Is Your Brand Rented or Owned? And The Zurple Business Model
I recently came across a forum thread on AgentsOnline.net that I found interesting:
Zurple, Boomtown, Tigerleads, Buyerlink Help!
Ok I have added up the hours each week that I’m spending doing my own lead generation and it’s stupidly high. So instead of hiring an assistant to help with that and having to deal with payroll, taxes, them not showing up etc, I’m thinking of outsourcing the lead generation portion of the business. My time is much much better spent actually working leads than generating them. Mostly because I’m not that great with the computer stuff.
Anyway – does anyone have any experience with any of these places? I have gone on each of their websites and signed up to get more info. Haven’t heard from anyone yet. The funny thing is that the form on Tigerlead didn’t seem to want to submit. So this one may be on the outs already. If they can’t get their own registartion form to work on their own website I’m not sure they would have it working for me.
Let me know if anyone has used any of these sites and how you liked it. Thanks!
Here is one of the responses:
I just got off the phone with the Zurple guy. Holy cow! What a jerk! apparently their strategy to get you to cough up the big money is to tell you how incompetent you are. Not the best strategy. I was so ticked off by the time we hung up, that I will never EVER buy anything from them. He had some nerve let me tell you. Most infuriating sales call ever. I’d rather go buy a used car.
As it turns out, there are some Zurple haters out there.
What is the Zurple business model you might ask? Do they provide you a website? Yes. That said, Zurple is not a website company. Zurple is a Pay Per Click company that creates a website that THEY own. They run a ton of Pay Per Click campaigns (at your expense) and they LET you use the site as long as you pay the monthly bill.
The day you stop paying the bill? You are left with nothing. The URL, traffic, current clients using the website, and leads all go away.
Please people. OWN your brand. OWN your own URL. Don’t rent your most important online asset.
Tina McGeePosted at 08:52h, 19 February
Amen. Doesn’t Boomtown do basically the same thing?
Drew MeyersPosted at 08:56h, 19 February
but it is possible to frame into your own website. For instance, take a look at Sue Adler’s search page from sueadler.com
Virtual Results can do that for you. If interested, contact VR https://bz953.infusionsoft.com/go/VR/drew/ (affiliate
Ben FisherPosted at 10:09h, 19 February
I’m on the same page as well Drew. But, I have seen numerous teams in my area run off of systems like this and they do an impressive amount of deals. Yes they don’t “own” that brand or system, but if it is paying off handsomely every month there is something to be said about doing so.
In the end, they could hit a rough streak and not afford to keep paying for the lead gen, and that is where the longevity of owning your own system comes into play, IMO.
Drew MeyersPosted at 10:13h, 19 February
I’m not opposed to these systems — if it’s a secondary web presence and the ROI makes sense.
But investing all your $$ into a domain you don’t own is ludicrous if you ask me..
Grier AllenPosted at 17:59h, 19 February
With regards to BoomTown, I would like to clarify on a few points. Every one of our clients owns their own domain name and if they leave BoomTown, they leave with that domain name.
We put a great deal of effort into creating a website that is search engine friendly out of the box. As a result, most people that decide to use a seasoned domain name when they come to BoomTown see a dramatic increase in organic traffic from their previous website provider.
Our clients also have the ability to create their own custom content. If a client decides to leave us, they can simply copy this custom content to the new site and apply the correct 301 redirects to make sure that they don’t loose any valuable indexed content.
Many agents and brokers do not understand how important it is to make sure that they own their own domain names, so thank you for brining up this very important distinction!
Drew MeyersPosted at 08:28h, 20 February
Thx for clarifying
Neal CabagePosted at 17:40h, 11 June
With PPC you are paying per click. It is not like SEO where you’re trying to get a long term SERP ranking. So when you say investing $$ into a domain you don’t own – this is not quite accurate. You’re buying traffic. There is no inherent investment you’ve put into that domain by spending money through Zurple or similar services.
Drew MeyersPosted at 17:44h, 11 June
Opportunity cost of driving traffic to a domain you own. At least if you do that, there is a chance they will remember it and come back to it later even if you ditch Zurple between now and then.
Anyone that is using a rented domain as their primary domain is making a serious long term mistake in my mind. But whatever, people can go right ahead and shoot themselves in the foot if they want to. It’s their choice.
JenniferPosted at 13:36h, 18 February
I’ve had success with this system. It was explained to me that my Zurple site is not meant to replace my main domain, it’s just for PPC lead gen. I think agents who are replacing their main web presence are misunderstanding how the system is supposed to work.
Victor LundPosted at 21:22h, 20 February
Seems like there is a lot of confusion, or at least a variety of strategies to consider.
1. Let someone else generate leads for you, like Zurple. I did not know that they keep the websites they build. Good info. Marketleader does a lot with lead generation too – so to many others.
2. Paid Search Marketing – anyone can purchase online advertising. I would hope that an agent would invest in building this skill themselves. The learning curve to understanding how to choose and optimize keywords for conversion is not great, but the maintenance and ongoing optimization can be time consuming. It is a mistake to set it and forget it, so I guess that hiring an expert for paid search advertising is probably a trade off of some type.
