Software complex for real estate investment

Integration Puzzle
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One program cannot support all business processes of real estate investing. Experienced investors create REI complexes of programs.

Table of Contents

Step 1: CRM Selecting

CRM is the heart of the real estate investment software complex. All other programs integrate with the CRM. The investor starts building the program complex by selecting CRM.

There are 3 strategies for selecting programs for real estate investments.

Strategy 1. "REI-specific CRM"

A beginner investor is looking for a CRM that can run as many REI business processes as possible from its list. He inevitably comes to one of the CRMs from the section "Top 14: REI-specific CRMs" of the article "Top 50 CRM Software for REI"..

The plus side of REI-specific CRM:

  • It supports much more REI business processes than general CRM
  • It's immediately ready for work with real estate investments.

Minuses of REI-specific CRM:

  • Expensive monthly fee, from $50 to $200 per month per user
  • It's usually impossible to integrate other programs into this CRM.
  • It's rarely updated due to a small number of customers
  • The investor will have problems exporting data when he wants to switch to another CRM.

The main buyers of REI-specific CRM are real estate investors who are afraid of IT. REI-specific CRM immediately provides 60% of the list of REI business processes, but other business processes will remain without software support. Most often REI-specific CRM is closed for extension by other programs.

Strategy 2. "General CRM".

Different real estate investors have different REI business processes. There is no ready-made CRM, which performs all business processes of a real estate investor. It needs to be developed. IT brave investor is looking for a general CRM that supports as many REI business processes as possible. He integrates other programs with it:

  • Website
  • Dialer
  • Mailer
  • ...

This is how investors get a set of programs for REI.

The pluses of REI software complex based on general CRM:

  • General CRM is inexpensive, from $10 to $80 per month per user
  • General CRM has many buyers. It's frequently updated and complemented by new functions
  • The investor can always switch from one general CRM to another
  • The complex of programs covers 80% of investor's real estate needs (general CRM provides 40% of required business processes, other programs provide 40% more).


  • Real estate investor should be able to set up a general CRM
  • He must be able to use Zapier to integrate software and general CRM.

This is not difficult, but the investor should definitely not be afraid of IT. See the section "Top 22: Cloud general CRMs" of the article "Top 50 CRM Software for REI".

Strategy 3. Podio CRM

The most IT advanced investors are building an REI software complex based on Podio CRM.

Technically, Podio is not even a CRM, but a project management system. That's why Podio has only 20% of the CRM functionality you need.

The pluses of Podio:

1) Podio is a CRM custom builder. The investor can customize Podio to support 100% of the business processes they need:

  • 40% itself
  • Another 60% through integration with other programs.

2) Podio is well and cheaply automated. The GlobiFlow tariff plan costs $24 per month per user and provides extensive automation options.

3) Podio is easy to integrate with many programs:

  • REI software vendors feel it's their obligation to do direct integration with Podio.
  • General software vendors also know Podio and make integrations for it.
  • Zapier has integration with Podio.

Minuses of Podio:

  • Podio has a steep learning curve.The investor has to set up Podio based on CRM, use GlobiFlow automation and Zapier integration service.  It's not difficult, but it does require some training.

More information about Podio:

  • Podio has an extraordinary ability to change internally and integrate with other programs. For this reason RE investors sometimes call it FrankenPodio ("Frankenstein + Podio") as a joke.
  • Podio is the undisputed leader in CRM for real estate investors. See "Total Top 50 CRM for REI". It's used by investors to develop a powerful complex of REI programs for themselves.

Strategy Comparison

REI business process coverage: as single CRM | in software complex

REI business process coverage
 As single CRMIn software complex
1. REI-specific CRM60%60%
2. General CRM40%80%
3. Podio CRM20%100%

Beginner investors look for CRM by column "as single CRM" and usually choose REI-specific CRM.

Experienced investors evaluate the effectiveness of a CRM by its ability to work in software complex. The "in software complex" column leads them to Podio.

Step 2: Program selection for the complex

Finally, you have defined the general CRM on which you will build the program complex. General CRM will only support a part of your business processes.

Next, you need to select additional programs that will support the remaining business processes. These programs must integrate with the general CRM of your choice. This will help them synchronize data with the CRM.

Sometimes a business process may be supported by more than one program. Choose the most suitable one from the candidate programs. Additional software can be integrated with the main program in one of three ways.

Direct Integration

First of all, give preference to programs that have direct integration with the selected CRM. The data will be synchronized between the program and the CRM every second.

A Google query: "Program1 and Program2 integration" will help you determine if there is integration between Program1 and Program2.

Zapier integration

It isn't always possible to find additional programs with direct integration to your main CRM. In this case you can use software that have Zapier integration. The Zapier service has integration with over 2000 programs, including 450 CRMs. You integrate the Zapier friendly program with Zapier and integrate Zapier with the Zapier friendly CRM. In this case, Zapier works as a bridge between the program and the CRM. Zapier synchronizes data between the program and the CRM every 2-15 minutes.

Zapier is the main way to integrate programs into a real estate investment program complex.

VA Integration

Sometimes you need to add a program without integration with your CRM and Zapier to your software complex. 

You can integrate the program and the CRM with a virtual assistant. This method is humorously called "Phillipine Zapier". Virtual assistant transfers data through an export-import .csv file. If it isn't possible to export/import, he transfers the data manually one entry at a time.

The virtual assistant can synchronize data between the program and CRM once a day or less.

Step 3. Sale of REI software complex

In a few years you will develop and debug your REI software complex. Start selling your REI software complex to new investors as a new REI specific CRM.

Some general CRMs that investors use as a base to develop REI specific complex:

  1. Podio
  2. Zoho
  3. ActiveCampaign
  4. ...

Choose an inexpensive general CRM as the base if possible. Then the profit from selling your REI Dreams complex will be higher.

Half of the REI specific CRMs on sale are Podio-based software complex.

REI experience transfer

In the past real estate investors used to sell their experience in the shape of books. In the 21st century real estate investments were transformed into the use of programs. A new way to sell your experience has appeared - selling complex REI programs.

Selling REI specific complex under the guise of REI specific CRM is a popular business among advanced real estate investors:

  • Typically REI specific complex brings the developer a profit of $ 50 to 150 per month per user
  • Top-end REI specific complex has hundreds of users
  • Cloud services provide uninterrupted operation of programs in the complex.


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