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Realm

Community-focused online church management system

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(2)

Realm Reviews

Overall rating

4.4

/5

257

Rating criteria

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8.63/10

Reviews by rating

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Pros and cons

Our overall experience with Realm has been great, we truly enjoy using this product; our senior members love using the Realm app for their giving and enjoy the accounting module.
Probably the best part might be the database end. It's pretty good at keeping all the information for our people, and creates a nice directory.
The directory is helpful, and the customer support is good. My favorite part about Realm is the annual conference.
As a former IT/programmer this software is the worst... very frustrating to use... slow.
I am constantly calling Realm to see if there is a solution to one problem or another, and every time I am basically told "we don't do that" and "we have no plans to do that.
Sometimes confusing for users when it comes to privacy management and notifications.
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257 reviews

Recommended

DM
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Dane M.

Youth Minister

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Review source

Overall Rating

Realm is Ok but Could be Better

Reviewed a year ago

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Josh E.

Director of Administration

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Review source

Overall Rating

Reeling for Realm

Reviewed 4 months ago

Transcript

Josh: My name is Josh and I am the Director of Administration. I give Realm a four out of five. For more...

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Sherri J.

Verified reviewer

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Love this product!

Reviewed 4 years ago

It's a really robust software. The customer support is amazing. And their help file is one of the best I've seen of any software anywhere!

Pros

We have been using Realm as our church management software since 2016. We were upgrading from a really old software system that we'd been using since the 90s or before. Realm walked us through the transfer which was very involved. And I think our transfer took longer than usual but they held our hands through the process. But since we've been up and running, it's been smooth sailing. They're constantly updating the software. I haven't had any problems with it. We haven't rolled out the member portion of the software yet. We have an older congregation and getting every logged in would be a challenge. As a small (under 100 members) Church, Realm has more than met our needs. I believe it's a software we can easily grow with for years to come.

Cons

We opted to handle the personalization of the software ourselves. Well...that hasn't happened. With running a church and everyone wearing multiple hats, we just haven't had time. So, I know we're not getting all the value from the software that we could. That's not Realm's fault. If I remember correctly, it was a cost thing that caused us to do it ourselves. Perhaps Realm needs a customization price for small churches like ours.

AR
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Anonymous Reviewer

Verified reviewer

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Get everything you need upfront

Reviewed 2 years ago

I was satisfied even though I was not using everything Realm had to offer. I was offered a different program from another company. As a long time customer of Realm I wanted to see if they could offer us the same or more. I called and could not get a real person. I left a voicemail and someone called me back. However, she called in the middle of a meeting, I asked her to call me back in two hours and she acted like it was a problem. She actually didn’t call me back!! Well she did....in about a week and a half! I had switched by then!

Pros

The software is great for keeping records of donations and contributions. Also, it helps to track members attendance and giving.

Cons

It is not very user friendly, so many members didn’t utilize it. You have to search the help menu to find what you are looking for and it is not very easy to find it.

JH
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Jason H.

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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Pretty good

Reviewed a year ago

Overall, we'd like the reporting to be more robust and user-friendly, dashboards to be more responsive, and communication and app performance to improve.

Pros

Realm is a great choice if you are already integrated into the ACS universe but need to upgrade. It is simple to use and the transition is straightforward if you're moving away from PeopleSuite. Online giving is easy to set up and the fees are competitive.

Cons

The communication features are not good. The outward-facing app, Ream Connect, lacks functionality that would make it seamless, compared to competitors.

GJ
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Gavin J.

Verified reviewer

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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An excellent tool to keep information and coordinate topics and events with your church

Reviewed 5 years ago

I love being able to keep our members together on one place, look them up, and send them messages. It's easy to keep everything going on at the church together. I use it for events, for pathways, and to send messages to people. I was in charge of children's ministry until recently and the check-in was great!

Pros

- Messages and Topics are available as push notifications from the app - Huge improvements from it's predecessor program, The City - For larger churches, easy searches focusing on specific members or parameters - Giving to a church is easy - The Kids Check-In is initiative and easy to pick up for parents - Easy to create events that require registration and payment

Cons

- There is a learning curve for the average user - There is a time lag between messages sent via laptop/desktop and the app - The larger the church, and the more you use Realm, you will need to dedicate a significant amount of time to the software to keep it humming.

