Customer Relationship Management, also referred to as CRM, refers to technologies, strategies and tools that are used by businesses for developing, retaining and acquiring leads and customers. This kind of technology streamlines every step of engagement between consumers and brands. At its core, this strategic process is designed to increase sales and overall business profit.
CRM technology gathers customer data from a variety of digital channels and stores this information in an easy to access location. The information stored includes personal info, purchasing behaviour and overall engagement with a business. CRM’s are sought after in the real estate industry as they provide an ideal way for contact management while streamlining the entire deal or sales pipeline. In the past, realtors used to spend a lot of time working through spreadsheets and managing leads via inboxes or outside sources, often resulting in missed opportunities and human error. Thanks to this new age technology, human error is limited and deals no longer fall through the cracks.
With this technology in place, it has never been easier for real estate businesses to source leads, store lead data and manage sales opportunities. However, there are a variety of CRM platforms available and many real estate businesses are finding it difficult to identify the best system for their business.
There are hundreds of Customer Relationship Management solutions available but not all of them are the ideal fit for real estate. This is why it is important you find a platform that can be optimised specifically for real estate.
Currently, there are two CRMs that have become well known across all industries, these being: HubSpot and Salesforce. Both CRMs have solidified their place in the business world, but which CRM works best for real estate?
Let’s take a look.
HubSpot v Salesforce for Real Estate
HubSpot was launched in 2006 and its software was designed to assist organisations in executing their inbound marketing strategies. Today, over 100 000 organisations across the globe use HubSpot to help them manage their sales pipeline and increase their revenue.
The HubSpot platform is made up of Customer Relationship Management, marketing and sales enablement tools that exist under a single umbrella. The platform is made up of everything that a marketing, sales and service professional requires to support, guide and better their efforts.
What the HubSpot CRM can do for your real estate business:
- Stores and manages any volume of data
- The CRM is fully customisable to suit your specific needs as a business
- Tracks every interaction and engagement with prospects, lead and clients
- Allows for digital marketing campaign creation, distribution, tracking and analytics in a single location
- Creates and manages campaigns for property listings
- Sets reminders and add notes to help your sales team keep track of their activities
- Seamlessly integrates with hundreds of external software platforms
- Integrates with a variety of real estate software
- Integrates with recording and tracking software
- Integrates seamlessly with WhatsApp
What makes HubSpot so powerful in the real estate industry is that it helps sales agents optimise their schedules and prioritise leads and tasks to ensure no potential customer falls through the cracks. Essentially, it gives agents the opportunity to understand each prospect's needs, which leads to more valuable time spent with prospects, which results in a stronger customer base and more closed deals.
Founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Salesforce is one of the largest software development companies in the world. The business was created on a single premise that was to make software available to the masses on a global cloud computing infrastructure.
The cloud-based platform offers business applications that have been designed to help businesses create streamlined customer experiences to help in the attraction and acquisition of leads and clients.
What the Salesforce CRM can do for your real estate business:
- Data management
- Task automation
- Sales and marketing performance analysis
- Builds great customer experiences through marketing and sales data collection and automation
- Integration with a variety of real estate related platforms
Salesforce is known to be more complex to navigate and learn than HubSpot, however it offers real estate agents the opportunity to optimise their sales while managing lead data in an organised manner.
In order to help you decide which CRM will work best for your business goals, it is important we take a look at the common CRM features required for the real estate industry.
We will be comparing:
- User Interface and Setup
- Lead Generation, Lead Data Collection and Lead Management
- Sales Pipeline Management
- Support and Training
Before we begin, it is important to note that it is up to you, the reader, to decide which platform will work best for your real estate business. As stated previously, it all comes down to what you believe will best suit your mission and goals.
Now, let’s dive right in.
HubSpot v Salesforce: User Interface and Setup
A Customer Relationship Management software’s core function is to organise and manage customer and lead data, helping your marketing and sales teams understand each lead's wants and needs. A CRM should be able to store leads, contacts and all communication between a lead and the business itself. Adding customer details to an old school spreadsheet is time consuming and often leads to customer information falling through the cracks.
HubSpot and Salesforce are designed to make this process easier and less time consuming - saving your business time and money in the process. This is where the CRM dashboard becomes important. The CRM you choose needs to be easy to navigate and well structured, helping your marketing, sales and service teams find or submit the information they require easily and efficiently.
Dashboard Usability and Navigation:
HubSpot and Salesforce both have well designed dashboards that easily direct the user to contacts, accounts, reports, sales deals etc. This navigation is done through a menu bar. Both platforms allow you to filter the information you require, allowing you to find information about a specific contact quickly and easily. However, as HubSpot comes with less complicated technology, it is easier to understand which makes integrating the software across your real estate business that much easier.
HubSpot is known to be easier to set up across organisations while Salesforce may offer more menu customisation options, it does come with a more complex setup. With this in mind, you will usually require a Salesforce account manager or specialist to assist you with this on an on-going basis as it is difficult to optimise your dashboard yourself. With HubSpot, you can quickly learn how to customise your settings and HubSpot offers vast e-learning solutions to assist its users through the process. As stated previously, Salesforce does provide more customisation options but it does add more time to the implementation process.
