A free real estate CRM is an essential tool for any agent looking to move beyond a transaction or two a year. Good CRMs help you get the most out of your contacts by organizing them in one place, giving you the tools to establish a communication plan with each of them, and ultimately close more deals from them.
Most real estate specific CRMs come with a price tag, and when your budget is tight, knowing what free options are available is a big help. We’ve compiled a list of the five best free CRMs, and evaluated them based on their ease of use, communication tools, automation options, contact management features, analytics, customer support, and upgrade options.
Here are our picks for the best free real estate CRMs of 2020:
Best Free Real Estate CRMs
|Free CRM||Best For|
|Insightly||(Best Overall) Agents looking for an efficient CRM with comprehensive analytics|
|Freshsales||Agents who want to build relationships with personalized communication|
|HubSpot||Real estate agents who want a customizable CRM|
|Zoho||Realtors who want a transaction-focused CRM|
|Agile CRM||Seasoned agents who are data driven|
|Bitrix24||Real estate teams|
Now that we’ve seen the basics of who each of our CRMs is best for, let’s dig into each with a little more detail.
Best Overall Free Real Estate CRM: Insightly
Insightly is a CRM that packs a ton of great features into its free product, many of which help real estate agents organize contacts and leads, as well as set up email campaigns and an outreach schedule.
Free for solo users or teams of two, the Insightly system is contact based, but very task oriented. In other words, Insightly really shines when you use it to create to-do lists (called projects) for each of your contacts, then start checking off those tasks.
While the customization opportunities within the free platform are limited, Insightly offers a lot of benefits for agents who get an endorphin rush from completing tasks. The free version of Insightly’s contact fields and templates for things like email and pipelines are set in stone, and it also limits the number of contacts you can store in the system to 2500. But, by the time you start getting close to exceeding this limit, your business will be at a level where a paid plan makes sense anyway.
Best Insightly Feature For Real Estate Agents: Robust Analytics
Insightly offers some surprisingly robust analytics with their free plan. The email analytics give great data about open rates, times, locations and even operating systems for your recipients.
This data can be used to help customize your messages in the future, thereby upping your conversion rates and bettering your performance.
Speaking of performance, Insightly’s task-oriented nature gives them a lot of data points on an agent’s performance, translating into sophisticated and advanced analytics. While you don’t get many options for customizing your dashboard, Insightly offers many helpful measurables like contact reports, team reports, even overall opportunity reports which more than makes up for the lack of customization.
These numbers still do a great job of telling the story of your performance at every stage of the pipeline.
Where Insightly Comes Up Short: Overall Customization and Support
The two major challenges of the Insightly free CRM are the lack of customization and customer support.
As a free subscriber, you’re unable to change some of the more generic sales language on the interface to real estate specific labels, which means there’s a bit of internal translation necessary for real estate agents. Not a huge deal, but if you’re onboarding a new team member or are new to the business yourself, these extra steps can be challenging at first.
Also, Insightly does not offer any sort of person-to-person customer support on their free plan. They do provide a robust learning library and some very helpful forums, but if you’re looking to speak to another person, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid plan.
For real estate agents who are looking for a more customized experience, HubSpot is a great alternative to the statistical powerhouse of Insightly.
Insightly Upgrade Options
When you’re ready to upgrade, Insightly offers some very affordable options. The Plus plan gives you great features like unlimited users, a handy Mailchimp integration, lots of field customization, and a whole bunch of email templates, all for $29 per month (per user).
The $49 per month (per user) Professional plan adds virtually limitless customization, email scheduling, and automation, as well as a more advanced lead assignment and team management suite. The Enterprise upgrade costs $99 per month (per user) and makes the professional plan available to everyone in your office.
Final Thoughts on Insightly
There is a lot to do on Insightly’s free CRM platform, enough to keep most real estate agents busy for quite a while before needing to upgrade. Because Insightly is so dense with options, it can take a little while to get up to speed on all of it, but once you do, this is a free real estate CRM that boosts accountability and data driven decision making.
Best Free Real Estate CRM For Phone and Text: Freshsales
Freshsales is a great free CRM option for agents who pride themselves on their communication skills. The Freshsales Free Forever plan, called “Sprout” gives real estate professionals with lots to say lots of different options on how say it.
