versus Top Producer
User opinions - these users
have used BOTH AO & TP
NOTE: AgentOffice was
known as Online Agent, and branded by various franchises to include RE/MAX Agent
2000, Executive Agent, Century 21 Power Pack, & Keller Williams Online Agent.
Other than the franchise's logo on the software, they are all identical.
Top Producer has also been made
available in differing forms, in differing franchises over the years, and
sometimes by different names. Some were a 'light' version, some full.
Which of the two your franchise
favors today, is simply the opposite of the one they favored yesterday, and
probably again tomorrow.
Purchase Top Producer
Purchase Agent Office here!
Learn about 30 other
different Real Estate contact management software programs here!
Note that I am also a reseller for "AdvantageXi,
Agent for Outlook",
All Clients, and over 20
Note also that I have no qualms about pointing
you to another link on my site that includes MANY different CRM (Customer
Relationship Management) tools which is
idea is that I will point you to whatever I think best
suits your particular needs. I am affiliated with virtually all of them,
so I can advise without an agenda/bias.
AgentOffice versus Top Producer:
Last updated - April 10, 2010
This article was first written many years ago
when Top Producer and Agent Office were pretty much the only two products
worth comparing, as they were apparently the only ones available.
There were actually several others available at the time, but I, like most
of the rest of the world, had never heard of them. Now I know about those
that existed before, as well as many other relative newcomers.
You may certainly read to your hearts content
below, but the bottom line is that at this point, it would be easier to
state the similarities of the two, than the differences. That is to say
that Agent Office now has other products that you should be comparing it
to, desktop products. If you want to compare Top Producer to something,
then you should be comparing it to other Web based products. There are now
many products catering to many different needs, and it would be foolish
not to look at some of the others. You are welcome to contact me for a
consultation to see which products might suit you best with regards
to your technology aptitude, your current needs, and your future goals.
You can do all that starting on my home page
by clicking here.
How do you compare them?
Clicking here, will
take you to the original article, which spoke predominantly about AO vs. TP 6i
(the older off-line version).
As 6i is no longer for sale, and support has been discontinued, that was no longer a
viable comparison. So what follows is a new article. Things have changed
dramatically. AO versus TP when they were both offline, was one story. Now
AO is offline, and TP is online, and it's a very different story.
I have spent a great deal of my time teaching AgentOffice/Agent 2000/Online Agent
over the years, hereafter
referred to as AO, to groups and individuals. I have been following, and
playing with Top Producer since it's inception, hereafter referred to as TP. I started with a
Real Estate specific software product called "Real Estate
Specialist" (DOS) in 1990. I learned AO for a Coldwell Banker agent when it
"Online Agent", so I could automate his 140 transactions a year with it, in
I was the regional
technology consultant for the Southeastern PA & Delaware RE/MAX region(1,800
agents & 100 offices) 1998 & 99.
I constantly asked people which they preferred. I
found a fair number of users to be very vocal about one being better than
the other, but then when I asked what it was they liked better about
theirs than the other, it turned out they had not used the other program.
That more or less meant their answer was without merit! My criteria for a worthwhile
1) They must have used both (not necessarily at the
same time) in a production environment, for at least 6 months.
2) They must have used
the majority of the modules comprehensively, with the exception of the
checking/financial (many people use Quicken instead) & MLS modules, as most
people did not use it.
What originally followed were comments about the
older version of AO, versus TP 6i. They are no longer relevant. I am
now in the process of gathering opinions from 'qualified' users that are more current, and apply to the
newer versions. And they'll be here, no matter which they favor.
The big questions - pricing & online versus
With regards to the question, "Which one is better",
the answer is, "It depends". It depends upon your needs and your budget.
The big question now is whether or not you need to be online, versus offline,
and whether or not you can/want to afford the monthly fee versus a one time
charge.. Let's talk about the costs first. They're more black and white.
AgentOffice currently costs $440/395
w/without a CD through me or the latest owner, Emphasys Software.
That's a one time fee. Tech support is $295/yr. You don't have to
get tech support unless you want/need it. The upgrade currently costs
$290/245 w/without a CD. You don't have to get the upgrade
unless you decide that the features in it are
sufficient to you to warrant the cost. If you skip an upgrade, or 5 upgrades,
then you just get the current one, and still pay $290. That upgrade is a
CD that ships to you, and contains all the upgrades since the last time you
bought. It is a full working version, and installs on top of the old
version, and automatically brings in all your old data. All of it.
A note about upgrades. There were 5 upgrades
to AO between about the beginning of 2005, and mid 2006. That's a lot of
upgrades, and several were pretty lame. The last significant upgrade was in June
2006. There was an update in July 2007, but it was almost exclusively to make it
In November of 2008, AO was purchased by Emphasys
Software. To date there has been no news of when an update may be coming. The
only thing they have done so far is to change the pricing slightly on the
products, and announce a significant price increase of Tech Support to $295/yr.
