Advantage Xi

Advantage Xi History

Advantage Xi is the last of the good desktop (vs. web based) CRMs on the market. They are all going away because the business model is just not viable. Selling a Real Estate CRM for a one-time fee and then charging for upgrades and support is just not enough of a revenue stream, especially when so few get the support and upgrades. After all, the primary reason most people to get a desktop application is because they want to spend as little as possible. Data ownership is also a concern but people don’t realize that that is essentially unfounded.

For years CRM developers have overestimated the size of the slice of pie they think they can carve out for themselves. My guess is that they look at the number of real estate agents and count that as the pie. The reality is that it’s not as big as they think because only a relatively small percentage of those agents are going to buy a CRM. Couple that with the fact that there are a crazy number of competitors (40+) and your slice gets small fast. For a detailed discussion of this topic see A Brief History of  CRM and Who Will Survive – Part 1Part 2

Anyway…I used this CRM for about five years and with some caveats, I loved it. It is the most powerful CRM with regards to database management and manipulation on the market. Unfortunately I am sad to say that although I am still selling it, I am no longer recommending it because the developer is off to bigger and hopefully even better things. Not because it is not a great product (when not networking it).

Advantage Xi is the brain child of Mark Stepp and Mark is one of the best at listening to his users that I have ever seen. Advantage Xi had it’s main launch in 2001 and his attention to his user’s suggestions through 2013 is readily apparent in that it is chock full of all kinds of great little tools and features. If you asked for it – you usually got it.

Now he has teamed up with three others to create a web based CRM called Realvolve. As a result, my assumption is that with a lack of attention and improvements to Advantage Xi, sales have fallen. They also no longer have their primary support person so the support has gone back to its mode of when I started using it years ago. Mark has stated that he will continue to provide support and I believe that he believes that, because he has as much integrity as any of the CRM developers out there. It just doesn’t change the fact that his time and energy are focused elsewhere and that will more than likely mean the ultimate end of Advantage Xi. If it’s not selling enough there is not enough revenue to fund support staff. If the support suffers the users leave.

The question I get from the current users immediately is “Will the new web based CRM be like Advantage Xi“. The answer is no. It’s a completely different CRM. That said – wow! It’s very cool and I am excited that Mark is really on to something. It’s called Realvolve and you can read about it here.

Advantage Xi Vital Statistics:

Legend of Terms

Out of Beta & Started Selling: 1991

Company Name: Mark-It Systems, Inc.

What kind of sales is this for?: residential, agents, customizable

Features: ♦♦♦♦

Support: 9:00 – 5:00 CST Monday – Thursday, 9:00 – 3:00 Friday – by chat and remote screen sharing. No phone or email support.

Trans-Plans will install automatically: Yes

Have you used this CRM?  Rate it – but please be professional. Thanks!

3.50 / 5 (10 votes)


It’s all done!

Unfortunately technology changes and desktop real estate CRMs are going away. Yhey are simply not profitable enough and are restricted by virtue of not being online. It was a great CRM in it’s day. Thanks Mark Stepp, for building a wonderful tool for agents! Ya did good!

Guess where Mark is now! He’s the only person in the industry today who is working on a second CRM. Think he might have some good insights? See Realvolve!

Have a question? Click here and ask away!