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It's a common gripe among property managers that their property management software falls short. While it may handle tasks like listing ads and client communication, it often needs to improve in the areas of branding, customization, and other crucial features. 

Luckily, you don’t need to settle for run-of-the-mill property management software: Today, you can build your very own property management software, and you won’t need to pay hand over fist for a development team to do it for you. 

I’m saying that you can create your own property management software program without any coding or technical knowledge. In this article, I’ll walk you through all the steps for DIY property management software development.

Building a Property Management Software Development Blueprint 

First things first: You’ll need to draw up an actionable plan to ensure you have all the features you want. Additionally, you’ll need a software-building tool that will serve as your “construction team” to cobble your software together. 

 Gather these things first:

  1. An Adalo account: You’ll use Adalo, a no-code mobile app-building platform as the tool for your property management software development. You don’t need any coding or tech skills to use Adalo. 

    Adalo allows you to create property management software as an app by leveraging a simple, drag-and-drop interface. Creating your property management software with Adalo is insanely easy.

    Head over to Adalo’s website and get Adalo’s free version, which will let you get used to its building interface. While Adalo is easy enough to start using right after creating an account, it’s powerful enough to build professional-looking software with loads of functionality.
  1. Your software’s appearance: Make a few rough sketches (you don’t have to be Michelangelo) that show how you want your app to appear. Ask yourself: Where do you want to place your logo, what colors will you feature, and how do you like the general screen layout to look? 

    These rough sketches will give you a concrete building plan to help you achieve your goals. 
  1. A list of tasks your software will execute: What jobs will your software perform? Having a list of software features will ensure you don’t forget to add them when building your software.  

    For instance, you’ll need a messaging feature so your tenants can easily connect with you or your property management team when needed. You’ll also want to create records for each property so you’ll know when they need scheduled maintenance.     

Your Software’s Components 

All software is comprised of 3 parts, and Adalo comes preloaded with each one. All you’ll have to do is customize each of the following: 

  • The Frontend: Your software’s screens or pages make up its frontend — the part that users (you, your tenants, and your management team) interact with.

    The frontend includes your software’s pictures, text, and colors. To create an attractive frontend, you’ll need to arrange it logically and consider aesthetics.  
  • The Backend: Essentially your software’s “brain,” the backend executes user requests, grabs data, and more. It also integrates with third-party applications like QuickBooks, Zillow, and more. 
  • The Database: Technically an extension of the backend, the database is your software’s memory bank. It will store all the recorded information, such as rent payment history and other tenant data.

Like I said earlier, Adalo comes preloaded with all these components, so you don’t need to worry about building each one from scratch. Your frontend, backend, and database will already be connected, so all you need to do is customize each piece to your tastes, brand, and functional needs. 

7 Steps for Property Management Software Development 

Once you have your Adalo account, list, and sketches, it’s time for the fun stuff: Creating your software!

While Adalo is super easy, you may encounter problems or have some questions along the way. Adalo has a thriving ecosystem of rich resources to make your software development journey a breeze. Check them out here:

  1. Help Documents: Peruse Adalo’s detailed documentation to get step-by-step directions for connecting APIs, publishing your software, using analytics, and more.  
  1. The Adalo Academy: If you’re looking to learn every little detail about Adalo’s building interface, look no further than Adalo’s Academy. You’ll find courses, tutorials, and more that will seriously boost your Adalo knowledge.  
  1. The Adalo Forum: Connect with 1,000s of Adalo users on the community forum or get clear answers to technical questions from grizzled Adalo vets. 

Step 1: Build Your Software with Adalo’s Real Estate Agent App Template 

First, download Adalo’s real estate app template. It has all the features you’ll need to get started, such as an image carousel for listings, tenant profile creation, and more. 

If the template doesn’t look how you want it, don’t worry! You’ll be able to customize every bit of your software, so your finished product can look worlds different than the original template. 

And you’ll be able to add more functionality, like Adalo’s chat feature, the ability to take payments, and much, much more. 

Step 2: An Introduction to Adalo’s Building Interface 

Let’s examine the tools you’ll use to create your software, which are found on Adalo’s powerful building interface. It’s organized into three parts: The top horizontal ribbon, the building canvas, and the left-hand drop-down menu.  

The horizontal ribbon allows you to toggle between the programs or apps that you’re building (Adalo enables you to work on up to 10 apps but publish only 1), access your profile, and preview your app as if it were live. 

Adalo’s building canvas includes the layout of all your screens. When you change your software, it appears on the building canvas.  

The most important part of your building interface is the left-hand drop-down menu, which contains buttons for editing, building, and adding features to your app. Here’s an overview of the 8 buttons found here:

  1. Add Elements and Screens/ “+”: This adds or edits all your screens and elements like forms, buttons, lists, etc.
  1. Branding: Here’s where you’ll customize your software’s colors and fonts. 
  1. Screens: Click this to see all your software’s screens in list form. To work on a specific screen, just click it from this list. 
  1. Database Collection: This is your specialized built-in database, provided by Adalo. We’ll discuss how to customize it in Step 3.
  1. Settings:  Use this function to name your software, upload an icon, and connect APIs.
  1. Publish: You can publish your software as a native mobile app that users can download directly from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You’ll also be able to publish it to the web, which people can access from their phone’s browsers.  
  1. Analytics: Use this to glean insights about your performance and its users.  
  1. Version History: Once you finish your app, push this button to save it.    

