What is a CRM in real estate?

estate agent looking at housing plans on laptop and phone
(Image credit: Pexels)

So what is a CRM in real estate? Customer relationship management (CRM) software lets you manage every interaction and aspect of your client relationships. When you’re providing one of the most important services of all—helping your clients buy, sell, and rent property—CRM becomes even more critical.

The best CRM software enhances your client communications, puts the buyer or seller front-and-center, and helps you increase closings and revenue.

What is a CRM in real estate, and what does this software do? 

The best CRMs for real estate support your property business in multiple ways: 

  • Capture all of the information, communications, and other details of individual properties in one place
  • Centralize profiles and interactions for individual leads, buyers, sellers, and renters, together with links to properties
  • Track marketing, promotions, and interest for real estate sectors, property groups, and individual residential, commercial, and industrial properties
  • Manage buying, selling, and rental processes with all interested parties and third-party stakeholders

How can your real estate teams use a property management CRM? 

housing documents being handed over

All manner of real estate staff can benefit from a CRM for real estate business use (Image credit: Pexels)

The best real estate CRMs provide value across multiple departments. We’ve covered some of the central functions in a real estate business, specifically: 

  • Realtors and real estate agents
  • Real estate administration teams
  • Property and client marketing teams
  • Sales and closing teams
  • Customer service and support teams

Realtors and real estate agents

Real estate agents are the public face of your property business. Realtors will use a CRM to:

  • Discover important information about the real estate they are showing so they can present property in the best possible way
  • Learn about potential buyers, sellers, and renters, including their needs and budgets.
  • Identify and build on previous communications and interactions for specific properties and interested parties
  • Match the right properties with the right people to maximize closing rates

Real estate administration

A successful real estate business relies on streamlined and efficient administration processes. Your admin team will use a CRM to:

  • Add new properties and details so that everyone has access to real estate information
  • Follow the right real estate policies for setting up appointments, interacting with clients, and managing properties and customers through the process
  • Report on the most important metrics in your property business including leads, clients, closures, and revenue

Property and client marketing

Your marketing team raises awareness of your real estate firm and property listings. A marketing and promotional team will use a CRM to:

  • Identify the properties that will benefit the most from a marketing push
  • Publish property details in a consistent and compelling way and put them in front of the right audience
  • Segment your audience of buyers, sellers, and renters to design effective marketing campaigns for each
  • Track the success of marketing efforts so you get the greatest return on investment.
  • Generate more leads for your realtors and other parts of your business

Real estate sales and closings

Your sales team will manage properties and clients from the buying decision to closing. A real estate CRM will help them in several ways: 

  • Gather important buyer, seller, and renter information and manage it throughout the closing process
  • Interact with third parties like mortgage companies, real estate attorneys, and others for a seamless customer experience
  • Ensure compliance with real estate law, contract signing, document management, and other key requirements
  • Represent your business and client best interests throughout any real estate transactions

Real estate customer service and support

Buying, selling, or renting a property is a huge commitment. Your customer service and support teams will use a CRM to:

  • Allow customers to contact your real estate firm in multiple ways and create personalized, best-practice responses
  • Ensure that clients are kept informed throughout their real estate transactions
  • Answer questions from clients and reassure them of progress
  • Deal with issues and resolve them quickly

What are the main features and benefits of a real estate CRM? 

people looking over architects' plans

A CRM for a real estate business can help store property details, assist with sales, and improve customer relationships (Image credit: Pexels)

CRMs exist in many flavors, from software that manages client information and interactions through to applications that can run your entire real estate business. Although features do vary, you’ll find some of the most important ones below.


Storing property information

When people are buying selling, and renting property, details matter. A real estate CRM will collect together all of the most important information about a property in a concise, consistent, reliable, and accessible way. You’ll be able to filter and sort property using multiple criteria so you can find the perfect match for your client. You can build your real estate processes around each property to ensure complete and comprehensive management.


Storing information about interested parties

Real estate businesses thrive from connecting the right clients with the right properties. The best CRMs will capture details about your clients and help you to build a comprehensive profile. You can ask questions to define their needs, budgets, and other areas, then run reports to identify the most appealing properties. You can integrate clients with important property activities and ensure customers are properly managed through every inquiry, interaction, and transaction.


