Like any business, real estate agencies — including affordable housing providers — need leads to keep their business growing. They also need high-quality lead management software to help them track and convert these leads, grow their customer base and get people in properties.
Lead management is crucial for both commercial real estate agencies and affordable housing providers but the latter often use customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) designed for the former. Why? Because historically there’s been nothing specifically designed for affordable housing’s lead management. As a result, affordable housing providers have been forced to use tools and platforms that are ill-fitted to their specific needs.
But that’s now changing, with real estate lead management software designed specifically for the affordable housing market. In this article, we’ll run down five of the best real estate lead management software platforms for real estate agencies, and help you work out which might be the best for you.
KPro provides marketing, sales and lettings software tools for the affordable housing market. Built in collaboration with the National Housing Federation and Homes for Londoners, KPro brings industry-specific functionality to affordable housing so housing associations no longer have to rely on tools designed primarily for the commercial market.
One of its most important features is lead management within its CRM. This feature is helping to transform how affordable housing providers manage and utilise their leads.
- Centralisation and outreach: By collating leads generated from across multiple listing sites in one central place, lead management simplifies how leads are accessed and stored, allowing easier communication with potential customers.
- Marketing and remarketing: Centralised leads enable providers to track contacts and remarket with ease, nurturing leads through specific remarketing messages. Providers can schedule campaigns, track open rates, and monitor communication history all in one place.
- Sector-specific functionality: KPro’s lead management tool can interpret the various shared ownership scheme listings and meet the unique requirements of shared ownership contracts, including staircasing and ownership percentages.
- Reporting and analysis: Centralisation helps agencies derive powerful insights relating to leads, listings, and key activities. This enables providers to generate reports using real-time data, unlocking information that’s relevant, accurate, and timely.
Is KPro a good fit for you?
Specifically designed for housing providers who need to navigate the complexities of the affordable housing market, KPro manages lead management for complicated ownership schemes such as Help to Buy and shared ownership.
Leads can be grouped according to what providers are looking for, which makes marketing and remarketing can be better targeted and more efficient. And marketing automation helps streamline the outreach process, freeing up salespeople to focus on converting leads.
Lead centralisation also helps affordable housing providers gain a clearer picture of their contacts, allowing them to build a database of potential tenants that they can use to help fill properties in the short or long term.
With over 25 years of experience in the real estate market, Reapit provides business tools for estate agents, including an estate agency CRM, a digital marketing platform, and a portal for developers to customise their CRM.
Reapit’s CRM, AgencyCloud, is their main lead management system and one of the leading CRMs on the market built specifically for the commercial real estate sector. It offers a range of industry-specific tools, including:
- Sales CRM: Using a Website Importer feature, Reapit helps you develop smart prospecting by importing new property records from Search Portals within your database. Automation enables quick communication with leads to move them through the sales pipeline.
- Lettings CRM: Build a prospect database, and through automated marketing tools reach out to leads, freeing up staff to focus on generating more leads.
- Analytics and reporting capabilities: Drawing together prospect and lead information to derive insights through out-of-the-box or customised insight reports.
Is Reapit a good fit?
Unlike some bigger, more well-known CRMs, Reapit is an industry-specific offering, designed for real estate agencies looking for CRM software that meets their lead management needs.
Built for the commercial real estate market, Reapit is a good fit for commercial agencies. While housing associations and other affordable housing providers can use it, they may be better served with a niche offering that caters to the unique needs and complexities of their market. Although Reapit’s Developer Portal allows you to customise the CRM, but this process takes a good deal of time and expertise to get right.
While Reapit’s AgencyCloud CRM helps identify leads via search portals according to location and property type, it doesn’t account for the granularity of affordable housing’s different schemes and intricacies — such as shared ownership, Help to Buy, Rent to Buy, and industry-specific regulations.
Founded in 2013, Alto is a cloud-based estate agent software built specifically for property professionals in the commercial real estate sector.
Alto is a cloud-based solution that offers a range of lead management features, allowing you to:
- Import leads from listing websites: Importing leads directly from Zoopla, Rightmove, or other listing websites helps remove the time and hassle of manually importing leads across listing platforms, freeing up time and resources.
