Maybe you are looking for a real estate customer relationship management software that could streamline and optimize your business processes.
If you are, sooner or later you might stumble upon Property Base, which is more than just customer relationship management software (CRM), but rather resembles a business suite.
So, maybe your question is what it is, how it works and how much it costs overall.
If you read this article to the end you will learn about its powerful features with a focus on the needs of realtors and brokers, the not always transparent costs of the platform and its drawbacks.
What Is Property Base and How Does It Work? – A Broad Overview
Property Base is one of many real estate customer relationship management types of software (28 covered already in this past article of mine).
It has an app launcher, allowing you to customize the look and feel of the application, which makes it possible that, for example, realtors get a different look on the data than the manager of a brokerage firm.
Then, there is the home page which is the page you see once you log in.
There, you can do some quick customization, and get an overview of the different processes.
You can manage contacts and listings with it and it can assist you in the different steps of the buyer and seller process, such as inquiries, offers, and closings.
In order to use the software successfully as a real estate professional, you want to be familiar already with how to go through a real estate transaction (e.g. from generating a lead to closing a real estate deal).
Without this knowledge, it won’t make much sense to use this software.
1) The App Launcher
Once logged in, you can start the app launcher by clicking on the icon on the top left that looks like a dial pat.
When you do this for the first time, it will give you an almost overwhelming number of options.
But this is nothing to worry about because right from the get go the software is already pretty much customized specifically to real estate needs.
Within the App Launcher there are already the following applications:
- Property Base Manager
- Property Base Agent
- Property Base Admin
- Property Base Transactions
- Property Base Leads
- Property Base Marketing
- Property Base Tabs
- Lightning Usage App
- Bolt Solutions
The Property Base Manager App, as above-mentioned, is rather aimed at advanced users, such as the real estate brokers that might have agents reporting to them, so they might need to be able to view specific data.
The application for real estate agents has a different functionality and a specific view for the respective real estate agents.
If you have someone in your real estate business who is in charge of different software types and applications, the Admin App is the most suitable.
The transaction management app is for the ones in your company that might be responsible for things like collecting money or different commission scenarios and shares.
If you need to only see some lead information, the Lead App is the one to use.
To keep track of the different marketing channels you can use the Marketing App.
As you can already see, most roles in a real estate business (with focus on realtors and brokers) are already covered in Property Base.
If you are another real estate professional, such as a real estate investor, or real estate developer, you can build your own app and make the necessary customizations.
Let’s take a look at the view a real estate agent has when in the Agent App.
Agent App View
Once in the agent app view, you will see on the top different tabs that resemble the usual areas and tasks a realtor has to deal with, such as the home area, the calendar, tasks, contacts, listings, inquiries, offers, closings, reports, and dashboards.
If you are in the “home area”, you get an overview of all the areas represented in the tabs.
Keep in mind that if there is something you would like to change, it is possible most of the time.
You just need to click on the gear in the up right corner and then on “edit page”.
This is basically the area a real estate agent can take a look at first thing in the morning.
In this area, you can also get some helpful insights into analytics.
In the bottom area there is a graphical representation of different contact stages.
This is important when it comes to your follow up process (I recommend you my article on following up in this context).
The same area can also give you a glance on the commissions earned.
The Contacts Area
Now, let’s take a look at the contacts area.
It’s pretty straightforward to create a new contact there.
The fastest way is to just click on the little arrow next to the tab “contacts” and then on “New Contact”.
To do this with one step more involved, you just click directly on the “Contacts” tab and once there, on the right you click on “New”.
You will then be shown a contact form where you can enter all the necessary information.
A nice feature of this contact form is that potential contact duplicates are automatically checked on the right side.
By that, you can avoid adding the same contacts over and over again in your database.
Once you have a new contact in the database, it is also worth mentioning how an individual contact is displayed on its individual contact page and what you can do there.
First, the most important contact information is shown at one glance at the top, so you won’t have to search for it too long.
