Sierra Interactive’s CRM has great automation features that can save you a lot of time.
And as always is the case with software products that fall into the category of real estate marketing suites with integrated CRMs, they have their strengths and weaknesses.
So should you be in the process of finding a new one or changing your current software, this article may come in as helpful.
Because I found a minor weakness in Sierra Interactive that other articles haven’t mentioned to my current knowledge.
Want to find out what it is? Then please keep reading.
What Is the Use of Sierra Interactive, and Who Owns It?
Sierra Interactive falls in the category of real estate marketing suites, and its core software product or component is CRM.
In addition to that, it offers real estate professionals IDX websites and lead generation services via PPC advertising.
To summarize, the main areas of the software are IDX Real Estate Websites, a CRM system, real estate ad management, and partner integration.
Sierra Interactive was founded and owned by Ben Peskoe, and it is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sierra Interactive Features – An Overview
As already mentioned above, Sierra Interactive’s main components are IDX real estate websites, CRM, and third-party software integrations. Regarding services, it is its real estate ads management.
To give you an overview of the features, I prepared a table where I sorted them according to which component category they belong.
|IDX Real Estate Websites||Sierra Interactive CRM||Real Estate Ad Management||Platform Partners|
|SEO friendly||Lead routing to get new leads to the right agent||Facebook Ad management||Hatch Coaching|
|Mobile responsive||Re-routing for unknown callers||Google Ad management||Smart Alto|
|Features search||Automated follow-up sequences via email, text, ringless voicemail messages||Dippidi|
|Community pages for local content||General collaboration to give someone beyond a seller or buyer agent access to a lead||Driven Leads|
|Landing pages||Dialer||Jonathan Hawkins|
|Section manager to modify site’s structure||Text messaging||Personal SEO|
|Custom sidebar builder||Ringless voicemails||Real Estate Web Creation (SEO)|
|Agent manager to include agents in website across different pages||Mass messaging via text, email, or ringless voicemail||RealSynch|
|Open house registration form (can shift between buyer focused or seller focused)||Tags for leads to create filters|
|Blog||Activity tracking for communication and engagement with leads|
|Custom filter from a list of search criteria to segment leads|
|Custom listing alerts for leads|
|Search activity of leads and contacts|
|Custom market reports tailored to leads|
The idea behind the partners feature is that they can give you their action plans, automation, and smart filters for the CRM automation feature in collaboration with them.
There is also a great knowledge base for users with videos teaching you how to set up everything.
Sierra Interactive CRM – The Heart of The Software
In my opinion, the heart of Sierra Interactive is its CRM, and I would also go so far as to say that it’s the strength of the whole software.
In the features overview table above, you can already learn about the different features, and in this section, I will dive a bit deeper.
Let’s take, for example, the lead routing features. It enables you to get new leads forwarded or routed to the right agent.
In this context, a recently added new feature is the re-routing of unknown callers. With it, you can associate a person to that number despite being an unknown caller route it.
One of the strong features I also consider is automation. You can automate follow-up sequences via email, text, ringless voicemail messages, lead data, calendar data, and action plans.
You can base this automation and different action plans on tags you add to leads or lead behaviors.
A lead behavior that could trigger an action could be that a lead saves a property; and if this happens, they get a text message.
Another trigger could be calendar dates, such as birthdays. For example, an email is sent if a lead has a birthday.
You can also create action plans from scratch and predefine everything.
An example would be when a lead looks at a property more than 6 times, a tag should automatically be added to the lead. The tag could be labeled “hot lead”.
After that, a text message should be sent inviting them to do a showing.
Many more actions can be created. To name a few: Create a note, create a task, assign a task, apply a tag, etc.
Another CRM feature worth mentioning is the general collaboration feature (recently added). It gives a person that doesn’t necessarily have to be a seller or buyer agent access to a lead.
A use case for that could be a VA you may have on your team that makes phone calls or a transaction manager.
Additional features that you could already find in the overview table are:
- A dialer
- Text messaging
- Ringless voicemails
- Mass messaging via text, email, or ringless voicemail
- Tags for leads to create filters
- Activity tracking for communication and engagement with leads
- Custom filter from a list of search criteria to segment leads
- Custom listing alerts for leads (triggers email notification with suitable properties)
- Search activity of leads and contacts
- Custom market reports tailored to leads
If you would like to learn more about the different CRM features, I recommend the video below.
Sierra Interactive Lead Generation
As a matter of fact, I also had to look into what Sierra Interactive offers regarding real estate lead generation.
And at the time of this writing, it’s just Google Ads and Facebook Ads. The company can manage the ad campaigns for you, and based on their skills and how the campaigns perform, they will generate real estate leads.
I couldn’t find any marketing performance data, such as how well the ads they manage perform and what costs per lead in Facebook and/or Google Ads they can achieve.
So should you give this service a try, you may want to keep the average cost per lead of Facebook and Google Ads in mind for real estate.
You can use the different costs per lead I analyzed in this article to compare.
