5 Best CRMs for Commercial Real Estate Brokers in 2022

August 19, 2022
12 min

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.

Best Alternative to Apto and Rethink - AscendixRE. Comparison PDF

Compare AscendixRE CRM vs Apto vs REThink to learn all ins and outs of 3 top-rated CRM tools.

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Must-Have Features for Commercial Real Estate CRM

To begin with, any 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 know what the key differences are and what features to look for.

With this in mind, we created a list of commercial real estate CRM features that help you to get more informed in selecting the best CRE CRM.

Must-Have Features for CRE CRM

Must-Have Features for CRE CRM

Property Data Tracking

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.

Configuration / Customization Capabilities

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.

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.

Ideally, the company must have resources to suggest the most optimal way to create necessary CRM functionality, configuration & customization of:

  • UI optimization
  • Security & Permissions
  • System integration
  • Data import
  • Bulk data processes.

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).

Integrated Reporting and Brochure Generation Functionality

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.

Template List of Reports, Flyers, Brochures in Composer

Template List of Reports, Flyers, Brochures in Composer

Correspondence Tracking/Follow-Up Activities

Correspondence tracking and follow-ups reminders are another noteworthy feature 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.

Example of Follow-up Activities in AscendixRE CRM

Example of Follow-up Activities in AscendixRE CRM

Mass Emailing

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.

 

 

Marketing Tools

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 your activity. 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.

 

List of Marketing Tools Integrated with AscendixRE CRM

List of Marketing Tools Integrated with AscendixRE CRAccessibility

Accessibility

CRE brokers and agents are constantly on the run. Therefore, the best CRM for CRE must be accessible anywhere, either through a web browser or as a mobile app, and perform the same functionality as its desktop version.

So, now that we’ve covered some of the features/functionality to evaluate when considering these tools, it’s time to analyze the various commercial real estate CRMs that meet these requirements (and more).

 

 

Types of Commercial Real Estate CRMs

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.

Generic CRMs

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:

  • Generic CRMs may be cheaper with basic subscriptions
  • They allow you to easily track leads, monitor and evaluate marketing efforts, and produce relevant and effective reports on demand.

Disadvantages of generic CRMs for CRE brokers:

  • They aren’t tailored to the needs of CRE brokers
  • There are limits to how configurable/customizable they are
  • Extra costs for customization and tailoring to the nuances of the CRE market

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

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:

  • They are designed specifically for the CRE industry
  • Most allow for some level of configuration while others (especially those designed on the Salesforce platform) allow for quite an extensive amount of customizations
  • They integrate functions like contact management, scheduling, email campaigns, report generation, and client collaboration
  • Everything can be accessed and shared online, so colleagues and clients get what they need regardless of where they are
  • They are designed to solve business problems that exist in commercial real estate based on years of working in the industry.

Disadvantages of industry-specific CRMs:

  • CRE CRM tools are priced in a slightly higher bracket than the entry-level non-CRE CRM tools.

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.

Best Commercial Real Estate CRMs

Now, let’s have a look at the top 5 best CRE CRMs you may consider. To compile this list, we analyzed the built-in functionality, pricing, integration features, and clients’ testimonials.

AscendixRE CRM

AscendixRE Home Page New

AscendixRE Home Page

AscendixRE CRM is one of the best commercial real estate CRMs based on Salesforce. Being an industry-tailored solution, AscendixRE CRM delivers more value to brokers and agents than any other platform. All of the nuances that we’ve learned over the 16 years in commercial real estate have been incorporated into the functionality of AscendixRE CRM.

In addition to authoring a market-leading CRE CRM product, Ascendix is also a professional services firm with just under 100 Salesforce consultants and developers to tap into for further customizing the solution or assisting in the best practices onboarding of you and your team.

Our experience and available consulting resource pool allows us to scale from individual implementations up to multi-100 user implementations with the same predictable and successful outcome.

AscendixRE CRM as an all-in-one tool consists of:

  • Smart Prospecting / Contact Management Tools
  • Property/Lease/Sale Tracking
  • Lease/Sale Comp Tracking
  • Deal Management
  • Commission Tracking
  • Integration w/ Outlook / Gmail
  • Workflow tool for automation
  • Powerful Reporting and Marketing Tool – Composer (integrated with the CRM)
  • Tool for Advanced search of Contacts/Companies/Properties/Leases/Inquiries- Ascendix Search
  • Secure virtual Collaboration and Deal Rooms for signing NDAs and contracts – MarketSpace

Advantages of AscendixRE Сommercial Real Estate CRM

  • High accessibility to skilled professional resources
  • Flexible CRM customization and configuration
  • Centralized data management and automated interactions with stakeholders, clients, partners, tenants, and investors
  • Appealing pricing plans
  • Industry-tailored CRM functionality
  • Concierge service

Get a full overview of AscendixRE features in this video

Pricing

AscendixRE price consists of 3 pricing plans:

  • xRE Foundations ($79/user/mo)

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.

  • xRE Enterprise ($99/user/mo)

With this optimal plan, you get all AscendixRE CRM functionality included with advanced search, geo-mapping functionality (Ascendix Search), and brochure generation tool (Composer)

  • xRE Unlimited ($129/user/mo)

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.

Request AscendixRE CRM Demo 

See how AscendixRE can help you close more deals and improve your prospecting.

