My True Story - Market Leader was THE WORST. Beware!!!
(Please see comment section below for most recent update)
My name is Eileen Schreiber. I am a real estate agent in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am the creator and owner of a customized website that has made me a top 5 Buyers Agent in Flagstaff for the past 3 years. (http://www.TheFlagstaffWebsite.com). I am very adept at internet marketing.
Last year (2011) I decided to try to break into the Sedona, Arizona market. After doing a bit of research, I thought I would try Market Leader.
As a savvy web-based agent, I read through the lines of the sales pitch. Market Leader offers "leads" - that means that people need to register on my site with valid email addresses and phone numbers in order for me, the agent, to contact them.
I was told that for the Sedona Market, Market Leader GUARANTEES 10 QUALIFIED LEADS PER MONTH FOR $479.00. That is a a lot of money!! And I had to commit to a six month contract. There are no trial periods.
They also offered me a trial period for the Market Leader Follow Up (call) Service. As soon as someone registers on my site, a professional from Market Leader calls them to follow up. This is how to convert leads, they said.
With an "I know better than this" feeling in my stomach, I committed.
I immediately registered on my own site as a client to check the level of service.
A day later, I received a call from a bored sounding flatline female voice: "Hi, this is xxxxx, You were on my site yesterday I'm following up".
I almost had a heart attack. THAT is how they follow up??? With a bored, flatlined female phonemonkey call who didn't even identify the name of my website, my market, or sound like an interested human being?
I immediately contacted Market Leader and demanded that NOBODY, EVER follow up with any potential client again. I would do that, thank you.
- Almost every lead had either no phone number or an invalid phone number. I swear.
- Almost every "lead" said they were "just looking". Any contact I initiated with the leads resulted in the following: ZERO. And remember, I am a web-based agent. I know how to follow up and I know how to convert.
- All my leads were delivered on, or around the same day. It was like they let them pool, then parceled them out to agents. I don't know that for a fact, but it was VERY wierd.
After three months of NOTHING but FRUSTRATION, zero true buyers, and lots of wasted time, I realized that I was wasting a lot of money on nothing.
- Be advised!!! Market Leader does not let you cancel for dissatisfaction!!!!!! I expressed my extreme and utmost dissatisfaction in emails and phonecalls. I was told I could reduce my services to the $150/month "search function" for the duration of my contract. I did that.
- Beware!!!! Market Leader does not stop services at the time you originally contracted to end your services!!!!!! I believed that my contract would simply end at 6 months. NO. They charged me for two additional months.When I called and emailed to protest this with all of the vigor I could muster, my account exec told me:
"Jack Markham, the Sales Manager received your emails and passed them to me. He said specifically not to issue you a credit."
BEWARE!!!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Call other agents who have used Market Leader in areas just like yours. Do not use a big city agent as an example if you are in a small town. Ask important questions to people who use the service! Make sure you are aware that your "leads" are just that - email addresses.
BEWARE!! No matter how dissatisfied you are, you can not cancel. Be prepared to spend money for six months.
BEWARE!! Even if you have a six month contract, make sure you cancel. Otherwise they will continue to charge you.
Based on this experience, I would never recommend Market Leader as a viable service.
Also see this at http://bewaremarketleader.wordpress.com