Real Estate CRM: Top 5 CRM Software for Agents in 2020

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Raise your hand if you’d like to attract more clients, close more deals, stay on top of tasks and eliminate a lot of manual work. Sounds pretty good, right? Real estate CRM software can help you do just that.

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Best Real Estate CRM Software

 

If you’re ready to say goodbye to the manual grind and invest in a real estate CRM system but are feeling overwhelmed with all the options, you’ve come to the right place. In this post we’ll cover:

What Is Real Estate CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. Technically, it refers to the process of managing customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle. However, it also commonly refers to the software that companies use to accomplish sales, marketing and service activities.

Real estate CRM is simply software specifically designed to help agents, brokerages and teams. While products created for real estate will have a lot of overlap with general CRM solutions, they’re able to accommodate demands and solve problems that are specific to the real estate industry.

Here are a few examples:

  • CRM software in many other industries helps companies drive repeat business. However, return clients in real estate are much more rare, so nurturing long term relationships that can generate new referrals is key.
  • The lead-to-close cycle is longer and requires a different level of involvement with the lead at multiple stages.
  • Real estate deals include paperwork — sometimes a lot of it. It may also involve background or credit checks. The CRM should be able to support these unique needs.
  • The option to directly integrate with an MLS feed is critical. General CRM systems aren’t able to accept an MLS feed, meaning you have to manually enter all listing data into market listings.
  • Data security is a big deal no matter where you go, but it’s particularly important in real estate. You’ll be storing sensitive client data, so it’s paramount that the CRM platform (whether hosted in the cloud or on-premise) has proper measures in place to minimize data breaches.

A CRM system will produce the most benefit when it works in harmony with the real estate industry’s unique requirements. The platform you choose should provide the tools that fit your business model and enhance it.

The key to finding an effective CRM package is to separate the “must-have” features from the “nice-to-haves.” We’ll cover the top features so you know what to be on the lookout for, but you should also create your own list based on the specific intricacies of your business.

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How Using a CRM Can Benefit You

Do you still use spreadsheets, sticky notes and email? If so, switching to a real estate CRM system can make a huge difference.

CRM Benefits for Real Estate

 

Real estate CRM software helps you:

Save Time

A CRM can handle a lot of manual tasks like data entry and bulk email, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business and get more done in a day.

For example, imagine sending an email blast about new housing opportunities to 100 of your contacts. Instead of finding and adding every email address, you could use the segmented lists you’ve built to email the right group of people in a fraction of the time. Simply write the email, choose the target list and send it or schedule it to go out at the most optimal time.

Stay Organized

CRM software, by nature, is a repository of data — everything from lead information to marketing performance results. This central database lets you store and access this information all in one location, neatly organized and arranged like a digital filing cabinet.

Many solutions also offer calendars, to-do lists and other tools that help you organize your business. No more digging around for a client phone number or wondering if you emailed that newsletter to all 500 subscribers on your list.

Respond Quickly

Many CRMs include automated response features so you can ensure you’re always able to immediately connect with leads, even if you’re busy. Mobile apps also let you manually respond from your phone while out of the office.

Of course, you don’t want automated messages to come across as impersonal. However, you can set up the auto-replies to acknowledge the prospect and let them know you’re unavailable but will get in touch when you can. This prevents them from feeling ignored and dropping off your radar in search of a better experience.

Make It Personal

Consumers crave personalized experiences. Your clients are no different. But providing that customized level of service can be difficult without software to do the heavy lifting.

You can use the information stored in your CRM to learn more about your clients and leads. What home amenities are most important to them? What’s their dream location? What neighborhood features are non-negotiable? Armed with this knowledge, you can provide much better suggestions.

Another way a CRM can help personalize the experience is through segmentation. You can divide your contact list into subgroups based on shared factors such as location, target price range or type of listing (condo vs. home, for example). This way, any content or updates you send will be highly relevant.

Stay in Touch

Connecting with leads is one thing, but staying on their radar after they’ve moved in? That’s another matter. Real estate CRMs make it easy to stay in touch naturally. For example, you can set reminders for important dates — such as a client’s move-in date or a couple’s anniversary — and then send a brief note or email to keep the relationship alive.

Not only will this personal touch make clients feel appreciated, it will improve your chances of working with them again if they decide to purchase another home down the road.

Real Estate CRM Features

Let’s look at some of the essential capabilities in a real estate CRM solution and why they play such a pivotal role in the industry.