Then, below this area you can see a graphical representation of the status of the individual contact and how far it is in your funnel (you can learn more about real estate sales funnel in this article of mine).
This also helps you with the following up and lead nurturing processes.
Below this section, you can find the main section of the contact where there are all the additional details, such as, for example, the address or where the lead or contact came from.
This latter information is useful to add, if you need information about your different marketing campaigns.
By adding these details, you can track that.
Right next to the tab “Details” in this same detailed window of a particular contact, you can find the tab “Related”.
This area is a bit more complicated, but only at first glance.
It becomes clearer once you understand that Property Base creates different relations between different categories.
For example it relates contacts to listings, or offers to listings, or offers to contacts.
This basically means that once you are in the listings area of Property Base and look at a particular listing you will be able to see with which contacts you are already engaged that inquired about this listing.
So, when you go to the “related” area on the contact detail page you will see all other sections a particular contact is already related, too.
This means, for instance, that it could show you that Mr. Smith has already inquired about listings A, B, C and made an offer on listing B.
You could then click on these related items and would switch to the particular listing page or offer page of Property Base.
Another important area in the contact details section is the history.
Here, all types of changes ever made since the contact was created are stored and you can also see who made which changes.
This is helpful if several agents work on the same contact.
By having this history function, you will be able to reduce a lot of the communication overhead that you might have had before.
Right next to the “Related” tab, you find the “Email” one which allows you to email out of the system and do email drip campaigns.
Once you connect your email marketing service provider there, you are ready to go.
The last tab in this section is the “Web Activity” tab.
This gives you access to data, should you choose to use also websites offered by Property Base.
With these features, you can track, for example, which of your clients are using your Property Base website and the listings they are looking at.
This can give you hints so you can interact with the respective lead more efficiently and maybe send similar property listings that might be of interest.
There is also a smaller box section on the right side within the contact area where you can see the overall contact activity, tracking, and saved searches.
Within the contact activity, you can see, for example, the related calls, tasks, events and showings.
The tracking tab in this section is directly connected to the above mentioned email component, where you can see some analytics about your email campaigns sent out from Property Base, such as, for example, email open rates related to the specific contact.
The last tab in this box section is about what kind of properties the respective contact has been looking for.
Here, you can see about which properties the contact has inquired about.
The Listings Area
Once you click on the “Listings” tab, you will first see an overview of all the listings integrated into Property Base.
You can then click on one particular listing and find a detailed view similar to when you click on a particular contact.
This is by design and the navigation is similar to the detailed contact one.
You will get a first glance of the listing including “Status”, “Listing Type”, “Property Type”, “Address”, “City”, and “Listing Price”.
This small section is followed by another small section that shows the status of the sales process or sales funnel of the particular listing, which goes from “Off Market” to “Sold and all the steps in between.
Then, in the larger box area you will find more details of the listing with additional tabs shown at the top similar to the contact area, such as “Details”, “Related”, “Images and Media”, “Matching”, and “Email”.
The “Related” tab from the contact area does the same as the one in the contact area.
In the “Images and Media” area, you can store all the relevant images and media of the property listing that you want to provide publicly.
So, these are all the files that you think of making available to potential clients and/or partners.
Here is the helpful part – when you want to send an Email from the property listing section, the software allows you to add this media to the email to be sent.
Another feature here is that you can integrate a selection of the images and media into your Property Base website right from there.
Of course, it also provides you with MLS integration, so you won’t have to add each of your property listings individually and manually from your MLS.
Property Base charges an extra fee for this functionality.
What I presented so far was just a selective view of the features and functionality of the CRM application from the perspective of a real estate agent use case.
In this video, you can also watch the above mentioned features in a bit more detailed way, that makes it clearer than just by text.
But there are many more tools, applications, and services offered by Property Base, such as marketing features, the already mentioned ready-made real estate websites, a back office workspace, done for you lead generation, and business analytics.
