Build, buy or license a tech product for real estate

Posted on 9th Feb 2023 • Filed under propertymanagementsoftware proptech

Build, buy or license a tech product for real estate

Vlad Costea, sigtree founder

I will start with the conclusion, the answer is "Almost never buy", for very large companies might be worth building it internally and for most the answer is to license.

Of course there are some exceptions, one of them being IoT if it becomes part of your product strategy, but I will detail this in another post.

Some criteria that leads to the above mentioned conclusion:

1. Conveing the need and message

It is close to imposible to make another IT company to fully understand your business vertical, your values and most importantly your customers in a finite period of time.

We are 5 years into real-estate and we are still learning.

2. Budget

The pitfall is total cost of ownership over a period of time.

Most product owners calculate the license cost per year and multiply it by 3, 5, 7; with this value they say "well, for this amount FOR SURE there is someone out there that can build it!".

What they overlook is: lifecycle management of the product, monitoring and maintenance, bug fixing, capacity management, security audits, compliance changes and many other aspects.

3. Expertise

Building a technology platform requires a significant amount of technical expertise, which can be difficult to find and retain in-house; even tech companies are struggling during these days.

While working with an already built product, you can convey your needs into contractual agreements.

4. Why can't I find something that fits my needs?

Well, most likely there is a gap in transposing the business need into technical features linked to a product.

A real-estate company should look for a partner that would join the discusition and evaluate an existing business scenario and not shop for technical features.

5. Speed

For sure time means money!

If the main benefit of a product is to automate and reduce man-hours, that the value should come instantly after the implementation, versus spending 1y+ to build a tailor made product.

7. Customisation

I do agree that technology companies that own tech products should design from the start the platforms with more flexibility in mind.

It is counterproductive to ask the customer to heavily change existing processes. Such changes should follow longer transformation periods.

Ultimately, the decision to build or buy a technology platform will depend on the specific needs and goals of the company. My advise is to find the right partner and agree a deal that works for both and try to minimise the impact. 

Copyright © 2024 Sigtree Technologies. All Rights Reserved.