Since Real Estate CRMs can range from simple contact management to high-powered automated systems, picking one can be tricky for newer agents. To make the choice even more difficult, there are dozens if not hundreds of CRMs on the market today.
To help, we compared three of the top real estate CRMs: Top Producer, Contactually, and REthink. We chose these three CRMs as they are popular, offer unique features, and cover a full range of options for realtors. Check out our comparison of their features and price below, along with our top recommendations.
Best Value Real Estate CRM: Top Producer
Of the three real estate CRMs we tested, Top Producer offered the best functionality for real estate agents for the price. Top Producer offers MLS integration, email templates, auto responders, a follow up coach that picks 5 contacts for you to follow up with every day, and the ability to categorize contacts into as different groups. Best of all, Top Producer is only $40 per month per agent, offers free onboarding, and unlike REthink, is available to individual agents.
Top Producer vs. Contactually vs. REthink
|Best For||Agents focused on relationship building.||Agents looking for a well rounded CRM with MLS integration at a great price.||Agents or teams and brokerages looking for advanced MLS integration.|
|Starting Price (per user, per month)|
|$29 per agent per month |
|$40 per per agent per month|
|$79 per agent per month|
4 agent minimum
+ One time onboarding fee starting at ~$2500
|Ease of Use & Set Up|
|No need to import contacts - Integrates with calendar to log appointments and with smartphone to automatically log calls and texts. |
Pulls in social media info for leads
|Collect leads from over 100 lead sources||Advanced MLS integration - Automatically selects properties for leads & produces buyer tours|
|Number of Lead Sources w/ Direct Integration|
|Top dozen lead providers (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.)||Over 100 (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc)||Top lead providers (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.)|
|Customer Service & Onboarding|
|Phone and chat M-F 8am-6pm EST|
|Phone and email|
M-F 9am-8pm EST
Sa-Su 10am-6:30pm EST
|Phone and email 9am-5pm CT|
One time onboarding fee starting ~$2500
Best Value Real Estate CRM: Top Producer
Founded in 1993, Top Producer has been the go-to CRM for the real estate industry for more than two decades. They offer a lot of functionality for the price and if you don’t mind a dated interface and slightly steep learning curve, Top Producer is a great option.
At $40 per month, Top Producer CRM offers the best combination of affordability and features.
While REthink and Contactually are both amazing products in their own right, REthink is double the price and can’t even be purchased by individual agents. Contactually, though cheaper than Top Producer, is lacking MLS integration. REthink does have the edge with more robust MLS integration, but that doesn’t justify paying twice as much per month for most agents.
A good real estate CRM should help you organize, track, and follow up with leads. In order to get this done properly, you ideally want to keep track of what homes your leads are interested in, as well as any changes in the status of those homes. Imagine trying to follow up with a lead from 6 months ago. Wouldn’t you want to know the status of the property they contacted you about without switching over to your MLS? Or, if you’re reaching out to an active client, wouldn’t you want to search for and send properties right from your CRM?
This is why MLS integration is so important for a real estate CRM. Since Top Producer directly integrates with over 500 MLS databases throughout the country, the vast majority of agents will be able to add MLS data to their CRM with Top Producer. Best of all, since it has a direct integration, MLS data updates either every 15 minutes or as quickly as your local MLS updates.
Direct Integration with More Lead Sources
Since real estate CRMs are all about streamlining your workflow and eliminating mundane tasks, direct integration with lead sources is a huge help. Instead of manually adding lead information, a direct integration automatically pulls the lead data into your CRM. Typing information from lead sources into your CRM is pretty high on most realtors’ lists of annoying mundane tasks. Top Producer integrates with more lead sources than any other real estate CRM we know of.
The only problem we found with Top Producer is one users have been griping about online for a long time now: the interface. While the functionality is there, the interface looks and feels VERY dated. Though we found the layout to be fairly intuitive, many users complained that the learning curve was steeper than they would have liked. If you absolutely need a sleek, minimal, Apple style interface, Top Producer is not the CRM for you.
Best CRM for Relationship Building: Contactually
If you’re a realtor who already has a way that you like to search the MLS and send properties to clients, Contactually should be at the top of your list. Contactually is a true relationship manager and somehow manages to make the process of staying in touch with clients fun. Here’s how they pull it off.
Lead Organization with Buckets
When you first fire up Contactually, there are (friendly, easy to understand) prompts to help guide you in setting up the system and organizing your leads. Contactually’s lead organization system is called buckets. You create different buckets with different rules and put each lead in the appropriate bucket. From there you can create intricate rules for how and when you follow up with the leads in each bucket.
For example, you might create a bucket for Zillow leads, a bucket for current clients, and a bucket for former clients. You can set up rules (called programs) to determine the frequency and way you need to follow up with leads in each bucket. You may want to call current clients once a week, put Zillow leads on a drip campaign, and only reach out to former clients on holidays. Every day you log into Contactually, they remind you of who you should reach out to that day and how you should reach out to them.
Easy Automated Outreach with Programs
In Contactually, automated actions are called programs. You can set up programs to automatically send drip emails after a certain period of time, send reminders, tasks, or even follow someone on social media. Once saved, you can pick and choose which lead or bucket of leads gets put on which program and when. You can also easily change the program certain leads are on if you feel like you’re not getting the results you want.
Letter Grades for Outreach Efforts
Being reminded of just who you need to reach out to every day is great, but Contactually takes it a step further. By assessing your outreach efforts, contactually actually assigns you a letter grade to show just how well you’re doing with nurturing your relationships. They call this your RPA, or Relationship Point Average. Most people logging in every day and seeing a B- will want to work harder to bring their RPA up to an A.
