I was a Top Producer customer for many years. I started with Top Producer 6, I believe, back in 2001 or so; it came in a white and purple box and I think that I still have it somewhere. I used Top Producer 6 with my Handspring Visor Pro so there’s that. Lulz…
I stayed through Top Producer 7i and Top Producer 8i which is now called Top Producer CRM™.
I gave Move, Inc., the now parent company of Top Producer, tens of thousands of dollars in fees over the ten or so years that I was a customer of Top Producer. I’m too afraid to add up all the receipts in order to figure out the total dollar cost and even more afraid to add up the total true cost of Move, Inc.’s services. I stopped being a Move, Inc. customer back in 2014. Then I got an email from Top Producer on Cyber Monday. Sigh…
I signed up for Top Producer® Success Suite with FiveStreet for $89.95 per month. That seemed like a good deal because I was paying more than that in the past for Top Producer and Market Snapshot. The good news? All of the stuff, including contacts, from the time that I was a Top Producer customer were still in Top Producer and Market Snapshot. It was like I never left. And that was the problem.
I was never quite satisfied with Top Producer’s products and I’ve asked myself “Why did I stay with Top Producer for so long?” It was the customer service. The customer service, and especially the technical support, has always been better than expected. I usually didn’t have to wait to get any answers to my issues and questions and, if I did, the technical support team was always great at getting back to me. I hardly ever had to chase the Top Producer technical support team down. The people who I spoke with usually even had pleasant American or Canadian accents.
Why did I finally decide to leave back in 2014? I had had it. I was tired. I had called and emailed technical support so many times, and they were good listeners, but none of my recommendations or suggestions to even simple requests were ever implemented. I know that I was not the only Top Producer customer to have the same frustrations with that others were having because I joined a Closed Group on Facebook called Top Producer Users and many of the members were voicing the same concerns. I’ve since left the group. I was hollering at Move, Inc. but it felt like I was doing it down an empty hallway.
I logged into Top Producer 8i last Monday, Cyber Monday, and it immediately felt old and stale. In the approximately eighteen months that I had been away from Top Producer, seemingly nothing had changed. The interface is still as clunky and old as it ever was. There’s been no innovation and, even worse, nothing to look forward to. I did call customer service a few times though and they’re as good as ever. It’s the same old story.
Move, Inc., Top Producer’s parent company, has made a few acquisitions over the past few years.:
SocialBios: Move, Inc. acquired SocialBios in 2011 in an effort to have some sort of social presence. Nobody uses SocialBios. It feels creepy and weird.
TigerLead: Move, Inc. acquired TigerLead in 2012 in an effort to take more money from real estate agents, brokers and Realtors. I don’t get it. The costs seem ridiculous for the service that it provides.
FiveStreet: Move, Inc. acquired FiveStreet in 2013 in an effort to help real estate brokerages and teams sort leads for their agents. Nothing has been updated since then but I did notice some excuses in FiveStreet’s Troubleshooting guide which was last updated in 2013. FiveStreet has exactly one video from 2013 totaling forty-seven seconds on its YouTube channel. FiveStreet’s blog hasn’t been updated once since 2013.
I called up Top Producer today and cancelled the service. The guy on the phone told me that he’d be willing to extend the thirty day money back guarantee to sixty days but that had no effect. Move, Inc.‘s line of products are more headache than they’re worth if they were free and they’ll continue to be crap so why wait out the inevitable? By the way, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought Move, Inc. in 2014 so, with it, he now owns the word “Realtor”.
I haven’t mentioned it yet but I’ve also used other Move, Inc. products which included LivePost and MarketBuilder postcards and additional products on Realtor.com including Showcase℠ Listing Enhancements for either agents or for brokerages at one time or another. I was really sucked into the Move, Inc. sphere and it cost me money and time; I’m sure I have a negative return on invent (ROI), if I were to ever calculate the costs. It’s the same thing with Trulia and Zillow.
I’ve looked into and even tried other contact relationship management (CRM) software providers like Cloze, Contactually, Evernote, Insightly and Pipedrive. A guy named Gary David Hall advertises himself as “the real estate crm guru”. Who am I to argue? I’m certainly not.
I’ve been happy over the past eighteen months with what Mac OS X 10.11″El Capitan” has been providing which includes its Contacts, Calendar, Mail, Notes and Reminders applications although I would like them to work more in harmony with each other. I have also listened to a few episodes of the Mac Power Users podcast with David “MacSparky” Sparks and Katie Floyd, they have good chemistry, and they like OmniFocus 2.
I’m so confused!