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Louis P.

Verified reviewer

Religious Institutions, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Best Solution (and value) for Church Administrative Software

Reviewed 4 years ago

Realm provides us with one place to track biographical information, engagement in our community, pledging, as well as information on our vendors, tools to generate reports and harvest data; all in one intuitive platform that I can access equally well from my desktop or my cell phone.

Pros

Realm is simple, intuitive, and powerful

Cons

. . . . nothing. I cannot think of anything about Realm or Realm customer service that I would change.

AS
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Amjad S.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Good option for Church management and Community building

Reviewed 3 years ago

It has been a good experience so far. Helped us manage the church much better than before.

Pros

One window church management tool that brings all aspects of church life together -- well almost all.

Cons

Sometimes confusing for users when it comes to privacy management and notifications.

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Matt T.

Verified reviewer

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Increase your church's interactivity and productivity

Reviewed 5 years ago

With this software, I was able to integrate and inform members of our church body with critical information. This software really facilitated interactivity and consistent communication with almost everyone.

Pros

I like the increased opportunities to privately post and talk with people on a closed social network of other believers. This is way more effective than email, text messaging, and website management. It also gives us an opportunity to facilitate real discussions, prayer concerns, announcements, etc. without advertising to those outside of the church.

Cons

Sometimes the software is a bit glitchy on iOS devices and android devices. There is also no way to copy and paste onto the mobile software. That's a big drawback.

JB
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Jin B.

Nonprofit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Jump Into the Realm of Management!

Reviewed 9 months ago
Pros

Realm helped our church keep track of our finances and funds and it was a simple product to use and get used to.

Cons

There were a bit complex features, but we figured it out once we started to use it more and more.

MM
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Mary M.

Verified reviewer

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Realm is robust, customer service is unsurpassed, and software is very user-friendly.

Reviewed 4 years ago

Ease of use, ability to store info about parishioners and link family members.

Pros

Created for churches with their special needs - like 'giving' instead of invoices. I used Quick Books before and even though it was the non-profit version, it was hard to use and statements were very much disliked by parishioners.

Cons

That I didn't find it sooner! There really is nothing I dislike. Even the ability to suggest enhancements is terrific.

MT
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Meghan T.

Verified reviewer

Used daily for 1-2 years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Realm is a great tool for communication!

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

I use Realm at work to communicate with members of the church and store information for attendance and general contact information. It makes things a lot easier and saves time for all who use it.

Cons

At times the realm server undergoes maintenance and certain parts of the program aren't accessible or they move very slow. You have to wait and document information so you can input it at a later time.

AN
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Andrew N.

Religious Institutions, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Church Membership Projects and Sacraments

Reviewed 3 years ago

I work on our membership records, groups, the Realm app, events, registrations, classes, and even meals. I able to schedule all of these in Realm and push them out to a congregation of over 4,000 with relative ease. As a communications tool for a large congregation, Realm is our software of choice.

Pros

I like that, when used properly, Realm allows us to create profiles and provide a 360-degree story of a member's engagement with our church. Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths are dome of the events that we need to tell a member's story. Using the attachment feature allows us to attach all letters, documents, certificates, an communications that allow us to tell these stories. Realm allows us the...

Cons

There is an occasional hiccup where we receive error messages, such as "504 Gateway Timeout" or "Internal Error." These are usually easily resolved when we contact the service center.

YM
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Yvonne M.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Realm, it's all you need!

Reviewed a year ago

Keeping track of our members and finances in one place, anytime and where is a blessing. Realm allows us to stay connected and during this pandemic we have realized how valuable this software is. I use this product everyday, to enter information or just to make a phone call to a member through the app and most of all to check the news feed and comments from our members. So in short a great feature has been checking in our members for Sunday Service to contact trace has been a breeze.

Pros

This software is so useful no matter where you are, in the office, at home or even on vacation. Staying connected is a breeze getting work done or just to keep up with the church news feed, checking the events calendar and so much more. As a leader running reports and entering information can be done from anywhere. I highly recommend Realm.

Cons

We transferred from ACS OnDemand to Realm and it's been only an improvement. I have not started using the Serving feature just different groups. All are needs are accomplished so far. So I honestly can say I don't have any dislikes except one report we ran in OnDemand is not the same in Realm (Account Inquiry Detail (Filtered).