Sometimes one of the most frustrating parts of a free CRM platform is that communication options only start to ramp up when you upgrade to a more robust, paid plan. Not so with Freshsales. On this platform, you can send email, send SMS text messages, and even use the platform to route phone calls to yourself and your team.
A part of the Freshworks ecosystem, users of this platform not only have the option to upgrade their Freshsales CRM to a paid version, unlocking a whole host of new abilities, but can also seamlessly integrate it into other products like Freshcaller, Freshmarketer, or Freshconnect.
Best Freshsales Feature for Real Estate Agents: Email, Texting, and Phone Integrations
Most free real estate CRMs offer basic email communication, and that’s about it. With Freshsales, you definitely get that, but you get so much more. First of all, you can provide some more technical details about your email account, allowing you full blown two way communication via email, just like you’d see in your native email browser, but with all the bells and whistles that Freshsales provides.
Secondly, using one of Freshsales text message partner providers, you can send and receive text messages from within the CRM window for as little as $.0075 per text, or a monthly rate of $35 per month. Same deal with the phone integrations; purchase a phone number and you can use the free version of Freshsales to route calls to any phone you’d like, including setting up a rotation system so that leads are distributed to different team members.
Most free real estate CRM platforms require a monthly fee to even have access to the option of paying for these extra services, so the fact that Freshsales includes it in its Free Forever plan is pretty great.
Where Freshsales Comes Up Short: No Communication Automation Options
Despite all the fantastic communication options available in the Sprout plan of Freshsales, one place it comes up noticeably short is in the area of email automation. To put it bluntly, there is none. If you want to schedule an email, create a drip sequence, or any sort of communication that you don’t have to physically hit the “go” button on yourself at the time of sending, you need to upgrade.
Stepping up to the first paid tier does unlock these options, but it would be nice to have at least a little something in the Free Forever plan.
Freshsales Upgrade Options
Freshsales offers plans for real estate agents at just about every level of their business.
The Blossom plan for only $12 a month provides all the tools that 90% of real estate agents are going to need, including automated workflows, a free caller integration, lead analytics, just to name a few.
If you’re working with a team, stepping up to the Garden plan for $25 a month might be the better route; here you get more sophisticated lead routing options and some more flexible customizations for what you and your team are going to see on screen.
If you’re running a major operation, the Estate plan for $49 might be worth it for you, if only for the Reports Dashboard that gets unlocked here. When you’ve got a team of 15 or 20 people working toward the same goal, the long-term success of your operation hinges on your ability to measure your team’s efficiency and identify where you’re dropping the ball. The Reports Dashboard allows you to do all of that, as well as create detailed revenue forecasts, track deals in real time, and compare agents and teams on a number of different metrics.
The Forest plan for $79 pulls out all the stops, but most of the features you get at the Forest level aren’t as applicable to the real estate industry, so the juice may not be worth the squeeze here.
Final Thoughts on Freshsales
With so many ways to enhance this platform, whether they be paid add-ons or upgrades to the next level of services, users of the Freshsales Free Forever Sprout plan have all sorts of room to grow in their business. But, that doesn’t mean that the free version of Freshsales isn’t helpful, efficient, and easy to use. Despite the fact that this isn’t a real estate specific CRM, it works very well in the real estate space, and should be strongly considered by any real estate agent who is in the market for a new CRM.
Best Free Real Estate CRM For Customization: HubSpot
HubSpot is another CRM with a great free option. Unlike the task-oriented platform of Insightly, HubSpot’s bread and butter is the conversations you have with your contacts and their customization options.
HubSpot’s communication focus really shines with its contact outreach options. HubSpot integrates with your email provider, allowing agents to email straight from a contact’s profile. You can schedule these emails, utilize HubSpot’s real-time email analytics to track when your contacts are opening your messages and what they’re doing with them after they open them.
With a paid upgrade, you can also make calls straight from your dashboard, take notes on all your interactions, and even invite your contacts to schedule appointments with you using their Google Calendar integration.
Overall, this is a great platform for agents who want a customized communication experience with each of their contacts. If you thrive on details, HubSpot is a great choice.
Best HubSpot Feature For Real Estate Agents: Customization
HubSpot has a lot going for it, but we can sum up our favorite feature of the free plan in just one word: customization. Unlike other free CRMs, HubSpot’s free platform lets you customize just about every field, pipeline, template, and everything in between.