REThink CRM

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

  • Deal pipeline management
  • Task tracking
  • Comps analytics
  • REThink Search (used to look up new properties)
  • GEOsearch (mapping tool)
  • Stacking Plan
  • Commission Calculation
  • Workflow tools for automation
  • Integration with Outlook / Gmail
  • Mobile App

Pricing

REThink CRM costs $120/user/mo + additional one-time setup fee of $250.

The price covers:

  • Access to built-in commercial property data
  • Onboarding
  • In-house customer support
  • Integration setup
  • Training of your team
  • In-product help center and access to the resource library

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

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.

Key features:

  • Cloud-based CRM
  • Advanced tracking system: ability to track properties, and clients, and manage the pipeline
  • Accessibility: on-demand access from any mobile device
  • Synchronization with third-party tools – Outlook/Gmail Sync
  • Easy data entry
  • Mass email marketing campaigns
  • Stacking plan building tool with customizable templates
  • Transaction tracking.

Pricing

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:

  • Annual: $1188 (= $99 per month) + $99 one-time onboarding fee per user
  • Annual but paid Monthly: $109 per month + $99 onboarding

Advanced subscription Navigator (CRM + other functionality) includes 1000 emails per user per month and has several pricing options:

  • Annual: $1788 ($149/user/mo) + one-time onboarding fee of $149
  • Monthly with annual commitment: $174 per month

ClientLook

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.

Features

  • Contact management – This feature allows brokers to build relationships between people and properties, check the updates, and search Contacts quickly
  • Property Tracking – Brokers can search for properties, enter every property detail, manage and track property listings
  • Deal Tracking – This feature allow CRE specialists to keep track of all contacts and emails related to a particular Deal
  • Integrations with third-party tools – ClientLook integrates with tools like The Analyst PRO, RPR, MailChimp, HubSpot, and Google.

Pricing

ClientLook has three types of pricing plans:

  • Free (for new brokers): you pay 0$ for 4 months, and then $99/mo thereafter
  • Annual: you can pay $89/user/mo (the total price billed annually is $1068)
  • Monthly: $129/user/mo on month-to-month term. You can convert to annual at any time and save $480 (the total annual price is $1548).

 

Apto Commercial Real Estate CRM

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.

Key Features

  • Contact Management – Helps brokers to quickly find contact information in CRM and enter information once as well as organize all information and link between contacts, businesses and properties
  • Prospecting Tools – Ability to make connections quickly – like strategic call lists and contact info- and win more deals, make proper commission estimates, etc.
  • Deal Management – Provides brokers with visibility into deal progress and the necessary actions to drive each one forward
  • Reports & Dashboards – This solution helps brokers to pull performance metrics, run reports on different criteria, and track commissions so that every team member can see the results
  • Integration w/ Outlook & Gmail
  • Workflow tools for automation

Pricing

Apto offers a straightforward pricing structure. For $129/user/month, users gain access to:

  • Built-in commercial property data
  • Onboarding
  • In-house customer support
  • Integration setup and training
  • In-product help center and resource library

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.

As different commercial real estate CRM programs focus on different capabilities, we decided to compare the 5 best CRE CRMs, so you can have a general view of features.

Commercial CRM
Contact Management
Flexible Pricing
In-house Professional Services
Lead Management
Customization
Built-in reporting tools
Prospecting
AscendixRE
REThink CRM
RealNex
ClientLook
Apto CRM
Best CRE CRM Key Features

Hope this comparison helped you to assess the functionality of commercial real estate broker software.

Final Words

The success of your CRE business is closely connected with the commercial real estate CRM software that you choose. The selection requires a disciplined approach, dedication of time to review the various options and attention to detail on what separates each solution.

That’s why we created a checklist of commercial real estate CRM business requirements:

  • Check CRM provider’s reviews on independent platforms from verified reviewers and ask for clients’ references
  • Evaluate all pros and cons thoroughly
  • Look for the best price-quality balance. Remember that every feature has its price. You don’t have to choose a commercial CRM with the longest list of features because you’ll not use all of them to boost your ROI.
  • Search for CRM providers that have reliable customer and technical support.

 

AscendixRE combines top-notch flexible CRM features, in-depth real estate expertise, and excellent customer support.

Our experienced CRM consultants are ready to help you with all stages of CRM implementation, migration, and optimization. Just tell us about your challenges, and we’ll definitely find the best technology solution!

FAQ

What is the best CRM for Commercial Real Estate?

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.

Why is Commercial Real Estate CRM important?

Commercial real estate CRM helps firms to run and upgrade the next activities:

  • Pipeline Management – A good CRM for CRE will ensure you follow up with deals when needed. With CRM in hand, you’ll never forget to call for leases or follow up with your clients on a particular day.
  • Better Team Collaboration – When your team is informed about the current workflow, it makes all the processes visible and increases your team members’ loyalty. As a result, a team delivers better results
  • Back Office Management – Robust commercial CRMs offer back-office management as well. This feature reduces the time spent tracking multi-agent commission plans, generating customizable invoices, applying for payments, and more
  • Business Scalability – The best commercial real estate CRM is scalable. It means, your CRM has a high level of extensibility, so you can manage increasing amounts of data as you scale and integrate third-party tools for additional functionality.

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