Real Estate CRM Features

Lead Management

Also called contact management, this feature is a core piece of any CRM system. In real estate, it allows a business to manage all its leads and contacts with tools that address the industry’s unique environment. Given the need to continually drive new leads, through referrals and other methods, having lead management capabilities is crucial.

Lead management often includes:

  • Data import, so you can load leads from external sources like spreadsheets
  • Automatic capture, which logs leads from web forms, social media ads and other sources
  • Routing or lead distribution, so agents all work with the most appropriate leads
  • Segmentation based on criteria such as source, type and status (current or past client), letting you better strategize promotional and selling incentives
  • Lead scoring, which shows the hottest leads

Pipeline Management

As with any business, seeing the status of all your deals in one place is critical. The pipeline feature in a CRM — often a visual view with cards that represent each deal — makes this possible. You can drag each card from queue to queue as a deal progresses through the pipeline, giving you full visibility.

Look for pipelines that allow you to attach documents and log other details on the cards so you have all the necessary information right at hand. Most systems also include summary statistics that show metrics like total revenue in the pipeline, number of closed deals and other vital data.

Marketing Automation

This feature can come in many forms, depending on how robust the CRM platform is. Some products may use simple email and text tools while others provide full-fledged marketing automation functionality.

Marketing automation tools should include email capabilities beyond what you can do with a regular app like Gmail or Outlook. Here are some you should look for:

  • Drip campaigns, which let you nurture leads with helpful, relevant content
  • Automation, so you can schedule email campaigns or set up autoresponders (example: sending a “thank you” message when someone signs up for your newsletter)
  • Prebuilt templates and configuration options
  • Analytics like open and click-through rates, letting you measure your efforts so you can improve your outreach

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MLS Integration

This feature is particular to real estate CRM solutions. The way it’s configured may vary, but ideally integration should be seamless so the MLS data updates within the CRM automatically.

Support for Popular Tools

Ideally, you shouldn’t have to rework the apps you already use when you incorporate a CRM system into the mix. The CRM should be able to integrate with commonly-used tools like Google Docs, Dropbox and MS Office, along with programs like your accounting software.

Most importantly, it should support platforms specific to real estate. These can include Realtor.com, Zillow, Easy Agent Pro and Trulia.

Mobile App or Capability

The ability to work while on the go is a standard offering of cloud-based products. It helps you be more productive and always have the information you need.

The two most common ways a product accomplishes this are through are a mobile app or a mobile-responsive design. With a mobile app, you download it to your phone or tablet and use the software through that interface.

In some cases, the app won’t have all the tools the CRM system does, limiting what you can do while out of the office. Click-to-call, voice recording notes and bulk texting are a few helpful features to consider.

Mobile-responsive design, on the other hand, doesn’t involve any extra apps. You simply access the CRM platform by logging in from a web browser on your mobile device. The system is designed to format correctly on a mobile layout without compromising navigation or functionality.

Usability

While not a software feature per se, this component is one of the most important. You want a system that will make your job easier. After all, you don’t have time to waste on a steep learning curve or clunky interface.

Unless you’re tech-savvy, look for systems that have an intuitive layout, user-friendly design, drag-and-drop tools, visual builders and premade templates. The software, like a well-cared-for car, should carry you through the day without complications or breakdowns.

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Top Real Estate CRM Software

A CRM system will play a vital role in helping you become a top-performing agent. But with dozens of options to choose from, how do you know which system is right for you?

Our analysts have put together a best real estate CRM list (in no particular order) that you can use as a starting point.

Wise Agent

Wise Agent appears in a lot of the top real estate CRM software lists and it’s easy to see why. Based in the cloud, it offers an abundance of features like landing pages, unlimited document storage, transaction management, time management, social media enhancements, mobile-responsive design and reporting.

Wise Agent Contacts

This calendar screen in Wise Agent shows a view of all leads.

 

There are a range of integrations available, including Google applications, Twitter and IDX Broker.

It also has a few unique features. A lockbox list lets you keep track of the details of every lockbox you own. There’s also a printing feature that lets you create postcards within the platform, with industry-specific templates you can customize to fit your brand.

One of the biggest perks Wise Agent offers is their 24/7 customer service. That’s right — you can reach out for help any time, even on weekends or holidays. The company carries that customer centricity further by offering events that educate agents on the latest requirements and industry trends.