When you start with the lead generation or, in other words, PPC ad management service, you will need to fill out a questionnaire indicating your target demographic, target geographic area, and monthly ad budget.
According to a Sierra Interactive representative in the video linked below, every dollar of your ad budget goes to ads. You may wonder, yes, why shouldn’t it?
Some PPC advertising service providers charge additional fees or a percentage from the get-go. But this is already included in the pro site subscription cost.
However, once your monthly ad budget is higher than $1,000, Sierra Interactive also charges an additional fee of 10% of the difference from the $1,000 budget.
So should your budget be $1,300, you would be charged 10% on the $300 (the difference of $1,000).
Follow-up and retargeting campaigns via Facebook and/or Google Ads also come at an extra cost.
The company provides you with regular reporting to adjust your strategy (e.g., targeting, etc.) accordingly.
This Q&A video partially covers the lead generation part from the 4th minute. There are also other interesting questions asked that can help you get an additional idea of what the platform does.
Sierra Interactive Integrations
I could identify 124 applications that can be integrated via Zapier.
The software comparison doesn’t seem to be integrating third-party software directly, and it is mainly done with the above integration apps, and I call them “integration bridging apps.”
In the below table I filtered the integrable apps that you may use as a real estate professional out of the 124 are:
|Integrations via Zapier||Integrations via Realsynch|
|Google Ads||Showcase IDX|
|Keller Williams Command||Brivity|
|Listings to Leads||vyral|
|Salesforce||Follow Up Boss|
|Microsoft Office 365||Conversion Monster|
|Wise Agent CRM|
Sierra Interactive Websites – Let’s Take a Look at Performance
Several websites and additional sources mention that the IDX websites Sierra Interactive offers are good for SEO, but many don’t explain why and how they are suitable for SEO.
So I decided to look a bit closer and tried to find real estate websites that use Sierra Interactive, and I found nine.
How did I find them?
I researched them by looking for “by Sierra Interactive” on Google.
Next, I ran a core web vitals performance test via Google Pagespeed Insights.
Why would I do that?
Because the core web vitals are an important ranking factor for websites since the most recent algorithm updates. (source)
And what are these core web vitals?
I let the above source speak for itself:
“The three Core Web Vital metrics are as follows.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures how long it takes to load the largest image or block of text in the viewport.
First Input Delay (FID): Measures how long it takes for the browser to respond when a user engages with the page (button click, tap, etc.).
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability to determine whether there is a major shift in the content on-screen while elements are loading. “
If you want to dig even deeper into this rather technical stuff of core web vitals, you can do it here.
So, what were the results? You can find them in the table I prepared below.
|Real Estate Website||Core Web Vitals Assessment Status for Mobile||Core Web Vitals Assessment Status for Desktop||Pagespeed on Desktop||Pagespeed on Mobile Devices|
|Villa Real Estate||Failed||Failed||80||31|
|Matt O'Neill Real Estate||Failed||Failed||69||18|
|The Gellman Team||Failed||Passed||88||35|
|Chicago Property Shop||Failed||Passed||94||78|
|Beach Loop Realty||Failed||Failed||94||65|
|Jeff Cook Real Estate||Failed||Failed||95||42|
|Lipply Real Estate||Failed||Failed||99||40|
|Matin Real Estate||Failed||Passed||86||32|
Although far from statistically representative, 90% of the websites failed the mobile core web vitals assessment status, and 70% failed the same assessment for desktop devices.
So, I can’t share the same opinion as other websites that looked at Sierra Interactive regarding optimal SEO conditions for IDX websites.
Maybe these numbers get a bit better after testing the performance of a larger sample size of 500 or 1000 of the websites.
In the end, SEO doesn’t have to be the main priority for potential Sierra Interactive users. Because you may use the PPC advertising service, the company offers where SEO is not really important.
Sierra Interactive Pricing
Sierra Interactive offers three pricing plans. It’s the “CRM only” plan for $299.95, the “Pro Site plan” for $399.95, and the “Ace Site plan” for $499.95 per month.
The setup costs weren’t clearly explained on the pricing page.
Since they weren’t clear, I didn’t include them in the pricing table below.
The information about the setup costs were provided as follows:
- $500 Setup 12/mo or $1,000 Setup – 3/mo (Ace Site Plan)
- $250 Setup – 12/mo or $500 Setup – 3/mo (Pro Site Plan)
- $0 Setup – 3/mo (only CRM plan)
The only thing I understood is that you won’t have setup costs when you go with the CRM-only plan.
