Product Lineup: Relationship Management Tools

Peruse this guide for a range of products to help you use technology to better manage your diverse customer relationships.

March 4, 2014

Real estate professionals have long been turning to Customer Relationship Management solutions to keep their database of contacts organized and coordinate their marketing efforts. In recent years, CRMs have been adding a greater emphasis on the “social” aspects to their programs, such as with social media add-ons. These tools allow you track your contacts better online by monitoring their activity on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find more ways to connect. Beyond CRM solutions, other web-based programs also are helping to build stronger online and offline relationships by making you more responsive to your Internet leads’ needs and more effectively planning your follow-ups based on leads’ engagement with your marketing.

If You’re On a Budget ($25 or Less)

  1. Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®
    Price: Free
    Build relationships by keeping in touch. Lowe’s offers an online marketing tool that allows you to send a free Creative Ideas magazine, which offers home maintenance and remodeling tips, to clients and prospects. You can also send eCoupons that clients and prospects can use at Lowe’s stores or online. Each eCoupon is personalized with your business information.
  2. Nimble
    Price: $15 per month
    This CRM will merge all your contacts, e-mail, social networks, and follow-ups into one centralized place. It aims to help you keep tighter tabs on your contact database. You can segment and tag your contacts in any way you determine. Monitor what they’re talking about on their social networks and see where you can jump into the conversation. It’ll notify you of your contacts’ birthdays, job changes, or other events for sending special notes. Each contact file in your database will show the history of your last conversation on any channel, including social media and e-mail. The system also will analyze shared interests and notify you when any of your contacts has an interest or a “friend of a friend” that may be relevant to you.
  3. Doorsteps
    Price: $25 per month
    Keep relationships progressing until the prospect is ready to take action. This system provides easy-to-understand content and checklists about the home-buying process, which is particularly helpful to your first-time home buyers. The content provides step-by-step considerations and tasks in the path to purchasing a home, from to-do lists of assessing how much to spend, choosing the right mortgage, and hiring a moving company, to choosing an inspector, understanding the closing process, and more. A dashboard and an activity log give you insight into what each of your potential buyers have completed and monitor their progress in the program to see where you can best chime in to meet them where they’re at. You can also collaborate with the buyer in the program about listings.
  4. Insightly
    Price: Free version available; as well as paid plans starting at $29 per month
    Get to know more about clients just from their e-mail address. Using this CRM, you can put a contact’s e-mail address in and it’ll automatically input every social media profile related to that e-mail address, allowing you to see Twitter content and public LinkedIn profiles instantly. You can also view your contacts’ profiles on Facebook, Google+, FourSquare, Picasa, and Klout, among others. You can use the system to create profiles about your contacts that pull in their background, all of your e-mail exchanges, and any important dates for projects. It integrates with Google apps, Office 365, and more.

Mid-Range Products ($30 to $50 Per Month)

  1. SproutSocial
    Price: Starting at $39 per month
    Keep closer tabs on conversations on all your social media channels. You can view every message, action, and alert from your social media in one single stream. Post directly to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and others from one message composition tool within this CRM. SproutSocial has an engagement metric that shows how well you’ve been responding to messages that have been deemed important to keep you responsive to all your leads and contacts. Profiles of each contact include conversation histories and a notes section where you can input details about any offline interactions. The system also includes suggestions for engaging with people on Twitter based on conversations, relatable mentions, and those who follow your profiles.
  2. TopProducer
    Price: $39.95 per month
    Use this web-based CRM to not only manage your leads, contacts, schedules, and listings but also to integrate with your social networks, forming stronger connections with your clients. TopProducer offers several social media features within its CRM. You can create messages right in the database to post directly to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also include images in your post and a link to your Top Producer or® listings. In each customer contact record, you can view contacts’ Facebook status updates and tweets. Track recent events that are happening in your contacts’ lives to craft more personal messages.
  3. Follow Up Boss
    Price: Starting at $49 per month
    Stay on top of every Internet lead that comes your way. The system automatically imports all your online leads from various lead providers, such as Zillow,®, and Trulia. All you have to do is change your e-mail address on the sites to a provided e-mail address. All the leads will be pulled into one spot, preventing them from getting buried in your e-mail. You can also get instant phone notifications of new leads and leads who are actively looking at online listings. If you’re unable to get in touch with a lead instantly, you can set up automatic e-mail campaigns to be sent to them. The CRM also monitors how well you’re meeting business goals by highlighting data on your average response time, new leads, and conversion rates.

High-end ($200 and Up)

  1. HubSpot
    Price: Starting at $200 per month
    This inbound marketing software coordinates with your CRM and offers you the ability to monitor your contacts’ behavior online and use lead management tools. It’ll automatically upload leads from your landing pages and form submissions to your contact database, including a complete backlog of the person’s browsing history. You can use such behavioral data to customize your marketing. It shows every interaction the person has had with your brand, such as page views, submissions, e-mails, and more. It will assign a score to your leads, based on behavior that you deem to be central to your sales and marketing strategy. The software also includes tools for blogging, sending e-mail, monitoring your social media, and creating Web landing pages, allowing you to centralize all your online conversations into one, integrated platform.
  2. Curaytor
    Price: $1,475 per month (without website development); $1,975 per month with website
    This is an all-in-one tech support and marketing company that will create a customized action plan for individual real estate agents or teams. It will implement a CRM, lead management, automated e-mail marketing campaigns, website development, as well as develop systems for capturing behavior analytics from your web visitors to help you with your follow-up programs. The company partners with teams of vendors, such as Follow Up Boss, Mixpanel, and Google, to offer a range of platforms and provide ongoing support in implementing the technologies. It provides a daily “hot sheet” that shows the most-engaged leads among current and past clients as well as your sphere of influence so agents know who to contact right away. The most engaged clients are measured by those who have either opened or clicked on an e-mail in the last 24 hours.
  3. BoomTown ROI
    Price: $1,500 per month for a license for up to 10 people
    This CRM helps you monitor your web visitors’ online behavior and prioritize your follow-ups based on their engagement level. When a prospect registers on your IDX website to view property details, you will be able to keep close tabs on them and collect information, track communications, and prioritize “nurturing tasks” for follow-ups. For example, by tracking their online activity, you may want to send them targeted listing alerts and reminders. You can also use the information to coordinate a drip e-mail campaign or set follow-up tasks. The CRM offers an “Opportunity Wall” that generates a prioritized list of hot leads based on real-time consumer behavior from the site. You can see how long a user has been on the site, their contact information, history of e-mail correspondence with you, recently viewed homes, and preferred home-search price ranges. BoomTown rates the legitimacy of their contact information, level of communication, and their activity on your website. It will flag leads with a label such as “high interest,” when a lead shows recent interest in one or more listings, or “renewed interest,” when a lead who was inactive returns to the site.