240 systems found
Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of real estate agencies choose the right real estate CRM software to manage more clients and complete closings.
Real estate customer relationship management (CRM) software provides people in the real estate industry with a CRM platform specialized to their needs. It helps realtors speed up routine processes and stay in touch with clients and prospective customers.
Real estate CRM software provides your business with several tangible benefits, including:
Client data management. Most products provide a searchable database to store client information (e.g., contact information) and relevant documents (e.g., sales proposals and contracts).
Interaction tracking. These systems document conversations held by phone, in person, through live chat, email or other channels. Interactions can be logged manually, or automated with phone and email system integrations. Depending on the product, some systems can also track interactions on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
Workflow automation. This is the standardization of business processes, usually through a combination of task lists, calendars, alerts and templates. For example, once a task is checked off as complete, the system might automatically set a task for the next step in the process.
Reporting. Real estate CRM tools can be used to track realtor performance and productivity based on activities logged in the CRM system—for instance, how many new potential clients are added to the database daily, or revenue generated. These tools can also be used for forecasting and for tracking commissions.
As a realtor, the heart of your business is dealing with clients, buyers, prospects or other important contacts. Real estate CRM software gives you advantages over your competitors by helping you:
Scale your business. If you're a single realtor with a handful of listings to manage, maintaining their information using a simple Excel spreadsheet might be feasible. Anything larger, however, and you're likely dealing with hundreds or potentially thousands of listings and clients, which requires real estate CRM software to keep that information well organized and accessible.
Operate more efficiently. When everyone in your agency has access to your customer and contact data, you can deal with clients more efficiently and avoid the dangers of reaching out to contacts either too frequently or not enough. You can also track those interactions and analyze that data for more efficient resource planning.
Compete with superior customer service. Staying in touch with your clients and using the communication method they prefer lets you stay on top of their needs and concerns in a way that stands out. Superior customer service, focused on providing the best possible buyer/renter experience, will allow you to seriously compete against other agencies.
Real estate agencies tend to scale upward based on the number of agents employed, leading to the following general business size breakdown:
Single user. The smallest agencies consist of just one realtor, managing multiple properties on their own.
Small to midsize agency buyer. These are agencies with multiple realtors and brokers, but no dedicated IT department.
Large agency buyer. These are agencies with multiple realtors, brokers and a dedicated IT department.
CRM can be divided into several related subcategories of software, all of which focus on improving your relationship with your customers:
CRM software: Helps automate and manage the customer life cycle of an organization, and is typically used by the customer-focused side of businesses to maintain contact with those customers and quickly respond to their needs.
Sales force automation software: Helps companies manage their sales team's activities, and helps the team to close more deals by keeping thorough, accurate records of their interactions with all sales prospects.
Marketing automation: Provides tools that help marketers reach out to potential customers through a variety of channels—especially email—and tailor messages to them.
Customer experience software: Combines frontline customer service applications, such as live chat and tools for self-service knowledge bases, with tools that connect departments in order to oversee individual customer experiences.
Live chat software: Allows companies to have real-time conversations with website visitors in order to improve customer service, help increase online sales and encourage repeat business by providing customers with precisely what they want.
When comparing real estate CRM software solutions, it's important to understand the functionality included in each. The most common functions of this type of software are listed in the table below:
Email marketing: This module allows agents to automate newsletters and other email marketing to leads and existing clients. This includes daily emails to buyers with new listings. These can be customized with logos, headshots, email addresses and other details.
Drip email marketing in Realtiva
Listings management/MLS integration: Some real estate management software provides a plugin or integration that links the software to REALTOR.com, Zillow, Trulia and other multiple listing service (MLS) data. These modules can automatically import listings for email marketing, client portals and buyer/seller presentations.
Propertybase's listings import page
Web lead management: These modules capture leads from the user's website, a listing service and email marketing campaigns. These leads might be distributed directly to an agent, or fed into a queue in the CRM dashboard.
Infusionsoft's lead management page
Commission/payment tracking: These modules can calculate or track agent commissions and other payments against predefined schemes and negotiated payment plans. This functionality is sometimes provided through an integration with commissions tracking and payment software.
Agent opportunity/forecasting in CampaignerCRM
Client access portal: This module provides an online portal for clients to log on and view their property matches, upcoming showings, contracts and other files. These are often password protected and can be customized with the brokers' logos and other branding elements.
The buyers we've helped at Software Advice, many of whom are in the real estate industry, tend to look for some of the more basic aspects of CRM systems. Their top-requested features, by far, are contact management, interaction tracking and scheduling/reminders—all defining features of CRM software.
