Top Producer CRM for real estate agents has just released a new version that appears to embrace new web standards and is no longer joined at the hip with Internet Explorer.
TopProducer has long championed the many years-long email “drip” campaign — until a prospect “buys or dies”. In short, they turned legions of agents into the most vial of spammers. So, I was shocked, shocked to read the following in their latest ad:
Drip marketing’s gone the way of the dodo, and your consumers already know all about daylight savings time. To connect with today’s customers, you’ve got to give them something more than Aunt Emma’s “Can’t miss Cobbler”.
I guess pigs can fly. I’d give them an “amen!” but that has been true for many years. And they knew it while all the while they pitched TopProducer as a way for agents to “automate” their marketing. As a productivity coach, I watched them encourage a lot of agents to damage their most important asset — the trust of their sphere of influence — by abusing the implied permission an agent has to communicate with their friends and family. Just so they could ensnare more subscribers. Hell yeah I’m bitter. They’ve disrupted a lot of relationships and real estate careers.A few years ago, I was a beta tester for TopProducer’s previous version of this online system. Even though we were paying handsomely to use the product, hundreds of us testers spent a lot of time making suggestions and doing our best to help the company improve their flagship product. From what I could tell, they ignored all of our contributions, but maybe they are finally making use of our feedback. The biggest usage issue for me was that TopProducer only fully supported IE. While there was some ability to use Safari or Firefox, one couldn’t do things like edit emails, flyers, etc. That’s kind of a big exclusion.
Top Producer’s latest offering claims to embrace HTML5, which should mean that any browser should work and flash and other temperamental plugins are not required. They have images of the site running on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices to support this impression. For years, TopProducer has been an internet-only application, but they are just now calling themselves a “Cloud-based solution”. Buzzwords are free, they may as well use them.
So do I recommend Top Producer?
For most agents, No. Let me be clear that I have not tried this new version, so my opinion has nothing to do with the quality or usefulness of their software. Rather, it is because:
On the positive side:
Who should use Top Producer?
Who should NOT use Top Producer?
This tool is too expensive and time consuming for new and developing agents. Let me put it this way: I know a lot of new agents who pay for TopProducer. I know none who use it regularly. Please, use this money to buy coffees for your friends and ask them PERSONALLY if you can do a CMA for their house or keep an eye out for a particular sort of property.
For what it’s worth, I recommend Heap CRM for most agents who don’t prefer working with paper-based systems (which can work very well, by the way). It is easier, only $9/mo, and doesn’t require a contract. I’ll be writing more about Heap soon.
What are your experiences with Top Producer and other all-in-one CRMs?