A new generation of customer relationship management (CRM) software is giving real estate investors a leg up in a highly competitive marketplace. Today’s CRM software not only helps you keep tabs on contact information and track activity in your network, but it can make your day-to-day job easier with automation and streamlined workflows.
With so many CRMs on the market, however, how do you know which one is right for your firm? This buyer’s guide will help you choose the best CRM software for real estate investing. Read on to learn how to evaluate real estate investor CRM software and which are the top CRM solutions on the market today for building and maintaining relationships with clients and leads.
Benefits of using a CRM for real estate investing
A good CRM will help you keep relationships at the forefront of your dealmaking and help you close more deals, faster. The real estate industry is competitive, and realtors and investors play a long game. Someone who is not motivated to make a deal today may be ready to make a move a year from now—so keeping your relationships active and current is critical.
An effective CRM tool will help you stay in touch thoughtfully and frequently, and keep you on track even when you’re spending time on other tasks. CRM software helps you capture and manage contact information, track conversations across channels, monitor your pipeline, manage tasks, and create reports. Some real estate CRMs will also help you market and sell your services, prepare quotes, and schedule meetings. Intelligent dashboards can also help you keep track of commissions and keep fees down by integrating with financial software.
What features should you consider when choosing a real estate investor CRM?
It can be overwhelming to sort through the wide array of features available in the CRM market and find the CRM system that’s right for your firm. To keep things simple, here are the features leading real estate professionals and commercial real estate businesses need from their CRM software—start here and just add to the list if your real estate investment team has unique requirements for functionality.
Workflow automation features in your CRM platform can make sure steps aren’t missed and important tasks aren’t forgotten. Automate your repetitive business processes to move faster and with more confidence in the marketplace. Automated data capture can also save you and your team members hundreds of hours of time—and eliminate human error and lag time.
Ease of use
Some CRMs are easy to set up and use—some are not. Some CRM software interfaces are intuitive and visual—some are not. Don’t make the mistake of selecting a CRM that makes more work for your team. Not only will it be harder to get buy-in across your firm, but once the CRM is rolled out, your team members probably won’t use it. Instead, look for a CRM with user reviews that confirm it’s easy to set up and use.
Reporting and analytics
The accuracy and accessibility of your firm’s data makes a huge difference in your deal flow. Choose a CRM that has strong analytics features and reporting tools that provide new insights that help your firm, its stakeholders, and clients make more data-driven decisions.
Make sure your real estate CRM integrates seamlessly with the tools you can’t live without. And consider how the software integrates, too. If the CRM requires a third-party connector service like Zapier to work with your tech stack, you introduce a potnetial breakpoint.
While you may find a real estate CRM that’s perfect right out of the box, the reality is that some solutions will require customization to work with your firm’s unique processes. Consider if it’s easy to customize the CRM yourself, or if it requires the help of a developer. And in the latter case, find out if development is included in the price, or if there are extra fees.
Sometimes you need help figuring out how to navigate a new software solution—and sometimes your tech tools break. Find out what customer support comes with your CRM and the pricing plan you’re considering—and take a good look at customer reviews to see how users feel about the solution provider’s customer support. The more you are able to self-serve, the faster you can move, but additional support is always nice to have in your corner.
What is the best real estate CRM software?
The best CRM software for real estate investing is going to be the one that works for your everyday needs. Here are six options on the market that are popular for real estate investors and firms.
Affinity CRM is purpose-built for financial services and capital markets firms whose business rests on the strength and quality of their relationships. With automated data entry that captures every bit of your company’s “data exhaust”—from emails and meetings to notes and documents—your team will save hundreds of hours on manual data entry.
Affinity’s real-time profile enrichment features and relationship intelligence—insights that help you team find, manage, and close more deals—give you the full context of every relationship across your firm, making it crystal clear who has the warmest path for an introduction. And with actionable insights from that relationship intelligence at your fingertips, your team members can make their moves with confidence. Affinity integrates with the tools you’re already using, and setup is a snap.
Pipedrive is popular for its pipeline management features, and it’s also a strong contact management solution. You’ll find customizable workflow automations to manage repetitive tasks, a good selection of integrations to connect your CRM with your other tech tools, and follow-up reminders so you can keep those critical relationships fresh.
Pipedrive also has a mobile app and strict security policies. The pricing varies widely depending on the tier you choose, and some key features are only available in the highest priced tier.
Read about other Pipedrive alternatives or learn more here.
Salesforce is the grandfather of the modern CRM and one of the most popular sales software solutions on the market. In addition to contact management and pipeline management features, you’ll get powerful tools for collaboration, marketing automation, and analytics features with this ever-expanding all-in-one platform. Pricing can be a challenge for smaller firms, however—especially considering that customization is a lengthy process and requires developer assistance.
Read about how Salesforce compares to more lightweight CRM options or learn more here.
HubSpot CRM is another incredibly popular tool for real estate firms across the globe. HubSpot’s bread and butter, however, is not their CRM—it’s their marketing automation and lead generation tools. So the basic CRM is free, and somewhat limited, but if you need more marketing automation capabilities this can be a great choice.
HubSpot also stands out thanks to its easy lead management, powerful marketing campaign tools, and easy-to-use templates. The company offers a wide range of customer support options, so you’ll never be on your own using HubSpot CRM. Plus, it integrates with hundreds of apps. On the list of free CRMs, HubSpot is a winner.
Explore HubSpot vs Affinity or learn more about the platform here.
Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)
Infusionsoft rebranded as Keap a few years ago, but not much has changed with the software beyond its name. Keap is an email marketing automation solution, but it has continued to be a contender in the CRM marketplace as well. If you want to be able to send automated emails to your contact list, Keap has a well-designed solution for your needs. Like most CRMs, however, you have to be diligent about entering and updating contact and activity data to keep Keap current.
Podio, now part of the Citrix family, offers low-code business solutions, including a CRM. This platform is well made for teamwork and collaboration and offers strong features for communication and task management. If you want more control over the technical side of your CRM software, Podio can be a good choice—but the user interface leaves something to be desired.
Why is Affinity the best CRM software for real estate?
You’ve got a long list of properties to handle, a growing portfolio, and hundreds (maybe thousands) of contacts to stay in touch with. Choosing purpose-built real estate investor CRM software can mean the difference between managing that data effectively and letting it go to waste. Affinity CRM makes your life easier by automatically streamlining your everyday business processes. From data entry to outreach, and from client communication to reporting, Affinity was designed to help firms like yours keep their attention on their relationships.
If your team’s success relies on the strength of long-term relationships, the Affinity relationship intelligence CRM was made for you. With Affinity, you can leverage your collective network automatically to find, manage, and close deals faster. And you won’t have to wait months for your team to be able to use your new CRM. Affinity eliminates the drudgery of manual data entry and easily connects with the tools you’re already using—so setup and training can be complete for your whole company in a matter of days.
Free up hundreds of hours per team member per year with Affinity’s automated data capture and real-time contact enrichment, and spend that time building and maintaining the relationships that matter. Talk to an Affinity sales team member today to find out how Affinity can help your real estate investing and give your firm a competitive edge.