Top Features

Wise Agent does a lot, but here are some areas where it really shines:

  • Calendar: This feature lets teams plan their day and is available on mobile devices via Google Calendar syncing. It supports attaching files to events, setting up text or email alerts about upcoming appointments and automatically inserting contact notes.
  • SMS Text: You can send automated responses to new leads as well as send out text blasts to large groups. It has the option to include a video in the message.
  • Education Tracking: This capability isn’t offered by any other products on the list. You can track and record the classes you need to take to remain licensed.
Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Top Weaknesses

Despite Wise Agent’s depth of functionality, here are some drawbacks we found with it:

  • You can’t send more than 500 emails per day.
  • There’s no auto-save for notes.
  • Sharing client information is limited — only one person at a time can view a profile or attachments.

Pricing

In terms of base cost (not factoring in features included), Wise Agent gives you the best bang for your buck of the products on our list. It starts at $29 per month or $300 with an annual subscription. There’s also a custom enterprise tier for large businesses. The pricing includes five total team members, with the option to add more for an extra monthly fee per group of five.

Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Contactually

Contactually is another popular real estate solution. It’s cloud-based and focuses on lead nurturing. Users get access to the most common CRM features like pipelines, contact management and dashboards, along with integrations for tools like IDX Broker and Zapier. It also provides automation for repetitive tasks, which you can apply to individual clients.

Sales Pipeline in Contactually

View of a sales pipeline in Contactually.

 

One of Contactually’s hallmarks is a dedication to data security. To this end, the software incorporates best practices including two-factor authentication, IP address whitelisting and data encryption.

Top Features

Here are some strengths Contactually offers:

  • Duplicate Contact Scan: The system parses through contacts in search of common names, phone numbers and email addresses. Using this data, it compiles a list of contacts that may be duplicates so you can view them and merge any repeated records to maintain a clean database.
  • Network Health: This feature provides insight into how well you’re connecting with your most important leads and clients.
  • ScaleMail: Contactually combines efficiency and personalization with this feature. It lets you send messages to multiple contacts at the same time while enabling you to add that personal touch to each message.
Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Top Weaknesses

If you’re considering Contactually, be aware of these shortcomings:

  • The Android app has low user ratings.
  • The number of historical actions you can see is limited.

Pricing

Contactually offers three pricing tiers, with the cheapest costing $59/mo for an annual plan or $69/mo billed monthly.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Realvovle

Realvolve is another strong option that provides features like workflow automation, bulk messages, a calendar, exporting and contact management to support your daily operations. It particularly emphasizes managing information and facilitating communication, all from a single platform.

Dashboard in Realvolve

A view of the main dashboard in Realvolve.

 

One perk of Realvolve is its scalability. It’s designed to change alongside the needs of your business as you grow so you don’t have to replace it with a more robust system down the road.

It has mobile apps for Android and Apple devices so you can work where and when you need. There are also multiple integrations, including Google+, Twitter, Evernote and Zapier.

Top Features

Realvolve offers a lot of features. Here are our top picks:

  • Custom Workflows: Being able to fit the software to your processes is important if you want things to run smoothly. Realvolve enables this by offering a library of workflows created by its user community that are free to use, along with the ability to create your own.
  • Data Tags: This feature makes it easy to organize your data so you can quickly search and find what you’re looking for, saving a lot of time in the process.
  • Property Portfolio: The system lets you manage the details of each property you’re working on. You can record everyone who’s involved in a deal, create a photo album, attach relevant documents, stay on top of deadlines like a listing’s expiration and track performed services.
Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Top Weaknesses

Realvolve has a couple notable drawbacks:

  • Adding videos to an email requires you to integrate with a third-party tool.
  • Adding custom fields for each client isn’t supported, preventing you from capturing unique details.

Pricing

Realvolve’s billing plans are on the slightly higher end compared to the other products. The starting cost, which includes one user, is $41 per month if you pay annually or $49 if you pay monthly. The team package costs range from $196/mo for five team members to $308/mo for 10 team members, both paid annually. There’s custom pricing for larger teams.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

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Follow Up Boss

Follow Up Boss is a cloud-based CRM system built for small real estate businesses. It’s perfect for teams, providing collaboration tools like a shared calendar, @tagging, file sharing, client interaction history and integration with IDX Broker, G Suite, Gmail and Office 365. It also supports lead routing so agents can claim leads on a first-come-first-serve basis or in round-robin format.

Other capabilities include a visual pipeline, email automation, open and click tracking, reporting, outbound calling, texting and multiple integrations (including Zapier and MailChimp). A mobile app provides access to all the features of the main platform on both iOS and Android devices.

Follow Up Boss Revenue Opportunities

Revenue opportunities shown in Follow Up Boss.

 

One final thing worth noting is the extensive support you can expect. You can reach out via email, phone or text any day of the week, and support specialists, who are based in the U.S., often reply within two hours. Follow Up Boss also offers migration assistance if you’re moving from another system.

