Episode 426: Pros & Cons of Sierra Interactive in 2024

Episode Timeline

On the 426th episode of Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood, and Robert Newman discuss the pros and cons of using Sierra Interactive in 2024. Robert Newman is the founder and CEO of Inbound REM. This inbound marketing company provides real estate website development and SEO consulting and provides services directly to real estate agents and brokers. On the other hand, Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder of Mail-Right, a CRM lead generation platform built on WordPress, combining several digital tools into a single, convenient, and user-friendly solution. This episode provides updated information about Sierra Interactive, one of the top real estate websites and CRM providers.

What is Sierra Interactive

Sierra Interactive’s founder, Ben, was an experienced developer who initially worked independently for real estate agents. He noticed a recurring problem: real estate agents frequently ask for tools to generate leads and manage a CRM on their websites. Ben was already developing similar tools as a consultant but envisioned a more scalable approach. He aimed to build a server-based, fast real estate website platform that could be sold using templates. This idea led to Sierra Interactive, which provides integrated solutions for real estate professionals. Ben used to blog and share his thoughts publicly, telling his adaptive approach: he responded to the needs he observed in the market. Real estate webmasters, who were dominant in the industry at the time, were not treating their customers well. Ben saw an opportunity to create a competitive product that better served the needs of real estate agents. Sierra Interactive began to outshine its competitors for five to ten years, attracting a significant following from real estate webmasters.

Sierra Interactive systems have different usages that are distinct to various user categories. Sierra Interactive is a great option if you have a team of five to twenty people and you’re looking for a customized solution to track where all your leads are coming from. With a $200,000 to $300,000 budget, Sierra Interactive can provide the tools and customization your team needs to manage and analyze leads.

Recently, Sierra Interactive has seen substantial growth, although Ben has since sold the company. A possible reason why Sierra Interactive sold its company is that the platform requires a complete rebuild to keep up with the mobile revolution. The company needs to catch up in several technological areas. Although they continue to produce solid features and are recognized as industry leaders, somebody needs to come with great enthusiasm and innovation to maintain the platform’s relevance. Despite this change in ownership, the platform remains a leading solution in the real estate industry. The primary cons of Sierra Interactive at the moment are the need for more clarity regarding ownership and company plans. This uncertainty creates significant concern among stakeholders and potential investors.

Sierra Interactive also faces significant competition from Follow Up Boss. Follow Up Boss is a better choice for real estate teams with an advertising budget between $200,000 and $300,000. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, Follow Up Boss does not provide a website. Second, Zillow recently acquired the company, raising concerns about data acquisition. While Follow Up Boss assures users their data is not shared with Zillow, some may still be wary of potential data sharing issues.

Sierra Interactive Main Features

Sierra Interactive became a top real estate website builder known for its integrated CRM capabilities. The platform achieved significant recognition, with Ruby Home being one of the most notable examples built on Sierra Interactive. Ruby Home, created by an experienced content marketer, became the number one real estate website in traffic and exposure. The website’s owner, Tony, even blogged about his positive experience with Sierra Interactive, and his review remains highly visible in search results.

However, once considered interactive, the content management system (CMS) they built now needs to be improved. For example, it does not support multimedia content like video and restricts the number of images that can be used. While Tony has managed to build a leading website using Sierra Interactive’s CMS, exceptional skill is required to achieve such results. As a result, the quality of leads generated by these websites has been declining for a long time. Overall, Sierra Interactive is not as well-prepared for the current technological landscape as expected.

Regarding SEO, Sierra Interactive stands out from other platforms. However, it’s important to note that the website of Ruby Home mentioned above, managed by an experienced inbound marketer, has been significantly customized. While it uses Sierra Interactive as the backbone, the level of customization goes far beyond the standard setup.

The same applies to SEO. The technical aspects of setting up a website can give you a foundation, but this alone won’t generate traffic. Traffic is essential for conversions, and the only way to achieve it is if Google perceives your content as more informative and useful to the target audience than your competitors’ content.

Two types of SEO can be used internally, similar to real estate strategies: one is through search tools. Sierra Interactive specializes in this area, focusing on various search filters, including neighborhoods and city names. They provide a fast, efficient, responsive system to enhance property visibility in search results. This method remains effective for ranking in search engines when combined with additional SEO efforts such as building domains, creating off-site content like blogs, and more.

Tony from Ruby Home exemplifies this approach through extensive application. Tony has taken a basic framework and, with a fantastic skill set, made it into something remarkable. Sierra Interactive’s tools complement Tony’s work well. Tony has implemented these SEO strategies flawlessly by incorporating searches into his blog and interlinking within the site. His site leverages the platform as effectively as possible. Can the average person master these skills? Unlikely. Even many consultants may need help to utilize the platform as Tony has, despite understanding its theory. Tony’s level of creativity and insight in building his site is exceptional. His research and intuition about user responses to individual pages are exemplary.

Furthermore, modern SEO heavily relies on user interaction with the site. Tony excels at creating content that encourages users to engage with the site, even when the platform has limitations. To maximize user interaction, offering diverse content types, including interactive elements, infographics, accordion menus, and clickable search features, is crucial. Providing multiple options, especially videos, is essential to catering to different user preferences.

While some of these features might be achievable with Sierra Interactive, the process could be more intuitive and straightforward. For instance, incorporating video content is challenging, as it is rarely seen on sites using Sierra Interactive. This suggests that integrating video might be cumbersome or not well-supported by Sierra Interactive.
Overall, to enhance user engagement and improve SEO, it’s crucial to offer a variety of content types and interactive options, ensuring the process is user-friendly and accessible.

