Looking To Unlock the Power of Salesforce for Your CRE Business?
Try AscendixRE. It’s an easy-to-use and secure CRM for CRE brokers built on Salesforce. Request a demo.
As a commercial real estate broker, you know that building lasting relationships with your clients is the key to success. However, you may also find that most of your time is spent on tedious data entry, updating Excel spreadsheets, and simply toggling between disparate systems.
And even if you have a CRM system in place, likely, your key processes are not integrated properly. This means you waste precious time searching for client contacts, property information, and lease expiration dates that are not associated with each other.
It’s no wonder that scheduling a simple follow-up task can take up to 12 clicks, making you jump between Outlook, email, and property/comps databases.
But fear not! The solution to your woes is here: Salesforce CRM.
In this post, we’ll delve into why Salesforce is worth your consideration and provide an in-depth review of the top five CRM systems built on top of this robust platform: AscendixRE, Propertybase, Left Main REI, REthink CRM, and Apto (both recently acquired by Buildout).
There are 4 most popular Salesforce-based commercial real estate CRMs presented on the AppExchange platform: AscendixRE, PropertyBase, REthink CRM, and Left Main REI. We also included Apto CRM in this comparison, even though it’s unavailable on AppExchange.
Let’s start by analyzing pricing plans and run over the recent updates in several CRM solutions in detail.
Please note that the below-presented prices may not be fully accurate as AppExchange shows only starting subscription costs for PropertyBase (acquired by Lone Wolf Technologies) as well as REthink (acquired by Buildout).
Unlike AscendixRE CRM, PropertyBase, REthink, Left Main REI, and Apto do not mention exact pricing plans on their official websites either.
It’s also challenging to define the pricing of REthink and Apto because now, these two solutions are parts of Buildout CRM, and their pricing is available only by request.
Nevertheless, here are the pricing plans that we have managed to define during our research:
So, what functionality is included in the pricing plans of these 5 Salesforce-based CRE CRMs? Let’s find out in the passage below.
AscendixRE is a commercial real estate CRM on top of Salesforce for managing your properties, leases, listings, deals, contacts, accounts, and activities in one place and from anywhere.
This CRM is specifically designed for commercial real estate businesses. It automates deal flow, property management, contact management, and account search & reporting. It also simplifies the process of generating and distributing reports.
AscendixRE CRM not only provides essential CRM functionality but also offers three additional modules:
Furthermore, AscendixRE CRM offers Concierge Service, Salesforce CRM consulting services, and a dedicated in-house professional services team that provides comprehensive support and extends the capabilities of the product upon request.
AscendixRE pricing starts at $79 per user/mo and is offered in three pricing options: xRE Foundations, xRE Enterprise, xRE Unlimited.
With the xRE Foundations plan, you’ll have a Salesforce license, Properties, Listing, Lease, Sales, Availabilities, Preference tracking, multi-family functionality, prebuilt commercial real estate fields, data management & deduplication, pre-set dashboards and reports for real estate business, transaction management, and property alerts.
With the xRE Enterprise plan you will get functionality available in Ascendix Search (an advanced Salesforce search tool designed for commercial real estate brokers):
With this plan, you also get Ascendix Composer – a real estate report & brochure generation tool. It includes features like pre-configured CRE-tailored templates to create reports, brochures, flyers, offering memos, and much more. Moreover, within Composer Online, brokers can send documents directly from AscendixRE CRM applying different formats: PDF, email, or HTML.
And additional bonuses of the AscendixRE CRM for real estate are:
With xRE Unlimited Plan, you can get the following additional features stated in the previous two plans:
What makes AscendixRE CRM stand out is that it is managed by a company specializing in Salesforce consulting, administration, and AppExchange app development with 16+ years of experience in commercial real estate technology. Foe the end user, this means that AscendixRE can be seamlessly adjusted from commercial real estate and technical perspectives.
Moreover, to make sure you are totally familiar with all features of this real estate CRM, AscendixRE plans include 2 hours of consulting and interactive training (within a flexible period of signing up) that is already available in xRE Foundations.
And with xRE Enterprise and xRE Unlimited plans, you can get access to the client adoption team to personalize training, business scenarios, best practices, data prep consulting, and minimal configurations like field add/removal and form layout.
All three plans offer an opportunity to import accounts and contacts using original data template mapping.
We’ve already mentioned that within the last 2 years, Buildout has acquired both REthink CRM and Apto, having repackaged them into a single solution – Buildout CRM. That’s why when you google “REthink CRM”, all pages you see will be redirected to the Buildout website.