As new versions come out, I will post their details
Big news! Emphasys Software announced a completely
new product in March 2010 called Agent Office Personal edition. It is still a
beta product and it is completely different than the existing Agent Office. It
is an Outlook add-on. Emphasys insists that it is going to continue to support
the original Agent Office, but it would be a first for one organization to have
two competing Real Estate CRM products. Time will tell. AO Personal Edition
makes the sixth Real Estate specific Outlook add-on on the market. There is one
significant difference with their version. It is a monthly fee of $30 per month.
Considering that one of the primary reasons who switched from Top Producer to
Agent Office was to get away from monthly payments, it will be interesting to
see how it goes. If you still want a desktop product with no monthly fees, it is
worth taking a look at AdvantageXi. That is what I
have used personally since April 2007. It is a desktop solution, but can be
shared remotely online if required.
Top Producer's cost varies depending upon what
you want. Their pricing can be seen
As of September 24th, 2009, the basic cost is $39.95 for the first user, and then
adds monthly fees for additional capabilities such as being able to synch with
your PDA(14.95/mo.), or have an
assistant license (29.95 mo.).
Note that that monthly fee includes tech-support and
any upgrades as they come out. The reports I've been getting on that have been
excellent. It also includes the ability to do mass e-mailing through Top
Producer's servers, eliminating additional costs.
So the question becomes - do you need/want to be online?
If it is just you, and you are happy to synch to
your PDA to have your database to carry around with you (contact and calendar
information), then you probably don't need online access. If it is you,
and an assistant and/or a buyer's agent, that all work out of one geographic
location, then you can just network AO AdvantageXi
or in that office. (Note that because there
have been no updates since 2006, the historically stable network capability of
the program has been falling behind in hardware compatibility. Everyone will have access
to the same database at the same time.) Everyone can synch with their PDA,
and carry their database with them. You can also access AO remotely using
http://LogMeIn.com for free.
AdvantageXi does it by hosting a 'Master Datebase'
on their server or yours. Access by multiple users has functional restrictions that are too
complex to go into here, but it is a consideration. There are also third parties
that will 'host' AO online for you,
so that you have remote access, at a cost of $35- 50/mo. per user, with offline
database, and PDA synch as part of that cost.
If it is not just you, and you have other people that
need access to the database from remote locations, then you probably want to be
online. The main question is the cost.
The big questions - functional differences
When AO and TP were both 'desktop' or 'offline'
products, they were extremely comparable in functionality. Now that TP has gone
online, there are some pretty significant differences in that regard.
The primary difference is that 7i, and now 8i were designed to be
online, and can interact with a Web site. This opens up some different
For one - the ability to have someone fill in a form
on a Web site, then that data automatically downloads into your TP database, and
you are notified that you have a new 'lead'. This is the kind of thing that can
be done better in TP because it was designed to be online.
Something close can be done in AO. IF your Web
designer will set up your site to send you an e-mail when someone fills
out a form on your page, in a ".vcf" format (a vCard), then AO can create a new
contact by using the data in the vCard to populate a new contact. It is not done
automatically like it is on TP though. AdvantageXi
does it automatically by using "rules" or "filters". You tell the e-mail client
to take the information form the text of the e-mail and create a contact, and
launch a follow-up campaign if you so desire.
You also have the ability to 'publish' a private
password protected Web page for your buyers and sellers in TP. This page is a
status report containing all the activities you have completed for that
property. Access is given with a link and a password to the client in an e-mail.
The Web page is created automatically for the agent. The same information can be
prepared in a print format to be emailed, or printed. This report includes
graphics, and is pretty sharp.
In AO, the same kind of report can be generated for
e-mailing or print. Plain text - no graphics.
Both products contain 'Activity Plans', which is the
ability to generate an automated to-do list, which posts the tasks on the
calendar on the appropriate dates according to your pre-designated schedule. An
added capability in TP, is called 'cascading activities'. It allows you to say,
'if this activity happens, then so does the next one, but if the first one
doesn't, delay this one.' It's complicated, but trust me, for the power
user, it is pretty slick.
Although TP's 'content' (canned letters, e-mails,
fliers, post cards, etc.) comes under fire by some, it is significantly greater
in volume than AO's compliment of the same. Without question, TP has far more
and better canned activity plans that does AO.
Another consideration is being an average user,
versus being a 'power' user.
AO, because it is offline, never has any delay going
from one window to another, and you can have any number of windows open at once.
You can be looking at multiple contacts, and then open a listing, then a sale, then the
word processor, etc., all at once. If you're a power user, you'll be doing that
often. TP can be slower in that respect.
