Estate Agent

I’ve just installed suitecrm & am looking to configure it for a property consultants / estate agents (realtor in the US). I’m wondering has anyone done this already and have they any advice to share from experience? I’m looking to cover everything from valuations to sales & management.

Hi there,

I’m not sure how heavily you need to customise the CRM but there are many guides on Studio/Module Builder. These elements allow you to modify/add/edit fields/views and build custom modules.



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What I’m thinking of doing is configuring all our services (valuations, lettings etc) as “products” and then making every property we take on as “accounts”. Maybe use the shipping address section as the address of the property itself. Put vendors, purchasers, solicitors, bankers, engineers in as classes of contacts, general enquiries as leads. I’m very green at this package and what interacts where so does this sound like the right direction?

if this is still on your to do list and still going down this route, I’m about to embark and happy to share ideas with you as we build it together. I’ll be using it as both agent and brokerage, more than likely. not sure if you can message me through this forum but feel free otherwise, I’ll cehck back to this page

i have do this for a Real state but just for testing. not for a Real company but i think maybe i can help you. email me

We have developed and released a fully-functional real estate module that we believe is comparable to top producer and some of the other big players. We would be more than happy to let you demo it and appreciate any feedback you could provide.

am also interested, as i am dealing in Real Estate, Dubai Real Estate and have been studying the forum for guidelines to implement…
please share the development/plans/guidelines

I am more than excited to help you. please let me know how to get the module. I’ve already learned how to install a module so that should be ok. how can I contact you? Web page? Let me know! :slight_smile:

Great to see all the interest. I am in the middle of another project at the moment but I’d love to get this going in the new year. What I’m thinking is I’ll post a data flow map for the various business elements here & then maybe see how we can implement.
There are 3 major elements to the business, sales, lettings & valuations (appraisals to some).
Having thought about it in recent months, my feeling is that the property addresses should be designated as the products, with the vendor/lessor designated as a supplier account and bidders/viewers as buyer accounts…
@veritris, if you have something already done, I’d like to take a look.

I think that is a great idea of the address being the ‘account’ and then you could keep contacts as your ‘address book’. I assume you can assign contacts to existing ‘accounts’ anyways, although Ihaven’t gotten that far yet. In Canada here, we have three elements that make the property ‘unique’:

  1. the ‘common address’ that you would use to search teh property on an online map program for example
  2. the ‘legal description’ which is a string of numbers, letters and some accronymns
  3. the property identification number (PID)

All of these could be considered ‘totally unique’ and work for the ‘account’ designation. Also, it is worthy to note that in canada you can, as a realtor, pull data from the private database which has all this data. I think Top Producer is able to go in and pull that data out. But I haven’t used top producer in recently history.

This idea of the address/unique id as the ‘account’ is good because you can swap out the client multiple times for the same property without altering all the details for that property. for example if a client does a new roof this year, yo ucan put that in the notes associated with the property and then when you sell it to the next person you can just swap the names out (Contact) and keep the house information static. Dynamite powerful!

Great start. Keep it going.

by the way, what is your intended business model here? Open/free or closed for profit module? I’m happy to help in either case but I just want to know approximately where this is going.

Thanks for your help!

The way I’m thinking at the moment, I’ve no vested interest in this bar utilising for my own firm so by all means lets keep the open source approach going. The more that get involved the better for all of us.

I am a Business Broker an commercial Real Estate Broker who has been working on the needed data set for a set of modules that specifically pertain to the needs of my brokerage.

I will gladly share my notes/outline in the next day or so if you guys would like and my reasoning for doing what I did because of how our funnel and transactions take place. I hope to have the modules completed to my skill ability by Monday and will gladly share them as well when they are finished.

My main issue is data conversions.

I have not taken a coding class since I took “Basic” in the mid 80’s. and although I did manage to pick up some basic HTML, I am in way over my head on the “back end” stuff as how to associate them with the reporting capabilities currently available to us via SUITE CRM.

