, iEstate will handle it
- Backed by Oracle Cloud experts, Aspire Systems’ offering is true SaaS, meaning lower upfront costs and a pay-as-you-go cost structure
Who Should Consider iEstate: Real estate companies that require a sophisticated ERP solution would be wise to consider iEstate. It’s one of the more comprehensive software packages for ERP for real estate out there, making it a worthwhile look for any higher-end business.
Strategic ERP Real Estate Basic
Strategic ERP offers an ERP for real estate companies called “Real Estate Basic.” Despite the name, this software is not elementary. It provides a comprehensive set of features that almost any real estate company can benefit from, including:
- Handling pre-sales activities, including project details, payment schedules, inquiries received via phone or web, and all necessary reporting
- Sales activities like customer record creation (CRM), receipt collections, refunds, unit transfers, and various legal letters
- Accounts receivable and payable functions keep your business’ cash flow healthy and on-track
- Financial records keep track of the chart of accounts, general ledger, balance sheet, income statement, and much more
- The mobile app helps you keep on top fo the business on the go
Who Should Consider Real Estate Basic: Companies that need a comprehensive solution and a mobile app for keeping up-to-date on tasks and various other work items should consider Real Estate Basic.
HashMicro Real Estate ERP
Developed out of Singapore, HashMicro’s ERP offering is one that you should also consider. Like the other ERP providers on this list, HashMicro provides software for industries other than real estate. It counts prestigious clients like Wendy’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Danone, Tata, and Bank of China.
For real estate companies, HashMicro has a tailored ERP solution that provides:
- A property sales management system lets agents track and manage leads and find out property availability in real-time. Business owners can calculate agents’ commissions using this ERP software, as well
- For those renting out properties, HashMicro’s offering lets you create rental agreements, get automatic alerts about expiry dates, and renew contracts automatically
- On the accounting side, this offering provides billing management, payment reminders, amortization tracking, and other in-depth financial reporting tools
- You can also manage your facilities worldwide, track assets, and get automated maintenance notifications
Who Should Consider HashMicro’s Offering: Large companies seeking a robust ERP solution should consider HashMicro. Their model is also a little unique in that they allow unlimited users for the same fee. This licensing feature is beneficial for companies as they don’t need to worry about scaling up their ERP plans as they scale out the business!
Buildium’s solution is a little more targeted than some of the more powerful ERP solutions listed above. Buildium’s offering is exclusively for property management companies, whether they manage properties they own or on their clients’ behalf.
However, having a targeted offering is often better than having something too generic, and Buildium is evidence of this fact. With Buildium, you’ll get:
- A comprehensive solution for payment collections and accounting
- Manage maintenance requests and vendors so you can provide the level of service that your tenants expect
- Send emails and texts to tenants in bulk, so you can keep in contact with everyone that signed a lease with you
- Find properties anywhere in the United States with Buildium’s property finding service
One nice thing about Buildium is that they disclose their prices upfront. The basic plan (which gets you quite a bit) starts at a meager $50 per month. Their most expensive plan increases substantially, however, to $460 per month.
Who Should Consider Buildium: Property management companies should most definitely give this ERP for real estate a look!
ValueLink created their products exclusively for appraisers and lenders who are both very interested in the value of a home. Appraisers need many of the same ERP features that other real estate professionals need, including order and property tracking.
The offering by ValueLink has some compelling features, including:
- Automating the entire appraisal process from end-to-end, from when the customer makes the order to when the appraiser completes it and sends it off to the lender
- This ERP for real estate ensures compliance with AIR and Federal regulations to ensure that appraisals are effective and correct
- Numerous integrations allow for payments from clients and trivially send reports out to various banks and financial institutions
Who Should Consider ValueLink: ValueLink’s ERP software is only valuable for real estate companies involved in appraisals. If your company does those, you should look into this ERP solution immediately!
RealSpace offers something for everyone. It targets agents and brokers in the traditional residential real estate market, developers, and property managers. With offices in the UK (London) and the US (Delaware), RealSpace works across multiple international markets.
Some of the best features of this software package include:
- The ability to create eye-catching brochures and other marketing materials that truly reflect your brand
- A centralized dashboard lets you see all your clients and the steps necessary to close on their dream home
- Manage property listings with ease
- Manage rentals including contact details, lease agreements, work orders, and more with RealSpace’s intuitive dashboard
- Developers can manage inventory, clients, and marketing materials to ensure new construction projects are a success
Who Should Consider RealSpace: Brokers, agents, developers, and property management companies who want an easy-to-use interface without a lot of complexity. RealSpace might not have some of the other packages’ bells and whistles, but it does some key features incredibly well.
Deskera provides one of the most comprehensive CRM solutions around. Based out of Singapore with offices in the US, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Deskera’s CRM solution is widely acclaimed and has received numerous positive reviews. However, it’s not a real estate-specific ERP solution.
Still, many real estate companies would be wise to consider Deskera because it has so many features that would be of benefit to them, including:
- Manage finances, clients, sales, and everyday HR tasks with an intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard
- Create full financial reports to get a big picture of how your real estate business is performing
- Real estate businesses can use online billing capabilities for tenants and purchase order tracking to keep up to date with repair requests and other asks
Who Should Consider Deskera: Any brokerage should consider Deskera. It’s an incredibly comprehensive ERP solution that, depending on the precise nature of your real estate business, might be perfect.
Xpedeon targets the construction industry. As part of that industry, their comprehensive ERP solution also includes real estate developers.
Some of the unique advantages that Xpedeon offers include:
- Lead capture and progression pipeline ensures that you can close prospective customers efficiently
- Accurate cost and project lifecycle management ensures that all new developments happen on-time, every time, without any surprise costs, accidental overpayments, or other issues
- Xpedeon ensures that all financial events occur in a proper reconciled manner, so you always have the right overview of your profits and margins
Who Should Consider Xpedeon: All construction and development-oriented companies should consider this powerful ERP for real estate.
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, ePMS is a software as a service package that will help you succeed in running a real estate business.
ePMS offers quite a few useful advantages, including:
- Specialized management modules – if your portfolio includes malls, facilities, restaurants, or retail stores, or even university buildings, this software has modules explicitly designed for those
- Full financial reports and documents to get a holistic view of your business
- Manage multiple companies with this ERP package
- Budgeting is a breeze with the built-in tools
Who Should Consider ePMS: Large real estate companies with complex structures and units in their portfolio would see the most significant benefit from ePMS.
How To Choose the Right ERP Software for Real Estate
The best way to choose the right ERP software for your real estate business is to think about your business needs.
Consider your company, holistically. Where could it use assistance? Are you converting far fewer leads than you think you should? Are you having difficulty managing leases or inventory?
With the areas in which your business needs assistance in mind, you can pick the right ERP package. Take a look at the packages listed above and see which ones have features that would benefit your company. For each ERP for real estate product, go to the company’s website to learn more about it. Request the free trial or demo if they offer it to see if it would benefit your real estate business.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this “how to” question. You’ll need to try out a few different ERP solutions to figure out which would work best for your particular endeavor!
ERP for Real Estate is Highly Beneficial
No matter if you’re a small property management company or a large developer, an ERP solution will benefit your business. You’ll gain more insight into your customer relationships, get a clearer picture of your finances, and have the ability to manage vendors and subcontractors, all on a single, online platform.
Indeed, if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, consider one of the nine ERP solutions listed in this article. You’ll likely find it helps you grow your business in powerful ways!