Step 3: Your Database

To access your database, push the “Database” button on your left-hand drop-down menu to see a pre-made database. Adalo’s databases have 3 major pieces: Collections, properties, and records.

Collections are groups of data that appear like spreadsheets. They include users, houses, payments, and more. To access each collection, click the 3 vertical dots to the right of its name. 

Properties are the elements within each collection, such as the property name, user name, payment amount, and more. Editing these is done similarly to editing collections: Pushing the 3 vertical dots. 

Records consist of all the properties in each row, running right to left, in a collection. When users enter data on the frontend, Adalo automatically inserts it into your records.  

Step 4: Adding and Deleting Screens and Elements 

While you’ll have enough screens to make powerful property management software, you might want to add a few new features that reflect the unique value your brand offers. Or, you might just want to eliminate a couple of screens, buttons, or forms. Doing so is easy peasy.  

Deleting Screens and Elements

First, locate the screen you want to delete by using the  “Screens” button. Then, click the vertical dots and select “delete.” 

Hover your cursor above the unwanted element on your building canvas to remove buttons, forms, and more until a yellow outline appears. An editing box will appear to the right of your left-hand drop-down dashboard. Select delete after hitting the vertical dots. 

Adding Screens, Elements, and More 

Press the colorful “+” to add new elements and screens. After doing so, simply select the screen, button, or form you want by dragging it over to your building canvas. Then, customize its size by expanding or shrinking it, free-form, with your cursor. 

You can edit for style and color by clicking on your desired component and using the editing box next to your left-hand drop-down dashboard.

Step 5: How to Preview Your Software 

Push the green “Preview App” button on your top horizontal ribbon to see how your software will appear live. Preview how it will look on a desktop, tablet, iPhone 15, or Samsung Galaxy S20 screen.

You’ll also be able to click through your software, giving you a good feel for the user experience. After previewing your software, jot down any issues and fix them.

After tying up all the loose ends, share your software with others. Do this by pressing the “Preview App” button and selecting “Share Your App.” Just copy and paste the link and send it to people you want to be your testers — they’ll be able to access your software on the web. 

Pay attention to the feedback these testers give you. Then, implement changes to ensure your software is error-free.   

Step 6: Publishing in the App Stores

Adalo lets you publish your software as a native mobile app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. However, you’ll need to optimize your software for listing in the app stores. Here’s how to do this: 

  • Design a gorgeous app icon: Your app’s icon will appear on the left-hand side of its title in the app stores. You can use a service like Looka to create an icon that stands out, appears professional, and reflects your brand. 
  • Write a kick-ass meta description: First, research other property management software and apps by finding them in the app stores, reading their meta descriptions, and jotting down the keywords they use, such as “property management software” or “property listing apps.” 

    Then, include these keywords and similar ones in your meta description. Keep your meta description as concise and informative as possible. 
  • Provide pro-level screenshots: You want to present your software in the most professional way possible. Include screenshots showing your software’s functionality and aesthetically pleasing design.  

Once you’ve completed these three tasks, it’s publishing time! Because Google and Apple have different procedures, we’ll give you a brief overview of both. 

Publishing in the Google Play Store 

Start by making an Android developer account. After filling out the form and paying a one-time $25 set-up fee, select the option to onboard testers who will use and provide feedback about your software.

Go to your Adalo account and select “Publish” on the left-hand drop-down dashboard. Provide the required information to complete the publishing process, which, with Google, will take as little as a few hours to as much as a few weeks. 

Publishing in the Apple App Store 

First, set up an account for iOS developers, follow the instructions, and pay the $99 annual fee. Then, like with Google, register for Apple’s testing program, Testflight.

Return to Adalo, press the “Publish” button, and set up your app for iOS publishing. Unlike Google, Apple takes as little as a few weeks to up to a few months to publish your app. 

Got app-store publishing questions? Then check out Adalo’s detailed help documentation, covering all the minutia with app-store publishing.   

Step 7: Setting up Stripe Payments

Adalo comes with a convenient Stripe integration that lets you take rent or other payments from your users. All you need to do is make a Stripe account and install Stripe payments by clicking your left-hand drop-down dashboard’s “Add Elements and Screens” button. 

After you install your Stripe form, you’re all set for payments!

Next Steps: Analytics, Getting Users, and Maintaining Your App  

Once you’ve published your software, you’ll need to maintain it. Do this by monitoring your app’s daily performance using the “Analytics” feature.  

If you find any problems, fix them immediately. A poorly performing app will not reflect well on your professional reputation. It’s also good to periodically update and enhance your app to keep it modern-looking and ensure it runs like a well-oiled machine. 

Looking for a way to get new users? Read our app promo guide, full of tips and tricks to grow your software’s popularity. By working on promoting your property management app daily, you’ll slowly wrangle in more users, which should help your property management business in the long run.

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