The more specialized features get, the less buyers tend to request them.
Top Requested CRM Software Features
Certain real estate CRM features are more critical depending upon your agency's stage of growth. Here are some of the most crucial features for different agency sizes (see the "Business Sizes Using Real Estate CRM Software" section of this guide agency size definitions):
Real estate CRM software is typically hosted online and licensed out to companies on a "per user, per month" basis, alongside one-time implementation costs.
The per user/month costs across the market average from around $50-$90 per user/month, depending upon required functionality, though it can also be much cheaper (e.g., $25 per user/month) and much more expensive (e.g., $200-$300 per user/month) amongst varying vendors.
Based on an analysis of the CRM software buyers we speak to, many of whom are in the real estate industry, business budgets for CRM systems vary widely. The highest percentage of buyers, about a quarter, budget for $100-195 per user/month, while only 3 percent are willing to budget more than $300 per user/month.
(Please note that these prices do not include any potential up-front fees, such as installation and training.)
Budget for CRM Software
Because it is such a staple of many businesses, real estate CRM software vendors make their money more through volume than by nickel-and-diming customers. As such, there are few hidden costs, with one notable exception: implementation.
The majority of real estate CRM systems can run without dedicated IT support, either internally or from the vendor, so extra costs come from paying the vendor to install the software and provide training sessions for key users. Depending on the vendor and the system, this cost can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
As discussed in the "Benefits of Real Estate CRM Software" section above, real estate CRM software provides several key functions for your business, including:
Email marketing. Automates a variety of customizable marketing emails, including newsletters, email blasts and drip emails.
Listings management/MLS integration. Integrates with external listing services to capture leads and import client/prospect data.
Web lead management. Captures leads and important information from your website, listing services and email marketing campaigns.
Commission/payment tracking. Tracks commissions from your agents and employees, and integrates with payment software to make sure they're fairly compensated.
Client access portal. Provides easy access for clients to log in and receive information about contracts, property matches, showings and other important information.
When evaluating real estate CRM vendors, don't just rely on the information they provide. Request a demo, where a representative walks you through the software and its various features.
However, don't let this demo just be a sales pitch. Be sure to ask important questions, such as:
What parts of the software do users most frequently report problems with?
Don't just focus on functions vendors rave about, but ask what tends to be challenging for users. This will also enable you to gauge just how frank the representative is willing to be with you about their product.
What are the set-up costs for the software?
Most vendors price real estate CRM software based on a "per user/month" model, but there are frequently up front costs that come with implementation.
How likely are we to require tech support in order to set up, implement and/or use the software?
If you have a small or no IT department, it will be important to know whether or not you'll require (potentially costly) tech support in order to implement and maintain the software.
How easy will it be to add features at a later date?
As you become more familiar with a given system, you may want to add more complex functions, like marketing integration or reporting and analytics. Check to see whether there are any hidden costs or challenges in adding features later on.
CRM vendors offer a lot of applications with their products, and jargon is common to describe them. We've demystified much of this in our article, "The ABCs of CRM: A CRM Terminology Primer."
One of the biggest challenges of purchasing any CRM software is getting your team to use it— especially sales teams that are often attached to practices they don't want to interrupt with new technology.
To help with this, we created a series of articles about CRM implementation, which can be found below:
Real estate CRM software isn't a magic cure-all for agencies that have problems due to their own dysfunctional work processes. Some businesses think that buying software will fix a disorganized team or uninspired marketing strategy, but in reality the software may just scale up and worsen existing problems.
For real estate CRM software to work for your agency, you need to make sure that the teams and individuals who will use it are equipped to deal with the increased clientele base that the software has the potential to bring on board.
CRM software provides great ROI for businesses in most industries, and real estate is no exception. You can use this ROI as a selling point when trying to justify the purchase price, as we outline in detail in our article, "How to Build a Business Case for CRM Software."
Here are some recent articles you should check out about Real Estate CRM and Real Estate related software:
Here are some important recent events concerning CRM vendors and the world of CRM software:
Gartner notes CRM software market grew 12.3 percent. In May 2016, Julian Pouter, research director at Gartner, noted that greater than 30 notable CRM acquisitions from 2015 had led to a 12.3 percent growth in the market.
Everstone acquires C3. In October 2016, Indian equity fund Everstone Capital, along with co-investor Sunrise BPO, acquired U.S.-based CRM solutions provider C3 (Customer Contact Channels) in a deal worth USD 150 million.
Freshdesk acquires Pipemonk. In January 2017, major CRM vendor Freshdesk bought Bangalore-based startup Pipemonk (which helps companies move data between cloud platforms) for an undisclosed amount.