TP - depending upon your internet connection
speed and consistency, there can be delays. If your ISP is always reliable, then
interruption to access to your database should not be an issue. If you have a
good consistent high-speed connection, then delays should not be a factor -
unless - you're a speed demon! If you get frustrated with any delay
'your computing' then you should get with someone that uses it and test drive
it. By and large, it's quick. But it's not virtually instant, and sometimes it
can be a little sluggish responding in certain situations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The previous 2 paragraphs were
correct prior to the release of 8i. The following reflects the improvements made
Top Producer 7i is based on Microsoft Java technology which does not come
installed on new computers. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the only web
browser supported, leaving users of Firefox, Safari, and other web browsers with
no way to use the program.
Top Producer 8i is based on ASP.net and Ajax. It is compatible with a wider
range of web browsers. Top Producer 8i also places a lighter demand on resources
and responds faster.
Top Producer 7i’s interface disabled most web browser functions that normally
appear across the top of the browser window. This included functions like the
address bar, Back and Forward buttons, the Refresh button, multiple windows,
tabs, and so on.
Top Producer 8i runs in a normal browser window with all of these features are
available. The Top Producer 8i user will also be able to use the browser’s print
screen functionality to print off whatever anything in browser window. Users can
now display any information they want, sort it how they like, and print it off.
completely new feature to Top Producer 8i that allows users to go a landing page
that provides a brief summary of stats for items like contacts, leads,
The New UI:
Top Producer 8i’s main navigation is a departure from Top Producer 7i. The main
features have been given their own buttons. When clicked, rather than simply
displaying a list of possible functions, they will take the user to a landing
page for that feature. These landing pages are a brand new function in Top
Producer 8i, and make all of the commonly used functions available right away.
Top Producer 7i used multi-step wizard based interfaces for many of its
workflows. In Top Producer 8i, these wizard based interfaces have been replaced
with single-screen forms with necessary fields for activities such as contact
entry or creation of listings or closings in a single window
The Contact Look-Up interface appears on the right side in every workflow that
could require a contact record. The 8i user can drag and drop a contact’s name
into the appropriate spot on a form rather than typing out their name or
performing a search as was required in Top Producer 7i.
Unlike Top Producer 7i, When Top Producer 8i is retrieving information from the
server, it will display an indicator which will inform the user that the
operation is still ongoing. This indicator will, in most cases, appear in the
lower right hand corner of the browser window
I have never tried to sway anyone FROM one TO the
other. Unless there is a very good reason to switch, the learning curve is not
typically worth it.
That said, they both have their glaring deficiencies. They'll both disappoint
you at times. They'll both make you more money, save you time, and reduce your
daily stress immeasurably.
Overall - if you are not going to be a power user,
and you do not have the need to be online in various geographic locations, AO
or now AdvantageXi should be more than enough for your business. If you fully intend to take
advantage of the extra fire power TP affords, and you do need access from
different locations, then you'll want to take a look at TP.
There is not one product out there that is perfect,
unless you have very simplistic needs. If you're already using one and it suits
your needs, the best one is
the one you use! If you're looking to start with an offline
solution, there are new options, and you should contact me. Online - If you're already using AO,
there are third party hosting services available, to avoid the learning
curve that comes with making a switch. If you're going to start fresh, and you
need online, then TP is one of the best ways to go. There are many desktop and
Web based solutions. Call me to find out which one is best for you!
I give you unbiased counsel based on your aptitude
for technology, your current needs, and your future goals.
Search This Site
Click here to contact us by e-mail...
Direct by phone
Call us at
Please leave a message if you get voice mail.
NOTE: If you leave a message,
your e-mail address is required for a return phone call.
EBOOK CONTACT MANAGEMENT -
CONTACT MANAGEMENT COMPARISON MATRIX -
SITE MAP -
ABOUT US - SUCCESS
STORIES - CRM COACHING
OFFICE SOFTWARE - AGENT
OFFICE ACTIVITY PLANS -
TRANS-PLANS - OUR SERVICES -
REAL ESTATE CONTACT
MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE -
RE-ACTION NEWS -
AGENT TOOLS -
AGENT OFFICE ONLINE
PRODUCER SOFTWARE -
ONLINE TRAINING & TECH
SUPPORT - REAL
ESTATE TECHNOLOGY SEMINARS -
CUSTOM FORMS -
MY BLOG - ACTIVE AGENT
FOR OUTLOOK - ADDRESS
AGENT 1ST CHOICE -
ALL CLIENTS -
MY REAL ESTATE TOOLS - BUSY AGENT
PRO - EUREKAWARE
- ADVANTAGE Xi
- MASTERDIGM -
MORE SOLDS -
LEARN ABOUT CRM -
REAL ESTATE ADD-ONS -
FRONT DESK/BACK OFFICE
- DISCOUNTED CRM -
REAL ESTATE CRM COACHING
- CONTENT -
SOLUTIONS - REA -
CRM SOFTWARE -
Created and Maintained by Gary David Hall -
Copyright 1999-2013 RE-ACT, LLC