Since HubSpot is a non-real estate specific CRM, this customization option goes a long way to making this platform feel more like home for agents who are still learning the terminology themselves.
One customization highlight for us is the 80 different fields you can choose from for a contact’s personal profile. Many of these fields are reactive too, meaning that as your conversation and communication with them evolves, so does the entry on this field.
For example, you can choose to display the last time a contact was emailed, what their click-through rate is, even their website activity if they click on one of your Facebook posts to your site. When you’ve got a large contact database, finding the right lead for a hot new listing can be the difference between a mediocre and a record-setting month.
Where HubSpot Comes Up Short: Email Automation
HubSpot doesn’t offer much in the way of automation other than scheduling one-off emails. Drip campaigns are powerful tools in the real estate business, so scheduling email communication one step at a time can be time consuming. This feature is available in the upgraded marketing packages, starting at $50 per month.
Also, like most of the providers on our list, the customer support for the free option is basically non-existent with HubSpot. There are a lot of user forums online where users help one another, but official customer support from the home office is reserved for paying customers.
HubSpot Upgrade Options
HubSpot offers a la carte add-ons to its free package, including upgraded sales, marketing, and service add-ons, as well as an advanced content management system for your website. Having all these options are great, but it also means that costs can add up fast when upgrading HubSpot.
You can package these items together into the HubSpot Growth Suite, which runs $113 per month, or turbo charge the platform with their Professional Suite upgrade, a whopping $1,200 per month.
Most of the features in the Professional Suite upgrade aren’t really that useful for most real estate agents, but the Growth Suite brings together a lot of expanded tool sets and automation options that agents would find helpful.
Final Thoughts on HubSpot
HubSpot is a great platform, and we were back and forth on whether to name this our best overall platform. Ultimately we decided this was a close second to Insightly because for as much as we love all the customization options, drilling down into the minutiae of every single detail can get distracting if you let it. Overall, HubSpot is a fantastic product that would benefit any real estate business. We’re excited to have it on the list.
Best Free CRM For Transaction-Focused Agents: Zoho
So far, we’ve investigated a task-oriented CRM (Insightly) and a customization rich CRM (HubSpot). Let’s add a transaction-focused CRM to the list with our next contestant, Zoho.
We’ll admit, we were a little puzzled by the hype that Zoho gets as a CRM. At first blush it didn’t seem like it would be very well suited to the real estate business at all. But, our opinion quickly turned around when we started to think about Zoho as more of a transaction management tool, a feature that most CRMs have in some capacity, but not in the sophisticated way it’s approached with Zoho.
Most (if not all) of Zoho’s form and function is designed around moving transactions from one stage to the next, taking out the emotional nuance and communication that is a part of so many real estate agent / client relationships.
For instance, on the Zoho platform, one of the goals is to move your “leads” to your “contacts,” and then move your “contacts” to your “deals.”
While we think this CRM has value in the single-family residential world, it seems like this system is best suited for real estate agents working with developers on multi-unit projects or even more so for commercial real estate agents.
Best Zoho Feature For Real Estate Agents: Feeds
Zoho’s “Feeds” are a brilliant approach to keeping everyone on the team (up to three users included on the free plan) up-to-date with what’s happening in the office.
Just like a Facebook feed, Zoho offers a continuous scroll of all the most pertinent details of each deal your team is brokering. Users can log in to Zoho, see what’s happening for each member of the team, comment on status updates, tag each other for action items that need attention, and more.
There is also a blank entry box, allowing users to create their own “posts” in the feed, perfect for getting the word out about projects that aren’t related to transactions directly in the pipeline. This is a smart approach to keeping everyone in the loop, in part because it employs an interface that most of us are very familiar with already.
Also, you can customize feeds for particular team members, even create multiple feeds so that conversations among managers stay in one place and conversations among the team as a whole stay in another.
Where Zoho Comes Up Short: A Generic Experience
Zoho doesn’t feel like a real estate specific product, not even a little bit. The free version of Zoho doesn’t allow for much customization of fields, so even when you’re creating pipelines and processes for you and your team, you’ve got to use some pretty generic sales language that, even for seasoned real estate professionals, can get a little confusing (who wants to call their clients “accounts?”).