Since the acquisition occurred, Buildout has positioned REthink as the main CRM product (deal pipelines, contact, properties, and companies’ information, etc., resides here), whereas Buildout offers advanced marketing and reporting functions, which are not included in REthink.
However, before the acquisition by Buildout, REthink was a Salesforce-based commercial real estate CRM that included mobile-friendly pipelines, map search, lead and contact management, generation of marketing brochures, listing agreements, and a comp database.
REthink CRM subscription started at $120 per user/ mo. For this cost, you could get:
*As of 2022, there was an additional one-time setup fee of $250. Data migrations required scoping and incurred additional costs.
Please note that while REthink is now fully integrated into the Buildout ecosystem, the platform seems to be still available for existing users.
More than that, based on what we have seen, it appears that Buildout has made minimal changes to the acquired platform, and Buildout CRM is basically REthink under a different name. That is why we are still considering the platform as a worthwhile Salesforce-based CRM for commercial real estate.
Along with REthink CRM, Apto was acquired by Buildout as well. The acquisition of both Apto and REthink by Buildout created a challenge for their existing subscribers forcing them to decide on whether to stay with their brands and just stick with the acquisition or evaluate other CRM alternatives that offer a more stable and certain future.
Before the acquisition, Apto was a CRM software specifically designed for commercial real estate brokers and professionals.
Even though Apto wasn’t available on the AppExchange marketplace, it offered a range of features and tools to streamline and optimize various aspects of commercial real estate processes, including deal tracking, property listings, contact management, pipeline management, reports, and dashboards.
Apto’s subscription started at $129/user per month, and with this option, you’d receive:
*As of 2022, there was an additional one-time setup fee of $250. Data migrations required scoping and incurred additional costs.
Similar to REthink, Apto also has active users. However, it is unclear whether Buildout continues to offer new licenses for Apto and, if so, until when.
Propertybase is another commercial real estate CRM built on Salesforce. In 2021 PropertyBase joined forces with Lone Wolf Technologies.
Since that time, their flagship offerings as BoldLeads (an agent and team-focused lead generation tool), Propertybase GO (CRM and website solution for brokerages and teams), Propertybase Salesforce Edition (a worldwide enterprise-level real estate CRM built on Salesforce), and Unify (a dedicated CRM software catering to mortgage professionals) seamlessly complemented Lone Wolf’s product portfolio.
Main PropertyBase Features:
PropertyBase is recommended for real estate brokerages seeking a Salesforce commercial real estate CRM platform with full-service lead generation.
As there is no information about PropertyBase pricing plans available on the official website, we’ll use information from other external resources as a reference.
So, Propertybase Salesforce Edition is minimum of 10 licenses at $79/user, including the Force.com platform license. No additional licenses from Salesforce.com are required.
Propertybase provides multiple pricing options for PropertyBase GO in addition to the basic subscription:
Left Main REI is a real estate investor and agent CRM system. It offers a range of distinctive features tailored to meet the needs of real estate professionals. These features include:
Moreover, CRM also emphasizes collaborative features and a high degree of customization.
Please note that the information provided is based on a general understanding, and for more specific details about Left Main REI, it is advisable to contact their support team.
As the CRM leader for the 10+ years in a row, Salesforce is poised for even greater growth considering how many solutions have been and are being built on the platform. And for good reason!
Its massive infrastructure, flexible design, and seamless integrations make it the go-to choice for commercial real estate brokers looking to streamline their workflow and boost efficiency.
With that said, let’s explore to whom and how this innovative CRM solution can help build trusted relationships with clients and drive sales success.
Salesforce is a multi-faceted CRM solution that can be customized and tailored to the needs of different real estate specialists. Whether you’re a tenant rep broker or investment sales broker, run property management or work in RealTech company – Salesforce has functionality for everyone in the real estate and CRE industry.
A properly implemented Salesforce-based CRM can save you at least 10 hours a week on prospecting and creating meaningful business connections while helping you expand your client pipeline through smart automation and data collecting.
Salesforce helps seasoned realtors manage leasing and transaction processes, acquisition/disposition, and investment operations and accelerate business growth by optimizing key processes and concentrating on what really matters to your business.
For non-professional real estate investors that decided to buy a property for investment, the system that can automatically calculate loan-to-cost or cash-on-cash cash flows and automatically sort them will become a real lifesaver as well.
Try AscendixRE. It’s an easy-to-use and secure CRM for CRE brokers built on Salesforce. Request a demo.
