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The daily workflow of commercial real estate brokers is commonly supported by leveraging familiar and readily accessible tools such as notepads, Microsoft Excel and Outlook to manage their business data. However, it’s unrealistic for any CRE professional to expect top performance and distance themselves from the competition by using Excel as a CRM tool or Outlook for email marketing campaigns.
If you’re reading this, you likely know that the key to increasing your efficiency, responsiveness, and accuracy is CRM.
Today’s commercial real estate CRM offerings are diversified and multi-faceted and it is easy to get overwhelmed when deciding on the right tool for your brokerage. To this end, we’ve authored this article to help dissect the top commercial real estate CRM tools, their strengths, weaknesses, and other non-feature-related considerations for your evaluation.
AscendixRE CRM is one of the best commercial real estate CRMs based on Salesforce. Being an industry-tailored and robust CRM solution, AscendixRE delivers more value to brokers and agents than any other platform. All the nuances that we’ve learned over the 16 years in commercial real estate have been incorporated into the functionality of AscendixRE CRM.
With AscendixRE CRM, you can:
AscendixRE is integrated with Ascendix Search – a tool that lets brokers find properties on the map within a specific area/radius/zone by applying various searching filters. Along with Properties, you can search for Contacts/Leases/Availabilities and export the lists into Excel or send them directly to clients via Mailchimp.
A new integration of AscendixRE + Mailchimp allows brokers to send targeted email campaigns with custom content and property templates in a few clicks without leaving a CRM or switching between separate systems.
The commission tracking feature in AscendixRE CRM allows real estate brokers and agents to easily manage and track their commission payouts for each deal they close. With this feature, you can set up commission rates for each agent and deal, calculate the commission payouts based on the deal value, and track the status of commission payments.
AscendixRE CRM allows CRE brokers to manage and track their property listings, lease agreements, and sale transactions in one central location. In terms of listings, it tracks important details such as property listing location, pricing, status (whether it’s active or pending), and monitors any changes to the listing, such as price reductions or offers.
In terms of lease expirations, within AscendixRE brokers can create a listing record and then track the details of the agreement, such as the lease start date, lease end date, rent amount, and any other relevant information. The CRM also includes Composer Online – a tool brokers can use to generate any types of lease reports, documents, agreements and invoices.
With this feature, brokers can track the progress of each deal, manage tasks and activities, collaborate with team members, and generate reports and documents related to each deal. The system allows assigning tasks to team members, setting deadlines, and tracking the progress of each task within the system. Brokers can also set reminders and notifications to ensure that everyone is on track and deadlines are met.
AscendixRE CRM offers seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, allowing brokers to manage email communications directly within the CRM platform. This integration makes it easy to keep track of email correspondence with clients and leads and ensures that all communications are centralized and organized in one place.
AscendixRE is integrated with Composer – a robust report generation tool for CRE brokers. Composer contains a huge library of predefined templates brokers may need: from Property flyers to Offering memorandums. Brokers can also use Composer to design their own templates and send visually-appealing emails to prospects.
Ascendix Search is a powerful search engine built into AscendixRE CRM that allows to quickly find and filter data based on specific criteria. With Ascendix Search, brokers can search across multiple objects, including Contacts, Companies, Properties, Leases, and Inquiries, to find the data they need in seconds.
The power of Ascendix Search lies in its ability to search across multiple objects simultaneously. This means that brokers can search for a keyword or phrase and get results from all of the objects in the system, rather than having to search each object separately.
MarketSpace is a cloud-based platform that is fully integrated with AscendixRE CRM. The tool provides a secure virtual workspace for teams to collaborate on deals and transactions. Within MarketSpace brokers can share files, collaborate with team members, manage deal pipelines from start to finish, securely sign NDAs and contracts.
The integration between the AscendixRE and MarketSpace enables users to seamlessly transfer data between the two systems, eliminating the need for manual data entry and improving workflow efficiency.
Advantages of AscendixRE Сommercial Real Estate CRM
Get a full overview of AscendixRE features in this video.
AscendixRE price consists of 3 pricing plans:
This pricing plan includes 2 hours of consulting and interactive training (within a flexible time of signing up), multifamily functionality, Deal/Account/Contact management, data deduplication, and much more.
With this optimal plan, you get all AscendixRE CRM functionality included with advanced search, geo-mapping functionality (Ascendix Search), and brochure generation tool (Composer)
The Unlimited plan includes all AscendixRE CRM features, Ascendix Search, Composer, and a property listings portal – MarketSpace.
Also, pricing plans cover Salesforce license and the opportunity to import accounts and contacts using original data template mapping.
See how AscendixRE can help you close more deals and improve your prospecting.
REThink is a CRE-optimized CRM solution built on top of Salesforce. In February 2021 it was acquired by Buildout. Since then, REThink has been positioned as the main CRM system (deal pipelines, contact, properties, and companies’ information resides here), whereas Buildout offers advanced marketing and reporting functions, which are not included in the base subscription of REThink.
