Customer Relationship Management Blog

Real Estate CRMs


In this article, we will be discussing the importance of having a customer relationship management (CRM) system for real estate companies.

ActiveRain, one of the largest online real estate community, surveyed over 1,700 real estate agents trying to figure out what separates the top-producing agents from those who don’t make as much money. They found out that the “richer” real estate agents (those earning over $100,000 a year) spend as much as six times more on technology and are almost twice as likely to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system than their poor counterparts (those earning less than $35,000 a year); that comes out be $3000-$5000 annually for the top performing agents and $500-$1000 annual for the struggling agents. According to Active Rain, this was the most dramatic and visible difference in the entire survey.

Last October, REthink, a customer relationship management (CRM) for real estate announced that they surpassed 100,000 users, making them the largest user group rollout of 2013. REthink has also begun expanding outside of the US and most recently has been deployed to countries like Turkey, Germany, Greece, Vietnam and Malta.

The success of the customer relationship (CRM) system should not come as a surprise.



Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce – Review and CRM Comparison

In this article, we compare and contrast the key differences between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and

With the latest revision of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the race between Microsoft CRM and Salesforce has grown even tighter. If you are considering the investment into Salesforce CRM and you haven’t looked at Microsoft CRM, first consider the information below.

If you are a business that utilizes Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Outlook, choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM over is a probably the way to go.

Here are the key differentiators that make Microsoft Dynamics CRM the better investment:

1) Value Matters CRM 5.0 TCO Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

  • Microsoft CRM Online – $65/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce Professional – $65/user/mo. (Very LIMITED functionality)
  • Salesforce Enterprise – $125/user/mo. (Salesforce most popular, and the only version that Compares to MS CRM 2013)
  • Salesforce Unlimited – $250/user/mo.

2) Hidden Costs – aka, the Salesforce Tax

  • MS CRM Online – $54/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce – Data Storage (5GB) – $1,000/year
  • Salesforce – Mobile $50/user/mo.
  • Salesforce– Knowledge Base – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Customer Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Partner Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – They have no SLA available. Microsoft CRM has a 99.9% uptime, financially backed SLA.

3) Office Experience

  • MS Dynamics CRM Online is a true Microsoft Outlook application, not just a plugin
  • Salesforce is repealing Outlook features; for example, users can’t manage opportunities and leads anymore
  • Salesforce doesn’t have a concept of a fluid user interface for Leads –> Contacts –> Opportunities

4) Dashboards

  • Microsoft CRM inherits security and data privileges…Salesforce does not.
  • Microsoft CRM allows charts, lists, iFrames to be displayed…Salesforce only reports
  • Microsoft CRM dashboard data is real time…Salesforce has a lag of 30-60 minutes

Microsoft CRM allows for unlimited data refreshes. Salesforce limits refreshes.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboard

5) Inline Analytics

  • Microsoft CRM offers Inline Analytics…Salesforce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users must leave their task or process…open reports or dashboards..and hope that they don’t get distracted

6) One-Click Drill Down

  • Microsoft CRM Online reports offer One-Click drill down…Salesfoce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users can click on a static image of a chart to pull up the full report. From the full report they can drill down…7-15 clicks vs. 4 clicks with Microsoft CRM

7) User Interface Customizations

  • Microsoft CRM offers a new drag and drop capability for end users that is easy to user
  • Salesforce offers User Interface personalization…but users can’t revert changes
  • Salesforce personalization features are for power users and administrators only

Need to decrease the number of users? Salesforce does not allow the number of user subscriptions purchased to be decreased during the subscription term.

Now this does not mean that Salesforce is not a good solution but consider the above we do believe that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a much better investment, at a much lower cost for pretty much the same functionality.

Free On Demand Webinar: Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce

Join us for our free On-Demand Webinar (replay) as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with will help you on in your CRM evaluation.

Sales Software Buyer Trends for 2014


In this article, we will be showcasing the highlights of Software Advice’s research findings on sales software buyer trends for 2014. 


Key findings:

  • A little over half of sales force automation (SFA) software buyers were evaluating SFA software for the first time, about 67 percent.
  • Biggest reasons for buyers to seek SFA software was to improve efficiency and organization
  • Among other features, contact and lead management were the most requested features, right ahead of email integration and sales reporting.
  • An overwhelming majority prefer cloud-based systems as opposed to on-premise solutions.
  • A good majority of potential buyers were small businesses, with 78 percent having 20 or less employees.


SFA Software First Timers

  • About 67 percent of the buyers were using non-specialized methods (pen and paper, spreadsheets, email clients, etc) to manage themselves.
  • Of the buyers already using existing software, 17 percent used customer relationship management (CRM), 8 percent used industry-specific software and 3 percent used CRM or SFA software developed in-house (proprietary).

Current Methods of Managing Sales Activities


 Contact and Lead Management: Top Requested Features of SFA

  • Overwhelming majority of buyers expected some form of contact management (93 percent), 65 percent requested some form of note-taking features in order to document interactions with contacts.
  • 53 percent expressed the need for lead management to help track opportunities.

Most Requested SFA Features


Cloud based SFA Software > On-Premise SFA

  • 96 percent of buyers requested for a cloud based SFA software while only a mere 4 percent asked to evaluate an on-premise solution.
    • This is consistent to that fact that most SFA buyers are small businesses; Web-based software is much more convenient, is cheaper and does not require expensive hardware installation.

Deployment Model Preference


Most SFA Buyers are Small or Midsize Businesses

  • About 78 percent of the buyers had 20 or fewer employees.
  • In terms of annual revenue, 59 percent of businesses made less than $1 million while only 7 percent generated over $25 million.

Number of Employees of Buyer’s Companies