Accounts would be your clients I believe, the sellers or those ordering reports.
Properties would need to be a separate module, I believe. You can sell a property multiple times, for different accounts. The core data set would be your listing(sale, lease, service and acquisition of new listings. RE Agents have a dual funnel where we need prospect for both sellers (clients) an buyers/leasees (customers/leads) which for now I have set as Opportunity in my data scheme.

Hey there NB Newell,

Name is Wayne here.

I like where you are headed and I think we can get something going here. I also see where you are coming with the clients as ‘accounts’. That makes sense. Yes, the properties could be treated as they are - products - the tangible ‘thing’ that people are trading (like a car). However, it would be dynamic to be able to pull the ‘products’ in some automatic way. I’m sure there is a way to get the API from the boards to be able to do that because Top Producer used to do that years and years ago.

So,agreed. Like this:
-contacts (everyone’s contact information ‘catch all’)
-accounts (a lead that has become a customer or prospective one)
-products: the homes and possibly services depending on how you work your brokerage model

How does that look?

I just wanted to confirm the difference between leads and contacts in this context and make sure something works:

A ‘contact’ is anyone like your mom or home inspector
a ‘lead’ is someone you plan to sell to

I just want to make sure you can change a ‘contact’ into a ‘lead’ to get them into the sales flow.

Thanks sir and I’m also willing to learn some basic coding if need be.

and what kind of data conversions are you trying to do? Like salesforce to SuiteCRM kind of stuff?

I sell commercial properties, so here is how I have mine structured:

Actually, right now I have it structured like this:

I have created a module called companies to add to the contacts that is for designating say, lawyers that work for a specific law group, etc. And added that filed to contacts. ( I was using accounts for this and it was fudging everything up.)

I am using “contacts” for support professionals, vendors, contractors etc. People we use to operate and/or support contacts related to our sellers AND individual seller/client contacts.

I am using “accounts” as the client. As a commercial broker, my “sellers” are often a corporation or partnership and not a corporation. When entering, the name is going to be the listing number (same as opportunity number) and description of the property such as the dba if an existing business, or city and usage (retail strip center in cityville). Here, the accounts are not so important because we work solely off of commission. I relate these to the individual sellers (or corporate principals if applicable )and the company if the seller is a corporation.

As for converting “Accounts” to leads, well, technically you do not need to, IMO.

As a Broker(agent) Our previous clients are our VIP’s.
In commercial, these are the people we market our listings to a good week or two before before they hit a listing service.

Our clients as Individuals should also be in our TARGET lists either under a 33 touchsystem, monthly newsletter and/or by area of interest. (residential investment, retail etc for commercial and single family w/ number of bedrooms for residential, for example.)

Targets can be converted to leads and leads can be converted to contacts.

Opportunities is our “Listing” and needs property classes like "commercial, Residential, land and maybe a flex for time share types if you do that sort of thing.

That should be a set of dynamic dropdowns with the child (subcategory) being dependent on that choice. so if it is a commercial property, then the child would be retail, manufacturing, multi unit, etc. for residential it could single family, condo, apartment, duplex and Quad, etc. Land could be “developmental, farm, urban lots”.

I then started with modules for “Properties” with all of the data from a property detail sheet on a search, place for tax maps, block&lot etc.
One for “Businesses”. These are corporate entities that we sell with or without real estate. And one for liquor licenses because we sell a LOT of restaurants/bars/liquor stores and having a database on hand of all the principals who have ever owned a liquor license, the licence number, class and issuing municipality is a huge target base for us.

I added a “listing id” to Opportunities so I can sort by listing number.

HOWEVER, I am not a member of the board of Realtors and as such do not utilize the MLS system. those who do, may wish to alter their “Opportunities” module.

Additionally, I personal work for commission only. We do not charge for BPO’s, preliminary demographics or traffic studies that are public record.

