Excel vs CRM

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Often novice real estate investors do not understand the benefits of CRM and prefer to use Excel. They try to compare Excel and CRM.

Table of Contents

CRM contact viewing varieties

Greg Scott wrote at BiggerPockets.com:

I hope get soon to the point of where I feel I need Podio or Salesforce. I'm using the Excel sheet that my purchased leads come with. I simply add a column for call notes and use wrap text formatting.


A benefit of Excel is seeing many notes at a glance. CRM's tend to be a contact per page kind of thing.

Let's take Podio CRM as an objection. Yes, Podio's tend to be a contact per page kind of thin. That's true. But that's a part of the truth. The full truth is that Podio views the table richer than Excel.

Like Excel.

Podio can show many records in one table like Excel:

Podio table view

Podio can also show many notes in other ways Excel does not know.

Like "Badge":

Podio badge view

Like "Card" (Kanban-style board):

Podio card view

You can drag and drop the card:

  • Above and below the column
  • Column by column
Move Podio card

Number of tables

Excel table's good for counting. But it's not convenient to keep relationships with clients in Excel. 

For example, in SuiteCRM, customer relationships are described through 124 tables. Some of them:

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Leads
  • Quotes
  • Calendar
  • Documents
  • Emails
  • Spots
  • Campaigns
  • Calls
  • Meetings
  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Invoices
  • Contracts
  • Cases
  • Targets
  • Targets - Lists
  • Projects
  • Projects - Templates
  • Events
  • Locations
  • Products
  • Products - Categories
  • PDF - Templates
  • Maps
  • Maps - Markers
  • Maps - Areas
  • Maps - Address Cache
  • Reports
  • WorkFlow
  • Knowledge Base
  • KB - Categories
  • Email - Templates
  • Surveys
  • ...

Each table presents the record in a separate convenient form, which is typical only for this table. Each table is responsible for its own side of the relationship with clients. All tables are tightly interconnected. 

Each table has an average of 7 fields. In total, SuiteCRM has 868 fields. CRM gives an 868 degree view of the client relationship. It''s impossible to imagine how to work in Excel with a structure that contains 868 columns. A typical Excel spreadsheet contains a couple dozen columns.

If you divide 868 by 20, you get 43. So, CRM covers your client relationships in 40+ times more detail.


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