Customer relationship management (CRM) software for businesses in commercial real estate (CRE) provides tools to manage properties, contracts, and sales leads. The features should offer both solutions for sales and marketing and solutions for servicing residential and office tenants. We looked at various CRM software that works best for commercial real estate operations and narrowed it down to the top seven options.
- Apptivo: Best overall for commercial real estate businesses looking for a low-cost option to manage their operations
- Freshworks CRM: Great option for businesses in residential real estate that like to use high-volume email marketing campaigns
- Insightly: Recommended for CRE businesses that need project management tools for real estate projects
- LionDesk: Ideal choice for CRE companies that handle a high volume of direct sales calling
- Chime: Best for large real estate agencies looking for an all-in-one platform for real estate sales, marketing, and transaction management.
- Top Producer CRM: Excellent option for real estate agencies that want enhanced lead insights
- Propertybase: Suitable for real estate businesses already familiar with the Salesforce interface
How We Evaluated the Best CRM Systems for Commercial Real Estate
When selecting an industry-specific CRM, such as platforms designed for commercial real estate, value for money is a critical factor. We measured this by evaluating pricing and capabilities specific to commercial real estate operations, such as work order management for tenants, contract generation tools, and functions for managing transaction opportunities. We also considered other factors associated with product usability and customer support.
Based on our evaluation, Apptivo is the best overall choice due to its all-around competitive prices and built-in tools specific to commercial real estate, such as contract generation features, field service tools, and procurement monitoring capabilities.
The tabs below offer insight into our evaluation process for choosing the best CRM for commercial real estate businesses:
40% of Overall Score
Total costs and various pricing options are typically the most important criteria for any small business decision, so it was most heavily weighed when reviewing the CRM providers for commercial real estate. We considered access to free account options, varying subscription plans, and whether or not there are monthly billing plans available.
20% of Overall Score
The purpose of any CRM is to provide functional solutions associated with sales, marketing, customer service, and project management. Specifically, we looked at features we consider necessary in a solid commercial real estate CRM, including mobile capabilities, contract management tools, email marketing functionality, and project management tools helpful in managing properties.
15% of Overall Score
The functions of any application are only as beneficial as they are usable. These criteria were analyzed by knowledge required to set up the CRM, skill needed to operate the platform, and intuitiveness of the user interface.
15% of Overall Score
Extensive support and service can prevent issues that a user might encounter. These were evaluated in terms of customer service hours and availability of support through various channels like phone, live chat, and email.
10% of Overall Score
In addition to our first-hand experiences with the providers, we evaluated what others users are saying about each CRM. These criteria consider how other experts rate each CRM and how customers feel based on their reviews to gauge popularity, ease of use, and overall value for money.
Apptivo: Best Overall Commercial Real Estate CRM
*Pricing is based on annual billing. You can also choose a monthly billing option at slightly higher rates.
Apptivo offers an array of solutions specifically beneficial to commercial real estate businesses through its built-in tools for handling contract and sales operations at a reasonable cost. Apptivo manages sales activities with features for communicating with leads and organizes property management activities with tools for handling onsite tenant issues for between $0 and $20 per user, per month.
While this platform doesn’t allow integration with third-party apps on the Starter plan and has a complex user interface, its low prices offer smaller real estate businesses powerful software. It has built-in features such as invoice management, e-signatures, and work order management.
Since Apptivo cannot offer any third-party integrations on their free, Starter plan, commercial real estate businesses looking for some integration capabilities can look to Freshworks CRM and Insightly as viable alternatives. Both CRMs offer free plan options that can integrate with other applications from their respective integration systems.
- Built-in e-signature tool for acquiring signatures and handling contract change management
- Centralized system built-in for procurement management, purchase orders, and inventory management
- Integration with Authorize.net for secure invoicing and payment processing
- Has an all-in-one estimate-to-order management system for creating work order estimates
- Field service tools that allow property managers to schedule, report, and execute service orders to tenants
Freshworks CRM: Best for Targeted & Mass Email Marketing
*Pricing is based on a monthly billing option. Annual subscriptions are available for those who prefer long-term contracts.
Freshworks CRM offers valuable tools for customizing and deploying large-scale email campaigns to market segments based on demographic and geographic attributes. These customization options can be used for promoting rental deals or sending event information to current tenants.
Tools such as integrations with Facebook Messenger and customizable email campaigns are useful for commercial real estate businesses, specifically those engaged in residential rentals (apartment complex or single-family home rentals). They assist in deploying high-volume marketing campaigns that help keep vacancy rates low.
Freshworks CRM Features
- Drag-and-drop email editing capabilities
- Configure, Price, Quote tool built-in for proposal and contract management (costs extra as an add-on for $39 per user, per month)
- Automated reports and marketing analytics tools for analyzing the performance of campaigns
- Multiple built-in contact communication channel options, including phone, email, live chat, WhatsApp, SMS, and Apple Business Chat
- Marketing segmentation features automate the grouping of potential customers based on geography, demographics, and behavior
Not sure if this is the right tool for your CRE business? Check out our Freshworks CRM review, where we explore its rich feature set.
