Do real estate professionals need Customer Relation Management (CRM) apps to help them organize their new leads while maintaining close contact with their existing clients? Are CRMs integral to real estate success?

Inman News surveyed 1,500 agents/brokers to answer these and other questions about CRMs. Here is a summary of what those agents/brokers had to say about CRMs.

(7.4% of those agents/brokers had been in business for less than 1 year; 23.79% had been in business between 1-5 years; 18.6% had been in business +5%; and approximately 50% had been in business +10 years.)

71.5% of the agents/brokers surveyed use a CRM and of those, 78.2% consider their CRM to be an investment, not an expense. The most popular CRMs in order include Top Producer (38.9%), Market Leader (18.4%), eEdge (offered exclusively to Keller Williams agents but only 22% rank this app highly), and Contactually and Realty Juggler tied for fourth place.

Agents/brokers thought the most important features included their respective CRM choices were those that helped with contact organization, activity management and ease of use. 84% of agents/brokers manage their own CRMs so the importance of ease of use is obvious.

The majority of agents/brokers (69%) pay a monthly subscription fee to use their CRM. Just less than 20% have brokers/franchisors pay their CRM fees. Approximately 9% pay a one time licensing fee and just less than 4% pay nothing for their licensing fee. The median payment for a CRM licensing fee is $50.00/month or $600.00/year but some agents/brokers pay as much as $26,000/year.

Just less than half of the agents/brokers surveyed rank their CRM highly. Most all of those surveyed would like their CRM to integrate better with other lead integration and/or lead generation services, such as Google and Salesforce, calendar functions and to be more customizable.

Nearly three quarters (72.9%) of the agents/brokers surveyed said their CRMs offer features they don’t use…marketing, email, drip campaigns. More than one quarter (28.5%) of those surveyed don’t use CRMs at all…they do, however, use email, digital calendars, electronic contact databases, email marketing software and others in assorted combinations such as social media, Excel spreadsheets, postcards, etc.

Here are some choice words of wisdom about CRMs:

  • “Forget about the bells and whistles…unless you’ll use them immediately.
  • “Know there isn’t a perfect CRM system out there – adapt and use what you need out of the system.”
  • Be disciplined and committed to use it, otherwise it’s not worth it.”