If a client needs a more specifically tailored report, we order the report fro our vendors and submit the invoice to our clients for reimbursement (lot maintenance, etc) or get reimbursed at settlement if we are under contract (surveys, appraisals, inspections, etc). As such, we do not earn income on those.
I use products for that just for record keeping so I have a list to send to the title agent for the HUD/settlement sheet.

So, I added an “Asking price” field to “Opportunities” and used our projected commission as the opportunity amount.

I assume that someone who has the coding capabilities could alter the opportunities amount to reflect the projected commission PLUS any “products”.

An opportunity could be a single property or a combination of real estate, business and liquor license.

That is why I made the Real Estate Module. All three are technically “properties”.

So for people: Our contacts are support personnel, individual client contacts and their corporate entities and or/employers

Our Accounts are our “sellers”. A list of corporate entities, DBA’s and principals that may be dynamiic and change for each sale, as such, they need a unique identifier to reflect that change while still keeping an accurate record of old records.

Our leads are prequalified targets/inquiries AND Probable potential sellers (targets who have shown an interest in selling that we need to meet and offer a listing presentation to but have not yet listed.).

Our targets are unqualified inquiries and potentials that we have not yet met but wish to market to as well as leads and clients. These need to be designated as Buyer Inquiries, Potential buyers, Potential sellers (because we have the dual funnel as our"Inventory" comes from our clients/sellers so we need a designation for unlisted, potential sellers to remind us to prospect for listings.)

That is how I am setting my modules up anyway, as I am also trying to take into account the current reporting capabilities.

Right now, I am capturing all inquiries "leads etc as “targets” via the email capture system, completing the data in the record and then converting to leads as applicable.

I also plan on running workflows on the target modules to create tasks as reminders to follow up on returned NDA’s etc and anything else that is required for us to prequal an inquiry based on status as a buyer lead and another one to prepare the presentation materials as a project to convert targets to a Seller lead.

I then plan on creating a workflow for the “Opportunities page” that will take us through the transaction from Listed active, offer made, offer accepted, due diligence, settled, closed sold, closed leased, closed expired, closed cancelled (with booleans to check off reason for reporting purposes. May have breached contract, may have been mutual, may have been seized for tax sale, etc).

That is the briefest "overview I can give atm.

Like I said, I should be done my core modules : Properties, businesses and liquor Licenses" by Monday.
I am also documenting any and all changes to existing modules that I make and am more than willing to share the module and notes of other changes if you guys want a short cut. to edit.

Oh!! Ok, I did not realize that we could convert targets to leads. So that part is done, but there are some other functionalities that I think would be great for us to have like the calculations in opportunities to reflect commissions + sales on “products” etc as the Opportunity amount for those who do charge.

It would also be nice to have a set of “expenses” modules to track advertising costs, gifts and agent expense reimbursements down the road but those again would have to be specialty modules that use calculated fields. With any luck, the momentum in the market will keep increasing in my niche and I will be able to afford to pay someone to code that for me within a year or so. For now, I am using spreadsheets for clients and Expensify for agent reimbursable expenses.

I am hoping to have as few integrations as possible.
Right now, inquiries on our website populate a mailchimp list for my newsletters etc as I refuse to pay for a dedicated server to send out a ton of mail every month. I hope to integrate all of my target lists over there so I can run all of my email campaigns through them or getresponse in the future.

How I plan to handle inquries:

As I mentioned, I am unable to get emails to populate into cases automatically.

Right now, ALL email buyer inquiries from our listing services, and websites etc come to a central mailbox as well as fax and phone call Buyer inquiries.
I manually capture those emails as cases, create a target as an inquiry, send out an NDA and Buyer Profile for prequal, then submit them to my broker who does the actual qualifying and deal.
After I get his input on the status of this inquiry, I then set the status as “rejected-unqualified” (these are dead leads that we do not want in our system and should purge monthly like spam, curious 16 yr olds, etc. ) , “qualified - to target lists” (for those who are qualified but not interested in the property in question) and “To Lead” for those who have been qualified and are converted to a lead and have an appointment for a showing.