Key features of REThik CRM
REThink CRM costs $120/user/mo + additional one-time setup fee of $250.
The price covers:
If you need advanced marketing functionality (branded marketing collaterals, customizable stacking plans, email blasts, etc.) you need to buy a Buildout marketing license separately as well.
RealNex CRM is a tool that helps commercial real estate brokers, brokerage firms, investment sales brokers, leasing agents, office/asset managers, and tenant reps automate their deal flow and create branded marketing collateral for their properties.
RealNex provides an integrated suite of real estate solutions for customer relationship management and marketing.
This software allows brokers to push and pull data between different platforms. The RealNex bundle allows you to harness your CRM, financial analytics, and property listing/e-marketing functions under the same roof.
RealNex is suitable both for a single broker or the traditional global brokerages.
RealNex offers 2 pricing plans: Basic Subscription and Advanced Subscription.
A basic subscription (CRM only) includes 200 emails per user per month and has several pricing options:
Advanced subscription Navigator (CRM + other functionality) includes 1000 emails per user per month and has several pricing options:
ClientLook allows you to manage every integral aspect of your commercial real estate business, including your properties, leads, clients, and deals. ClientLook has tailor-made sections for each business component to maximize business management efficiency in every area.
In addition, the software can also be integrated with several other CRE apps and services.
ClientLook has three types of pricing plans:
Apto is a commercial real estate CRM built on Salesforce. It provides a web-based solution for managing customer relationships, back-office, deals, listings, properties, and more. Recently, Apto was acquired by Buildout.
Apto commercial real estate system allows brokers to manage the full lifecycle of a deal, set up appointments, automate daily tasks, forecast sales, etc.
Apto offers a straightforward pricing structure. For $129/user/month, users gain access to:
There is an additional one-time setup fee of $250. Data migrations require scoping and will incur an additional cost. Tools for generating branded CRE reports and sending branded emails are sold separately for extra cost as well.
So, now that we’ve covered some of the features/functionality to evaluate when considering these tools, it’s time to compare the features set of the five best commercial real estate CRMs.
So, how to make the final decision on the best CRE CRM, when you’ve already assessed the functionality of commercial real estate broker software?
When choosing CRM, brokers face a dilemma: whether to select a generical CRM that is not specialized in commercial real estate or to choose an industry-specific one.
By generic CRMs, we mean all CRM solutions you can use for contact management, deal pipeline automation, sales/marketing automation, etc. that are not tailored specifically for commercial real estate usage. The top choice generic CRMs among brokers are HubSpot CRM, Pipedrive, Monday Sales CRM, Zoho CRM, and others.
Advantages of generic CRMs for CRE brokers:
Disadvantages of generic CRMs for CRE brokers:
If you summarize the monthly subscription and customization costs, you’ll see that the total price for generic CRM will be higher compared to industry-specific CRMs.
Industry-specific CRMs are CRM solutions for commercial real estate industry. The most popular examples are AscendixRE CRM, ClientLook, RealNex, REThink CRM, Apto, and others.
Advantages of industry-specific CRMs:
Disadvantages of industry-specific CRMs:
The beauty of industry-specific CRE CRMs is that you invest money in a one-stop tool tailored to the CRE industry to increase usage, efficiency and effectiveness in getting deals done.
Commercial real estate CRM is designed to help brokers manage interactions with prospects, clients, tenants, investors, and other brokers seamlessly, from early-stage conversations to advanced deal tracking.
Instead of a cluttered notebook or Excel spreadsheet, modern brokers use commercial CRM to streamline the process of engaging with key people and nurturing them to close the deal successfully for their clients.
Choosing the best CRM for CRE is easier when you can know that must-have features for the best commercial real estate CRM and can compare the features set of market leaders.
With this in mind, we created a list of commercial real estate CRM features and compare 5 CRE CRMs according to the availability of a specific feature. As a savvy commercial real estate broker, you need customer relationship management software that’s tailored to your unique needs. Here are the essential features commercial real estate professionals should look for:
A built-in property database allows users to connect clients with properties. When choosing commercial real estate CRM programs, pay special attention to the depth and breadth of property and related record tracking. Top broker CRMs allow you to create a custom local database and link it to your existing deals and prospects.
As many systems are hard-wired to accommodate CRE industry specifications, customizable fields and form layouts are vital features to consider in a commercial real estate CRM.
To use a commercial CRM, you need it to adapt to your needs – set up the required fields to create a record with any data you need, instead of surfing across multiple systems.
Easy fields and form layout customization are signs of an advanced commercial real estate CRM. You should have the ability to customize your CRM system to match your unique workflows, allowing you to tailor the platform to your specific preferences.