Marketing Automation System

Sierra Interactive leads the field in marketing automation, especially compared to its competitors. It offers an intuitive system for adding agents to CRM and facilitating agent activities within the platform. For instance, real estate agents can identify users who have viewed numerous properties and reach out to them via automated calls or texts, all integrated into the system. However, Sierra Interactive is slightly behind the curve in terms of automated text messaging and similar features. Their capabilities in this area are comparable to Real Geeks, and you might find other, more advanced systems in this specific type of automation.

Despite this, Sierra Interactive remains a top choice in the real estate industry as a CRM. It is more robust than tools like KVcore, offering more built-in options and intuitive integrations for additional external tools. Sierra Interactive usually integrates with calling systems, making it ideal for high-volume calling teams. For large teams, the options are limited. While a follow-up boss, as is Sierra Interactive, can handle large teams effectively, an extensive onboarding process is required. Mail-right offers a simpler platform that appeals to small teams, agents, and real estate professionals who value easy onboarding.

Furthermore, there are generally two types of real estate agents or business owners:

  1. Those who prefer a well-known, standardized service: These individuals seek a McDonald’s or Taco Bell experience with their marketing, which is reasonably priced and widely used. They value the track record and popularity of a system like Real Geeks, knowing it has been adopted by many others.
  2. Those who seek personalized, high-quality service: These individuals prefer a service similar to local restaurants, where the owner is actively involved in ensuring high-quality service. They want to feel their business is in the hands of someone who truly cares, even if the system isn’t as large or well-funded.

When you choose Mail-right, you benefit from a hands-on approach. If you encounter an issue specific to your business, you can expect a direct response from the owner or manager. Unlike larger platforms like Real Geeks, where your request might get lost in a sea of support tickets, Mail-right provides a personalized touch. Although Mail-right may not have the extensive resources or client base of bigger competitors, the personalized service can be invaluable, especially for small businesses with limited marketing budgets.

Sierra Interactive Pricing

Sierra Interactive offers different pricing packages to meet various user needs.

  1. The core package features the Essential Bundle, priced at $499.95 monthly. This bundle includes access for 5 users and 1 MLS IDX Connection. Users can receive 1,500 SMS texts, 100 MMS texts, 1,500 dialer minutes, 250 ringless voicemails, and 10,000 minutes of recorded storage. Standard onboarding and support services are also provided.
  2. Growth Package offers an Expansion Bundle starting at $699.95 monthly. This package is perfect for a team of 5 users and includes 1 MLS IDX Connection. It provides an extensive 15,000 SMS texts, 5,000 MMS texts, 500 ringless voicemails, and 35,000 minutes of recorded storage. Other services included in this package are personalized onboarding assistance, premium support, quarterly consultations with a dedicated customer success manager, and privileged access to specialized assets.

Both packages require a 12-month agreement with no setup fees. Additional users can be added in blocks of 5 for $100 monthly. Custom pricing is available for teams exceeding 45 users. Each additional MLS IDX Connection costs $25 per month for both packages.

Sierra Interactive Alternatives

If you are looking for other budget-friendly platforms, RealGeeks is best for agents on a budget. They require a hardcore setup process dealing with multiple vendors, which can be challenging. However, they are significantly cheaper and offer great value for money. They could be the ideal solution for agents skilled in digital marketing and comfortable with technical setups.

Chime can also be a good option. It boasts a beautiful, user-friendly dashboard but tends to be overpriced for its offerings. Despite mentioning cutting-edge features, agents have found these integrations sometimes need to integrate better with their existing systems. Chime is suitable for small teams or those looking to switch from KVcore, offering a fresh alternative in the market. They make a good-looking website that functions well. However, you won’t get excellent SEO results because so much is automated. When considering adoption into Chime, you have to be very cautious.

Mail-Right also appears superior to Real Geeks, mainly if you prioritize a more personalized approach.

Property Base has been strategically acquiring and partnering with numerous technology firms, integrating them into their core CRM framework. Focused initially on CRM solutions, Property Base expanded its capabilities by taking in technologies from companies like Bold Leads and Lone Wolf. For instance, they directly integrated Bold Leads’ lead generation functionality into their CRM platform. Now, Property Base operates primarily as a CRM with robust lead generation capabilities, leveraging the framework developed by Bold Leads. To understand the extent of integration, a demo would be necessary to explore the current features. Similarly, Property Base absorbed Lone Wolf, known for its IDX solutions, enhancing their websites with IDX capabilities powered by Lone Wolf’s technology. This approach involves identifying compatible technology firms and acquiring them, integrating their functionalities as specialized components within their CRM ecosystem.


Sierra Interactive is not an easy solution to discuss because it is robust and has 50 integrations on the backend. Due to its effective search filters, Sierra Interactive continues to deliver robust SEO results. Many well-funded teams rely heavily on Sierra Interactive for their digital presence. Therefore, when evaluating Sierra Interactive, it’s important to consider that some of the biggest spenders in the digital world utilize these platforms. Comparatively speaking, Sierra Interactive holds its own against similar platforms like Sync and Boomtown, particularly in backend functionalities.

Sierra Interactive is strongly recommended if you decide between KVCore and Sierra Interactive. Many opt for KVCore because brokers offer it at a steep discount, but the best CRM for you should match your specific needs. While some users swear by KVCore’s results, individuals seeking a tailored fit consider Sierra Interactive.

KVCore offers significant cost advantages per seat, especially for large agencies with thousands of agents. In contrast, Sierra Interactive suits smaller to medium-sized teams or those preferring greater control and personalized training.

It is crucial to remember that a CRM’s effectiveness depends on how well it’s utilized. Follow-Up Boss remains an excellent choice in the market for straightforward adoption without extensive training needs. It’s intuitive and user-friendly, making it accessible even without dedicated digital trainers or tech specialists like a CTO or CMO.