The Marketing Features & Services
The marketing features offered allow you to do SMS outreach campaigns triggered by particular user behaviors.
Then, they have a so-called IDX enabled click-to-print center, where you can produce marketing materials for print based campaigns.
A large variety of direct mail templates are available here.
I’ve already mentioned above the Email marketing functionality so this feature might not appear new to you, but some additional functions might.
Property Base calls it the Email Marketing Studio, which helps you create responsive emails with a drag-and-drop builder.
It also allows you to do behavioral targeting, and triggered workflows.
This means that, based on the user behavior on the Property Base website you might use, you can create automatic follow-ups and include them in a multi-touch drip campaign.
The next one is the social media listing boost which is an automated social media campaign that promotes your property listings.
But keep in mind that this is only available if you choose the Propertybase GO plan.
In this case, the digital marketing team provides the service of writing content, and running different retargeting and social media campaigns (e.g. on Facebook and Instagram).
Ready-Made Real Estate Websites
Property base also offers ready-made real estate websites that you can build with a drag-and-drop builder.
Different design themes can be adapted to your individual needs so they fit your unique real estate brand.
Some of the design elements include one-click searches, neighborhood profiles, featured properties, agent rosters, and market trends.
All websites are optimized for local search engine optimization (local SEO), so your chances of ranking higher in Google for particular local search terms are increased.
In that sense, relevant keywords are pulled into the URLs, header tags, and alt tags.
This is the on page SEO optimization part.
The next feature of the ready-made-websites is a real-time IDX search which allows visitors to do advanced searches, save preferences and receive updates.
Visitors and potential clients can, for example, search by favorite neighborhood, school district and hand-draw a specific area on the map that the search feature will take into consideration.
The Back Office Workspace
Property Base’s Office Workspace features real estate transaction management, compliance, and an office intranet.
In this section, you can share dates, notes, and documents with agents, clients, and other partners and vendors.
This prevents inefficient paper trails and confusing processes and connects transactions, eSignatures, and compliances.
You can track important documents and due-dates and see document requirements at one glance.
By using these features, communication overhead is reduced or completely eliminated and they also give you the option to onboard new hires and get an orderly overview of day-to-da activities.
Included are calendars, announcements, and message boards amongst others.
Done for You Lead Generation
This is a service by Property Base that helps you with your lead generation, and for example, creates copies, uses professional imagery, and the right targeting in marketing campaigns.
New leads that are added into the CRM can be funneled into automated email nurturing campaigns, so you can focus just on following up.
The marketing team is also testing and optimizing more than 40 landing pages on an ongoing basis to increase conversion rates, improve click-through rates, and reduce costs per lead.
The setup of those is also included in this done-for-you service.
According to Property Base they run over $15 million in ads online and do all the digital marketing for you, such as Google Ads, major social networks, and more.
The marketing team also chooses the best targeting method and adapt it from month to month.
Additionally, they do all the campaign monitoring and maintenance.
The last tool of Property Base provides Business Analytics which I already mentioned in the more in-depth section above.
It provides you with important insights about your operational, financial, and marketing performance.
This data is presented in visual reports and dashboards, so you get a better basis to make decisions for your real estate business.
This tool is more suitable for large brokerages that manage several agents.
So, as a broker you can monitor their productivity and identify roadblocks.
You also have access to data about website users, where they come from, and how they behave.
By knowing this data, you can see which marketing methods work and which ones don’t.
The tool also helps you do forecasts about performance and your marketing costs, and sales commissions amongst others.
In the same context, you also will have access to the information about the transaction process, next-steps and activity.
Who Benefits the Most from Property Base
I must admit, this first part was quite a mouthful, but you might have realized that this software is much more than just a CRM.
It is basically a whole real estate business suite combined with marketing agency services with a strong focus on the needs of real estate agents and brokers.
So, to answer this question in a short form, mainly medium to larger size real estate professionals such as brokers and realtors will benefit from this software.