The danger with this lack of customization is when data fields stop having clear intent, it is easy to stop using them. A CRM that you aren’t using becomes much more of a burden than a tool very quickly. The customization options do open up if you decide you want to upgrade to the Standard ($12 per month) paid account.
Zoho Upgrade Options
Zoho offers a ton of upgrade options, starting at just $12 per month for the Standard Plan. However, advanced email automation, analytics and social media integrations don’t kick in until you hit the Professional Plan, which is $20 per month. A commercial real estate specific CRM will generally cost you upward of $50 per month, so the upgraded version of Zoho is definitely worth considering for serious commercial agents.
There are lots of bells and whistles in the different upgrade packages that seem more applicable to a more generic sales environment (stuff like inventory management), so we’d suggest you take a very close look at them yourself to make sure they’re for you.
If you don’t mind the lack of customization, the free version of Zoho seems like something you could use for a long time. If you’ve got plans for an upgrade in the future, this might not be the CRM for you.
Final Thoughts on Zoho
If real estate is more about numbers than names to you, a free real estate CRM like Zoho is going to be perfect for you. Everything, from the way contacts and communication are handled to the aesthetic of the interface itself will appeal to real estate agents who are focused on their capitalization rate. Zoho is easy to set up and get started on, so if your client base isn’t touchy feely, give Zoho a try.
Best CRM For Seasoned, Data Driven Agents: Agile CRM
It’s easy to get lost in those processes when a CRM doesn’t adapt well to the real estate industry, but that isn’t the case with Agile CRM. The free version of Agile CRM is very adaptable to the real estate industry, thanks to customizable dashboards and interfaces with your own labels.
The free version doesn’t allow you to fully customize the CRM, but it gets close enough that there were times during our test drive that we forgot Agile CRM wasn’t actually built for real estate, but that customization does take a lot of time and effort.
The dashboard and interface are slick and modern, clearly designed with non-computer experts in mind. Agile CRM calls their interface “consumer grade,” which translates to “everything here is intuitive and easy to use on Day One.”
It has the features you’d expect, email integration and tracking, contact management, and a robust reporting and analytics section. Agile CRM is data and results oriented, and allows users to adjust course easily based on those results.
Best Agile CRM Feature For Real Estate Agents: Social Media Integrations
By far, the coolest feature on Agile CRM is its social media integrations. Using dashboard add-ons they call widgets, Agile CRM users have the option of bringing their contact’s social media stream from either Facebook or Twitter into their contact profile, and even have the option to interact with their posts there.
In the free version you’re allowed to choose a single social widget to add to contact profiles, but in the paid version you can add many, including advanced email analytics, text messaging, calling features, the list goes on and one.
In the free version of Agile CRM, this sort of valuable customizable add-on feels really generous, and goes above and beyond the options on other free CRMs.
Where Agile CRM Comes Up Short: Confusing Features Availability
The Agile CRM free platform looks and feels exactly like the paid platform. All the menus are there, all the options are there. However, the items that are unavailable with the free version are not indicated, so there’s a lot of clicking only to be given a pop-up that says an upgrade is required to access that particular feature.
Though we’re sure you’d learn pretty quickly which features are available in the free version, the hours leading up to that tipping point will be frustrating with all the clicking around to menus you actually have no access to.
Agile CRM Upgrade Options
There are three upgrade options from the free plan. The first is the Starter plan for $8.99 per month. This unlocks some of the automation options that would be useful for real estate agents, gives you further access to the widgets library and allows you to use more than one at once, as well as opens up lead capture widgets and popups you can put on your website to capture leads and build your contact list.
The Regular plan is the next step up at $29.99 (per user) per month, and this option unlocks every other bell and whistle on the platform, including expanding your number of contacts from 1,000 to 50,000, custom pipelines, and on-dashboard phone integration.
The final upgrade is to Enterprise for $47.99 per month, which expands access to every member of your company.
Final Thoughts on Agile CRM
Agile CRM is a great free product. It has a lot of options that really shine through in a real estate setting. However, the thing that most excites about this product is upgrading it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of utility in the free version, but the upgrade is so inexpensive and opens up so many doors, Agile CRM is a good choice for you if you’re growing and plan to take your CRM to the next level someday soon.
