Real Estate CRM Reviews

Real Estate CRM reviews by other agents or by industry experts can be tricky. It’s best to bear in mind that they are opinions, not facts. One of the larger CRM software sites has an article about the Ten Most Reviewed Real Estate CRMs. It does very well in the search engines so I don’t doubt that it gets pretty good traffic from agents. I’m writing this to raise awareness so you think to question recommendations. In this case I have to question why nine out of the ten CRMs being reviewed are not made for real estate agents. Although my personal opinion about using a CRM that is not built for real estate is simply not to do it in most cases, there are certainly agents who would disagree. But that does not change that there are an exceptionally small percentage of agents that have the ability, and the willingness to spend the time to create the work-arounds to a non-Real Estate CRM  that are necessary to use it for their purposes. So why would someone promoting Real Estate CRM mention only one of the 40 some odd Real Estate CRMs that are available? Is it because the generic CRMs are better? No.

What I’ve found over the years with most IT guys that help real estate agents with their technology is that they recommend products like Outlook, Google Apps, ACT! and Salesforce because that is what they are familiar with. In most cases their background and what they do most is help small businesses. Helping real estate agents and brokers is usually a small part of their business but most agents would be lost without them. But – most have never been in real estate sales or used real estate specific programs, so they recommend what they know best and what they can help people with. If you need a network set up, they’re your guys. If you need help selecting a CRM, find someone who knows Real Estate CRM.

Wherever you land looking for a CRM, be aware who is giving the advice. Find out what their background is. If they are recommending mostly CRMs that have nothing to do with real estate – why? If they can explain why generic CRMs are better for most agents than the plethora of CRM options available specifically for real estate agents, please, let me know.

Yes this article ends up being self-serving because I have a background in real estate. But does that change the points made?

3 replies
  1. Luke
    Luke says:

    I completely agree that when looking at reviews and recommendations about anything from any person, it is important to know what qualifications that person has in making the recommendation, especially if they are just giving an off-the-cuff “pick this one” recommendation, and not giving a detailed and thorough review of every aspect of the product/service being reviewed, and “why” it is better to the best alternative options in the market, while at the same time pointing out the negative aspects of the product.
    That said, I would argue it is even more important to know if and how the person reviewing a product or service is being paid to review (and by design, recommend) a product or service. If someone accepts advertising dollars from a company they are reviewing, is being paid to review a particular product, or gets a bigger referral fee from one product, less from others, and yet none from others, that will affect everything they have to say about that product, and which products they even choose to review in the first place. If one product gives me $10/month per user that signs up through my referral link, but their competitor who offers a similar service will not pay me anything because they are $15/month cheaper than their competitor and do not have the extra marketing budget for referral business partners, it is clearly in my best interest to steer my readers toward the product that pays me, or pays me the most. I think it should be clearly known to the person reading the review as well.
    For example, Consumer Reports is a trusted source for consumer appliances and other products because they make no money on any of the products that they review or recommend. They are a non-profit that only makes money from membership fees for joining their service.

  2. Gary David Hall
    Gary David Hall says:

    Thanks Steve. There are agents who will modify generic CRMs to suit their needs and it sometimes allows them to take advantage of features that don’t exist in real estate CRMs yet. But they also miss out on features that are in the real estate CRMs. More often than not I’ve noticed that the majority of them spend too much time with tech and too little time listing and selling. CRMs are supposed to free up your time, not demand more of it.

  3. Steve Ellerbrake
    Steve Ellerbrake says:

    It changes the points made by virtue of the fact that you DO have real estate experience. Points well-made, points well-taken. I can’t imagine Outlook or Salesforce being modified enough to do what Top Producer does for example. I don’t really put those examples in the same room together.


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