Real Estate Software Overview
What is Real Estate Software?
Real estate software is designed to help real estate agents and Realtors with all the activities that are part of their daily jobs. This can include finding sources of new real estate leads, organizing and centralizing contact information, conducting email and phone outreach, marketing themselves and their brand, keeping a pulse on the local and national housing market, listing properties, and closing deals. The primary goal of real estate software is to help make agents' lives easier, more streamlined and organized, and more productive—so they can focus on what they do best.
Many real estate agents choose to work independently and are in this sense owners of their own small business. For agents that choose to work alone or lead a small team, finding a real estate platform that has built-in website and blog creation, email marketing, and invoicing capabilities is critical. Brokerages, where multiple real estate agents and Realtors work under one or more brokers, often invest in real estate software for their agents to use.
Different Types of Real Estate Software
While real estate software can help agents and Realtors accomplish all of these tasks and more, many real estate tools are specialized and focus on one or two areas. For example, real estate customer relationship management (CRM) platforms provide agents with a way to store, organize, and track contact information. Real estate lead generation tools, on the other hand, help agents and Realtors source new leads they can reach out to.
When it comes to tools like a CRM platform, real estate agents have the option of choosing a non-real estate specific CRM or (such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Agile CRM) or investing in a CRM designed for the real estate industry. Tools like BoomTown, CINC, FollowUp Boss, and Zillow Premier Agent CRM are all examples of real estate specific platforms.
This holds true for other types of real estate software too, like website and blog builders. Software products like WordPress and Wix are popular website/blog creation platforms that are not specific to the real estate industry but can be used to create real estate websites nonetheless. Conversely, many real estate software suites include a built-in website creation tool.
Real Estate Software Features
Depending on the product, real estate software tools may focus on one or two core areas listed below. Some vendors offer real estate software suites that include CRM, lead generation, IDX website creation, lead nurturing, and marketing capabilities all in one.
Real Estate CRM Software
Real estate CRM tools help agents and Realtors stay organized by housing information about their prospects and clients. These tools allow agents to track the level of outreach each lead has received, provide follow-up reminders, conduct leading scoring, and contact leads via phone or email from within the platform. Some real estate CRMs also include IDX website building, lead routing and distribution, email and text templates, and calendar and appointment setting capabilities.
Real Estate Lead Generation Tools
Real estate lead generation tools provide agents and Realtors with more leads to reach out to, with the goal of generating more new business. Many of these tools will run lead generation campaigns on Google and other search engines, on social media platforms, or property buying and selling communities like Zillow to collect fresh leads. These leads are then shared with users for a given cost per lead. Other platforms operate by attracting leads to their own website and packaging them up for users.
Real Estate Marketing Software
Real estate marketing software helps agents, Realtors, and brokerages with everything from lead nurturing, to creating a brand, managing their online presence, conducting retargeting campaigns on social platforms, and automating email, voice, and text outreach. Some real estate marketing platforms also include website optimization and SEO tools, and social media posting capabilities.
Real Estate Software Comparison
Before investing in one or more real estate tools, consider the following factors:
- Type of tool: are you looking for a stand-along real estate CRM, lead generation, or marketing platform? Or does your business need an all-in-one style real estate software suite? Think about what you need before starting to trail different solutions
- Your budget: how much are you willing to spend on real estate software and how many users will you need to pay for? Certain tools are more affordable for independent contractors, small business owners, and small teams. The all-in-one style real estate platforms tend to be on the more expensive end of the pricing spectrum.
Pricing for real estate software varies depending on the type of tool, range of features included, and the number of users. For example, pricing for real estate CRM software can range from $50 per user per month (on the low end) up to multiple hundreds of dollars per user per month. Most vendors do not disclose pricing information publicly but will provide a price quote upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few different types of real estate software, which include:
- Real estate customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Lead generation tools
- IDX Website and blog creation tools
- Real estate marketing software
- All-in-one real estate software suites
Some of these tools (e.g. CRM and lead generation tools) primarily focus on one specific area while larger all-in-one software suites provide agents with capabilities spanning multiple areas.