Top Producer Certified Consultant

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Top Producer

One of my favorites!

They can’t all be the best! I consider this to be one of them based on Features, Support and Stability.

CRM Training Checklist

Top Producer may be the right

Real Estate CRM for you if…

Up until around the beginning of 2013, I did recommend Top Producer to people, but with qualifications. Now Top Producer is without doubt one of the most feature rich Real Estate CRMs out there. It used to be missing features that I consider essential but they have addressed virtually all those holes. An example would be that you could not store documents with contacts. Now you can store links to Dropbox or Google Drive documents with contacts and with transactions. Only one other Real Estate CRM allows you to store documents with transactions. Some of the old criticisms brought up included the following, all of which are no longer true:

  • It’s is too slow – it’s now as fast as any CRM on the market when doing most functions
  • It’s not intuitive – it’s at least as intuitive as any of the others at this point
  • It’s is too expensive – it’s right in the ball park with all its primary competitors
  • It holds your data hostage (it’s a long held misconception and my personal favorite 🙂 )  Look at this list

One of the biggest criticisms that still comes up is that Top Producer has too long of a learning curve. This has always been a very misleading statement. The vast majority of the time the people who say that are people who don’t want their Real Estate CRM to do very much. If you want a minimum of features, then yes, Top Producer may have too much for you. But, if you want your Real Estate CRM to do a lot for you, then it is probably not.

The learning curve is not a good or a bad thing. It is simply related to how much you want to do. You could say Microsoft Word has a short learning curve because it only takes a little while to figure out how to write a letter in it. Or you could say it has a very long learning curve if you wanted to learn everything there is to know about it. The more you want to do with software, the longer it takes to learn it. A conventional phone has a very short learning curve. A smart phone does not. But, which one do you want? Learning curve has nothing to do with how easy or difficult it is to learn. It is relevant to how many features you want to use.

Some of the things that make Top Producer stand out are its mobile user interface for phone’s and tablets; it’s Sales Pipeline which keeps you on top of your prospects – in your face; the Follow-up Coach is like an accountability partner to remind you to call your past clients and sphere of influence – in your face; the Things to Talk About Button displays active listings or recent solds around the contacts physical address on an interactive map; Top Connector lets you import your listing information or comps for a CMA. If you want to truly grow your business, this one has to be on your short list. If you want a glorified Rolodex – don’t bother. You’ll become one of the people complaining “It’s too much”.

Mac Users: Without PC Emulation software such as Parallels, Fusion, etc. you can not edit post card, fliers or presentations. Until March 2015 you could not edit letters either but they solved that. You would need the aforementioned or do it on a Windows computer. From Top Producer: “The vast majority of the flows in Top Producer CRM are the same, regardless of whether you’re using a Mac or PC. The main difference is that while Mac users can create/edit email templates using the editor, currently you cannot create/edit other marketing templates (letters, flyers, presentations, envelopes, labels and postcards) on a Mac. You can still print these marketing materials (letters, flyers, presentations, envelopes, labels and postcards) from the system templates in the Marketing library. You just currently can’t customize these templates.

Top Producer Vital Statistics:

–Understand these terms–

Out of Beta & Started Selling: 1989

Parent Company: News Corp/Move.com

What kind of sales is this for?: Residential, Agent, Team

Features: ♦♦♦♦

Support: 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST Monday – Friday by phone – 800.830.8300, Weekend by email Support@TopProducer.com

Have you used this CRM?  Rate it – but please be professional. Thanks!

3.07 / 5 (30 votes)

Stats

Dashboard/Desktop/Home Page

In your face – That’s what I like about the Sales Pipeline and Follow-up Coach on the home page of Top Producer. I don’t want to have to do a search to find my hot prospects if I don’t have to. And here I don’t have to. The Sales Pipeline (shown later on this page) keeps your hottest prospects right in front of you. The Follow-up Coach (shown later on this page) keeps your past clients and future prospects right in front of you. Then in the My Business section you have all of the calls, to-do’s etc., that you have to do today. Following that are your listings and closings. All in all it’s a good home page. I’m not crazy about having to click three times to get to the details of a contact or about having to click on the appointments in the My Business section to see your appointments for the day. Unfortunately, none of these CRMs are perfect, but Top Producer continues to improve.