With a shared client database, you can track customer preferences and motivations, facilitating personalized interactions. This enhances the overall customer experience, improves lead conversion rates, and contributes to subsequent sales success.
By leveraging a Salesforce-based commercial real estate CRM, you can streamline and automate key aspects of your sales, marketing, customer service, and back-office operations.
No need to manually input new data into a database, manually calculate commission splits for real estate brokers, or manually assign tasks to team members. With automation, these processes can be handled faster, saving you time and effort.
Utilizing Salesforce for commercial real estate enables you to leave behind missed opportunities and lost prospects. With its transparent system, you can avoid overlooked leases or forgotten leads. The system will remind you to follow up with real estate leads and helps to set up a proper cadence.
Salesforce offers a wide range of customization options, including system configuration, code customization, and integration of external apps and components.
Simple customizations like module renaming or creating custom views can be easily performed by teams without extensive technical expertise. For more complex optimizations, it may be necessary to seek assistance from Salesforce developers.
With Salesforce for commercial real estate, you can conduct competitor analysis and identify correlations, providing specific insights for enhancing your business operations.
This knowledge empowers you to forecast trends in real estate market and offer timely service options, maximizing the likelihood of a successful sale.
By prioritizing data protection and implementing strict access controls, Salesforce provides a secure environment for brokers to operate and safeguard their confidential information.
Additionally, this real estate CRM offers the ability to limit system access for specific departments. Salesforce administrators have the authority to control departmental access, granting unique codes for detailed information regarding sales deals, rates, and commissions, exclusively to the relevant brokers.
This feature enables collaborative work and remote deal closures with different levels of privacy and access, allowing brokers to collaborate effectively while maintaining confidentiality and data security.
With a shared contact database, brokers can efficiently manage all their communication channels, including emails, phone calls, and chats, from a centralized location. They can also track important milestones and outcomes resulting from these interactions.
Initially, Salesforce’s standard functionality was not specifically tailored for commercial real estate, and features like listing portals were not readily available.
However, brokers now have three ways to leverage the benefits of the Salesforce platform.
The first approach is to utilize the standard Salesforce functions and configure them to suit your organization’s requirements.
The second option involves customizing fields and workflows to align perfectly with your corporate processes. In this case, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from Salesforce consultants and potentially developers to navigate through the customization process.
The third alternative is to opt for CRE-specific products built on the Salesforce platform, such as AscendixRE, Apto, PropertyBase, Left Main REI, or REthink. These tools are preconfigured for brokers’ use, offering a cost-effective option compared to purchasing Salesforce licenses with the standard feature set.
However, if you plan to incorporate additional marketing automation or AI technologies available in other Salesforce Clouds like Pardot or Einstein Analytics, you may need to acquire the most advanced subscription plan offered by these CRE tools.
This feature in Salesforce for commercial real estate provides insights into potential client preferences, helping you identify those more likely to purchase your products or utilize your services. By analyzing transaction history and detecting patterns, you can forecast sales probability.
However, it’s important to note that this feature is not available within the standard Salesforce functionality. It requires integrating additional marketing automation products like Marketing Cloud or Pardot to leverage these advanced capabilities.
It goes without saying that this function makes CRM a single source of all document operations and helps ensure that all participants will have the same up-to-date version of files and can get them as soon as they need them.
With customized Salesforce search capabilities and the integration of apps like Ascendix Search, brokers gain the ability to locate individuals or entities with ease. Even if you only have limited information, such as the location on X street or in Y city, you can still find the desired person or company by conducting a radius search in Salesforce, for example.
Additionally, searching for contacts can be done efficiently by entering phone numbers, allowing you to retrieve contact names or company details within minutes.
Furthermore, the customized map search feature enables property searches from different perspectives. You can explore properties using the map view or street view, providing a comprehensive understanding of the properties in question.
Salesforce can be easily synchronized with various systems and third-party tools like map search apps, collaboration portals, or report generation tools, data visualization software, property databases, social networks, and email services, and many more.
The high volume of add-ons and extensions, as well as the flexibility of integration methods, makes Salesforce commercial real estate the most versatile platform on the CRE market.
Due to its popularity, Salesforce developed the largest community of users, administrators, and developers – Trailblazers Community where all the professionals can get answers to their burning questions, and exchange ideas, and best practices. Also, this network is a great source for finding a Salesforce professional for your project and seeing them “in action”.
Despite its obvious advantages for brokers, Salesforce as a commercial real estate CRM has its drawbacks as well.
First and foremost, Salesforce has not been originally designed to meet commercial real estate needs.