LT
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Lindsey T.

Used daily for 2+ years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Realm is very user friendly and the customer service representatives are very helpful.

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

We have had Realm for 3 years and seen the software improve a lot over that time. I am very impressed at their constant ingenuity to continue developing the product to meet customer needs. We love the check-in platform which is extremely simple to use.. even better now with customizable badges! We have met with the Realm team several times regarding various new program updates. The team would show us a sample of a new concept and ask for our feedback. It was fun to be a part of new innovation and it was especially exciting when we saw our suggestions implemented in the software.

Cons

Realm does not interact with our Planning Center Services account or our Resources calendar. Because of this, we have to duplicate information and ultimately manage 2 databases of people (PCO and Realm). This hasn't been a major issue but it would be nice if profiles that were updated in Realm would be automatically updated in PCO. Also, our small group leaders have found the mobile app to be limited in its functionality. Understandably, the app has less features than the web version but it would be really nice if, for example, a small group leader could add a new guest from the mobile app.

SJ
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Sherri J.

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Probably Will Go with Realm

Reviewed 7 years ago

We are comparing PowerChurch, Servant Keeper and Realm. Of the three, Realm is the most robust, organized and simplest to jump right in without a lot of training. We can track records in our Adult Spiritual Education program. We can track visitor outreach. We can track attendance collectively and individually. Gift entry is awesome! You must enter a batch first, meaning the full dollar amount of...

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

GW
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Gregory W.

Defense & Space, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Relatively easy management of church administrative functions

Reviewed 5 years ago

A plethora of reporting options! Master membership rolls. Class check-in (and child safety/security). Communication with members on Connect.

Pros

It appears that ACS has put in a lot of homework in looking for things that a church might do and how they actually do business. The Connect aspect is only as useful as the people who use it, but the Realm engine in very powerful and has a lot of features that just about any church would want or need. The cloud-based platform is also helpful because 1) our software/interface never need updating and 2) there is no risk of us losing our data. The reporting options are also very flexible: our denomination requires annual reports on numbers and finances, and (I think) we can create enough custom reports to cover these annual reports all within the confines of Realm! That is a huge time saver no more spreadsheets!

Cons

Sending invites to Realm seems to be tricky, especially if a child has grown and now has an e-mail address. We can't just send an invite from the person's profile page (hint: make this an option). Also, in order to do child check-in or Sunday School sign-in sheets, there is a lot of layering that is required in order to get the final product. ONce complete, it is fairly simple on a weekly basis, but getting there can take some time (but not difficult time). Coming from a Database Administrator perspective (that's my job), I fully understand the need for such layers, as it keeps things working right, so this is not something that must be fixed. However, for the average user, it might seem tedious.

DW
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David W.

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Realm is AWESOME!!!

Reviewed 3 years ago

It has been great!! The support staff is unbelievable people are using it for group communications as intended.

Pros

I love the way Realm integrates our membership database, grouping, and tracking with a social media type of platform. Actually allows our members to use it for effective communication! It is ground-breaking and we love it!!

Cons

I wish the financial software was capable of handling our book-keeping needs, but thankfully, we are still able to use ACS Financials for that.

ME
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Melvena E.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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REALM - Makes Real Ministry Easier!

Reviewed 4 years ago

Realm has been a great tool in our organization. We use it every day to easily manage profile updates, create reports and so much more!

Pros

I just can't say enough about Realm! Once we got our organization set up with all the ministry areas, groups and individual profiles it makes managing and communicating with our members so much easier! There are so many features that make this product A+ If there ever is an issue or question, Realm has the absolute BEST support team ever! They are very courteous, knowledgeable, and professional and are very eager to help resolve any issues. AND we implemented the Realm Connect Mobile app and this has been a great add-on to our Realm use.

Cons

So far we haven't encountered any cons.

JB
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Jenni B.

Nonprofit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great ChMS

Reviewed 2 years ago

Realm has allowed us to move away from a printed directory and allow all to have access to communicate with one another. It also allows members the ability to check their giving records at their convenience.

Pros

Easy to use for members and staff; cloud-based means you can access it from anywhere! We are still growing into attendance and check-in functions but look forward to using them.