In Conclusion: Both platforms offer a great user experience however, HubSpot is easier to rollout across your organisation which will help your real estate sales team begin the CRM journey as seamlessly and quickly as possible. Salesforce will come at an extra cost as you will need to invest in a Salesforce specialist to guide you through the implementation process - and you will require a dedicated Salesforce account manager at any given moment.
HubSpot v Salesforce: Lead Generation, Lead Data Collection and Lead Management
When it comes to choosing the best CRM for real estate, lead generation, data collection and lead management tools are vital. Without strong lead generation tactics and analytics in place, your CRM is not going to do its job - specifically in such a highly targeted industry. HubSpot is the leader in inbound marketing methodology and has created a CRM that focuses on lead generation by aligning marketing and sales under one roof. With its unique focus on content creation, marketing, automation and distribution across digital platforms. HubSpot allows your real estate marketing team to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. Therefore, helping you collect data from only the highest quality leads. You can also make use of HubSpots CMS system that generates leads for your business through a variety of content related tactics and tools.
Salesforce does not offer the same level of Inbound Marketing tactics for lead generation (it is HubSpot’s inbound marketing methodology that makes it stand out quite significantly in the real estate market), however it does stand out when it comes to customisation (as stated previously).
HubSpot and Salesforce also offer lead scoring which allows you to scale your leads based on their priority and where they are within the buying cycle. With a lead scoring model in place, your real estate sales reps are able to view the ranking of prospects against a predetermined scale that represents the perceived value of every lead. The resulting score is then used to discover which leads are a priority and which require more nurturing in terms of marketing and marketing automation.
HubSpot v Salesforce: Sales Pipeline Management
The sales pipeline is a consumer focused marketing methodology that shows the theoretical customer journey as they make their way to the purchasing stage. If you work in real estate, you know how important it is to understand and manage the sales pipeline. If you are looking for a Customer Relationship Management platform it is important that the platform is able to visualise the pipeline and configure deal stages that match the sales process of your company (real estate sales pipelines vary depending on your development or agency.) This means that real estate businesses require more personalised sales pipeline reporting capabilities.
Both platforms offer you this flexibility. Originally Salesforce was the leader in this regard but HubSpot has taken steps to ensure a more flexible and scalable sales pipeline solution. Both softwares are able to track leads as they move through the sales pipeline and both are able to send out automated and personalised communication via digital channels. This means they are both able to send out emails and direct individual leads as they make their way through the sales pipeline - saving your sales team time and limiting mundane and repetitive tasks.
In Conclusion: Both CRMs provide a strong sales pipeline, ensuring your real estate leads are tracked, managed and nurtured correctly.
HubSpot v Salesforce: Support and Training
When it comes to user experience and usability HubSpot is king as not only is the technology easy to use and scalable, but the support and training offered is unmatched. This is especially important in the real estate industry as you often have a large sales force that will need to adjust to a CRM system as quickly as possible. With a vast training and e-learning ecosystem, webinars and knowledge training, the educational content available through HubSpot is unrivaled. And when it comes to customer service, it is also important to note that when it comes to HubSpot’s customer service - it is absolutely free.
With Salesforce, customers receive a standard package that includes access to Salesforce customer communities as well as the ability to lodge a support ticket online - this comes with a 2 day response time. The Salesforce premium plan does come with 24/7 home support and 1 hour response rate for urgent queries (of course as this is part of the premium plan, it comes at an extra cost).
In conclusion: HubSpot offers greater user experience which makes it easier to implement across real estate agencies. However, both these platforms have extensive and helpful online user communities and events to assist customers in knowledge and proficiency.
HubSpot v Salesforce: Pricing
HubSpot includes all the features you require at its advertised price, and you only pay for additional sales seats that are all revenue-generating at the same time. Free “seats” are available for team members who require visibility into your business regarding reporting or related day-to-day functionality regarding sales tools.
Some insight into HubSpot Rates:
- It is possible to have free users (without premium features - the platform is very transparent in this regard)
- Support is free (as stated previously)
- Transparency in all offers
Salesforce is one of the more expensive CRM platforms. It is generally more costly due to its complexity and deployments if you require it to be scalable and flexible. The platform charges every user and needs paid add-ons for essential features.
Some insight into Salesforce Rates:
- Salesforce is more expensive than HubSpot and comes with an equivalent scope
- Support through Salesforce is paid (as mentioned previously)
- The extensive add-ons are complex and come at a cost
- As Salesforce does not offer the same level of training as HubSpot, you will require an in-house specialist to assist you with implementation and assistance
In Conclusion: It is important you consider the return on investment that comes with your CRM before making a decision. In order to do this you need to consider customer support, usability, add-ons, marketing and sales alignment.
How we can help you
Nexa has implemented countless CRM, Marketing Automation and sales processes for Real Estate agencies and real estate developers since 2014. The Nexa team understands the real estate industry and we work with our real estate clients to reach their goals by using the most effective digital marketing tactics.
Contact us today and begin your CRM journey.