What CRM software is best for commercial brokerage?

What software do most you use? We are looking to possibly switch if there is a better option out there and want to know if anyone has any suggestions.
Thanks
In General Area - Asked by Sumit D. - May 23, 2011
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Answer(s)

Tai N.
Broker/Agent
City Of Industry, CA

Sumit D., if you are referring to Client Relationship Management (CRM) software, or simply a database of your clients/properties, REA and ACT are pretty popular software. I personally have used a custom ACT database and RealHound. If you are referring to underwriting software, I would suggest you take courses, check out CCIM. Most underwriting is done on customized excel spreadsheets. If you are working on sophisticated projects, then ARGUS is an industry standard. But that software, like RealHound, can be quite expensive if you do not the scale of economy or deal flow.... good luck

May 26, 2011
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Paul-Eric P.
Broker/Agent
Montreal, QC

I use REA 9 - I love it.

May 29, 2011
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Robert T.
Broker/Agent
Bethesda, MD

I use Salesforce customized by Rethink labs. It's cloud based and blows away ACT

May 29, 2011
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jonathan k.
Owner/Investor
LOS ANGELES, CA

I used real hound for a while. it is crazy detailed and can be overwhelming at the beginning. however it does a great job at matching buyers and sellers for you

Jun 26, 2011
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Dee P.
Developer
Cebu, CI

If you are looking for CRM software with project management functionality, you can consider Zoho-Projects and Smartsheet. They are both web-based which you can access anywhere as long as there as an internet connection.

Jul 13, 2011
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Vernon B.
Researcher
New Orleans, LA

I suggest Latitude - this may not be a popular tool but it's a good project management software package with lots of functionality, not just CRM. It has a project management functionality with a simple cash accounting system for quotes and invoices of job costs.

Jul 26, 2011
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Barrett P.
Broker/Agent
Raleigh, NC

Sumit,
Having been involved in commercial real estate for almost 10 years and CRM technology for longer than that, I feel I have a fairly unique experience level on the subject. I have used or have experience with most of the CRM solutions out there. This includes the small desktop solutions such as ACT to larger solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM to cloud based systems such as Salesforce.
The challenge we as commercpractitionersners face, is that the data we need usually resides in multiple places and systems. We have property data in either our regional exchange, LoopNet, or other database, or all of them. Then we need to track our customer data which usually means another sysaltogetherther.
Now this would not be a problem if all the systems communicated with one another and allowed data exchanges to take place. But they don't. The solution some have taken is to create entirely new data warehouses where all the data can reside together, such as what RealHound has attempted. This works good to a point, but you must re-enter all your property data and the only view of property you have is only the property in the RealHound system.
The other approach, taken by folks like LoopNet is to purchase a small CRM player and add that functionality to their offering. In the past, I would be in favor of this solution as it brings everything together in one nice neat package. But like RealHound, these solutions are proprietary and "one off" solutions that typically not built to industry standards. And times have changed in the past few years, making it even more important than ever to take advantage of larger CRM solutions built on industry standards with far more extensibility, customizability, and 3rd party solutions to extend to things like mobile devices and integrated marketing systems.
What is needepractitionersactiioners like us to demand that anyone leveraging our data (properties) adhere to a data exchange standard, such as an XML feed that can easily be incorporated into any of the leading CRM solutions today. As a test, I used a Commercial Open Source CRM system called SugarCRM and developed an import function for a property aggregator called ListHub. ListHub is primarily a residential property solution, but they do provide an XML feed that when mapped to feeds nicely into a CRM system, without the need to re-enter or duplicate the database. You can simply import what fields you would need and then code could be created that would send request to the exchange database when more information was needed. I even posted a video on Youtube showing how the system worked.practitioners practioners need to drive this standard. I would urge the powers that be in our Commercial Realtor Associations to take up this challenge and form a committee to establish data and data exchange standards for our industry. If we don't do it, someone else like Costar/LoopNet will do it for you.
My suggestion regarding CRM...choose the one that fits best in you or your firms process. I would look at Microsoft, Salesforce, SugarCRM, and any of the other major CRM vendors. Each of these can and has been customized for commercial real estate and each of them have excellent import/export features and can be further customized with the thousands of add-on applications or partner developers.

Aug 9, 2011
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Tanner M.
Houston, TX

Sumit- Over the years I've used Simple Remote (I don't think they're still around), Realhound, REA, and REThink. I have finally settled on Apto. My quick two cents from a picky broker:
Realhound: Good ideas, poorly executed. It's a bit buggy and their customer service was the poorest of the bunch.
REA: It's been around forever and will probably always be around. Best How-to manual. Well thought out. 1985 look and feel and a bit overwhelming.
REThink: Used these guys for about a year. Excellent platform with salesforce and very flexible solution.It felt like they tried to be all things for all people in the real estate world. Overall good guys but it felt like it was designed by an IT guy trying to build a real estate app.
Apto: I've been with these guys for about a year and things are working really well. It's on the salesforce platform (which you should check out. It or something similar is the way crm's are headed) but they system makes me feel like it was designed around the way I run my business. Plus it provides a lot of flexibility and customizing options which was important for me.
Good luck.

