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Will Someone Please Solve the CRM Problem in 2011?

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking the real estate industry really needs a drop dead simple customer relationship management tool that works and is usable by anyone (even non techies). While speaking to agents over the past couple weeks about our new predesigned websites (update: now launched as Agent Plus) we’re working on, the question of “where do all the leads that are generated end up?” seems to come up in just about every conversation. My answer has been “to your inbox, and to the extent that your current CRM can take an email as an input, they can be automatically inputted to whatever CRM you use”. There is no dominant real estate CRM. Many agents are using Top Producer, Wise Agent, or some CRM tool their brokerage provide — but there’s still a large group of agents who don’t use a CRM at all. And even among those that do utilize one, no one seems to be 100% satisfied with their current CRM tool. I believe the reason many agents aren’t using a CRM stems from the fact that there are no simple and affordable CRM solutions available tailored to the real estate vertical.

For the agents reading this, are you using a CRM? And if so, do you like the tool you’re currently using?

Will 2011 be the year of the simple real estate CRM? I certainly hope so.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Jeff Manson

    Hey Drew, I agree that is a big problem for most websites and IDX solutions out there. I think a good website that generates traffic should have a great IDX solution that is easy for the consumer to use plus has a great CRM for those leads. The CRM must be easy for the agent to use or they will not use it. It is very important to be able to see at all times which users are actively using the site, what properties they are viewing and schedule follow ups. Having a round robin lead assignment is very important if you have a team. I could not find that combo out there so that is why we created our own system and started Real Geeks.

  • YES!!! We definitely need better CRM products. I have used both top producer and wise agent. I am not happy with either of them. I have multiple websites with several companies and can’t find a perfect crm to coordinate with all of them. Calling all inventors out there…get on it.

  • The demand is huge for a product that you could easily pull and manage customers from various sites. For people that have multiple points of consumer contacts constantly re-entering those into some database is time consuming. I’d love something integrated with google apps since that is what I use.

    Whomever created an easy to use program would make a mint in the real estate world.

  • Our team uses 37signals Highrise product and have been quite happy with it. The “tags” feature is quite handy and it allows you to synch your CRM with email providers like MailChimp or Newsberry. I would guess it wouldn’t be too hard to create an IDX system that plugged directly into Highrise. I like Highrise because it is really simple to use. You can add complexity to it if you like or keep it pretty simple too. We certainly haven’t been using the Cases/ Deals features much, but do find that the log of emails and phone calls really helps keep our whole team in the loop as far as client/ prospect activity goes.

  • There may be another way to do it.

  • Hi Drew,
    Mike Mahoney from Keller Williams in Boston here. Keller Williams has just announced a total solution for paperless transactions, crm, and lead management. Due to come out this year. I have only those little bits of information on it. I do agree with you. Most of the systems are either too big, too complex or just overkill. Simpler is better for us. Would you agree.
    You have to have simple, otherwise salespeople won’t use it. That’s just the way it is.

  • Time can change most of things.

  • Hi Drew,
    Will 2011 be the year of the simple real estate CRM?  Yes, Propertybase CRM will be launching an agent specific application soon (goodsales  www.goodsales.com).  Propertybase has an excellent web based application for Brokers and Developers.  Agents are looking for something a little less robust and something more in their “budget,” and that is why goodsales is being launched.

    • KW Agent Florida

      Hi Paul,

      Is goodsales similar to your salesforce product? Is it built on the same platform? It would be smart for you to build on your own and allow for a more cost-effective solution.

  • Amen on not finding any well designed CRM.  Agents and brokers want the essentials and do not want to speed a lot of time on the learning curve, which is a requirement of too much of the software.   They are in the real estate business, not the CRM business.

  • Neil Pursey

    This is an old post but still relevant. We are looking to create an email platform using the Mailchimp API for our real estate agents. However I came across propertybase.com, which looks amazing!! Does anyone know if propertybase.com incorporates mailchimp’s API to send out bulk emailers to their buyers database? If so, we won’t have to develop something ourselves : )

  • Scott

    Realize this is an old post, but thought I would mention that RealtyJuggler has a MailChimp sync capability.

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  • fabio

    Masterdigm has an excellent web based application for Brokers and Developers, This is a great way to get referral dollars because the leads you share to others are tracked throughout the CRM!

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