Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a type of program that helps business owners and sales and marketing professionals keep track of customers, leads, vendors, marketing campaigns, and more. This software is used by real estate agents and brokers to manage team and individual calendars, communicate with leads and clients, create email marketing campaigns, set reminders, and follow up after the sale has closed.
Statistics show that 90% of home buyers search online when looking to buy a home. As an agent or broker, you need to know where these leads come from, what they’re looking for, and when to contact them. This is where CRM comes in handy.
There are so many different CRM programs used by real estate professionals that it's tough to filter through all of the options and find the one that's right for your business. We reviewed a dozen CRMs and chose the best based on reputation, user reviews, ease of use, and features. Here are our top picks.
The 8 Best Real Estate CRM Programs of 2020
Best Overall: Salesforce CRM
Salesforce started as a pioneer in the customer relationship management software business and has helped over 150,000 companies run their businesses more efficiently. It’s one of the most well-known names in the industry and offers a robust real estate CRM program. The company’s software is cloud-based and can be used from anywhere, bringing together sales, IT, marketing, commerce, and service. Mid-size to large businesses in manufacturing, sales, service, and more use Salesforce, including agricultural, hospitality, retail, automotive, and real estate sectors. We chose it as best overall because of its robust features, positive reviews, and just how much you can do with it to help increase sales and overall efficiency.
Specifically, Salesforce offers real estate professionals:
- Fast response times on any internet-enabled device and automated messages and message templates to quickly answer your clients' questions
- Centralized database to manage all of your leads, regardless of where they came from
- Continuous correspondence, including holiday cards and birthday reminders long after the sale closes
- Evaluations to measure your effectiveness in real-time and make changes as necessary
Typically, it takes between two and eight weeks to implement Salesforce. The software has many unique features, and the company offers a training program to help users learn how to use it and find the specialties they’re interested in.
Pricing starts at $25 per user per month and goes up to $300 per user per month. Plans are paid in advance for the year. Smaller companies or real estate teams would typically use the Essentials Plan, which includes a real estate CRM program for up to 10 users. It’s best to contact Salesforce directly to find out what pricing structure works best for your company.
Salesforce has mostly positive reviews, with users appreciating how customer-focused it is and how well it works for salespeople. Some users did find it time-consuming to learn to use some of its features. Salesforce has an A+ rating with the BBB but is not accredited.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Insightly
Founded in 2009 in San Francisco, California, Insightly is a private tech company that provides customer relationship management software for businesses of all sizes across a range of industries. It’s used by software, technology, nonprofit, real estate, and transportation businesses that want to improve their sales and marketing by staying on deadline, improving client communication, and integrating with other tools they already use. The company is our runner-up because it is user-friendly, offers a lot of sales and marketing features, and can be set up quickly.
Insightly offers real estate professionals:
- Captivating marketing campaigns
- Ability to easily grow your pipeline
- Centralized customer data to close more deals
- Deadline reminders to keep you on track and meet your clients' expectations
- Tools to build a clear, data-based picture of your customers to help better serve them
Typically, Insightly can be set up in just one to two days, but it may take a week or more to become familiar with all of its features. The company offers numerous demos to help new users acclimate to the system.
Pricing for Insightly ranges from $29 per user per month to $99 per user per month, billed annually. You can choose a CRM plan, a marketing plan, or bundle the two together to get exactly what you need. There is a free trial but it’s recommended that you contact the company directly to find out more details and see which plan is best suited for your real estate needs.
Insightly has mixed reviews, with some users complaining that telephone customer service was lacking.
Best for Quick Setup: Pipedrive
Pipedrive is a cloud-based sales software company based in New York City. It was founded in 2010 and now has offices in Florida as well as several overseas locations. It’s made for salespeople by salespeople. Its goal is for users to be able to visualize the sales process so they get more done. The software features visual pipelines and is used by real estate professionals, technical companies, automotive manufacturers, credit card and transaction services, sports teams, and others. All users can download the Pipedrive app as an easy way to use it on the go. These features that allow for quick implementation are why we chose Pipedrive as our best for quick setup.
Pipedrive specifically offers real estate professionals:
- Visual pipelines centered around activity-based sales
- Manage leads and deals around the clock including custom chatbots and web forms
- Communication tracking including calls, emails, contact history, and schedule integrations
- Automation of repetitive administrative tasks to save time and grow your business
- Custom metric insights and reports to show you what’s working and what’s not
- Integrate with your favorite sales-boosting apps
Users can typically set up Pipedrive in a day and can be familiar with all of its features in one to three days. There are helpful articles on the site, including steps on how to get started, as well as 24/7 chat and email support. While the system is generally pretty intuitive, there is a 14-day free trial for those who want to try before buying.