Dec 8, 2011
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Michael G.
Laguna Beach, CA

We've added some incredible innovations to our cloud-based CRM at ClientLook recently. We've got to be the fastest growing technology tool in our industry these days. Check us out.

Dec 18, 2012
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Michael G.
Laguna Beach, CA

We gave a big technology webinar recently called "How to succeed with cloud-based CRM". It profiles the leading CRE apps in our industry and provides a step-by-step guide to better organizing contacts, activities, projects and more. Check it out.

Jan 4, 2013
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Michael G.
Laguna Beach, CA

Since mobility with CRM is so important, we gave a webinar recently on using an iPad to run your commercial real estate business. It's entirely possible if you choose the right apps.
The webinar offers great tips for not only CRM, but also file sharing, project collaboration and even iPad-based presentations. We'd love your feedback.

Jan 19, 2013
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Sid B.
Broker/Agent
Charlotte, NC

I personally have used Daylite CRM ( only for Mac ) and Solve 360 ( Google App). Both were useful to me but they were not geared to Commercial Real Estate jargon or applications. Finally I evaluated Salesforce Apps for Commercial Real Estate and found Apto ( www.aptotude.com) to be a great fit.
If you specialize in Investment Sales or Landlord/Tenant or General Brokerage Rep the Apto CRM under SalesForce platform can be implement on the trail sign-up with your speciality.
Next the most important configuration in a CRM is the Email Interface and with Apto you can run with Outlook or Gmail or Apple Mail with the recommended interfaces.
Personally I am doing great with Salesforce Apto & Appirio contextual gadget in Gmail app, and really like it because 90% of the time we are in Email. If you can talk to yoru CRM within Email then you a save a lot of time toggling back and forth.
I also utilized Box.net & LinkedIN ( Appirio gadgets ) inside Google Gmail.
With Appirio Cloudfactor & Cloud Sync I can add new Contacts, Tasks, Events and have Salesforce plus my Android Motorolo Droid SYNC perfectly.
When I am on the road or in the office I can accomplish a great deal.
The support from both companies Apto & Appirio has been excellent, which is key to success.

Feb 28, 2013
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Michael M.
Property/Asset Manager
Fremont, CA

Propertybase, which is built on the Salesforce platform is actually built by guys that worked at CoStar and Loopnet, it tracks leads, requirements, offers, counter offers even commissions and distribution. It is by far the best CRM for CRE and Real Estate in general.

May 9, 2013
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Keith S.
Corporate Investor
Spartanburg, SC

Power Broker CRM is built specifically for commercial real estate brokers on Salesforce.com. It is built by a team with real commercial real estate experience and offers very complete functionality for tracking and managing Accounts/Contacts, Property, Leases, Loans Listings, Deal, 1031 Exchange, Comparables, Closings and more.
Power Broker also has robust mobile tools...use it with your iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, WinPhone and most tablets like iPad, Surface and Androids. Mobile is true app built for iPhone/iPad and similar...not just a web browser connection like most CRMs have--the app gives you a mobile tool you can really use on a small screen.
Clients include brokers and teams from CBRE Richard Ellis, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Keller Williams Commercial, Colliers, Cushman Wakefield, Sperry Van Ness, and many regional and local brokerage firms.
Free trial at powerbrokersoftware.com. If there is anything I can do personally to help or to make your experience better, please feel free to contact me at 800-680-4276 x 717.

May 11, 2013
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Michael G.
Laguna Beach, CA

We posted a CRM buying guide for commercial real estate a while back that is a great resource for brokers interested in implementing a new contact manager.

Aug 9, 2013
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Clay R.
Broker/Agent
Chicago, IL

REA just announced that they now allow their CRM users to autoload CRE flyers into their CRM - property fields from the flyer now are auto populated! Definitely a time saver and easy way to create a historical database

Mar 18, 2014
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Deborah L.
Broker/Agent
San Diego, CA

Very bad experience with real hound, when I downloaded the software, it corrupted the Windows operating system. Their technical support consisted of e-mailing pages from the microsorft website. Avoid this company.

Apr 19, 2014
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Deborah L.
Broker/Agent
San Diego, CA

Very bad experience with real hound, when I downloaded the software, it corrupted the Windows operating system. Their technical support consisted of e-mailing pages from the microsorft website. Avoid this company.

Apr 19, 2014
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Daniel C.
Broker/Agent
Los Angeles, CA

Ive good success with Bitrix24

May 26, 2017
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