Why We Built Our Own CRM

While still in the early phases of its startup life, the AptAmigo team quickly realized our need for Customer Relationship Management software, commonly referred to as a CRM. This software would enable agents to carry their clients through each stage of the sales pipeline with greater efficiency. In order to offer the best quality real estate services on the market, this CRM would need to meet a strict and detailed set of criteria that also fit the company’s limited budget at the time. 

We did the search, checked for every single feature we wanted, and still fell short. The burden of setting up and managing costly and time consuming software did not match the demands of AptAmigo’s budding company structure. Our company’s workflow, after all, does not follow a traditional real estate model, and the ability to support a collaborative effort with our precise pipeline proved difficult to find.

Our solution: build our own proprietary software that caters to AptAmigo’s every detailed need.

More CRMs have entered the marketplace during the six years (as of 2021) of AptAmigo’s life, which means more options for new companies. However, more does not always equate to better, and this option, creating your own CRM from scratch, might be worth considering if your CRM search falls short. 

Why You Might Want to Build Your Own Too

Let’s be clear, building your own CRM is not the solution for everyone. It requires a designated tech team with the necessary expertise, and it will take time. In fact, the work of building our own custom CRM never ended. It constantly undergoes routine maintenance in addition to the release of new features on a regular basis. Because of its adaptability, this software can change and grow with the company, making it the perfect solution for us.

For AptAmigo, a custom built CRM saved time and money. We customized every single part of it and built only what we needed. Instead of an expensive CRM bogged down with features we don’t need, or a cheaper CRM that lacked the features we do need, our software follows the exact customer journey we designed for our apartment hunting clients.

How to Make it Happen

We chose to build AptAmigo’s CRM collaboratively. Our apartment locators can request features that will improve their workflow, and the tech team, in response, develops them. New features, in other words, match a precise need identified by the people who use the CRM everyday.

Our CRM mastermind and CTO, Sam Jeon, explains his straightforward approach to figuring out what our company needs in a CRM: 

“We get a lot of great ideas from our locators and clients, and, although we try our best to turn most of them into CRM features, as a startup, we need to be selective about what to develop. When we make those decisions, we ask ourselves, ‘will this make finding apartments easier and more helpful for our clients and locators?’” 

Sam recommends keeping it simple, observing employees performing their routine responsibilities, and listening to requests. If your company chooses this path, decide on your own core principles and methods ahead of time, and use that framework to guide your decisions.

Evidence of Success

According to the 2021 Inc. 5000 list, AptAmigo is ranked as the fastest-growing real estate company in America, and sits at no. 327 out of the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies from every industry. This success stems from hard work, dedication, teamwork, and an ability to adapt ourselves and our technology in ways that can keep pace with a rapidly growing market.

Our 3-year growth rate of 1,425% makes us proud, but official rankings only reveal so much about how we attained this level of success. In order for our apartment locators to drive growth, they need the right tools, in this case, a great CRM. Our locators, who contribute to our CRM’s constant development, report that they love the software’s detailed search filters, the ease with which they can track their stats and progress, and the ability to monitor what’s happening from year to year in the apartment rental market. 

Whether intentionally or not, AptAmigo’s CRM both reflects our company’s core values (collaboration, adaptability, and transparency) and enables us to live by them everyday. It represents a collaborative effort born out of open communication and ongoing adaptation.

Join the AptAmigo Team

Want to Use AptAmigo’s proprietary CRM software? Apply to become an apartment locator today!

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

About the Author
Karrie Fuller, PhD

Karrie Fuller earned her PhD in English from the University of Notre Dame. After a decade of teaching college-level writing and English courses, she brings a wealth of expertise about writing, editing, and content management to AptAmigo's marketing team.