Prices for Pipedrive start at $12.50 per month per user and go up to $99 per month per user. You can pay monthly or take advantage of savings by paying yearly.
Pipedrive has mostly high ratings, and users think that it provides good value for the price and is easy to set up. Some users do complain about rising prices over the years and lost contacts. It has a D- rating with the BBB and is not accredited.
Best for Scaling: Wise Agent
Wise Agent was founded in 2002 by a real estate agent in Arizona with the mission of building the most effective system for real estate agents to automate and systemize their business. In turn, this helps them scale their business quickly, be more efficient, free up time, and maximize profits. It is specifically for real estate agents, both new and seasoned, and doesn’t service other industries.
Some of the features offered include:
- Email marketing, including mass emails, personalized emails, and scheduled email campaigns
- Document storage
- Team calendars
- Social media contacts
- Third-party integration including Mailchimp, Facebook, Zillow, and more
Wise Agent comes with a getting started tutorial and can be set up the same day. Because it focuses solely on real estate, it is easier to learn and quicker to set up than some of the other CRMs. It offers a free 14-day trial.
Plans start at $29 per month per user for up to four users or if you pay annually the plan costs $299. For more users and custom plans, contact the company for more details.
Wise Agent wasn’t found on the BBB. However, it does have high customer reviews online, with users saying that the system is easy to use and customer response is very responsive. We chose Wise Agent as our best real estate CRM program for scaling because it’s built specifically for that purpose and has predominantly positive reviews.
Best Extra Features: Zillow Premier Agent CRM
Zillow was founded in 2006 in Seattle, Washington, by former Microsoft execs. Zillow Premier Agent solely focuses on the real estate industry and is a CRM that offers additional features that other CRMS don’t have. Zillow Premier Agent lets users see their client’s search activity on Zillow so you can respond right away and get a good feel of the type of home they’re looking for. It also offers a free app for all users.
Some of the Zillow Premier Agent features include:
- Monitoring client’s Zillow and affiliate search activity, saved houses, and favorites
- Leads by zip code so you can purchase leads in your desired zip codes
- A web page to showcase your expertise, local areas, past sales, and customer reviews
- Prominent branding across Zillow and its network including Trulia and StreetEasy
- Phone call introductions to current leads in your area
- Marketing tools and templates
- Post your listings on the site
- Communication with clients on the CRM, and you will appear as the only buyer’s agent they see on listings
Setting up a Zillow Premier Agent account doesn't take long and you can convert your Zillow account if you already have one. Typically, it can be up and running the same day, and using the platform is easy, with most agents already familiar with the basics.
Pricing varies greatly by zip code and prices are driven by market demand. Typically, agents speak to a consultant to discuss their budget and available zip codes.
Zillow Premier Agent isn’t rated by the BBB but its parent company Zillow Group has an A rating. We chose Zillow Premier Agent as the best option for extra features because it’s not only a CRM, but also has a host of additional features including lead generation, listing management, property marketing, client activity reporting, and integrated customer reviews.
Best for Small Real Estate Teams: Agile CRM
Founded in 2013 in Dallas, Texas, Agile CRM is a cloud-based CRM designed to help small and mid-sized companies with their sales and marketing campaigns, organization, and automation. It helps professionals in the real estate, technology, sales, marketing, and advertising industries. It has over 15,000 customers and considers itself an affordable, next-generation CRM program.
Specifically, Agile CRM offers features for real estate professionals including:
- Fast, mobile-ready, cloud-based service that can be accessed anywhere, anytime
- One secure platform that minimizes data leaks
- Automated sales and marketing services
- Consistent messaging, follow-ups, and reminders
- Creates new tasks to share with your team
- Helpful industry webinars
- Tracks deals, saves documents, and offers reports with analytics for more sustainable growth
Agile CRM can be quickly set up and is easy to use. It can be set up in a day and offers webinars, setup guides, email syncs, and CRM support to integrate other tools such as Google Apps.
It offers a free CRM for up to 10 users, and then CRMs with more features range from $8.99 per user per month to $47.99 per user per month. It’s best to contact the company with your number of users and CRM needs to find out which plan is right for you or your team.
We chose Agile CRM as our best real estate CRM for small teams because it offers affordable, easy-to-use CRM with helpful features, such as lead generation and step-by-step deal management tools—all things that are critical for building up small real estate teams. The company wasn’t found on the BBB but customers generally give it excellent reviews online. Users liked how easy it was to onboard and that the customer service team was responsive.
Best for Established Agents: Contactually
Founded in 2011 by an engineer and CEO, Contactually is a fast-moving startup company that began as a relationship marketing platform. It is now part of Compass which is a real estate brokerage and together it uses cutting edge technology to help agents grow and maintain their business. The company mostly services real estate companies, including property management, consulting, mortgage companies, and real estate brokerages.