Best Free Real Estate CRM For Teams: Bitrix24
If you’re on a real estate team, you know that teams need things like lead distribution and team accountability, things that individual agents don’t. Team leaders need to keep track of their junior agents in order to make sure customer needs are being met.
Bitrix24 is a team communication and collaboration platform that offers, among many things, a CRM that can be converted easily to the real estate space. This platform gives you a platform to make sure your team is all moving in the right direction for clients, projects, contacts, even neighborhoods. On the free plan, up to 12 users can access almost the entire platform, the only limitation really being online storage space. On the free plan, users get up to 5GB of storage on the Bitrix24 server, space that gets gobbled up fast since this is a SaaS provider and nothing is actually stored locally.
Even though Bitrix24 definitely has outreach and marketing tools, it’s clear right from the get-go that Bitrix24’s main strength is as an INTERNAL CRM for your team, to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time and then some.
Best Bitrix24 Feature For Real Estate Agents: CRM + Internal Team Management
The best part of Bitrix24 is the interface between the CRM and the internal team management platform.
Oftentimes, teams have to use two different systems to manage the clients and to manage each other, but Bitrix24 has solved this problem by overlapping the two, making communication and decision-making about clients easy. When the internal and external systems are set on the same framework, you can decide on a strategy for a particular contact and assign them to a team member without even leaving the browser window.
This leads to fewer dormant leads, a more engaged team workforce, and of course, no need to walk around with Slack for your peeps and another platform altogether for your clients.
Where Bitrix24 Falls Short: 100% Cloud-Based
This platform is completely cloud-based. You don’t even have the option through the CRM to save data locally. While this is fine for photos you’re backing up on your phone, a remarkable amount of your business is going to come through your CRM, so having some offline storage for things like disclosure forms, leases, and contracts seems like a prudent backup.
Also, the five gigs of digital storage space included in the plan goes remarkably fast, especially when you consider that most CRMs have no storage space limit. Without an easy way of moving data onto portable storage devices or just onto your laptop, you and your team are kept in limbo.
Bitrix24 Upgrade Options:
This platform is 99% full featured right out of the box. However, the free plan only comes with five gigs of storage. An upgrade to Plus nets you 24 gigs and up to 24 users for $39 a month; 100 gigs a month and up to 50 users on the Standard plan, and unlimited storage and members for $199 per month.
Bitrix24 Final Thoughts
The CRM for Bitrix 24 is fairly basic compared to others on our list. However, nobody else on the list provides such a great internally focused structure. If you’ve got a big team you’re having a hard time getting all to point in the same direction at once, Bitrix24 might be a good option to try.
(Nearly) Free CRMs Worth Mentioning
OK, so they aren’t totally free, but the following three CRM options are really great and so close to free that you need to hear about them. You can also read our Best Real Estate CRM article for a full list of the best paid real estate CRMs, starting at just $25 a month.
This extremely robust CRM and lead generation system is well worth paying for; $33 per month will get you the basic package, including email marketing and a lead generating website.
What many people don’t know is that if you’ve had your real estate license for less than a year, IXACT Contact will GIVE you six months free on the platform free of charge, no contracts or obligations.
If you want to learn more about the IXACT Contact system, we did a deep dive review, check it out.
Most real estate agents know Placester as a purveyor of IDX websites. What a lot of people don’t know, unless you read the fine print of your NAR membership docs, is that anyone who is a part of the National Association of Realtors is eligible for a basic website and lead capture system from Placester.
If you want to upgrade to the first paid plan, there is a CRM included as well. We recently featured Placester in our article 5 Clever Real Estate Landing Pages That Convert Like Crazy, check it out to learn a little more about what it has to offer.
Recently named the best overall in our article The Best Real Estate CRM for 2020: In-Depth Reviews & Pricing, there aren’t many products that can stand up to the platform that Propertybase has built. With a starting price of $89 per month, Propertybase isn’t the cheapest option on the market, but in our opinion, it is definitely the best. It offers a two week, full featured free trial with no obligation or credit card required.
Bringing It All Together
If you are ready to move beyond the limits of how many names and addresses you can hold in your head and into a new world of communication automation, contact management, and ultimately a better bottom line, you need a CRM. Of all the free CRMs we reviewed, Insightly delivered the best features with the most efficient systems and provided the greatest value.