|CRM Only ($299.95 per month)||Pro Site ($399.95 per month)||Ace Site ($499.95 per month)|
|1-5 users||1-5 users||1-5 users|
|$100 per month for each additional user||$100 per month for each additional user||$100 per month for each additional user|
|2,500 text messages||2,500 text messages||2,500 text messages|
|2,500 dialer minutes||2,500 dialer minutes||2,500 dialer minutes|
|500 ringless voicemails||500 ringless voicemails||500 ringless voicemails|
|$15 per 1,000 additional text messages||$15 per 1,000 additional text messages||$15 per 1,000 additional text messages|
|$20 per 100 additional MMS messages||$20 per 100 additional MMS messages||$20 per 100 additional MMS messages|
|$25 per 1,000 additional dialer minutes||$25 per 1,000 additional dialer minutes||$25 per 1,000 additional dialer minutes|
|$5 per 100 additional ringless voicemails||$5 per 100 additional ringless voicemails||$5 per 100 additional ringless voicemails|
|$10 per 10,000 of recorded storage||$10 per 10,000 of recorded storage||$10 per 10,000 of recorded storage|
|IDX Website||IDX Website|
|Ad management (monthly budgets higher than $1,000 is charged with 10% on the difference to $1,000)||Ad management (monthly budgets higher than $1,000 is charged with 10% on the difference to $1,000)|
Sierra Interactive Mobile App Reviews
When it comes to user reviews of the software, not much reliable information was available.
For the desktop version of the software, no third-party user review platforms had any information, and for the mobile app, only Apple’s app store had some.
The mobile app is only available on Apple devices.
On the App Store, it got 4.8 out of 5 stars, and a small selection of positive and negative user reviews you can find in the table below.
The gist of the reviews is that the positive ones indicate that the app is good for following up with leads on the go. But overall, they were more generic and did not mention much of concrete personal experiences.
The negative user reviews found the UX design confusing and complained about buggy call features. (source)
|Positive User Reviews||Negative User Reviews|
|"The Sierra app makes it so easy to log updates for leads and get things done on the go, which is so important for real estate agents. Very happy with the performance after coming from a different platform with a terrible app."||"This app has been in development for how long? It is an over complicated design. The interface is absolutely confusing. This tool should be a CRM, I spend more time trying to load data for contacts, messaging, phone calls, etc. There’s no ability to look at this as a pipeline management tool. The web browser version of this app is 10 times better. I’ve given up on using this app. The desktop version is fantastic. As a CRM platform, I actually really like it. But as a CRM app it is awful..."|
|"I have been using the Sierra mobile app for sometime now and I have to say it is "The Best" mobile app I have used with a CRM platform. It have really helped me stay in touch and follow up faster while going in between appointments."||"The call list feature is barely functional. Often will prompt calling the same number over and over. At one point my entire call list deleted itself and could not be reproduced as it treated those calls as having been made. Additionally there doesn’t seem to be an option to sort by users on the app making it easy to call someone else’s lead..."|
Sierra Interactive vs. Follow Up Boss
Although pretty similar in terms of features at first glance, you can find many differences when you look closer at Follow Up Boss.
For example, it offers video texting, and the mobile app is also available for Android mobile devices.
It also has more third-party integrations, and the basic pricing plan is a bit more affordable at $69 per month than $299.95 (Sierra Interactive).
But what it doesn’t offer is an ad management service.
You can learn more about Follow Up Boss here.
Sierra Interactive vs. Real Geeks
Real Geeks also has many similarities with Sierra Interactive, such as a CRM, IDX websites, and an ad management service.
But the differences are seen when looking at the automation features offered, which are a bit more sophisticated.
It also offers SMS autoresponders.
On the flip side, it has way fewer third-party software integration options.
In contrast to Sierra Interactive, it also provides a mobile app on Google’s Play Store.
You can check out Real Geeks here.
Sierra Interactive vs. Chime
In contrast, Sierra Interactive Chime also offers its mobile app on Google’s Play Store.
They use artificial intelligence for their CRM, which does lead scoring, analysis, suggestions for next steps, and forecasting based on agent performance.
Overall, the automation features are similar (e.g., action plans).
But another key difference is a transaction management feature, including third-party service and software integrations.
Lastly, the company also offers more marketing channels for lead generation purposes, such as direct mail, ads on Instagram, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, the New York Times, and Something Digital (SD).
Here, you can learn more about Chime.
Sierra Interactive vs. Real Estate Webmasters
At first glance, Real Estate Webmaster provides the same components as Sierra Interactive (a CRM, websites, lead generation).
They may have slightly faster real estate websites, but there is no mention of an IDX integration.
Their ads management services are only done with Google Ads, but allegedly they perform at 240% above the industry lead volume.
The mobile app is also available on Google’s Play Store, but the CRM features seem to be more basic.
So their strength is likely their Google PPC skills, followed by real estate websites with allegedly higher page speed (but likely without IDX integration).
You can check out Real Estate Webmasters here.
Sierra Interactive Competitors
Sierra Interactive Competitors are mainly all software in the real estate marketing suites category, and some I already mentioned above when looking into the differences.
But there are many more, which I collected in my list of more than 500 tools and services.
To conclude this article, I will leave you with a list of additional competitors:
- Wise Agent
- Property Base
- Top Producer
- Rethink CRM
- IXACT Contact
Again, there are many more, and you can find them by going to my searchable list here, and just enter “real estate marketing suite” in the search bar.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.