Insightly: Best Project Management Tool for Real Estate Projects
Insightly has project management features that track tasks and milestones, synchronize with other calendar applications, automatically convert opportunities or deals to projects, and customize processes for each project. These features are most beneficial to commercial real estate firms that focus their business on renovating properties for lease or sale. Insightly also offers a mobile app that allows people to monitor projects on the go and on-site.
However, Insightly doesn’t integrate with some real estate platforms like Trulia or Realtor.com. If you need a CRM with both project management tools and integration capabilities with real estate websites, we recommend using LionDesk, then integrating it with the Microsoft Project application within Office 365.
- Project management features within the CRM for task tracking, calendar synchronization, and custom project processes
- Ability to auto-schedule and send out business intelligence reports
- Online lead capture forms to submit and transfer potentially interested customers from online ads or landing pages into the CRM
- Multiproject management capabilities available on mobile devices
Read our Insightly review page to learn more about its features and benefits.
LionDesk: Best Real Estate Specific CRM for Phone Call Marketing
*Based on annual billing. Monthly subscriptions are also available at slightly higher rates.
Unlike Freshworks CRM, which relies on customization to support a variety of business types, LionDesk was built specifically for the real estate industry. It offers unique phone calling features that allow businesses to make many calls in a short period of time. One of these is the click-to-call functionality, enabling users to make outbound calls faster with a single click instead of dialing multiple numbers.
Another feature is the power dialer, which offers a few advanced calling tools, including call recording, the ability to choose what’s shown on caller ID, automatic call tracking, and calling up to three lines at once. There is also the capability to preset an outbound call queue.
Since there is a steep learning curve for navigating the LionDesk interface, users may want to still consider Freshworks CRM as an alternative. Freshworks CRM utilizes drag-and-drop functionality for some of its tools, most notably email campaign design, and minimizes the number of buttons on its dashboard to prevent the user from being overwhelmed.
- Facebook Ad Portal for ad generation within the LionDesk platform
- Transaction management tools for tracking properties and closing deals
- Lead importing capabilities through third-party sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com
- Drip campaign functionality for sending automated texts and phone calls
- Click-to-call abilities for tracking inbound and outbound calls and avoiding dialing time
Read our LionDesk review to get more information on whether LionDesk is right for you.
Chime: Best for Sales, Marketing & Transaction Management
Chime is an advanced real estate CRM that offers businesses tools for sales, marketing, team collaboration, and transaction management. Because of its high prices in conjunction with plentiful features, larger real estate organizations will get more value out of this platform than smaller ones.
There is a wide range of automation features for managing incoming leads and property listings that are easy to organize, especially for large agencies. However, less expensive alternatives can still provide basic real estate functions like integrations with real estate sites and transaction management tools, such as LionDesk ($21 to $83 per month) and Top Producer ($45 to $85 per user, per month).
- Power dialer tools for automated outbound call placements
- Artificial intelligence (AI) features for lead management, giving lead scores, insights, and analytics
- Ability to create Internet Data Exchange (IDX) websites for up-to-date real estate listings
- Lead, transaction, and website management features are convertible to the mobile application
- Tools specific for team management including built-in communication (text, phone, and email), automatic lead routing, and an open lead pond that stores unassigned leads for agents to claim
*Pricing is for monthly billing. Annual billing is available for a lower price.
Designed for real estate agencies to handle marketing activities, Top Producer CRM is a one-stop shop for agents to manage contacts, follow up with leads, and manage property transactions. Its standout feature is the social insights tool, which reports unique information on potential buyers and sellers through their social media accounts. These enhanced insights give an advantage to users before even meeting the prospect.
Since Top Producer doesn’t offer built-in tools for sales enablement like invoicing or payment processing, an alternative from this list is Freshworks CRM, which does provide built-in invoicing capabilities and integrates with payment processing applications like Stripe and PayPal.
Top Producer CRM Features
- Contact lists can be imported into the CRM from real estate websites such as Zillow, MLS, Trulia, and productivity applications like Gmail and Outlook
- Social insights tool connects information from a lead’s social media accounts, so agents can view social bios, interests, and the links to their online profiles
- Has a sales follow-up coach within the CRM to help stay consistent in the pipeline
- Agency website design tool within the platform where agents can create IDX websites that show up-to-date property listings
- Reporting capabilities for tracking projected and earned commissions
Want to learn more about this CRM? Check out our Top Producer CRM review, where we explore its rich feature set.
Propertybase: Best for Real Estate Businesses Familiar With Salesforce
*Prices are for annual billing and only include the CRM. Additional features for website and transaction management cost extra.
Propertybase offers a similar user experience to Salesforce, but is designed specifically for real estate businesses. Propertybase also provides many of the specialized features real estate agencies need to handle email marketing, listing management, property transactions, and compliance assistance.
If your brokerage is looking for IDX website design capabilities to keep up-to-date property listings posted on the website, the two CRM systems on this list that offer those features are Chime and Propertybase. Chime is more expensive, but includes IDX website design features and transaction management tools to facilitate property sales. Propertybase requires additional costs on top of the CRM monthly cost for website design, search engine optimization (SEO), and transaction management.
- E-signature tool built into the transaction management features
- Ability to utilize a secure intranet as part of the platform
- Drag-and-drop email customization features
- Easy-to-use website builder within the platform that includes IDX
- Websites have SEO keywords code-level optimized for increased traffic