If you are looking for tools that would cater to your unique real estate workflows (e.g. stack planning, publication of listings, commission tracking, brochure generation etc.), we do recommend you consider one of the above-mentioned CRMs which have all Salesforce functionality while being geared to commercial real estate needs.
You may of course make use of Salesforce itself for your CRE business but in that case be ready to face the following challenges:
While Salesforce offers a substantial amount of free educational resources, including expert blogs, forums, and online communities, learning curve can be challenging due to the advanced nature of Salesforce.
Nonetheless, brokers cannot afford to dedicate hours to learning a new system. Their time should be focused on cultivating relationships and closing deals.
Fortunately, this challenge can be resolved through Salesforce consulting and user training sessions. These resources are designed to assist brokers in uncovering and mastering the intricacies of the platform, specifically tailored to meet their unique needs in the industry.
For non-tech-savvy users, Salesforce CRM isn’t as intuitive as it could be. Multiple features and complex logic of workflows within Salesforce can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, Salesforce offers extensive customizability, allowing users to configure the layout of basic tabs and rename essential modules.
Additionally, seeking assistance from professional Salesforce consultants like Ascendix can provide valuable insights and recommendations on optimizing the user interface and streamlining workflows. This ensures a more tailored and user-friendly experience for individuals navigating the Salesforce platform.
Managing platform maintenance without experienced internal resources is quite challenging.
Salesforce administration entails tracking on all system updates following each Salesforce release (which occurs 3 times a year), resolving system issues, troubleshooting user problems, and educating teams on system changes.
Obviously, brokers can’t dedicate their time to these activities instead of focusing on business development strategies and client collaboration.
Fortunately, this burden can be effectively delegated to outsourced Salesforce administrators. With a wide range of engagement and employment models available, companies of any size, budget, and project complexity can find a suitable solution to handle their Salesforce administration needs.
Salesforce product support has been a topic of frequent discussion on various review platforms, particularly when it comes to immediate assistance or speaking with a live representative to address specific details. While Salesforce does offer 24-hour Premier customer support for an extra fee, it can still be challenging to access.
Salesforce consultants like Ascendix provide comprehensive multi-channel support and CRM concierge services that are available round-the-clock.
Our dedicated Salesforce support team is committed to promptly addressing any questions or issues that arise throughout the Salesforce implementation process.
While Salesforce’s versatility is often seen as a significant advantage, it can be overwhelming for small and start-up companies with its standard functionality. For these businesses, the system may have excessive features that are not relevant to their brokerage operations.
This is where Salesforce customization and configuration play a crucial role. By tailoring the system’s functionality to meet the specific needs of the commercial real estate industry, you can optimize and simplify the platform.
Our team of Salesforce administrators and developers is always available to assist you in adjusting the system according to your requirements.
Salesforce is a comprehensive tool with an exhausting list of benefits for commercial real estate. Despite its seeming complexity that can overwhelm you at first, Salesforce can become the best friend for your commercial real estate firm if you involve expert guidance.
If you choose to run your business on one of the pre-configured solutions built on Salesforce and adjusted to unique CRE workflows: AscendixRE CRM, PorpertyBase, Left Main REI, Apto, or REthink. These platforms have already been customized to meet the needs of CRE brokers and firms while having immense potential for the standard Salesforce software.
And if you are ready to welcome Salesforce CRM solutions into your reality and simplify the process of its implementation, then our consulting services will be the best fit for you.
Our 16+ years of CRE Tech experience together with customer relationship expertise helps us take on any Salesforce-related challenges and successfully overcome them.
Book a Free CRM Consulting call and we’ll help you tailor one of the best commercial real estate CRMs for your organization.
See how AscendixRE can help you close more deals and improve your prospecting.
A CRM for commercial real estate allows professionals to keep track of client information, including contact details, preferences, and transaction history. This information can be used to personalize communications and provide better service to clients. CRM systems can also help real estate brokers manage their sales pipeline by tracking leads and deals, setting reminders for follow-up tasks, and generating reports on sales performance.
Yes, Salesforce can be a powerful CRM tool for commercial real estate professionals who want to improve their customer relationships, streamline their sales processes, and increase their overall efficiency and effectiveness in the industry. With Salesforce for commercial real estate, brokers can manage their client relationships, track leads and deals, generate reports, and streamline their sales processes.
Anzhelika specializes in B2B content marketing and has in-depth expertise in promoting the company's products and services through high-quality content. On the Ascendix Technologies blog, Anzhelika shares her insights of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM tips & tricks as well as overviews of new CRM tools and technology trends on the market.
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