However, due to a high degree of customization options, you will also be able to adapt the platform to the needs of real estate investors, real estate developers, and other real estate professionals (not always free of charge).
For example, an active real estate investor (e.g. wholesale investors) could adapt the property listing area of the CRM in such a way that instead of showing the “Label” Listings it would show “Deals”.
But many of the default configuration settings could already be used by real estate investors.
One feature that might not work for them is, for instance, the IDX MLS integration, for only few cases such as deals are added to the MLS.
What Is The Cost Of Property Base?
I contacted a representative of Property Base and was told that their company doesn’t publicly publish their pricing, that the pricing model is based on bundled user-sizes, and that there is currently misinformation about that on a few websites.
Contrary on what is stated on Property Base’s website there is also no trial or demo available.
According to the websites with the inaccurate pricing information Property Base allegedly has a company and an enterprise pricing plan.
The company plan is supposedly $69 per user per month, which is billed annually and it includes the following features:
- Simple marketing tools
- Mobile app
- Listing management
- Contact management
- Transaction management
- In-depth reporting
For the enterprise plan, you reportedly need a minimum of 10 users and it costs $89 per user per month and includes the following features:
- All the features from the company plan
- Franchise management
- Free MLS/ Portal Integration
But again, I would take the above price information with two grains of salt, since it doesn’t come from an official source.
An Estimation of Potential “Hidden Costs”
When you deal with larger software companies you will have to account for some potential hidden costs, too.
This is likely the case with Property Base.
1) Customization Costs
Some factors might affect your cost of customizing Property Base.
While you can customize many elements on your own, these are the elements that could cause additional customization costs:
- Configurable dashboards
- Forms to collect additional data
- User interface changes
- Data elements required for tracking
- Needed management and operational reports
- Complex workflows
It all depends on how much customization you need, how many individual processes you have, the number of systems that need to be integrated and what special reporting you will need.
The following are some estimates you could apply (source):
- Minimal customization (integration of 1-2 systems): $2,500
- Standard customization (integration of 3-5 systems): $10,000
- Fully customized system (integration of 5 systems or more): $25,000
2) Data Migration Costs
Maybe you have data stored in excel sheets or you use other means of storage.
If you would like to migrate this data to Property Base, this will likely occur further costs, depending on the amount of data you need to migrate between your existing system and the new one (Property Base).
Here is a ballpark of potential costs:
1,000 records $500
10,000 records: $2,500
100,000 records: $10,000
1,000,000 records: $25,000
3) Training Costs
Property Base can get quite complex and somehow it reminds me of my time when I worked in the software company SAP, where an important amount of money was and probably still is made by selling training to use the software.
Depending on the size of your real estate business, end-user training might end up being necessary.
So, in terms of additional costs, you might want to take into consideration the following types of training you might need:
- End-user training
- Group/Department training
- Video/ Self-training
- Individual training is mostly not free of charge and you can use the following cost estimates:
1-2 Training Sessions: $500
3-4 Training Sessions: $1,500
5-7 Training Sessions: $2,500
8-10 Training Sessions: $5,000
What Are the Drawbacks of Property Base?
Of course, after so many interesting and positive features, to get a balanced view on Property Base I don’t want to deprive you of some of the drawbacks.
In order to find those drawbacks, I researched several user-generated review sites to find out what others had to report with regards to the drawbacks.
- It might be difficult to get team members used to it
- The customer support and especially the response times seem not to be the best for some, and no live chat appears to be available
- Some specific fields and functions can be edited only in a limited way
- It is not possible to search for golf courses, pool, or water view homes
- Workflow and sales pipeline can be difficult
- Creating and using the reports and analytics features can be difficult
- The salesforce system can be overwhelming at the beginning
- Doing the initial set up can be cumbersome
- The pricing is not publicly available, and you might need to take into consideration hidden costs, such as customization, data migration, and cost of training
- Additional individual training might be necessary