Real Estate CRM Software Reviews – What Features You Should Look For

Some industries like real estate have specific needs that need to be considered when making a comparison review for the top CRM software.  What is the best CRM software for most industries doesn’t necessarily mean good for real estate. Aside from knowing how to generally choose the best CRM software, it is recommended that you read real estate CRM software reviews for industry-specific features.

Unique needs of real estate business

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said a long-term CRM strategy is the best way to ensure a steady flow of clients. But you need to plan the CRM and don’t expect immediate outcomes. Since it’s a belly-to-belly business, the NAR advises that you treat sales as a marathon and not a sprint. Results will come in months rather than days or weeks.

Moreover, the real estate business has at once B2B and B2C traits and small business and large enterprise dynamics that you need to consider in your CRM platform including the following:

  • Leads come from referrals and listings
  • There is hardly a repeat business per client
  • Client servicing is more akin to the personal touch of B2B
  • Long lead-to-conversion time
  • Types of customers widely vary, cutting across income levels

Key features

When reading real estate CRM software reviews bear these features in mind; they will help meet your unique needs to build a sustainable and rewarding property business:

1. Powerful contact management features

Real estate business is all about contacts so make this feature the top priority. The CRM software should have a strong contact management platform that can be customized to categorize persons by referring agents, partners, competitors, leads and clients.

Furthermore, the software should allow you to segregate clients into further subcategories. You should be able to separate clients as cold and warm leads, current and past clients or satisfied and highly satisfied clients. These tags are critical when making a ranked referrer tiers to get more leads. For example, when selling to new buyers in an area, you can tap your CRM for highly satisfied clients in that location to back your pitch, or lump the cold leads in one small meeting to minimize cost. Conversely, you should treat your warm leads to a personalized one-to-one meeting.

2. Powerful list management

Listings are your bread and butter so make this your second priority feature when checking real estate CRM software reviews. It should allow you to customize database fields to create a list based on offers, deals, dates, third parties, events, commissions and transactional stage. Likewise, the CRM software should allow you to generate or attach service reports, property details and transaction documents in sync with the listing. In short, you should have a comprehensive list with relevant and important documents attached to it. That should give you a quick overview of all your dealings and monitor your progress.

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3. Powerful email platform

Also make sure the CRM software has a powerful email system. Although social media is the toast of today’s CRM real estate can benefit more from email marketing. Buying property entails serious decision and people regard email as a more professional platform than social media. The CRM email tool should have features (or at least it allows you to create these), such as: pre-designed drip email campaigns for various contacts; monthly real estate newsletter; and a bank of email templates with industry-specific marketing keywords like “just sold” or “just listed”.

Drip email is a funnel system (figure 1), where you can send an autoresponder at first (e.g. when a user subscribes to your newsletter you send an auto “Thank You”), then a series of personalized emails that funnel the recipient into agreeing for an ocular inspection or, better yet, purchase.

Drip email funnel sample

Figure 1: A sample drip email funnel

4. Compatible with popular platforms

You or your agents may already be comfortable using productivity tools like MS Office and Google Docs to manage their reports. Your CRM software should be compatible with these tools to make the transition smooth. Requiring agents to learn totally different software may cost time and impede sales momentum. They should only need to learn a few CRM software basics to tie the system with familiar productivity tools.

Another key to smooth CRM adoption by your staff is to make sure that the software is easy to use even for non-technical users. It’s best to assume that your future real estate agents have limited technical background so go for CRM software with plug and play features, WYSIWG (what you see is what you get) and user-friendly graphical dashboards.

5. Mobile capability (cloud hosted, web based, online)

A CRM with mobile version will greatly help real estate agents, who are almost always on the road or in the field. That means the CRM should preferably be in the cloud to take full advantage of mobility while limiting cost (on-premise CRM can also feature a mobile platform but it’s capital-intensive). As with productivity tools, the CRM mobile platform should be at least compatible with the most popular mobile OS for smartphones and tablets: iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

Moreover, look for control options. For instance—giving an agent access to sales reports but preventing him from downloading or forwarding the documents, or blocking financial statements from being accessed while in the field.

As a final note, consider the future of CRM software, specifically watch out when vendors start to roll out their cloud 2.0 versions soon (read the impact of cloud 2.0 on CRM software).

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CONCLUSION

It’s a cutthroat business out there for real estate agents. CRM software can help put them on top of the pack, but only if the tools complement their needs. Keep in mind the features above and you’re on the road to getting the full CRM benefits for real estate.

Category: CRM Software, Reviews

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