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Effective management of customer relationships is crucial to all businesses, and is especially important in the realm of realty.

Thankfully there are a multitude of CRM solutions out there to streamline this process; so many, in fact, that working out which is the right one for you can be challenging in its own right.

To help you choose which platform to pick and more importantly when to use your CRM and when to steer clear of it, here is a look at the perks and pitfalls of this type of software in a real estate context.

Lead generation

Perhaps the most important function of the various real estate CRM solutions available on the market at the moment is lead generation, as without being able to pinpoint those potentially lucrative new prospects, it will be difficult for your business to grow.

At a very basic level, this means that contact info for would-be clients is easy to store and organize within a database that makes searching for specific details when you need them a breeze. The best CRMs of the bunch will also be able to help with automating aspects of lead generation, as well as other elements of the average agent’s workflow, so that staying on top of day to day responsibilities is not as time-consuming.

When it’s not worth it

If your lead generation volumes are relatively low by design, perhaps because you are not equipped to increase your client base significantly because of the size of your operation, then a full-blown CRM might be overkill, so keep this in mind.

Making sales

This is an important point to consider, and yet one which a lot of realtors overlook; it is all well and good to have a snazzy CRM available to you, but at the end of the day it is still down to the agent to secure each sale and ensure that the relationship with clients is stewarded effectively over time.

As long as you realize that you cannot just sit back and expect the software to do all of the heavy lifting, you will be fine. So avoid the complacency that an over-reliance on technology might bring with it, keep your sales skills and relationship management abilities sharp, and your CRM use will be able to compliment your other activities, rather than being a crutch you rely on too much.

When it’s not worth it

If you already have comprehensive digital marketing tools at your disposal, you might see a CRM as something which overlaps excessively with what you are paying for at this point in time, in which case holding off may be a better option.

Maintaining existing relationships

Real estate is an interesting industry from the perspective of customer relationships, because in many cases an agent can expect to only interact with a client for as long as it takes to sell their home, or find them the ideal property. If they have done their job well, then it is unlikely that the customer will return to use their services for years or even decades.

Of course a CRM is still useful for keeping previous clients engaged and satisfied, because while they may not return to make use of your skills in the short term, word of mouth recommendations to friends and family are hugely valuable, and so reaching out to former customers with marketing emails and being able to pull up their details in an instant to inform future interactions is obviously a good thing.

Agents who deal more with commercial sales and leases will have a very different set of needs and expectations, and rekindling customer relationships is a more pressing concern, which of course a good CRM will be capable of achieving seamlessly.

When it’s not worth it

Once again the scale of your operation will impact whether or not a CRM makes sense for keeping current clients happy. If you work solo, then you might be capable of keeping track of all of your contacts without needing to splash out on a separate software solution to achieve this.

Third party service integration

A further sticking point of real estate CRMs is the way in which they offer support for different plug-ins and integration with third party services.

If you are already attached to a particular software ecosystem or solution and you want to bring this over to your CRM when you adopt it, you might find that your choice is narrowed significantly, which can be a pain.

Having to drop other services or alter your choice of CRM at the last minute might not be ideal, so it makes sense to embrace a suitable platform sooner rather than later, and use this as the foundation for the other products you pick up later on, rather than doing this the other way around.

This is not exactly an example of CRMs failing to work for agents and brokers, but does help to illustrate the challenges that might need to be overcome as you make the transition.

When it’s not worth it

As already discussed, cross- service compatibility is not guaranteed, so you really need to decide whether forcing yourself into the mold set by a specific CRM is justifiable or not based on your circumstances.


The bottom line for the appeal of any customer relationship management system is that it has to add value to your real estate operations, and specifically deliver a significant return on your investment in any upfront costs and ongoing fees that it entails.

While there are some budget-oriented options, it is generally better to pay for platforms and packages that fit the needs of your firm, rather than seeking to be needlessly penny-pinching.

Of course if you find that the pricing of your CRM is not justifiable, then switching to a different service is better than sticking it out and hoping for improvements that never come.

When it’s not worth it

In terms of calculating the suitability of a CRM service based on price, if you can quickly see that it will eat into your development budget to a significant degree and thus hamper your efforts in order areas, choosing a cheaper alternative or even steering clear of it completely will be better for balancing the books.