The only real disadvantage to choosing Contactually over Top Producer or REthink is the lack of MLS access. This makes it harder to keep track of what homes your leads are interested in as well as any changes in the status of those homes. Instead of being able to review this data and search for and send listings directly from your CRM, you would need to log in to your MLS database. If you don’t need or want a CRM that integrates with your MLS, then Contactually is a great pick.
Best CRM for Teams and Boutique Brokerages: REthink
REthink wants to be your everything. For some teams and boutique brokerages without sophisticated ways to access the MLS, REthink just might be the perfect solution. Their MLS integration is so powerful you can pretty much use REthink as an ad-hoc listings database in addition to a CRM.
With REthink, you can easily generate listings pages to send to buyers via email and include detail like nearby amenities. Their “match” tool automatically finds and updates listings that fit customer preferences (e.g. price, number of bedrooms) based on what you have saved in the CRM. You can also generate plotted buyer tour maps and sign up for alerts when new listings appear that match certain criteria.
Some realtors at bigger tech savvy brokerages might yawn at these features, but for cash- strapped startups and small boutique firms, REthink could be the answer to their prayers. Brokerages that manage a large number of rentals will particularly like using REthink.
In addition to its advanced MLS features, REthink also allows agents to categorize contacts, send automated emails, and set follow up reminders.
The only real disadvantage of REthink is the price. While a system that can be used as a listing database, CRM, and even for basic transaction management is pretty amazing, $79 per month per agent is a steep price to pay. On top of that, you need to have three other agents to purchase the software with you, bringing your total monthly bill to $316, as well as spend upwards of $2500 on onboarding fees.
In-Depth Comparison: Top Producer vs. Contactually vs. REthink
While pricing for CRMs can run the gamut all the way from free (Zillow Premier Agent) to $100 or more for custom builds, generally speaking, a good real estate specific CRM should cost around $30-$80 per agent per month. Keep in mind that these prices are generally for one year contracts paid in full. Expect to pay a bit more for month-month plans.
Ease of Use/Setup
Let’s face it. Realtors are generally not tech savvy people. Most of us are far better at creative tasks than navigating complicated software. This is why software for realtors, especially software that’s designed to be used everyday, such as CRM software, needs to be easy to use. Here’s how the three real estate CRM’s measured up in terms of ease of use and setup.
In general, a good real estate CRM should help you complete the following tasks:
- Stay top of mind with your contacts
- Organize your contacts into buyers, sellers, etc
- Assign different actions to different contacts
- Send automatic emails and follow up reminders
- Track your outreach efforts with your contacts via email, phone etc
- Help keep track of which properties your contacts are interested in
A lot of real estate CRMS also integrate with lead sources, such as Zillow and Realtor.com. Direct lead integration means that client contact information, properties your clients are interested in, and other information is automatically sent to your CRM and added to your contact’s profile.
Number of Lead Sources with Direct Integration
Direct integration with lead sources is a great time saver for realtors. Instead of manually typing in contact information, a direct integration allows you to pull in all relevant details directly into your CRM. Here’s how the companies stacked up.
MLS integration allows agents to associate their contacts with properties for sale. In more sophisticated integrations, you can search for properties, or even have the software recommend them based on criteria your contact has. Here’s how the three companies stacked up for MLS integration.
Since so many realtors are on the go seemingly most of the time, a solid mobile option is essential for a great real estate CRM. Here’s how the three companies’ mobile options work.
If you get hung up with setting up the CRM or how to use it, these companies have various support options to get you going.
All Real Estate CRM Options
Here are some more options that you may want to consider when choosing a real estate CRM.
|CRM||Best For:||Quick Description|
|Top Producer||Realtors who want a great value CRM that offers MLS integration||Top Producer offers automatic emails, follow up reminders, and has MLS integration.|
|Contactually||Realtors who want a fun, easy-to-use relationship manager.||Contactually offers complex contact organization, automated follow up, and a unique letter grade system to let you know how well you’re doing keeping up with your contacts.|
|REthink CRM||Small brokerages who want sophisticated MLS integration.||REthink offers sophisticated MLS integration, contact management, automated emails, and basic transaction management features.|
|Insightly||Realtors who just need a simple, affordable CRM.||Excellent and affordable ($12 per month) basic all purpose CRM|
|PropertyBase||Brokerages that want an advanced CRM with sophisticated MLS integration.||Salesforce-based real estate CRM that is very similar to REthink. Great MLS integration with listing matching. Also includes direct mail and financial management tools.|
|Zoho||Realtors on a budget who need a bit more features than Insightly.||Zoho is another general use CRM that offers great features like lead follow up reminders and drip campaigns.|
|Zillow Premier Agent||Zillow Premier Agent members - Realtors on a budget||Along with your Zillow Premier agent account, Zillow offers a totally FREE basic CRM.|
|Boomtown ROI||Realtors looking for a turn key lead generation and CRM system.||Boomtown includes a “predictive” CRM that offers email templates, drip campaigns, and MLS integration.|
|WiseAgent||Bulk text messaging||WiseAgent offers drip campaigns, pre-written emails, bulk texting, automated responses, and team integrations.|
|Followup Boss||Realtors who want something simple and lightweight||Great CRM with action plans and social media lookup.|
|Ixact Contact||Realtors who want a lot of real estate specific features on a budget||Mobile friendly CRM that includes a free website.|
The Bottom Line
While no CRM is going to be perfect for everyone, there are enough options on the market today that we’re sure you’ll find something you love. We found Top Producer to offer great MLS integration for the price, but it had a very dated interface. REthink had excellent MLS integration, but was pricey and only available for groups. Contactually was amazing at relationship building, but lacked MLS integration.
What CRM do you use? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments.