Real Estate

More Communications, Less Fluff. Bonzo Upends The CRM: Tech Review

Bonzo deftly avoids CRM stereotypes, yet does exactly what a true CRM should. Its video, live chat, email and text campaigns focus on quick responses, relevant subject matter and traceable discussions.

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Bonzo is a business communication and client interaction solution for real estate.

Platforms: Browser; mobile app on iOS, Android
Ideal for: Independent brokerages, teams, agents, marketing managers, admins

Top selling points:

  • “Non-CRM” CRM approach
  • Fast, insightful communication tools
  • Simple marketing campaign creation
  • Advisory model, less “salesy”
  • Messaging capabilities

Top concern:

Bonzo strips away the weight of using a CRM in this smart, under-the-radar solution. But that could harm its adoption, as brokerages tend to be pressured by the appeal of a more traditionally marketed CRM.

What you should know

I don’t like to play favorites, but Bonzo is one of the top five or so products I’ve seen this year. Bonzo is an advisor-to-client communication solution that incorporates modern outreach tools with traditional sales strategy. Its approach emphasizes humanism, eschews robotic interactions and does so through a user experience as sharp as what Cloze, CORE Present and TopHap are doing.

I’ve actually grown so bored of seeing CRM products that are really marketing solutions with built-in customer databases. I’m not saying they’re not useful. But, many of them are replaceable. This is partly why agents jump around so much—the competition offers something very similar.

Don’t let my cynicism belie the importance of keeping in touch with customers, though, the practice is essential to being able to stay afloat through the perpetual turbulence of the real estate market.

Well, say hello to a whole new boat.

Bonzo deftly avoids CRM stereotypes, yet does exactly what a true CRM should. Its video, live chat, email and text campaigns focus on quick responses, relevant subject matter and traceable discussions. Conversations are nicely siloed in-app, as are its primary feature modules.

The Campaign builder will take a minute to grasp, but I find it one of the most intuitive methods for linking people, actions and creative. Once it clicks, you’ll be all-in on assigning outreach methods to days since initial contact.

You can create custom delays between communications and edit any messages in the same interface. Automations will cease immediately upon a manual response from the target.

Campaigns can be shared, lead routing rules easily manipulated and sending cutoff times, work hours and time zones are made easy to accommodate. You can send straight text, .gif files and record videos.

Under People, users will find verified contact details, what campaigns they’re a part of and how they’re tagged in association with their relationship. You can quickly search by tag and in a couple of clicks, batch send all of them a ringless voicemail, video or text. There a bunch of filters, too.

All forms of outreach are consolidated under Conversations, and multiple actions can be launched from here, as well. Conversations can be assigned, ceased, and turned into tasks.

I think the Bonzo Presenter, a browser extension, is a standout feature, allowing agents to video chat over a screenshare directly in the app. It can be a great way to ignite a pricing discussion or show buyers some new homes from a portal or company listing page.

There’s a lot to be said for Bonzo’s use of the term, “advisor.” It’s deliberate, and I hope it resonates. My take is that they want to elevate the conversation, literally and figuratively, about what agents provide. They don’t want you to be wrapped up in content creation when you should be focused on simply making quick, relevant contact.

Bonzo’s feature designs emulate a focus on people, not the technology driving it. It boils off the excess, leaving behind the core ingredients of sales: efficient conversations, authenticity and having something to sell.

I don’t think the word “listing” or “lead” appears in any of the primary menu structures. That’s because good sales communication supersedes product. Be good at the former, and you can sell anything.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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