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According to current statistics, 72.5% of real estate agents have a CRM in place.

Most CRMs made specifically for the real estate industry involve monthly costs.

The thing is, adding different real estate tools can stack up pretty fast in terms of monthly costs.

Therefore it is understandable that you may ask yourself, what is the best free real estate CRM available.

According to many other (real estate) CRMs analyzed, Podio and/or Really Simple Systems is the best free (real estate) CRM.

Podio is one of the few that gives you access to drip campaigns, and Really Simple Systems offers unlimited contacts and the highest number of additional features.

When you read this article to the end, you will learn how I got to this conclusion, what a CRM in real estate generally is, whether and how real estate agents use CRMs, what “free” actually means, and of course about the 6 free (real estate) CRMs available to date.

What is a CRM in Real Estate?

A CRM (customer relationships management software) in real estate helps realtors and other real estate professionals organize information and tasks about their incoming new leads, current and past clients.

For each contact, you should be able to add information such as the basic contact information, sales opportunities, additional notes, the source where the contact came from, and tasks (repeating ones or one-time tasks).

As you may already see, a real estate CRM can become much more than just a contact management tool. Why?

Because it overlaps with other business processes, mainly in sales and marketing.

A (real estate) CRM is actually a component of ERP software (enterprise resource programming software) focusing on marketing and sales.

“ ERP is the integrated management of main business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. ERP is usually referred to as a category of business management software—typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from many business activities. ERP Systems can be local-based or Cloud-based. Cloud-based applications have grown in recent years due to information being readily available from any location with internet access.” (source)

Do Real Estate Agents Use CRM?

You may wonder why all the fuss about real estate CRMs and ask yourself whether real estate agents use CRMs in the first place.

According to current statistics real estate agents do use a CRM. 72.5% of agents have a CRM in place, and roughly 60% earning more than $100,000 per year use one.

These statistics were obtained from Hubspot and Saphyte.

Interestingly one of the statistical sources also stated that 1 in 3 agents are unsure which CRM is right for them.

You may also want to keep in mind what was polled to be the most important features for real estate agents.

In descending order, these were the features use cases:

  • Lead follow-Ups (85.19%)
  • Drip marketing (67.12%)
  • Follow-up reminders (63.49%)
  • Tasks and to-dos (59.26%)
  • Automatic follow-ups (48.68%)
  • Calendar (48.68%)
  • Team collaboration (46.03%)
  • Mobile access (42.33%)
  • Prompting who to call (41.8%)
  • Email synchronization with contacts (39.68%)
  • Reporting (38.10%)
  • Lead routing (37.04%)
  • Lead capture from listing portals (30.16%)
  • Email marketing (newsletter) (29.63%)
  • Transaction management (28.57%)
  • Document storage (28.04%)
  • Promotion of property listings (26.46%)
  • Social media integration (23.81%)
  • Comps (22.75%)
  • Showing organization and tracking (16.4%)
  • Authentication with multiple websites and applications (14.29%)
  • Team communication (14.29%)
  • Vendor integration (13.76%)
  • Predictions about who is likely to buy/sell (13.23%)
  • Intranet (9.52%)
  • Built-in coaching principles (8.47%)

We will keep in mind these important features, especially the most important ones where the percentage was more than half (>50%), for the later analysis of truly free real estate CRMs.

Before Getting Into the Nitty and Gritty, Let’s Define “Free”

First, let’s get on the same page when we speak about “free” regarding real estate CRMs.

Because in terms of free, most available real estate CRMs offer some sort of a free version.

Over the years, it has become a common practice in the software industry to use the so-called “freemium model” or free trials for a limited time.

“Freemium is a business model in which a company offers basic or limited features to users at no cost and then charges a premium for supplemental or advanced features” (source)

In a free trial, on the other hand, you usually get access to features and functionality available only in the paid version, but only for a limited period.

So “free” means a limited functionality forever or unlimited functionality for a limited time.

For this article and my analysis, I wasn’t looking for real estate CRMs that fell in either one or the other category, and I wanted to know which ones are free forever.

So my definition of “free” is that you can use a real estate CRM with at least the most important feature from the poll above (e.g., lead follow-ups), ideally more that you could use “forever” for free.

My selection criteria for my analysis were the following.

Real estate CRMs firstly had no time limit on the free use, and secondly offered at least the most essential features of lead follow-ups/lead follow-up reminders or ideally features such as drip marketing and tasks.

I consider these four features the most important since a majority (more than 50%) of real estate agents polled considered them as such.

Is There a Truly Free CRM?

Now you might be asking yourself whether there is a truly free CRM.

There is not one but several truly free CRMs, in terms of being free forever.

These are CRMs not made for a particular industry but generic ones.

By my analysis that follows this section, you will find 6 free forever real estate CRMs that provide at least one of the most important CRM features for real estate agents.

The 6 Free Real Estate CRMs

Let’s get something out of the way first.

I already wrote about all the providers with CRMs tailored to the real estate industry in this article, and none could be categorized as truly free.

