2017 Study: Real Estate Software Compared NEW

No successful brokerage or team can do without a quality software that streamlines the processes of lead search and conversion. Read more to find out about the best real estate on the market as of 2017.

Real Estate CRM systems are trying to keep pace with ever-changing markets by evolving into more complex, advanced solutions. This is the industry where half-measures are not tolerated, and lagging behind often equals folding the business. This study compares various features and functionality of software products offered by the leading providers.

As with many services or commodities, there is plenty of options to choose from, but a lack of options that do as promised. Oftentimes, these software solutions might tend to have low lead quality, disappointing ROI, poorly implemented features and some other factors that would make you regret your buy decision.

RealtyLeadership is resolved to find the best real estate software on the market and help everyone interested to save their time, money and mental health. We set up online reviews on surveymonkey.com and asked our readers to rate software they were familiar with on a 10-point scale based on numerous factors. Over the course of 4 weeks, we collected 874 responses. We used the analysis of those as the basis for our study, further supported by feedback from 3rd party sources and the information found on the Internet. You can have a look at the final comparison table below.

According to the results of this study, one CRM stood out of the crowd scoring 98 out of 100. Great Agent, software from a company based in Austin, TX, appears to be a classic example of a newcomer beating the incumbent. The reviews are fantastic, and our readers ranked it the highest of all. This is our first recommendation.

Great Agent is closely followed by Realtor.com (93/100) and RE Webmasters (87/100). Realtor.com has been around for a long while and it is another excellent choice as the real estate software. We are 100% sure it’s worth every penny. It earned a recommendation as well.

Most real estate professionals receive numerous calls from software providers promising mountains of gold and waterfalls of listings. But most of these simply result in negative experience and an irreversible loss of money.

We broke down our evaluation into several parts. We ranked software in 5 categories – ROI, Ease of Use, Lead Volume, Lead Quality and Features. We’re going to discuss these in greater detail below. We included only software with the highest ratings into the summaries for the sake of concision. You can familiarize yourself with all the scores in the comparison table above at any time if you are interested in software that were rated below par.

Return On Investment Ranking

Return on Investment (ROI) is how much is gained or lost on an initial investment in a product. There are no free lunches here, and providers can’t really use ads to earn money. Clearly, the software that doesn’t pay off has no reason to remain under consideration for a great solution that’s going to drive profits up and help the team conquer the world by tomorrow afternoon.

Please note that we did not try to retrieve any quantitative data because it would have been too problematic for our respondents to provide. One of the limitations of this study is, along with a relatively small sample size and a lack of cooperation from the companies under review, that we did not obtain any actual rates, percentages or dollar amounts. We asked our audience to rate the ROI of software they had used from 1 to 10, and here are the results we obtained.

Great Agent, Realtor.com, and Kunversion were ranked “excellent”. In short, these products “pay off” the best. RE Webmasters, Follow-Up Boss, Trulia, Zillow and Curaytor received “very good” ratings. BoomTown and Top Producer got marginal “good” ratings. The rest were ranked “fair” and “poor”. Fortunately, the number of inferior products in this category is quite low. Our analysis indicates that few are going to cost you more than they will make you. Done with that part, moving right along.

Ease of Use Ranking

The end efficiency of an agency largely depends on the quality of user experience in the software agents use. The real estate industry does not provide for a lot of spare time while at work, so the more convenient and intuitive software is, the less time it takes to be mastered, the greater productivity can be attained. Agents have neither desire nor time to fine-tune a CRM, so the simpler the better.

The best User Experience [UX], according to our respondents, is provided by Great Agent. The king is alone on his throne – this is the only “excellent” rating in this category. Judging by the demo we requested, the readers weren’t exaggerating. It has a lot of very thoughtful features, a pleasant color gamut, and an intuitive design. It undoubtedly deserves the top position in this contest. Great Agent is followed by Realtor.com, RE Webmasters, Follow-Up Boss, Trulia, Zillow, and Market Leader that received the “very good” grade. The list of software having passed this challenge ends with “good” ratings for BoomTown, Real Geeks, and Kunversion.

