Although CRMs are most often talked about in the context of software or product sales, they’re used in many other industries too, including real estate. After all, selling houses depends just as much on building relationships as traditional sales does.
However, not all CRMs are the same, so it’s important to choose one that can handle the unique needs and sales techniques of your business.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the ways that real estate teams can use CRMs to boost their sales, as well as 5 of the best real estate CRMs on the market in 2020.
How Real Estate Sales Teams Use CRMs
First, what do real estate teams use CRMs for? Isn’t real estate one of those old-school industries that relies on phone calls and in-person meetings to build relationships?
While it’s important to maintain a personal touch, a CRM can help you automate some of the tasks that go into developing client relationships.
From lead capture to referrals, you can streamline many of the steps in your pipeline, and stay in touch with more leads without losing sight of the big picture.
But what, specifically, does a CRM offer real estate teams? For one, you can create a client record and contact history that can be shared with everyone on your team.
How often does your client expect to hear from you? Do they prefer phone calls or text messages? How far along in the sales pipeline are they? Instead of letting each agent figure it out for themselves, get everyone on your sales team on the same page.
Next, you can use sales automation technology to guide your clients toward a purchase. Depending on how personalized your approach is, you can send customized messages with new listings, or send out a newsletter to everyone on your list at once.
Your CRM can also provide you with automated reminders and tell you what to do. After all, real estate cycles are long and complicated, and you may have to deal with multiple parties, including the buyer, seller, legal and financial entities, and more.
A CRM ensures that you don’t miss any steps by providing a clearly delineated pipeline, and a reminder to engage with the right clients when they’re ready to buy.
You can even bring your CRM along with you to properties and update records via an iPhone or Android app, so you don’t forget to make updates while on-the go.
All of the information you’ll need is at your fingertips, cutting down on trips back to the office to answer a client’s question or respond to time-sensitive inquiries.
Additionally, while millennials may not be buying homes at the same rates as previous generations, they still make up as much as 32% of all home buyers, which means it’s important to reach them on the platforms they use.
With the right CRM, you can integrate your platform with social media sites, real estate apps like Trulia and Zillow, and other services that modern home buyers prefer.
CRMs also make it easy to encourage referrals from satisfied clients. According to Real Trends, most clients are referred to an agent by previous clients, so it’s important to stay in touch with buyers even after a deal has closed.
And finally, did we mention analytics? A robust CRM will be able to crunch the numbers for you and deliver customized reports on your sales figures and other metrics.
Want to see which of your agents are performing best, or which marketing strategies are the most successful? Your CRM can help you double-down on what you’re doing right, or figure out why you aren’t closing deals in a particular region or time of year.
In short, real estate teams use CRMs to automate tasks, stay in touch with clients, and collaborate with each other in ways that you can’t do without a central database.
Finding the Right Real Estate CRM
Finding the right real estate CRM isn’t as simple as choosing any old CRM platform and customizing it to suit your team. That’s because there are so many different sides to the real estate industry, including residential, commercial, and industrial real estate.
In addition, some agencies focus on selling properties, while others lease them, both of which require different functionalities in a CRM platform.
For example, a leasing broker and a mortgage broker may have very different ways of staying in touch with their clients and entering data into a CRM. And what’s relevant for a broker simply isn’t as relevant for a property manager, and vice-versa.
This can make things difficult if your company is involved in multiple kinds of real estate activities. With the wrong CRM, you’ll risk breaking your team up into silos with access to different data sets, and without the functionality that each department needs.
So, it’s important to outline a list of features that you must have in your CRM, and make sure that the platform you choose can provide them.
Some specific features that you might want to look for include:
- Lead nurturing
- Drip campaigns
- Sales automation
- Social media integrations
- Referral generation
- Mobile apps
- Marketing automation
Some teams need a CRM that’s designed specifically for the real estate industry and is focused on residential real estate, property management, or another sector.
Others will be better off with a full-featured CRM that can handle many different types of industry activities, and can be customized to suit the needs of each department.
Either way, you’ll want a CRM that aligns with your company’s existing workflow to allow for a smooth transition and to get your agents excited about using it.
Let’s take a look at five CRMs that are currently on the market, and which sectors of the real estate industry they’re best suited for.
5 Best Real Estate CRMs on the Market
OnCourse is a full-featured CRM that can be customized to suit any industry, including real estate. This makes it a great choice if you work in multiple areas of the real estate industry, and need to be able to provide tools to a variety of agents and brokers.