Once a Buyer inquiry lead makes an offer, I move them to contacts.

I do much the same with Seller Prospecting Targets, only I leave them as Targets and chase them via campaigns. (direct mail and cold calls.)

Keep in mind, my SuiteCRM is not yet “live”.

I am still messing with it and refuse to start adding data until I get at least some kind of productive core functionality set up.

Off topic: I am also planning on setting up my tasks, project tasks, projects and documents in GTD style because that works for me.
I will dot that through three sets of contexts tags and by adding another document/file module as a tickler.

stellar reply, nb

I’m going to need at least an hour to steep it and absorb it. I’m pretty sure this last response will help me significantly. I realized that I didn’t understand a few key components of the CRM like targets.

I like your idea of using the listing number as the opportunity name. That’s pretty smart (I think) at a first glance.

I’ll hopefully get back to you in the morning if my plan to go to bed now succeeds! Thanks again and I look forward to digging in. I haven’t fully decided on commercial or residential (I have some experience in some low-level commercial like retail shops) but I’m sure we can convent the concepts to each other…

I wonder if you could, for now, export your instance of your data base structure and then I could upload it to a fresh server so that we are working on the same page. I guess that would be more trouble than simply giving me your custom fields and business flows… hmm…

gnight I hope.

I think I got it running and simplified my structure a LOT.

I have only one small added module that you guys can easily set up yourselves… so here is what I did and the process in which I use it.

  1. Created a “Company” Text Field for the name of the company a contact is associated with to Contacts, Accounts, Leads and Targets so they transfer upon conversion.

  2. Did the same with a new “County” field as well as added to Opportunities and properties.

  3. Added the “account type” field to Contacts, Leads and Targets. Altered it to reflect buyers, sellers, attorneys, accountants, appraisers, landlords, surveyors, insurance providers, lenders, Title Agencies (all of the fields used in a transaction) as well as “Customer – Buyer”, “Client – Seller” and vendors which would be the phone company, Staples, etc.

  4. Added a “Market”dropdown list as a Multiselect. I need only one since I am primarily commercial and any residential or land we sell are to investors/landlords, however you could easily create a dynamic dropdowns with “market” being “commercial”, “land”, “residential” and then a dropdown for each subcategory such as “condo”, Single”, “ Multi-unit” etc for residential and make it dependent using the dynamic dropdown field option.

  5. I then added that dropdown field to all of the people fields (Contacts, Accounts, Leads and Targets) as well as my Opportunities and Properties (made a module will share and provide details.

  6. Because of my needs I made a separate module for liquor licenses, but by adding a text field for it on properties or in opportunities, you could just plop in a license and then add a field for a class (or however you do it in your state)

  7. To my “Targets Module”, I made the following changes:
    a. I added a checkbox “Is Inquiry”
    b. I added a parent dropdown: “Inquiries” with the options “Buyer” and “Seller” Yes I realize that I already have a “type” field; however, I want that to convert across target – Lead – contact. This classification need not do so as it is a process independent of the Lead Status.
    The Status options for “Buyer Inquiries” are New – NDA Sent – NDA Received – Closed Dead (for unqualified targets and those who did not return the NDA after a set period of time.) – Closed Keep (qualified but uninterested in even seeing the property but will consider other Opportunities) and Closed Converted.
    For Sellers it is: New – contacted – Appointment set – Under Consideration – Closed converted – Closed Lost – Closed No Contact[/li][/li]

  8. Made some changes to my “Opportunities” Module.
    a. Added a Transaction Type dropdown field “ Sale, lease”
    b. Added a “commission details” text area
    c. Added a Checkbox for “seller financing” and an area for the terms of said financing.
    d. Added “List Date” and “expiration date” to track listing contract lifetimes. Will note extension addendums in history and change date. (Dates)
    e. Flipped “expected closed date” off of required and will set it when the closing date is set.
    f. Added a “List Price” (Currency)
    g. Putting my commission amount in “opportunity amount”
    I altered the Sales Stage to show “Prospecting, Offer Received, Offer Accepted, Under Contract (executed agreement of sale), Closing Scheduled, Closed won, Closed lost.
    h. Added a second dropdown for “Reason Lost” with the options “Expired, Cancelled, Foreclosure, other”
    I also added text fields for Corporate name The only time I need to keep these (as they often change after sale) is in another module I am using for Liquor Licenses that most of you will not need.

