Outlook for the Real Estate CRM Marketplace in 2017

Over the last few years, CRM for real estate has virtually become a requirement for Canadian realtors who wish to remain competitive in this lucrative sector. Most real estate professionals who choose a CRM solution tend to look at vertical options; this means that they select applications that have been developed with their specific sector in mind. What about horizontal options? Can a generic CRM for real estate be conducive for business?

Vertical Versus Horizontal CRM

Horizontal CRM solutions, also known as standard CRM apps, are often available on a free or very affordable subscription basis. They also tend to be hosted in the cloud through the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Vertical solutions, on the other hand, are developed specifically for certain sectors. In the case of CRM for real estate, the apps tend to be highly customized. In Canada, for example, CRM solutions can be developed in a way that they adhere to federal and provincial regulations; they can also connect to regional MLS databases and plugins.

Most real estate professionals choose vertical CRM solutions because they do not want to face a steep learning curve. The only drawback to this approach is that they may have to adjust their workflow to match that of the CRM app. In the case of horizontal solutions offered by big names such as Microsoft and Salesforce.com, the learning curve can be offset by the high level of customization and being able to implement any desired workflow.

The Vertical CRM Marketplace in 20107

Even with the high level of customization offered by horizontal CRM apps, Canadian real estate professionals will still be better off with vertical solutions this year.

The advantage of vertical CRM for real estate is that this is a very competitive marketplace that ultimately benefits realtors. Vertical CRM apps are getting more flexible every day, and they are incorporating advanced features such as predictive analytics, marketing automation lead generation, and more.

Another edge that vertical CRM apps have is that developers tend to be very receptive to comments from users and from industry leaders; this results in continued improvements. In 2017, CRM developers will be looking into incorporating Big Data and artificial intelligence elements. This means that realtors may soon be able to fully automate certain marketing tasks based on the contents of the emails and messages they receive.

Another advanced feature that will likely be integrated this year is the use of personal assistants such as Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana. This may allow realtors to be less dependent on sales support staff, and it may also streamline the contact management process.