real estate software go cheap or splurge

4 Tech Tools Real Estate Teams Should Go Cheap on (And 4 Worth the Splurge)

Sifting through a literal sea of real estate technology vendors can be exhausting. Yet, most modern real estate teams and brokerages know that having the right technology is the key to agent productivity and success. So how can you cut through the mud to create a strong foundation for your team’s tech toolbelt?

If you run a quick search on the web looking for guidance on real estate tech, the endless options are simply overwhelming. From real estate CRMs to the latest in lead generation and website design, today’s real estate tech space is extensive — and even that is an understatement. The endless providers, package options, and price ranges can cause more confusion than needed. Couple this with the stress of the financial investment … Are you feeling the pressure yet?

There are certain items of the real estate toolkit that deserve to be splurged on, and although you might feel hesitant about the price tag, it will make every step of the transaction a much more enjoyable experience – for both your team and your clients.

So what type of real estate software should you cut from your tech budget? What are some things that you should look for in a high-quality real estate CRM? If you’re thinking about making some changes to your tech toolkit, here are some of the items you should splurge (and save) on!

Spend Smart: 8 Tech Tool Shopping Tips

The purpose of a great tech tool is to help make you and your agents more productive and to aid in your success. That gets lost in the shuffle if you’re spending too much on tools that simply don’t need a huge investment.

However, it’s worth paying the extra dollar for strong foundational tools that will help your team save money (and make more) in the future. Here’s a list of 4 pivotal tools that your brokerage should go all-in for and 4 to go cheap on.

real estate texting software

SAVE: Texting Tools

Texting tools are a great way to help agents stay in touch with their sphere. And, with texting a part of our everyday lives, it’s more likely that clients and prospects will engage with this type of communication than any other. In fact, 62% of buyer clients prefer text communications with their agents.

But, you don’t need a huge budget for these tools. Texting tools can be a simple add-on service for some real estate CRMs, and you’ll find a wealth of one-off companies that provide automated text response systems to incoming leads. Plus, texting features are often baked in with end-to-end platforms.

Players in this market:


Real estate is a social business — there’s no doubt about that. Deals are fueled by the buyers and sellers behind them, and brokerages need to be able to seamlessly balance their large client networks to give each prospect the attention needed to nurture the transaction.

A CRM, designed specifically for real estate, is certainly an area where you want to make a significant investment. It’s what’s going to keep your team in touch with your sales funnel and community of clients.

Looking for a CRM-only? Players in the market:

real estate testimonial on jackconway Source: (client)

SAVE: Testimonials

The powerful effects of word-of-mouth marketing can’t be ignored, especially with today’s culture of sharing reviews. In fact, 91% of people read online reviews before making buying decisions. Clients want to peer behind the veil of marketing to explore the experience past clients have with your services — and testimonials provide the perfect window.

However, you don’t need to spend too much on testimonials or review software. After all, Google is free — and so is social media. Today’s real estate network is largely interconnected and consumers are adept at sharing their experiences, so they will likely do it regardless. Agents also have the ability to ask for recommendations via platforms like and Zillow, so a big spend here just isn’t necessary. For even greater savings, opt for an end-to-end platform that includes a testimonial feature.

Players in this market:

SPLURGE: Lead Generation

We don’t need to tell you that lead generation is the lifeblood of your business. Without a steady flow of buyer and seller leads coming through your pipeline, it’s almost impossible to grow. As such, lead generation is not an area to skimp in.

While most of the major real estate search platforms offer some type of lead generation program — selling leads in certain markets — there are also a few real estate tech companies that make lead generation an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario for brokerages. Your investment will likely depend on the volume of leads, how competitive your market is, and any accompanying services that you add.

Players in this market:

real estate postcard

SAVE: Print Marketing

Print marketing isn’t dead. Agents can benefit from promoting their services on paper, letting them tap into otherwise untouched avenues for business. Certainly, there are markets where it still makes sense to send out “Just Sold” postcards or to advertise in the local real estate magazine. This is why print marketing is typically included within end-to-end platforms.

Even so, it’s impossible to deny the position that digital marketing holds over old-school print. Considering this, it’s wise for brokerages to do some print marketing — but you don’t need to go overboard. A little effort can go a long way.

Players in this market:

real estate team website Source: (client)

SPLURGE: Websites

With real estate’s recent digital migration, an online presence is more important than ever. Brokerage websites need to live up to consumer’s expectations, being a full-bodied outlet for everything they’d like to know about your business. Your website and your branding is often the first impression that potential buyers/sellers will have of you.

Investing in a visually appealing, SEO-optimized website allows brokerages to flex their muscles on the web. You do not want your sister’s college roommate’s son to build your website from their basement. A sound investment in this area will ensure you make a great first impression and have site functionalities that matter in today’s market: SEO, IDX, blog capabilities, full-size listing photos, map search, the ability to save listings, etc.

Souped-up websites are so pivotal that they tend to come with end-to-end platforms. In this case, as is with our own Propertybase Websites, the site is perfectly integrated within the CRM, a bonus that allows agents to track users and their activities on the site.

Just looking for a real estate website? Players in this market:

spacio open house software source:

SAVE: Open Houses

In the past, open houses were imperative to connect buyers with listings and to meet prospective buyers out searching for homes.  But now — especially in the era of COVID — open houses aren’t carrying the weight that they used to.

It’s time to be smart about the money spent on promoting open houses. Perhaps spending $50 to boost a Facebook ad for the listing is more beneficial than spending $100 to buy drinks and snacks (or postcards and flyers) for an upcoming open house.

There are several companies that have digitized the open house process and, while they don’t require a huge expenditure, can make open houses a bit easier.

Players in this market:

Propertybase GO platform for real estate teams

SPLURGE: End-to-End Platforms

If you’re looking for a truly seamless, one-stop decision, opt for an end-to-end platform. These advanced platforms often offer everything we’ve talked about in a single, concise, and integrated system. There’s no need to worry about various technologies integrating with each other or the struggle of helping agents learn 10 systems when they can just learn one.

An end-to-end platform is a great place to make a significant investment, as it truly encompasses everything a team or brokerage needs to run their business: website, CRM, lead generation, marketing tools, back office, analytics, and more.

Players in this market:

Every real estate team or brokerage has a unique set of needs. Using real estate tech to propel your business lies in strategic and forward-thinking investments. To learn more about how Propertybase can upgrade your operations, visit our website.

real estate technology benchmark report