Check whether a vendor can configure and customize a CRM platform considering the specifics of your niche, your unique corporate needs, and the amount of data you use. A good CRM system for commercial real estate businesses should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, with an intuitive and visually appealing design that simplifies data entry and retrieval.
Ideally, the company must have resources to suggest the most optimal way to create necessary CRM functionality, configuration & customization of:
For example, Ascendix does have such resources and can assist you with modifying CRM using default point-and-click tools (by configuration) or custom code-based development (by customization).
To get a better understanding of your performance, your customer relationship management software should offer analytics and reporting tools that help you track key metrics like deal flow, lead sources, and other important indicators.
It is a nice-to-have feature that can save you a lot of time and money. Many CRMs have limited reporting and brochure-generating functionality. If you want to create visually appealing property brochures directly from your CRM, in most cases, you’ll pay extra for a separate third-party product. The best CRE CRM will have a built-in report and marketing content generation tool included in the pricing plan.
Having such functionality allows you to reduce manual work facilitating the generation of property flyers or marketing activity reports on your own in a few clicks.
Correspondence tracking and follow-up reminders are other noteworthy features of commercial real estate contact management software.
You can’t expect to remember every call and/or meeting you’ve arranged or every deal that needs some clarification. That’s what follow-ups are for.
All you need is to set up a reminder on a record and forget about it until the time comes. Also, you can follow up on Contacts related to specific Companies and Accounts. You’ll see your follow-up activity grouped by the date for each record.
If a commercial CRM system you’re considering has a wide range of follow-ups, that’s a positive sign.
The CRE industry is all about establishing trusted relationships using various methods of communication. One of those is emailing.
Brokers send dozens of emails daily through commercial real estate CRM. But what makes a good bulk email send succeed is personalization.
Clients become more loyal to brokers that refrain from such generic and non-targeted emails. You have all the data inside a CRM, so why not link every email with the customer record and send personalized emails?
If CRM is properly integrated with email tools, it isn’t a difficult task.
Top-notch CRM software should include a robust contact management system that allows real estate agents to store and manage all client information in one place, including notes, communications, and other relevant details. It should enable you to track deals from start to finish, with features that enable real estate brokers to create, manage, assign tasks, and set reminders for every stage of the process.
Your CRM software should easily integrate with other tools and platforms, such as email marketing, e-signature, and portal software, to streamline your real estate workflows and improve efficiency.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s critical to have CRM software that provides mobile access, whether through a dedicated mobile app or mobile-friendly web interface, to enable you to access your data on the go.
While the must-have features may vary from organization to organization, these essential elements are the building blocks of any effective CRM system for commercial real estate professionals.
Integration with your existing commercial real estate marketing tools and synchronizing with new tools is a vital requirement for choosing the best commercial real estate CRM.
This feature ensures you follow up with prospects regularly, and track marketing activity to create a solid strategy for marketing your commercial property. A good CRM must contain a well-rounded range of tools for mass email campaigns, integration with social media accounts, generating branded marketing collaterals, etc. So, check them thoroughly.
Many CRM providers don’t have enough resources to offer data migration, administration, and integration services using in-house teams. They outsource these services to 3rd party service partners which leads to delayed service delivery for clients.
By choosing the best CRE CRM, pay attention to whether a CRM vendor mentions in-house professional services. Having both the product development and services delivered by one company eliminates conflicts of interest and streamlines the overall delivery experience. This service is especially relevant for large companies.
The success of your CRE business is closely connected with the process of selecting the best CRE CRM. The selection requires a disciplined approach, dedication of time to review the various options and attention to detail on what separates each solution.
With this in mind, we compared the functionality of 5 commercial real estate CRMs and analyzed them deeply, so you can save time for searching. We also tried to clarify the difference between generic and industry-specific CRMs and explain why forward-thinking brokerages choose industry-specific solutions.
Finally, we provided you with a list of must-have features for CRE CRMs that you can use as a checklist during your CRM selection process.
If you don’t feel 100% confident about which CRM to choose, contact Ascendix team. Our experienced CRM consultants are ready to help you with all stages of CRM implementation, migration, and optimization.
Track calls and emails with ease while automating property listing, marketing emails and client reporting. Get AscendixRE demo.
Taking into account the price-quality balance, level of customer and technical support, built-in features and apps, client feedback, and user experience, you may consider AscendixRE CRM.
Commercial real estate CRM helps firms to run and upgrade the next activities:
Kateryna creates engaging content about Salesforce consulting, Ascendix products, and CRM best practices for the commercial real estate industry and legal services. Her articles provide readers with relevant data, stats, business tricks and overviews of new industry trends and CRM updates.
Thanks for such a deep research! It helped me a lot while I was looking for a suitable CRM for our commercial brokerage.
Anna, thanks for your comment. That’s so inspiring! Glad that our article helped you.