- Advanced filtering: By enabling agencies to match properties with applicants through advanced filtering, fine-tuning properties to the right prospects and collecting leads accurately according to specific customer wants.
- Automated marketing: Alto also provides automated marketing processes, meaning leads can be contacted quickly and easily with the right information drawn from imported leads and advanced filtering.
Is Alto a good fit?
Like Reapit, Alto is a strong CRM for real estate agencies operating in the commercial sector. While affordable housing providers are able to repurpose it, it doesn’t offer the sector-specific functionality they need.
Reapit’s advanced filtering allows commercial real estate agencies to align the right properties to the right prospects. In the commercial market, where requirements are relatively straightforward, this is a useful tool for ensuring leads are contacted quickly and don’t fall through the cracks.
With a 99.6% customer retention rate, commercial real estate companies seem to be happy with the services they provide, including lead management functionality.
Built by software titans Microsoft, Dynamics is one of the biggest names on this list, with a global market share of around 4%. It is used by businesses of all kinds, across all sectors, including many real estate agencies and affordable housing providers.
Dynamics offers five main CRM modules: sales, customer service, field service, product service automation, and marketing. In terms of lead management, it allows you to:
- Automated lead management: Dynamics helps you streamline the sales process by automating lead management in one central place, creating a single, accessible location where leads can be viewed and from which data can be drawn.
- Lead scoring: Lead scoring models enable providers to qualify and prioritise leads based on customisable metrics. Models include a sales-ready threshold, which qualifies the lead as ready once the threshold is reached.
- Real-time data analytics: By centralising leads in a single place, and through the ability to create custom dashboards, data and insights can be drawn from the lead database, and tweaked to derive insights by filtering and customisation.
Is Dynamics a good fit?
There’s no doubt about it, Dynamics is a powerful tool. If you already use Microsoft apps for your marketing, sales, or lettings processes, using Dynamics helps you with seamless integration across them all.
Dynamics is highly customisable, allowing you to personalise it to fit some of the nuanced requirements of your business. Through this customisation, it can be used by affordable housing providers, but this process takes time, effort, money, and know-how to get right.
Without the right skills, you’ll struggle to get the most out of Dynamics as a CRM for the affordable housing market, which could lead to inefficiencies that ultimately impact your customer experience, revenue, and overall reputation as an affordable housing provider.
Salesforce is a behemoth of the CRM world and the clear market leader with a 19% market share, helping businesses around the world manage and convert their leads. Built primarily for enterprise operations, it is used by some of the biggest companies in the world.
Salesforce offers several features to help you track and manage your leads, including:
- Lead conversion tool: Track a lead’s progress through the sales pipeline, from prospecting through to conversion, helping businesses track the efficiency of marketing processes.
- Lead validation: Filter the most promising leads from less promising ones based on customisable business criteria.
- Lead assigning: Automatically assign leads to individuals within your sales team based on personalised filters.
- Lead management automation: By automating emails and other repetitive marketing activities, resource is freed up for teams to focus on other tasks.
Are they a good fit?
Unsurprisingly, Salesforce is also one of the main CRMs used by real estate agencies, including affordable housing providers.
It’s the clear market leader when it comes to enterprise CRMs, with around 150,000 customers worldwide — and for good reason. Its platform is packed with a wide range of lead management tools. For example, it offers in-depth marketing reporting options that allow you to see which marketing campaign and channel generated a specific lead.
But like Dynamics, Salesforce is a powerful but generic CRM. While it is possible to customise its workflows to your particular needs, this requires time and expertise to get right. Without the right tweaking, Salesforce won’t be able to support your needs as an affordable housing provider.
Choosing the right software for you
No two real estate lead management tools are the same. While some are generic yet customisable, others have sector-specific functionality built-in. In real estate, most CRMs are built for the commercial market. But affordable housing providers can now make use of industry-specific lead management software toolkits, like KPro.
Choosing the right lead management software for your agency helps you grow your revenue, fulfil business goals – and get the right people in the right properties.