But there are generic CRMs, task and project management tools you can customize for your real estate business that provides you with the most important features mentioned above.

In addition to the truly free ones, none offers drip marketing features.

If you truly needed this, you would need to go with a paid plan. But you could always use a workaround by using a free email marketing software separately.

In that case, you would just have to live with not having this feature together with your CRM in one place. I already described some of those workarounds in my article about Podio.

But all of them except FlowLu provide you with tasks and follow-up reminder features for the contacts you add there. In FlowLu you can only use tasks on your contacts.

For more clarity, I created an overview table with all the seven free real estate CRMs I could identify below:

Real Estate CRMTasks and to-dosFollow-up remindersDrip marketingMax. Number of contacts
HubSpotxx-1000000
Podioxx(x)500
FreshSales CRMxx-1000
Agile CRMxx-50000
Really Simple Systemsxx-no limit
Asanaxx-no limit

 

1) HubSpot

Besides the required features to qualify for the list of free real estate CRMs, the free HubSpot plan comes with the following features:

  • Email tracking and engagement notification
  • Document sharing
  • Email templates and scheduling
  • Live chat
  • Sales quotes
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Max. number of contacts: 1 million

You can check it out here.

 

2) Podio

Podio was the only free CRM where I could tick all three boxes, well, two and a half.

With a free third-party app integration, you can do email drip campaigns from Podio.

So Podio is a pretty customizable customer relationship management system you can tailor to your individual business processes.

It’s a bit like WordPress, where you can use plugins to extend the functionality of a website.

You can add apps, extensions, and third-party software for…

  • Real estate investment management
  • Time tracking
  • Email management
  • Texting and outbound calls directly from Podio
  • Zillow property information
  • Marketing automation to connect lead forms

Other features than the required ones are:

  • File sharing
  • Shareable Webforms
  • Project sharing with a client

The only downside in the free version is that you can only create 500 items, meaning contacts.

If you would like to learn more about setting up Podio for real estate, I wrote a whole article about that here.

You can check it out here.

 

3) Freshsales CRM

The truly free plan from Freshsales CRM includes features such as contact tasks and follow-up reminders (the requirement to be selected in my list).

Additionally, it includes the following features in the free version:

  • Customizable stages that capture the lifecycle of contacts
  • Built-in chat, phone, and Email
  • 24×5 support
  • Mobile app

With the free version, you will be limited to 1000 contacts.

You can check out Freshsales CRM here.

 

4) Agile CRM

Besides the two of the most essential features, namely tasks and follow-up reminders related to the added contacts, Agile CRM comes with the following additional features:

  • Customizable data fields
  • Lead scoring
  • Unlimited documents, tasks, and deals
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Customizable deal milestones
  • Email tracking
  • 2-way email integration
  • Deal tracking
  • 2-way telephony (inbound and outbound calls from CRM)

With a contact limit of 50,000, it’s the third most generous free-to-use CRM from my list.

You can check out Agile CRM here.

 

5) Really Simple Systems

Really Simple System also has two of the three most important features for a real estate CRM: follow-up reminders and tasks you can connect to existing contacts.

It has the following additional features:

  • Document storage for up to 100 MB
  • Pipeline management
  • Opportunity history
  • Sales forecasts based on probability
  • Sales stages
  • Product lines
  • Events & calendars
  • A chronological list of events and interactions
  • Search and filters
  • Merging of customer records
  • Customizable fields
  • Customizable tables
  • Customizable drop-down lists
  • Customizable dashboard widgets
  • Customizable pages
  • Customer support with webinars, email, and online chat, video tutorials, a customer portal, and in-page help drawers
  • International time zones
  • Responsive design for smartphones
  • Contact calling from smartphones
  • Easy data import and export
  • Historical data import
  • Google maps and Google contacts integration

In terms of the maximum number of contacts you can use, this CRM is the most generous because it’s unlimited.

You can check out Really Simple System here.

 

6) Asana

I wasn’t sure if I should include Asana in the list because it was actually developed as a cloud-based project and task management software.

I still use it as a task and project management tool, and before I used Podio, I also used it as a CRM.

So you can repurpose it as a CRM because it is highly customizable and similar to Podio.

You can customize it so that you basically have your real estate CRM as a project in Asana.

And each project item in this would be a contact. You can add tasks for each item/contact and get reminders of these tasks, including if you need to follow up.

Since you can add unlimited project items, it means you can add unlimited contacts.
It also integrates more than 100 apps in the free version.

To name a few:

  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Google Calendar
  • Gmail
  • Zapier
  • Google Drive
  • Leadinfo
  • Mailchimp

Here, you can find the complete list of all 100 apps you could integrate.

You can check out Asana here.

Considering the data I collected from above, I can’t come up with one free (real estate) CRM as being the best.

But if someone would force me to jump out of the window or make a decision, and I could renegotiate to name not one but two, I would tell them Podio or Really Simple Systems.

Podio also gives you access to drip campaigns via extensions.

Really Simple System offers unlimited contacts and has the largest number of additional features you can use in the free version.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher

Tobias Schnellbacher