In our opinion, UX is something a software company just can’t leave neglected. It’s not business processes that can go off the track in ways you can’t predict or sometimes even conceive. It’s just lines of code which is amenable and always does exactly as told. Even if a team can’t come up with a groundbreaking idea, it can always borrow it from a competitor. It’s so often seen in the software world. See, copyright laws can’t really apply to an idea if it’s not based on a proprietary technology or something exclusive and priorly patented. For instance, if a website provides an ability to sync data with a mobile app, its owner is not obligated to pay a royalty to a guy who first invented this, since there is no patent preventing unlicensed use of this technology.

Lead Quality Ranking

Lead quality is another crucial component of the real estate CRM’s success. Poor quality leads bring about time and resource losses, which is unacceptable with a current work rhythm. Essentially, it represents the level of interest your leads express when you follow up on them. A really low level of leads quality compels you to waste time on people who are not ready to commit, or worse, have a pretty foggy understanding of who you are and what you want from them. Needless to say, this is not how you want to spend your precious working time.

Let’s start off with our winners here. Great Agent and BoomTown claimed the gold, scoring “excellent”. Realtor.com, Follow-Up Boss, Trulia, Top Producer and Kunversion received “very good” ratings. And RE Webmasters, Zillow, Curaytor, and Zurple got “good” ratings, but to be the last winner is far better than to be the top loser. It’s reassuring that most big-name companies deliver services adequate to the prices charged.

Lead Volume Ranking

Lead volume refers to the number of potential clients (leads) a CRM is capable of harvesting. Our readers provided some insight into which software had turned out to be the most efficient in this respect.

Note that lead volume represents just the total number of leads with no accounting for conversion rate. That’s why we assigned a separate category to this indicator. In the world of online business, it’s a universally notorious fact that only about 4% (best-case scenario) of your online leads convert. That’s a really, really low number, but there is no way you can increase it. You have 2 options – to charge higher per unit prices, which is kind of dicey considering it might instantly give your rivals an advantage over you. Or to increase the number of leads you process to ensure that up to 4% is still enough to cover the costs of running a business and make it profitable. And the lead volume indicator represents precisely the potential effectiveness of the second course of action.

Realtor.com and Trulia finished first with “excellent” ratings. Great Agent, BoomTown, and Kunversion followed with “very good” ratings. The bronze goes to Follow-Up Boss, Zillow, Top Producer and Zurple.

That’s all as far as the basic categories are concerned. Let’s check the features out now.

Features

With the help of our surveys and research of the scarce information available on the Internet, we evaluated key features these 14 products carry. You can see the results of the breakdown in the table below.

We did not include all the ins and outs of our research of features in the article, as it is a huge chunk of text that would bore most of you. It is all laid out in great detail in our ebook which you can download at the link below. Here we can only add that this part of the study was the most surprising and uncovered the most unexpected side of things.

Apparently, most big-name companies pay little attention to innovation and advancement of their products. It appears that only Great Agent strives to bring its software’s functionality to a whole new level exploiting the latest technological breakthroughs and providing its users with the most extensive set of tools on the market. Last but not least, all of the said tools are included in the basic subscription plan and come free of extra charge. If you think that it would not have cost you a fortune anyway because you deal with services, not some luxurious commodities, you would be utterly mistaken. How about $1200 per agent annually to be able to embed videos into an email directly? How about $5990 annually for the same feature from the different provider? Doesn’t sound cheap, right?

Takeaway

The chart below demonstrates the real estate CRM platforms plotted according to their overall “worthiness”, i.e. price to performance ratio.

The study showed that all of the real estate CRM systems we had reviewed yield reasonably good results. The indisputable winner of this race is Great Agent since it consistently scored “excellent” in the categories most critical to real estate brokers and team leaders. Realtor.com is our second recommendation due to its almost flawless overall usability, features and lead volume and quality.

For more information about this study, its criteria, limitations, and more thorough explanation of the research process and evaluation, please download our free ebook at this link.

Happy hunting!

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