Top Producer Home Page

Top Producer Home Page - 2

FeaturesUnique or Notable Features

Watch Video Review

The Mobile/Phone InterfaceBest in Class!  Salesforce has the only other mobile user interface that comes close to Top Producer’s. I give Top Producer best in class on this because it has many of its unique and unmatched features on the phone. Since 1989, I have been hearing how “a CRM won’t work for me because I can’t be in front of my computer all the time.”  That was always a misunderstood perception with only a little truth to it. Well those days are gone. We went from keeping a separate address book on our phone, to syncing our real estate CRMs address book to the phone, to an application installed on the phone, to a user interface (a web page). Top Producer is easily the best one out there (with WiseAgent coming in second) to enable you to do almost anything someone would care to do from the road, right from your phone or tablet. Most CRMs allow you to sync your address book and maybe your calendar, but Top Producer’s Mobile interface enables you to do far more. All of Top Producer’s top features are integrated right into the phone interface. When you’re on the road you can catch up with Follow-up Coach calls and Sales Pipeline calls and launch follow-up plans right from the phone. Any appointments or tasks made can be linked to the history of any contact, listing or closing, and the amount of information available for all of them is tremendous! 

Top Producer Mobile

Home Page includes contacts, calendar, notes, Sales Pipeline, Follow-up Coach and properties

Top Producer Mobile 2

Not only does it show you the new lead, but also how many minutes it has been since the lead came in! Is that over the top? You’ve heard it before but if you need reassurance how critical fast response is, check out this article.

The Sales Pipeline – Best in Class! As I said earlier, what I like about the Sales Pipeline is that it’s in your face. By that I mean you don’t have to do anything to see a list of the most important people in your database right now. The Sales Pipeline is on the home page so when you open Top Producer, there it is, staring you in the face. There are five statuses: New, Engage, Future, Active, Closed. It’s nice to have immediate access to all your Active buyers and sellers right on the home page, but the money lists are the New and Engage. The brand new leads from your web site or lead generation sites are displayed under New. The people with whom you have spoken and determined are ready to list or buy soon are under Engage with the date and time you last spoke with them, no searching or decisions necessary. This may sound trivial but it’s not. The point is that you literally do not have to click on anything to see all the very most important people. In all other CRMs, you must do a search or at least go to some other page. Big deal, right? To me it’s because it is impossible to let any hot lead fall through the cracks because you forgot to do a search for your hot buyers or because you were feeling too lazy at the moment to do a search. There is zero effort to know who to contact and when. Zero. That’s a good thing.

Pipeline

This is the Sales Pipeline display. Note that for the Engage people it shows you the last day and time you contacted them.

Top Producer Mobile Leads

You call the new lead. It asks you if you completed the call. You tap yes. It changes the pipeline status to Engage. It then asks you if you want to add a note and/or schedule a follow-up. And you can even launch a follow-up plan right from your phone!

Top Producer Mobile Contacts

Since you are not in front of your computer all the time, it’s critical that you be able to be notified when you get a new lead and then be able to see it and respond to it.

The Follow-up CoachBest in Class! This feature keeps reminding you to follow up with past clients and your sphere of influence with daily reminders. You tell it how often you want to be reminded and it takes care of it from there. You will never again lose a listing from a past buyer because you didn’t stay in touch with them by phone, (unless of course you choose to ignore the reminders).  There are two things I like about Top Producer’s Follow-Up Coach the most. One is that it is in your face. By that I mean it is on the home page and you don’t have to do anything to see who you should be calling that day, so it reduces excuses. The other is this; You could schedule a recurring activity for each past client in your database to call them every six months. It works. It’s how we’ve been doing it. It gets even better though. You could call it a smart reminder versus a recurring activity being a dumb reminder. A recurring activity will remind you every X months no matter what. Top Producer’s Follow-up Coach will not remind you to call unless it sees that there has been no activity with that contact for six months. The recurring activity will come up anyway, so you’ll have to delete it.  I prefer smarter!

