Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Zillow. IBuyers. Compass. Artificial intelligence. Gary Keller.

While these topics are no doubt some of the most debated in the real estate industry, they pale in comparison to the passion that fuels agents’ opinions of their contact relationship management (CRM), or someone else’s CRM, or a CRM they haven’t used or heard of yet.

A recent post raised by Inman Coast to Coast Facebook group member Eric Mendelsohn on the topic of CRMs generated more than 120 comments. The New York-based agent was probing for an alternative to the recently Compass-acquired Contactually.

What transpired in the train of comments was a testament to the seemingly dire importance today’s agent puts on the ubiquitous “customer relationship management” software. And, the reality that there is no correct CRM for the entire industry and that, as many people stated, the best one is the one you use.

The CRM can indeed be a vital resource for agents, especially when it comes to tracking the multitude of lead sources out there today.

That said, the thread was also absent of one major question: Do you need a CRM?

It’s this writer’s opinion that not every agent requires such a solution to run a business.

Although this is speculation (albeit speculation based on many years of direct industry experience), it’s likely there are as many top producers working without a CRM as there are those working with one.

Still, the comments clearly stem from positive experiences and passion, meaning agents are seeing results from their commitment to technology. That’s a very good thing.

Inman has reviewed and discussed many of the products mentioned in the post, and a few of them do stand out as popular options backed by proven leaders and successful customers:

Chime, a powerful marketing and CRM system, wasn’t thrown out there, but deserves a look for those seeking alternatives.

Our first 5-star review was given to an app called MyPlanit, which uses location and activity tracking in a very sophisticated integration model to help manage real estate business. It’s beyond a CRM. It was left out, too.

A number of the products recommended by Inman readers have yet to be formally reviewed, but may have been written about in other contexts. Those include:

HubSpot has been around for quite some time, and it’s used by a number of real estate agents and teams. But, its array of services reach well-beyond what many agents typically use. It’s considered a very valuable content creation and marketing platform.

Brivity is the brain-child of agent Ben Kinney, who has purchased and developed a number of tech tools to aid his very successful agent teams. A formal review has yet to be published.

KW Command, familiar to Keller Williams agents, is another component of company CEO Gary Keller’s mission to get buy-in on his “we’re a technology company” mantra. A review of the product was canceled at the last minute, but Inman writers have seen what the software has to offer and obviously so have a lot of KW agents.

Our hope is to get to the bottom of every worthwhile — and those that aren’t — product available to the industry.

Thankfully, the pace of the proptech evolution is outrunning even our well-oiled news machine, so we should never experience a shortage of terrific technology to write about, review and share with you, our readers.

And special thanks to Eric Mendelsohn for getting this going. It’s always healthy to see what colleagues are using to help buyers and sellers.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

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