Learn how Nylas helped LionDesk become the #1 Real Estate CRM

LionDesk launched productivity-enhancing communications features in just 22 days using the Nylas Platform.

Saved hundreds of hours on development.
Launched native communications functionality in under a month.
Integrated with Gmail, Office 365, Outlook, Exchange, and IMAP.

How does a sales and marketing automation platform for agents and brokers become the #1 ranked real estate CRM?

By partnering with Nylas, LionDesk was able to add essential productivity features to their application like native email and calendar functionality in just a few engineering sprints, turning their CRM into a must-have communications hub for real estate professionals.

King of the real estate CRM jungle

LionDesk serves over 165,000 real estate professionals at premier organizations including Sotheby’s, ReMax, Berkshire Hathaway, and more. Known for its ease of use, affordability, and customization, the LionDesk CRM accelerates the journey from Lead to Close with advanced features like embedded video emailing and texting, AI-driven automated lead follow-up, task reminders, contact management, transaction management, and database segmentation.

By solving common but costly user challenges like following up on important tasks, preventing leads from falling through the cracks, and prioritizing sales activities, LionDesk has become an essential industry tool. But, for innovative CEO David Anderson, it wasn’t enough to be great. He and his team aspired to be the best.


San Diego


Real Estate (CRM)

# Users


Building the #1 real estate CRM of 2021

Driven by their customer-centric values, the LionDesk team was quick to identify the negative impact real estate professionals suffer when they are forced to toggle between their email, calendar, contacts, and CRM to leverage critical business information—namely, wasted time and missed commissions. LionDesk saw an opportunity to alleviate this pain by centralizing essential communications and activities, but they needed a secure, reliable way to sync users’ email, calendar, and contact data into the LionDesk CRM.

Strategically, it didn’t make sense to reinvent the development wheel. LionDesk needed a solution that removed the complexity of integrating with all of the email service providers their users worked with so they could focus on developing even more core features to boost real estate professionals’ productivity and beat the competition. 

The LionDesk team knew that integrating with Microsoft, one of the most popular email service providers in the world, is notoriously complex. Lee Ling Yang, Director of Product at LionDesk, said, “It was actually one of the biggest reasons we went with Nylas. We don’t want to build our own stuff to support all the different versions of Microsoft. Just leave it to the experts, right? It’s much easier for us to build and test one integration than individual integrations with each email provider.”

A secure API integration with every email, calendar, and contacts provider

The LionDesk team took a thoughtful and customer-driven approach to researching a connectivity solution. After reviewing the extensive Nylas email, calendar, and contacts documentation and learning about the enterprise-grade security features, it was clear that Nylas met LionDesk’s high standards for performance, reliability, security, and ease of use. 

With Nylas providing best-in-class security for every API call, LionDesk was confident they could protect user data while delivering a seamless in-app experience. Most critically, the Nylas Email API gave LionDesk the ability to integrate with all of the email providers their clients used, including Gmail, Office 365, Outlook, Exchange, and IMAP with a single point of integration. By doing so, they can now allow agents to easily communicate with buyers and sellers from within the LionDesk CRM and ensure 99% email deliverability by bypassing proxy servers and avoiding SPAM filters.

It was pretty much love at first sight.

Lee Ling Yang
Director of Product at LionDesk, on partnering with Nylas

Accelerating the real estate sales funnel with a frictionless CRM experience

LionDesk makes it simple for new customers to onboard, starting with a simple and secure user authentication flow powered by Nylas. Once a LionDesk user is authenticated, the Nylas APIs sync existing data from their users’ email, calendar, and contacts directly into the LionDesk CRM. From within their platform, LionDesk facilitates an intuitive and contextual experience of record-keeping, displaying the full history of conversations between real estate professionals and their clients in one place. 

LionDesk interface showing an account authorization for a Gmail account
LionDesk authenticated email view

Marni Hale, LionDesk Business Strategist, says, “We like to think of ourselves as the hub of our client’s business. We want to make sure you can have one login and get all the information you need right at your fingertips without having to log into twelve different systems. That’s the key benefit of partnering with Nylas. Nylas allows our clients to now feed that information in so much easier!”

The bidirectional sync allows emails sent via LionDesk to appear in the agent’s regular email inbox, and emails sent from the agent’s email client appear automatically in the LionDesk CRM. By presenting messages and contact interaction history within the CRM, LionDesk helps prevent context switching between the CRM, the email inbox, and other integrated systems. Now each agent can manage the entire relationship without leaving the LionDesk platform.

The ability to present all of a contact’s interactions at a glance while including important conversational context is an invaluable tool that prevents constant toggling between applications. “It’s complicated to group related conversations together, and the Nylas APIs just abstract that complexity away,” says Ling.

Integrating with the Nylas APIs also prevents LionDesk clients from wasting time on updating contact records in two different places. Using the Nylas Contacts API, automatic, bi-directional sync of contact data eliminates the need for users to export their contacts list and upload them separately to Facebook Manager, ensuring they always have the most up-to-date contact information. The Nylas Contacts API automatically updates profile information like job titles, profile pictures, email addresses based on data from the latest email exchanges. Agents can simply access a contact’s data from within the LionDesk platform to better engage with prospective buyers and renters.

Streamlining scheduling for shorter sales cycles

Scheduling client appointments is a critical part of real estate and mortgage professionals’ daily functions, as is scheduling tasks and reminders. LionDesk was keen to offer a calendar view within their CRM platform for users to view upcoming tasks and efficiently plan their day, so they chose the Nylas Calendar API to add task creation and management capabilities.

When it came to calendars, “The biggest struggle we had was battling with recurrence—editing current events, editing future and upcoming events—it’s not easy. How do you make sure it doesn’t delete the entire series? And Nylas was really helpful with that one by abstracting away navigating complex rules when it comes to CRUD recurring events,” said Ling.

A productivity powerhouse for real estate professionals

LionDesk integrated and launched all three Nylas Universal APIs (Email, Calendar, and Contacts) in just two months with only two developers. Conversely, they would have spent 28,242 hours and $1.8M to build the integration themselves. 

By quickly and easily adding productivity features that help their customers stay on top of vital communications, LionDesk’s engineers were able to leave the table stakes integrations to the Nylas APIs and focus on developing other in-demand features like embedded video for text and email, and AI-assisted texting and follow up. 

As LionDesk continues to scale and add exciting new features for their customers, the Nylas Platform gives them the freedom to create high-value real estate CRM features built on a reliable, secure integration with every email, calendar, and contacts provider in the world. 

See how healthcare, sales, marketing, and legal companies are using Nylas to build exceptional user experiences. View more case studies.    

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