Top Producer's Follow-up Coach

Five a day reminders or reload and get more. Very similar to Contactually in many ways

 Top Producer's Follow-up Coach 2

Open the reminder and you get what you need to do the deed!

The “Things to Talk About” buttonBest in Class! It’s a bit of a misnomer to call this Best in Class because no one else has it, but it should be recognized. In Top Producer’s contact screen, based on their physical address, you can click on a button and see all the active listings and recent sales on an interactive map. So when Barbara Past Buyer calls and says I just saw a new sign go up a block over. Can you tell me how much they are asking? Instead of saying Hold on while I get into the MLS and find it for you, you can see the listing she is talking about in about five seconds. So you might not have to let on that you don’t know about that listing in her neighborhood!

Top Producer's Talk About

In this case it’s handy that Homes.com owns both Realtor.com and Top Producer. That’s where this feed comes from.

Top Producer's Talk About 2

Hover over the house icons and see what you need to know! Works for recent sales as well.

Top Connector – Best in Class!  Again this is a misnomer because no one else has it, but again it needs to be recognized. Top Producer has had this for years but they used to charge $149 for it. Now it is free and it’s a handy little feature that does nothing but save time.  When you get a new listing or sell a house, it would be nice to have information about that property in your CRM, but it takes too long to key it in. Enter Top Connector. Instead of keying it all in, you can just key in the MLS number and click Import from MLS  and voilà, it imports all the info from the MLS into Top Producer. Many CRMs have touted this ability for years but the reality is that although they are RETS compliant, the CRMs have not invested the time and money to actually create a relationship with more than a handful of MLSs at best. In addition to being able to import listing info, Top Connector also enables the importing of comps for CMA presentations which is yet another feature of Top Producer.

Top Producer's Top Connector-2

Top Producer's Top Connector-1

Service ReportsBest in Class! One of the things I have promoted for many years is to utilize the Activity Plans/Campaigns/Workflows to launch follow-up plans for listings and closings. I developed activity plans for listings and closings when I was an active agent and was amazed at how they took me to a whole new level in my business. My stress levels were reduced. Things stopped falling through the cracks. My team stopped playing Who’s got the file. It was a game changer.  I later developed Trans-Plans Listing & Closing Activity Plans and Emails/Letters for Top Producer and many other CRMs. Top Producer makes the best use of them by enabling you to automatically generate a PDF report or a Web Page that chronicles your efforts. Every time you complete a task, it automatically becomes part of these reports. The listing presentation and the initial buyer interview presentation is all about differentiating yourself from the rest of the mooing herd. How better to do this than to offer them something they haven’t been offered by anyone else?

Top Producer Service Report-2

Top Producer Service Report-3

Top Producer Service Report-4

Property Showings – You can track showings on your listings and then if needed, you can email all the showing agents. So if you have a price adjustment you can pop off a quick email to all of the showing agents about it with a couple quick clicks.

Top Producer Showings-1

Top Producer Showings-2

Social Media – Not one of the best in the social media realm but one of the better ones. The contact screen has a section to display part of the Facebook page in which you can Like, Comment, or View Post. Similar for Twitter. Then on the top of every page is a button that allows you to post to Facebook or Twitter right from within Top Producer so you don’t have to log in to Facebook or Twitter.

UPDATE – 7/2015 – The Facebook description is no longer valid because Facebook is now restricting data – see this post

Top Producer Facebook

Top Producer Social Media 1

Trans-Plans Activity Plans: Top Producer has formatted Trans-Plans such that all the plans/emails/letters install automatically. All you have to do is start using them!

Trans-Plans

How does Top Producer stack up with other popular features?