3. Win with natural search optimization – this is a real science, and an ever changing one. I think that all sites should be built around good search engine optimization strategy, but winning with SEO means ranking high, and you cannot fake that today. You need excellent and dynamic content focused around the words you want to win. It is heavy lifting, and often the great keywords like cityname + real estate are hard to win. Best bet is hyper-local – which also implies hyper small.
Unless an agent or a broker LOVES the game of paid search – always trying to maximize cost per conversion, leave it to a professional.
Unless and agent or a broker LOVES creating content around keywords that lead to conversion, leave SEO to a professional.
For most agents and brokers, buying leads gets them where they want to be. The only trick there is partnering with a company that delivers real leads for a reasonable price. After all, not all leads are the same in terms of quality.
Drew MeyersPosted at 09:02h, 22 February
Agree Victor – there are a range of strategies to attract clients online, and brokers/agents need to invest their time/$$ wisely.
TomPosted at 01:33h, 24 February
I don’t own Facebook either but consider it an important
tool to use and that is how I use Zurple – as a tool in my arsenal. We generated over $600k in commissions
through the system in 2011. The #1
agent in my city by a transaction volume standpoint over 2010 and 2011 did it
through Zurple. The contract with
them says you own the leads exclusively, which is most important. I then separately brand through other
sites. My primary branding site is
OwenProperties.com and Facebook. I
then link out to Zurple for lead conversion.
Here is a caveat – I was the first Zurple client in 2009, my
brother works for the company, and I was/am an investor there and on the board
of directors. So obviously you are
going to get a strong Zurple bias from me. But facts are facts.
I got my real estate license in 2006, started a brokerage, and rode
Zurple to wild success in my local market. If you are interested in verifying what I say, Drew, please
reach out via email or phone and I will provide you with market share reports
for my brokerage and the other agent that I mentioned.
I have heard really good things about Tiger Leads, too,
provided you get the real Tiger Leads and not the junior system that I think
they call paws.
Also, I would love for you to write a post on systems that are
great on generating listings. That
is an area where I could stand to improve!
Jon FontisPosted at 19:34h, 26 November
Is this a SCAM”? This guy Tom actually says he was the FOUNDER of ZURPLE on his Facebook – see Tom Owen FACEBOOK. He uses his agent Mary Jo Morgan as a shill to sell the service, and here he is using Zurple to feed his own agent the best leads. We all should be so lucky to own the company with our brother. See Google up – UCLA Grads Owen Brother s MBA.
Come on Tom, how about a little more honesty. He says his brother works at the company. His brother is the CEO of Zurple. Check it out.
Dan @ Follow Up BossPosted at 09:09h, 18 September
Control is a fundamental business concept that isn’t talked about enough in real estate, many people choose the easy now option at the expense of building an asset they own.
Ed Alberts, RE/MAX in the HillPosted at 21:41h, 26 February
I just love Toms response to this ! I’m a zurple client, up until today, and have found the site beneficial and easy to use. However once I started really driving a lot of my own traffic they secretely turned off my pay per click even though I was paying it on time every month. They figured I would never notice. In addition to that they thought I was doing so well that I wouldn’t notice when they took extra payments from my credit card.
As I search the blogs I find similar complaints and they’re always followed by tools like Tom that say, “your credit card was declined, your credit card was declined, it’s all your fault”. Well my credit card wasn’t declined and in fact OVER paid them. I’m still profitable but that’s due to hard work on my part as its just a numbers game.
The worst part is how Zurple handles the proof of fraud. The president says, “we have 3,000 clients and mistakes are just going to happen”. Really ? They intentionally crossed the line of trust with internet fraud and there wasn’t even an apology from the guy. He actually defended himself by saying, “I have extremely good auditing history as I was born and bred at Arthur Anderson”. Really ? That one I believe completely ! This entire company smells of Arthur Anderson.
Its so disgusting because the system is a pretty good one that works. If only they were trustworthy, and they’re not.
DavePosted at 08:59h, 28 May
Yes, 2011 everyone saw great results from Zurple. However, now in an over-saturdated sellers market, we’re seeing a few crappy buyers leads a month. It’s easily the biggest waste of money our team has ever seen. Not a single lead from Zurple that has actually panned out in over a year, but paid over $6,000 in that year. It’s laughable how much of a waste it is.
Terry DyerPosted at 09:37h, 28 October
I’ve been using Zurple for six months. I’ve invested soooo many hours in e mails…..unanswered calls….sending properties with no response. In 6 months I’ve had ONE person ask to see a home.
I’ve had 4 agents quit because they were so disenchanted with the system. I mean they couldn’t make any money. Once the agents left I really started hammering the leads with “touches”. Again…NOTHING. NO RESPONSES….
This has been a colossal waste of assets and has really destroyed my business. The guys at Zurple have all sorts of success stories but…don’t all sales people. It’s been a complete disaster.