  9. Created a “properties” module. My needs are simple here; need only an address, block and lot and lot size. I need this to only run reports for markets and track sales statuses.
    a. Name is set to street and city
    b. Added address field
    c. Added county field.
    d. Added market dropdown as a “property class” (multiSelect)
    e. Set relationships for my “property” module.

  10. Products: These are reports or services we perform and need to invoice for reimbursement such as property maintenance for absent Sellers so these are internal only. We make nothing on these.

I may also be using them to generate our Commission statements for our records. We generate one for each closing and keep a spreadsheet of the totals for the year.
So the total commission, broken down into brokerage, sales agent, buyer agent, Admin cut, and any co-brokerage or referral fees would then be associated with an Opportunity. Not sure how yet as I have not gotten that far and have been doing this just fine in Excel.

I treated my Liquor License module a little differently in that I created Flex contacts as I also track liquor licenses that we have not sold because they are targets for us and easily maintained/updated via a public record spreadsheet I get every month for free from the State. All contacts in Liquor licenses are targets, but I do have a one to one relationship with my Opportunities that I can add one with.
My liquor license “name” is the License Number.

Now, As I mentioned before, I am primarily a Business Broker, but have my Sales license because business often have real estate attached.

As such, my Data structure will be thus:

My Accounts will be based on the last names of the Principal Sellers.

My Opportunities are my Listings. The names will be the Listing Number (again, because I am OCD a bit and corporate principals are fluid, but the Listing record is not.)
So a typical Opportunity would be something like 07865 – Main Street Retail with Apartments

All of the documents needed for the transaction will be associated with the Opportunity with the exception of the NDA and Buyer Profiles which will ALSO be associated with Buyer targets and leads . My clients may have several Companies and properties. Once a deal is completed, any other listings they bring me will have their own documents. (Our brokerage has sold the same restaurant 5 times to three different sets of people under 5 different corporate entities.)


So, I have a target (an unqualified lead or people I am targeting when marketing a property or prospecting for listings.).

Once qualified, I add them to the appropriate target list (Based on that “Market” dropdown), then convert them to a lead.
A Buyer Inquiry Target is “closed/converted” to a Lead when they have scheduled a showing or the boss tells me that they are a “Keeper”or to “ditch them”. LOL (after we receive a completed NDA and Buyer profile and he reviews the profile for financial viability)
A Seller Inquiry Target is converted to a Lead when they schedule a Listing appointment.
A Seller Lead converts to a Contact as a “Client” when they execute a Listing Agreement at which time an Account and Opportunity/Listing (to which I relate a property) are created.
A Buyer converts to a Customer Contact when the Opportunity Closes. .


Veritris, If comparable to Top Producer then your module is exactly what I need as I am looking for residential real estate agent/broker functionality. You’ve made a great offer but you’ve left us hanging. If you’ve “released” the module then what is the website promoting that offering? Who is “We”? What is the best way to contact you? Please expand on this so that we can indeed accept your offer. thanks.

I am very thankful and excited to try it out as well.
Also, sorry for my absence in this thread. Life sidetracked me for a short stint but I"m back and ready to work with you all on making this a great open source project for realtors/ brokers!

I’m back looking at this again. Seems to me that the properties as accounts thing wont work. They’l have to be products. What I’ve set up is product categories, sales, professional services, management. With subcategories for residential etc. The properties then become the products in these categories.
The wall I’m running into is bids. How do I log a bid. I tried creating a new task but the system crashed out. Any suggestions from the gestalt?