Some of its features include automated drip campaigns, lead scoring, list segmentation, and an in-app sales dialer built right into the platform for making calls. You can choose just how automated or personalized you want your contact with clients to be.
OnCourse integrates with many of the tools that your team is currently using, such as Gmail and Google Calendar, making it easy to book meetings with clients.
Plus, OnCourse offers a data migration service to help you get set up on the platform, with options for data cleanup and deduplication to ensure a smooth transition.
Finally, you’ll be able to create customized reports tailored to each department so you don’t have to wonder how your CRM is working.
You’ll see right away which agents are benefiting from the new tools, and which agents need a little more training to make the most of the new technology.
The Zillow Premier Agent CRM is particularly useful to residential real estate agents. Its main selling point is that you can see unique client data that’s only available through the CRM, such as their Zillow search history and the listings they’ve viewed. You can also send text messages directly through the app to recommend a property to a client.
Another unique feature is the My Agent tool, which allows you to show up on the listing as the only agent your clients see when they view a property.
Without the My Agent feature, you might be one of three agents displayed on a property listing, giving them the opportunity to choose someone else.
With My Agent, your rating, phone number, and contact form are displayed prominently, encouraging prospective home buyers to reach out to you first.
You’ll also have access to a mobile app, so you never have to worry about missing out on a potential buyer because you were out of the office when they called.
Of course, the Zillow Premier Agent CRM is tied to the Zillow platform, so it will be less useful if you plan to use other websites or expand beyond residential real estate.
Also, the pricing for Zillow Premier Agent varies based on the average cost of a home in your ZIP code, and how many other agents you’re competing with, so it can be hard to know exactly how much you’ll need to spend to see a return on your investment.
Still, if you can afford it, the insights you’ll get may be worth it, even if you only use it in addition to your primary CRM.
Contactually is a CRM that’s built specifically for the real estate industry, with plans for both individual agents and brokers.
It’s especially useful for lead qualification and referral generation, making it easy to stay in contact with current and former clients alike. You can sort your clients into “Buckets,” and create an automated drip campaign for each segment.
True to its name, Contactually primarily focuses on client communication. You can sign in with Google or Office 365 and sync your email accounts, phone contacts, and contact history, so that everything is accessible to you and your team.
According to The Close, it’s best for “realtors with a large existing sphere” of contacts, rather than those who are still building up their Rolodex. Plans start at $69 per month, with annual pricing plans also available.
Propertybase is a real estate CRM that also offers tools for website development. If you need a professional agent website or landing page that integrates with your CRM, then Propertybase may be the way to go.
It offers many of the same lead and contact management tools as other CRMs, as well as customizable reports and dashboards. It also includes a listing manager and portal syndication tools, making it easy to push your listings onto sites like Zillow.
Propertybase is great for large brokerages with listings in multiple areas. You can show hyper-local data alongside your listings, such as maps with school and transit displays, and neighborhood profiles with customized content.
As with other CRMs, you’ll be able to track drip campaigns and view the open rate, click rate, bounce and unsubscribe rates, and more. However, you’ll need to use a third-party plugin at an extra cost in order to send texts or use a sales dialer from within the CRM.
Plans start at $89 per month for an IDX Integrated CRM, or $399 per month for an IDX Integrated CRM + Website and Lead Generation.
Finally, there’s Follow Up Boss, a real estate CRM that’s designed with teams in mind. It may be less useful for agents who operate solo, but it’s great for teams of 3 or more.
You’ll have access to tools that facilitate collaboration, such as @-mentions and shared calendar access to prevent scheduling conflicts and double-bookings.
It also offers lead routing tools to ensure that each lead goes to the appropriate agent, based on seniority, geography, or other factors.
Pricing plans start at $49 per user per month and include all core features and a mobile app. Inbound and outbound calling is available too, at an additional cost per user.
How OnCourse Can Help
Choosing the right CRM for your real estate business can be a lengthy process, but it’s important to take your time and get it right. These 5 CRMs each provide a different set of tools that are designed for different aspects of the real estate industry.
If you need a CRM that offers all of the core functionality you’d expect in a sales CRM, plus additional tools for real estate agents, consider OnCourse.
From lead generation to sales automation, you’ll be able to design a customized sales pipeline that’s built just for you. Learn more about OnCourse by scheduling a demo to find out if this full-featured CRM is right for your team!