Phone/tablet: Covered in Unique or Notable Features above

Lead capture: Top Producer is currently capable of automatically creating a new contact when you get a lead from almost 200 different web sites and lead generation sites. See the listAnd then after it adds the lead, it notifies you by text or e-mail. If you are a team leader/rainmaker and need to distribute leads and then see what the agents do with them, they have just purchased a product that gives them that capability too.

It also has the option of creating a customizable form for your web site which will auto-populate the leads into Top Producer in the New section of the Sales Pipeline. 

New Lead Display: In Sales Pipeline on desktop, mobile phone, and tablet.

Lead Notification: By email and/or text from Top Producer if you choose to be notified.

Team Capabilities: Top Producer didn’t used to be very team friendly, but that has also changed. Team members can be restricted to see only their contacts, listings, and closings. The rest is shared between everyone. Calendars can be shared and tasks can be assigned to any member of the team.

Buyer Home Search: The advanced search allows you to search all contacts for any or all buyer preferences listed in the contact record. This is relatively rare in the industry.

Internal email software: One of the very few that has it’s own email software built right in. Some like Top Producer’s. Some don’t. If you do, it makes life a lot easier to have your contact, property and email information all in one place. I used Advantage Xi for about five years and it had it’s own email software. Trust me when I tell you you can’t understand how much faster and easier it is until you’ve experienced it.

E-mail Displayed With Contact Record: There are quite a number of options in Top Producer. You can use any e-mail you want that uses IMAP. That includes Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook.com, Mail.com, GMX, Outlook 365, GoDaddy, and more. If you’re using Outlook or Apple Mail it’s easy to find out if you have an IMAP account. That said, it is a display of the email. The email is not stored with the contact. It is essentially a window into your email account to display the emails. They can’t be printed out from within Top Producer to retain with the contact’s file.

That’s the first way. You also have the option of using the email software built into Top Producer. You can send and receive email from within it. It is the only web based real estate CRM software that offers this ability. This way allows you to print the email history.

If you have Outlook installed on your computer, you can install a utility from Top Producer that adds buttons to Outlook that allows you to click and essentially say store this email in this contact’s record in Top Producer. This method also allows you to print the email history.

Lastly, you can use the Gmail sync. Using the Gmail Group “Top Producer” automatically links emails in Gamil to your Top Producer account. This allows you to print the email history as well. Confused? Call me and I’ll explain.

Blast EmailTop Producer allows unlimited blast emails (I’m sure if you get too carried away to the tune of tens of thousands that you may hear about it). That said, they have no campaign reporting/back end statistics such as opens, unsubscribes, click throughs, etc. To enable you to have that information, they have teamed up with Mail Chimp and Bomb Bomb. Those are free to a point and then over a certain amount there is a fee.

Email campaign reporting: Very few have their own internal email campaign reporting/back -end. IXACT ContactPropertybase and Leading Agent are some that do.

Capable of building email drip campaigns: Yes

Capable of building activity plans: Yes

Included template content: Top Producer, WiseAgent and IXACT Contact are several that have a good deal of template content included.

Social media: Covered in Unique or Notable Features above

Call center: No

Lockbox manager: One field for the Lockbox code

Included Template Content – A large selection of template emails, letters, fliers, and post cards. Virtually all template emails in any CRMs need a little tweaking to make them fit your personality and market. The fliers and post cards are a bit dated but they are editable. There is also a good selection of the templates in Spanish.

CRM Comparisons

CRM History

Top Producer’s History

Top Producer – The 800 pound gorilla! Since 1989

Top Producer has been the market share leader for Real Estate CRM since soon after it came out in 1989. I was informed recently that it actually started out as J. W. Williams, maybe in 1986. When it came out, the only other Real Estate CRMs on the market were Howard & Friends and Real Estate Specialist. They had been out since 1982 and 1985 respectively, but came out so early that there was a very small market. Most agents didn’t have a computer let alone the desire to purchase what was then called a contact manager. By 1989 computers were becoming a little more widely used so Top Producer’s timing may have had something to do with their success in that respect. To put it in perspective, I paid $3,000 for a laptop with 400 meg of hard drive in 1989. It was then three years before it had any competition which was Online Agent which was later renamed to Agent Office.