Cons

Easier group functions could be useful! When we first transitioned they didn't have payroll so we aren't currently using Realm Financials.

AR
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Anonymous Reviewer

Verified reviewer

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Realm Review

Reviewed a year ago

Overall, I like the program and feel it is easy to use. But, there are several things that could be improved. Some things were easier in ACS.

Pros

Realm is easy to learn how to work it. The videos and instructions provided are very helpful, as well.

Cons

I do not like having to create payroll from scratch and making adjustments for prior payrolls. it is hard to do payroll for two checking accounts, because options are needed to make correct entries. I have to make adjusting entries to correct it after every payroll.

LC
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Laurie C.

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Realm Changed the Way we do Ministry

Reviewed 4 years ago

Very positive and the best tech support I have every worked with. If they don't know an answer, they find it and get back to you quickly.

Pros

We have been thrilled with Realm and the communication tool it has provided us. Our groups and members are more connected than they have ever been. Elderly people who are home-bound can stay connected to their church and their groups. It has communication features similar to Facebook so congregants to realize it is a database that staff find very useful. The Pathways feature keeps us on track with visitors, baptisms and confirmation steps. Love it!

Cons

Enhancements to Realm come often but there are still developments that need to come faster.

MF
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Misty F.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Great Software for Church Membership

Reviewed 4 years ago

Switched from using a membership database software that we had been using for many years. The improved ease and functionality we found once we switched to Realm was a breath of fresh air!!

Pros

Entering and editing member information was very easy and user friendly. Entering contributions could be fully automated with the right equipment (i.e., check scanner, etc.)

Cons

It can be a bit difficult to download reports at times. Additionally, the company is constantly updating the software. This is great because it's always being improved....but sometimes things will get moved around or will change in appearance, so it can take a few days to get used to the changes and find everything again.

HT
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Heidi T.

Nonprofit Organization Management, 201-500 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Point Person Review

Reviewed 7 years ago

I am the point person at our church for all things Realm (aka Administrator). I've been using the program for a while and have enjoyed how user friendly it is. The support folks are sharp and quick to respond to our needs... especially during our transition to this program! They were great!

Pros

Ease of use; we don't need to worry about "what happens if a computer goes down?"; great support staff; pre-defined reports; dashboard; Data base and finances are linked in same system; great easy to understand on-line search/help.

Cons

I'm still working on figuring out/getting used to how to run custom reports. I know the information is in there... I just need to make it into a lovely, easy to read, report. When they added more pre-defined reports, I was delighted.

BL
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Brandylyn L.

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Strong Product

Reviewed 4 years ago

Realm checks all the boxes for me when running a small church and needing confidence in the financial documentation.

Pros

Great financial controls, easy searching, great data collection, and top-notch reports.

Cons

Some of the financial strengths of ACS software were removed in an attempt to make the software more user-friendly. ACS used to be known for great customer service and sales, now the interaction is sub-par at best. Churches that need check-in and worship service management would still need additional software.

RA
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Robyn A.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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We love Realm

Reviewed a year ago

I am so glad we switched when we did.

Pros

First, it was a lifesaver during the pandemic. I was able to access all my data from absolutely anywhere. I didn't have to scramble to adjust. Second, the Customer Service is amazing. I have always gotten off a call thinking "wow, that was easy and they are so nice"

Cons

Honestly, I am pretty pleased. No complaints.

LL
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Lisa L.

Used daily for less than 6 months

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  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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We are happy with the product but looking forward to enhancements.

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

Reporting is very easy and I like that the pastors can see reports real-time and not have to ask assistants for all information. I love that it works on any device and we can access from any computer. The cost is less than what we had with People Suite, Access ACS and The City. It is rare to go to new technology and actually pay less!

Cons

Some of the features are still somewhat primitive. Event registration is nowhere near as robust as Event Registration in Access ACS. I'm looking forward to that being further developed. Also related to events, when I put someone in Event Registration, I can't turn off the email they receive saying they have registered (if I'm just tracking internally) and I can't customize the wording on that email. Searching for a group has been another frustration. There isn't a good way for someone new to the church to find a small group without having a log in. We still have to keep Access ACS up to date to use the link on our website to find a group. The City had a great small group program and was very easy to have a kiosk in the church hallway to search and even sign people up for a group.