This blog post was last updated on May 4th.
Managing development projects involves much more than just ticking off a few boxes–to oversee countless intertwined processes, compile information from external parties, and track critical dates, investors rely on commercial real estate development software. Mistakes, oversights and delays can be costly, particularly when investors incur expenses due to setbacks. Real estate development software aligns teams around centralized, up-to-date project information, keeping projects on track and minimizing risk.
Read on to learn about the factors you should consider as you weigh various options.
- Can You Track Critical Dates Against Development Deadlines Directly Within Real Estate Software?
- Can the Software Standardize Repeatable Real Estate Development Task Checklists?
- Can You Collaborate with External Real Estate Development Partners Directly in the Software?
- Is It Construction Management Software Or High-Level Real Estate Development Software?
- Can the Real Estate Development Software Track Budgets & Financials?
- Can You Report on Development Pipelines?
6 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Real Estate Development Software
1. Can You Track Critical Dates Against Development Deadlines Directly Within Real Estate Software?
Some setbacks are inevitable, but all developers aim to adhere as closely as possible to projected deadlines. However, tracking dates out of a calendar probably won’t cut it. As you explore real estate development software options, be sure to consider how they track the many milestones between land or building acquisition and the finish line.
Development software should give a clear indication of how projects are progressing from multiple standpoints. Executives seeking an overview should be able to view projects in progress, including the status, as well as recent and upcoming milestones. Individual deals should provide more detail, displaying all completed and outstanding deliverables, as well as critical dates. Additionally, team members should have the ability to leave notes that add anecdotal context about deals. Executives, management and analysts can all explore the development pipeline in their desired level of detail, while measuring against upcoming deadlines.
In the development world, most updates have implications on several aspects of the project. Optimally, development software should also reflect the ever-evolving pace of the real world by including dependencies. Many tasks within the development process can only be launched following other tasks. By choosing a software with dependencies, you can automatically reset timelines based on new changes for every task impacted by that change.
The best real estate development software options won’t only cover the building phase, but the entire asset lifecycle. Deal management solutions like Dealpath offer a holistic look into the asset lifecycle, encompassing acquisition to disposition. This continuity ensures that developers have context needed from the entire project.
Dealpath gives development leaders an edge by helping nimble deal teams manage moving milestones in one place.
2. Can the Software Standardize Repeatable Real Estate Development Task Checklists?
Your firm shouldn’t need to recreate the wheel by adding new task lists for every project. One crucial project management goal for property development software is standardizing task lists, including deliverables like permits, environmental reports, and much more, to easily add new projects to the pipeline. This helps your team operate with a repeatable framework, while documenting real-time progress
Sophisticated software will take this a step further with variable conditions. These lists can be applied based on factors like the property type, development type, location, and more. For example, if all ground-up development projects in Idaho require a specific permit, then that task should populate for every property fitting that profile. To the same end, if every multifamily deal requires a thorough zoning evaluation, the task list should reflect that.
3. Can You Collaborate with External Real Estate Development Partners Directly in the Software?
Between legal counsel, environmental consultants, architects, and many more, there are countless external parties that play vital roles throughout the development process. Communicating and inputting information from these third parties accounts for a significant portion of analysts’ responsibility, which can become burdensome and leave room for error. One central goal of real estate development software should be to seamlessly collaborate with third parties directly through the tool.
The best commercial real estate developer software allows third parties direct access. This gives them the opportunity to enter data, attach documents or correspond about the designated task, building efficiencies that give your team time back. When it comes time to either view development deals in progress, or drill down into individual deals, these updates will be reflected and readily available.
While this access can build new efficiencies, be careful to avoid allowing unrestricted visibility into every project.
4. Is It Construction Management Software Or High-Level Real Estate Development Software?
The overarching real estate development process also encompasses construction. This adds another layer of specific considerations, such as building materials, contractors, and much more. Monitoring all of these moving pieces is crucial, but the same software won’t necessarily track everything in a measurable way.
As you research commercial real estate development and investment software, consider which type of development software suits your firm’s needs, and the level of detail required to accurately track progress. Investors typically aren’t interested in the nuances of construction. Instead, a broader overview of how the project is performing against objectives, in terms of both time and money, is a more valuable snapshot. Construction software, on the other hand, is more useful for general contractors managing land development.
5. Can the Real Estate Development Software Track Budgets & Financials?
Alongside day-to-day deliverables and timelines, holistic real estate development investment software must be centered around deal management, which includes numerous financial considerations.
Land development software should enable your firm to track high-level financials by uploading feasibility analyses, pro formas and other documentation. It may not offer the full functionality of real estate development accounting software, but can keep key metrics in sight. Development software should also illustrate cash flows based on a number of variables, as well as the rate of return. Tracking this information in purpose-built software allows you to better visualize data, eliminating the pitfalls of disparate workflows like Excel spreadsheets. Over time, you can also identify patterns that offer learnings for future projects.
6. Can You Report on Development Pipelines?
Keeping leadership and investors apprised of development project progress and projected earnings is imperative, but can become convoluted and time consuming. Normally, creating accurate reports involves sourcing data and communicating with various team members about where projects stand and documents live. Real estate development software should instead make reporting turnkey with numerous options.
Based on your goals and the recipient of the report, you should be able to define the criteria to provide the right level of detail, whether you need a broad pipeline overview, or a drilled-down visual of deals currently in certain stages of the process.
Simplify & Scale Project Management With Dealpath
Corner Lot Development Group standardized project management and execution on Dealpath, turning hours of error-prone work into a few simple clicks. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how your firm can scale by managing projects in one purpose-built software.