Top Features

Follow Up Boss has some nifty features that can help your business, including:

  • Smart Lists: This feature helps organize leads into sets based on shared characteristics like when they were created or their price range, with the option to combine these lists to create new groups for greater flexibility. You can also sort leads based on how many times you’ve called them and filter them according to zip codes.
  • Website Activity Tracking: You’re able to pinpoint which leads should be a higher priority based on their online activity. The system tracks details like properties viewed and home price, giving you a better understanding of what each person’s looking for.
  • Inbound Call Routing: The platform lets you define rules to route inbound calls to different users (and their smartphones if they’re away from their desk). If no one’s available, Follow Up Boss logs voicemails and missed calls so you never miss an opportunity to drive a new lead.
Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Top Weaknesses

Although it has an impressive list of features, Follow Up Boss falls short in a few key ways:

  • There isn’t a way to set reminders for important events like move-in anniversaries.
  • The Android mobile app ratings aren’t stellar.

Pricing

Follow Up Boss pricing starts at $41 per user per month if paid annually or $49 if paid monthly, the same as Realvolve. There are four pricing tiers, but only the most expensive ($833/mo paid annually) includes access for more than one user.

Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Pipedrive

Rounding out our list is Pipedrive, a cloud-based application for small businesses. It’s the only general CRM on our list. However, we’ve included it because of its ability to support real estate processes and tasks. Here’s a look:

The pipeline management features are visual and intuitive, offering a user-friendly experience and making it easy to monitor where all your deals are at. You can get a high-level view or use filters for more granular analysis.

Pipedrive Dashboard

Pipedrive’s dashboard provides tracking for key metrics.

 

You likely have a lot of contacts stored in your email or on your phone. Pipedrive’s one-way sync enables you to send your list directly to the system. It captures names, emails, phone numbers, instant messages, notes and more. You can also set up two-way sync, so any changes you make to a contact’s profile in Pipedrive appear in your email or phone.

Pipedrive is also a good option if data security is one of your critical requirements. A dashboard lets you manage account activity and user access. The system is backed up every day and uses data encryption. Along with that, Pipedrive employs a data protection officer, boasts several certifications and is GDPR compliant.

Top Features

Pipedrive offers a lot, but these features in particular caught our attention:

  • In-App Caller: You can make calls straight from Pipedrive or from your phone. The system logs calls and provides the option to record them and download the file. It also supports hands-free calling so you can multitask.
  • Leadbooster Chatbot: This AI tool automates lead generation on your website, so you can qualify more leads. It syncs with your calendar so leads can book a meeting directly from the chatbot.
  • Chrome Extension: This is a neat feature if you use Gmail. It lets you add contacts, notes, deals and activities to Pipedrive from your Gmail account.
Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Top Weaknesses

While Pipedrive is a solid choice, it has some limitations:

  • As a non-real estate CRM, it doesn’t support MLS integration.
  • If you want the ease of built-in lead scoring, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The only options to gain lead scoring capabilities are to pay a developer or connect Pipedrive with a lead scoring tool like Salespanel.
  • You can’t make code-based customizations, limiting what you can tailor the system to do.

Pricing

If affordability is something you’re after, Pipedrive delivers. Its Essential package, the most basic of four tiers, costs $12.50 per user when billed annually.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

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Summary: Finding the Right Real Estate CRM System

This list of real estate CRM solutions isn’t exhaustive by any means. Sure, these are the strongest products, but there are plenty of other options. Finding the right system is all about making sure it fits your needs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, check out our free CRM comparison report. You can filter options based on the criteria that are most important to you, so you can hone in on the solutions that do exactly what you need.

What top features are you looking for in a real estate CRM platform? Share in the comments!

Zachary TotahReal Estate CRM: Top 5 CRM Software for Agents in 2020

4 comments

Join the conversation
  • ABHIJEET roy - July 11, 2020 reply

    Requirement real estate erp software

    Zachary Totah

    Zachary Totah - July 22, 2020 reply

    Hi Abhijeet, this article is specifically dealing with CRM systems. If you’re interested in ERP software, you can check out our ERP product directory: https://www.selecthub.com/erp-software/.

  • Richard Morrison - August 28, 2020 reply

    Hi, would any of these work with my custom wordpress site: https://www.strawhomes.com/mls/west-vancouver-homes/ ?

    Zachary Totah

    Zachary Totah - September 9, 2020 reply

    Hey Richard, if you’d like more detailed information about specific products, the best option is to give our team a call at 877.692.2896. They can recommend products based specifically on what you need.

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