Using the best real estate CRM is no longer a luxury. It’s essential.

Only those who stay connected to their database will overcome the current challenges and end up thriving on the other side.

Lead generation is important, but it won’t impact your commission income if you don’t know what to do with your leads once you get them. Relationships with consumers – built with lead engagement and lead nurturing – is ultimately what allows you to reach your transaction goals.

So of course it makes perfect sense to elevate customer relationship management (CRM) software to the status of “essential.” Think of it as a personal assistant or an appendage you can’t do without.

But with so many CRM platforms out there, it can be difficult to determine which is the best for you and your business. Ironically, the search for something that’s supposed to simplify your life is often very complex!

So to speed up the process, we put together a quick shopping guide so you can know what to look for.

A Shopping Guide for Finding the Best Real Estate CRM

As you shop for a CRM, keep in mind that there really isn’t a universal “right answer.” There are only right outcomes – more productivity, more leads, more client engagement, and more transactions.

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can decide what “the best real estate CRM” is for you. But as long as you consider the four aspects below and keep a close eye on which outcomes each CRM option enables you to generate the most of, you’ll be able to steer clear of “analysis paralysis”.

Pricing

The cost of CRMs varies. Many offer free trials, and some cost $100 per month or more. The main thing to take into consideration when it comes to pricing is value.

The most economical option might not provide what you need, and the priciest option might have a dozen features you’ll never use. So the goal is to make sure you’re getting all (or only) the features you need while staying on budget.

User-friendliness

Having a lot of features and customization options is great, but you shouldn’t have to contact the CRM provider’s customer support team every other week. That’s why the best CRMs for real estate agents are easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to learn. Get a CRM demo first before you commit to a plan to ensure it looks sufficiently user friendly.

Essential Real Estate CRM Functionality

To avoid buyer’s remorse, it might be helpful to create a criteria list to have on hand as you’re shopping around for the best CRM for real estate.

Maybe use categories like “Essential,” “Important But Not Essential,” and “Nice To Have.” A list like that can help you keep your priorities in order as you’re doing a quick cost-benefit analysis.

But sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. If that’s the case, here are some features and functionalities to include in your “Essentials” category:

  • Marketing Automation – At minimum, a CRM functions as a contact database and pipeline management tool. But as a real estate agent, you’ll need it to do more than that. It should streamline and automate marketing workflows and empower you to maintain strong relationships with leads and clients at every step of the way. And you should be able to design and send targeted campaigns with the touch of a button.
  • Automated Text & Email Alerts – Being able to respond quickly to leads is crucial. Consumer expectations around quickly getting high-quality information are higher than ever, and you can miss valuable opportunities within minutes. Getting automated alerts from your CRM – like when a formerly-cold lead has started to view MLS listings on your site – can be a game changer. (Of course, your follow-up skills will have to take it from there. Learn the 10 tips for successfully responding to real estate leads.)
  • Website Behavior Tracking – Data and analytics aren’t just for agents with a knack for numbers. Back-end tracking like this can help you improve your site’s user experience, refine your content and messaging, and keep tabs on your hottest leads. Look for a CRM that’s fully integrated with your real estate website so you know when your contacts have visited your site and which properties they’ve viewed and saved.
  • Automated Listing Alerts – Listing alerts are among the best engagement tools in real estate CRMs. They keep you top of mind, and they keep bringing your contacts back to your site, instead of Zillow or some other listing portal. Definitely a must-have functionality.
  • Advanced Filtering Options – Personalized communication is always more effective than generic mass emails or texts. If your CRM has advanced filtering options, you can make sure you send the right messages to the right segments at the right times.

Customer Support

No matter what CRM you end up with, you’re going to need support at some point. Whether it’s to resolve a technical difficulty or simply to learn a new process or functionality.

But the thing is, you’re busy. Being a real estate agent isn’t just one job – it’s many jobs wrapped into one.

You don’t have time to troubleshoot and figure things out on your own. So make sure the provider offers support from actual humans who are knowledgeable, skillful, and good “people persons” so you can resolve issues quickly and move on to higher priorities.

What’s the Best Real Estate CRM To Check Out First?

Let’s start with the CRM that comes along with Market Leader Pro, Business Suite, and Pro for Teams.

Here’s what agents love most about it:

  • Top-of-the-line marketing automation options
  • Integrates with 40+ lead sources, including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com
  • Provides all the essential tools needed to maximize productivity and performance
  • Includes a marketing center with thousands of customizable templates for newsletters, flyers, and postcards
  • Fully integrated mobile app so you can decrease response times and increase efficiency while on the go
  • Plus, Market Leader’s team of advertising experts can generate a guaranteed minimum number of exclusive leads for you each month and have them automatically imported into your CRM

Learn more about how Market Leader’s CRM can simplify your life and enable you to reach and exceed your income goals for this year.