Contactually offers the following features helpful to real estate professionals:
- Syncs and prioritizes contacts from your phone and email account
- Custom templates and automated personal messages
- Reminders to connect with clients
- Value-added message templates
- Pipeline productivity lets you review all your deal information in one place
- Monitor, manage, and grow your real estate team
- Performance insights and lead-routing tools
- Automated workflows
Contactually offers a free two-week trial and then you can pick your plan after the trial ends. It’s easy to set up, can be done in one day, and you can sync your Google account and Office 365 account.
There are two pricing options and the prices are per user:
- The Professional Plan, which is $69 per month and is for relationship-focused professionals. It includes daily bulk messaging, apps, Mailchimp integrations, email intelligence, personal automated campaigns, deal management, and more.
- The Accelerator Plan, which is $119 per month and helps you get your business up and running quickly. There are specific business systems and template libraries, and this plan includes access to drip campaigns and upgraded support.
Contactually has a C rating with the BBB but is not accredited. It also has mixed reviews, with some unhappy users noting that it doesn’t save older contacts and charges for add-on features. However, other users found it easy to use and it helped them stay organized. We chose Contactually as the best program for established agents because it can deal with lots of contacts that established agents have, help sort your already established relationships into groups, and help you market to your sphere of influence. It’s backed by a growing real estate company and specifically caters to the real estate industry.
Best Affordable Option: Freshsales
Freshworks was founded in 2010 with a single software product and now includes several companies creating many unique software solutions, including Freshsales. The founders decided to start Freshsales because they needed to keep their own contacts and clients organized and didn’t want to pay an outside company to do it. We chose Freshsales as the most affordable real estate CRM program because it offers a free CRM option, a three-week free trial, and different price points. It is more of a basic CRM than some of the other programs, but it’s affordable and good for real estate agents on a budget or just starting out.
Freshsales is a cloud-based CRM solution that helps businesses across different industries manage their existing clients, market to new ones, and stay organized while doing so.
The company offers CRM solutions for real estate businesses, as well as e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, hospitality, and more.
Freshsales includes helpful features for real estate professionals, including:
- Built-in phone system, email capture, and tracking
- Clean, simple interface
- Artificial Intelligence-based lead scoring and lead management
- Manage sales pipelines
- Bulk editing to save time
Freshsales offers a free 21-day trial with no credit card required to sign up. After the free trial is over, prices range from $12 per user per month to $79 per user per month if paid annually. Some of the packages can be paid monthly and others require an annual commitment. There is also a free forever startup plan that includes emails, leads, accounts, a mobile app, and more.
Freshsales' parent company has a C+ rating with the BBB, but isn't accredited. It also has several negative reviews, including from customers who have experienced malfunctions or poor customer service.
What Is Real Estate CRM?
A CRM is a customer relationship management software that is used to store and organize contacts, as well as set up marketing campaigns and generally make your business more organized and more profitable. It’s designed to increase productivity and efficiency by automating certain tasks, using templates and setting reminders so you can focus on closing deals and making money. Its purpose in real estate is to keep track of existing clients, leads, former clients, and every step of your deal. It helps you communicate with clients and leads in a timely manner and helps you with mass marketing.
A CRM can’t put a personal touch on something that human interaction can. It can’t close a deal for you or magically bring you more business. But if used correctly, a CRM can help you group leads, follow up with clients, and take your marketing strategy to the next level.
How Does Real Estate CRM Work?
A real estate CRM lets real estate agents, brokers, and team members input contacts into a single database. The CRM then helps to group contacts into different categories such as current clients, former clients, family, friends, and hot and cold leads. It helps agents and brokers stay organized because they can sync individual and team calendars, schedule appointments, set reminders, and generate automated messages to clients.
Users can also upload the details of each of their deals to see progress and anything that requires immediate attention. A CRM also helps with marketing by offering marketing email templates, flyers, drip campaigns, personalized and mass emails, and newsletters.
How Much Does Real Estate CRM Cost?
CRM programs vary widely in features as well as pricing. You can opt for a limited-feature software that is free, use one that starts at $12.50 per month per user, or go all out for a comprehensive CRM, which costs $300 per month per user. Despite the costs, CRMs give agents more time to generate listings, attend closings, network, and other money-making activities.
Is Buying Real Estate CRM Worth the Cost?
Typically, if you’re a full-time real estate agent or broker who relies on your commission as your main source of income, then investing in a real estate CRM is worth the money. However, if you’re an agent who works part-time or is only licensed to buy properties for yourself, then it’s probably not worth the cost.
How We Chose the Best Real Estate CRM
There are dozens of CRM programs and even more real estate-related programs that can be used for makeshift CRMs. We looked at more than a dozen top CRMs and identified the best based on features, reputation, reviews, ease-of-use, and pricing.
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