Top Producer has been much maligned over the years and more often than not it was either exaggerated, unjustified, or just simply not true. If you would like a detailed account of this topic I wrote an article about it that you can read here. That is not to say that they have not had issues, but it is now arguably the most feature rich overall solution available with little to complain about.

At that time, Century 21 and RE/MAX were two of, if not the largest franchises in the country. Within a year or two of Top Producer coming out, Century 21 adopted it as it’s recommended CRM du jour. That catapulted Top Producer into the lead position in market share. Agent Office was then adopted by RE/MAX which gave it the opportunity to compete. Unfortunately for Agent Office, it’s varying owners over the next  16 years would not keep up with Top Producer, clearing an easy path for Top Producer to claim the lion’s share of the market to this day. Another factor for their success is that they have always been very aggressive marketers. To illustrate the point, I had a conversation around 1990 about Top Producer with George Tharpe who was one of the principles in Real Estate Specialist (RES).  He remembered being at a convention to promote RES and seeing Randy Purcell who was the original developer of Top Producer. He was sleeping in his car instead of a hotel room. Why? So he could spend the money on marketing! They continue that philosophy today to the extent that some users complain about getting too many promotional emails.

Top Producer has come a very long way since the beginning. It started out as a DOS application and then in 2002 they released web based version 7i. I could be wrong here but if memory serves, version 7i needed to be reworked in a major way due to programmatic limitations with it’s structure that would inhibit growth and the ability to take advantage of new developments in technology. That necessitated the release of version 8i in 2007 which was very different and lacked some of the features that 7i users had come to like. That was yet another reason for the boobirds to start chanting.

The original developers sold Top Producer to Homestore long ago which later became Move.com and has been the owner ever since. Recently NewsCorp bought Homes.com. Will it affect Top Producer? Can’t imagine why. And that’s where we are today.

Three part review of Top Producer in Video

Top Producer’s regular price is $39.95mo. That is the only price you will ever see displayed anywhere. The prices for which Top Producer can be sold are regulated by Top Producer. Internally they have what they call the floor price. That is the lowest price for which their sales people or any of the resellers like myself are authorized to sell it. That is the price for which I always sell it. The same is true of any bundle pricing which is combining their other products for a price that is lower than any of the products when purchased individually. No one can deviate from their lowest authorized price, and we are all authorized to offer it. We just can’t put it on our site. I have a standing agreement that anyone who uses my purchase link gets it for the lowest price allowable. This is a direct link to their site to a page created for me. Use the following Promo Codes to get the lowest price Top Producer Allows. I can not publish it here so if you want to know what it is you must email me or call.

You can order on my Top Producer page by clicking on the order or trial buttons here, you will see the sale price when you use the promo codes.

There is also a special promotion that will save you a little more money. Ask me about it!

Paying one year up front gets a 5% discount on your total purchase. Two is 7.5%, and three years gets a 10% discount.

Price breaks can be had for more than four licenses paid on one account. Call me for pricing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are more than welcome to confirm that I sell at the lowest price available and all other details above by talking to my Top Producer rep – Colin Burton – colin.burton@topproducer.com  888.547.5331

Benefits of buying here:

My email drip campaigns will help you get started by:

  • Help setting up your Sales PipelineFollow-up Coach by getting the contacts labeled correctly
  • Learning how to add contact information the right way
  • Learn how to build contact types the right way

You have one person to call if you ever have administrative issues with Top Producer. I am your representative and I get listened to. In this case it is good to have a middle man.

I will also give you the contact information for my contact at Top Producer. He is not for tech support. But you have a Top Producer representative that you can call directly and actually know his name.

Have a question for me? Click on the button and ask away!