Managing property leads, deals, and sales

You want to maintain a steady pipeline of healthy leads, rent or sell property, and manage everything through to closing. A real estate CRM lets you manage the entire process from start to finish. You can gather leads and interested clients from your marketing efforts, track the statuses of properties and deals, and ensure that clients close in an effective and streamlined way.


Building healthy relationships, communications, and interactions

Trust matters, especially when people are making the biggest financial commitments of their lives. A real estate CRM lets you manage all of your client communications from one place. It gives you a central view of the truth, and ensures every team member is on the same page for every interaction. A CRM helps you tweak and improve your client management processes, optimizing opportunities to drive sales and get customers to close.


Integrating with other systems, stakeholders, and third parties

Real estate management, rentals, and sales are complex, interdependent processes relying on many third parties and data stored across multiple systems. A real estate CRM brings all of that together. It integrates with software and information, and provides a central way to manage relationships with buyers, sellers, developers, attorneys, and other stakeholders.

How much does real estate CRM software cost? 

CRM software costs do vary widely, depending on the breadth and depth of the features you need. We’ve analyzed some of the best CRMs out there to create a price guide: 

  • Salesforce (US-only link): $25 per user a month with a 30-day free trial
  • Freshworks CRM: $15 per user a month with a 21-day free trial
  • Insightly: $29 per user a month with a two-week trial
  • HubSpot CRM: $45 for two users a month with a 14-day free trial
  • Apptivo: $8 per user a month with a 30-day free trial
  • Zoho CRM: $14 per user a month with a 15-day free trial

You can easily customize CRMs for your real estate business. 

Real estate CRM FAQs 

What is a CRM in real estate?

Real estate CRM software is an application that helps you manage relationships with individuals and businesses who want to buy, sell, rent, or manage property. There are different types of CRM software—general CRMs that can be customized for real estate businesses, and specialized CRM software that’s built for realtors. You can use either approach when you’re looking for a CRM solution—specialized real estate CRMs do more “out of the box” but may not be as customizable. More general CRMs do require some configuration, but can easily be adapted for multiple use cases. 

What are the main features of a real estate CRM tool?

Features do vary widely between CRM tools, but some of the main ones include:

  • Storing property information
  • Storing information about buyers, sellers, renters, and others
  • Managing different types of properties, including residential, commercial, and industrial
  • Processing real estate transactions and ensuring integration and compliance
  • Building good relationships through optimizing communications and interactions
  • Marketing properties to your real estate audience
  • Generating leads and matching properties with potential clients
  • Answering client questions and providing customer service

What is the best real estate CRM software?

Opinions do vary on the best CRM software out there. If you’re looking for a comparison of general CRM software that you can customize for your real estate business, then our guide to the best CRM for real estate is a great place to start. If you’re looking for CRM software built for real estate businesses, then you might want to take a look at Boomtown, iHomeFinder, Contractually, or FirePoint.

Where can I read reviews of CRM software?
Right here on TechRadar! We’ve got you covered with our best CRM for small business; reviews of leading providers including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Freshworks, Insightly, and HubSpot; and much more.

How will real estate CRM software help me grow my property business?

Real estate sales are all about relationships. Individuals and businesses are making some of their most important financial decisions, and they want to work with people they can trust. A CRM helps to build that trust—by solving problems, sharing information, matching people and properties, and ensuring everything goes smoothly. CRMs build your reputation as a realtor, putting the client front-and-center, driving sales and closings, and increasing your revenue.

What are the main takeaways for real estate CRMs? 

  • A CRM helps you build your relationships, reputation, and real estate business. It lets you focus all of your attention on the client
  • A CRM makes it easy to connect interested parties with the right properties. You can create genuine interest and save time and effort as competition increases
  • A CRM lets you track your successes and optimize your real estate processes. You can make changes, see what works, and increasing your closing rates
  • A CRM integrates with other stakeholders, systems, and data. You’ll see everything from one place, and have the confidence that it’s all running smoothly
  • A CRM increases your efficiency and drives up your revenue and profits

Further reading 

Learn more about what CRM software is, see seven reasons why a CRM for business can drive customer growth, and find out the main reasons your small business needs a CRM

Paul Maplesden

Paul is a professional writer who creates extensively researched, expert, in-depth guides across business, finance, and technology. He loves the challenge of taking complex subjects and breaking them down so they are easy to understand. He can quote 'The Princess Bride' in its entirety and believes the secret to good writing is Earl Grey tea.