Eileen Schreiber shares why you should beware of Market Leader

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land
http://actvra.in/FFN

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.

HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE

  • 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

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tammy Emineth 05/16/2012 07:45 AM
  2. Connor(911) and Paris MacIvor 05/24/2012 02:54 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Tags:
market leader

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Anonymous
Anonymous
Eileen

Hi All. Thanks for the comments.

 

As one person said in this comment thread, my biggest issue is being held hostage to a service with which I am extremely dissatisfied, no matter what the contract says. As an agent, I would never force someone to work with me if they are unhappy with me, no matter what document they may have signed.

The good news is that Market Leader caught wind of this blog and my wordpress blog and immediately contacted me and is giving me a refund, retroactive five months.

It never should have come to this, but it did, and they are making it right.

Thanks all!

Eileen

May 24, 2012 03:57 PM #17
Rainmaker
996,054
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Ooops, Eileen... it looks like you made your comment #17 without being logged in.  I have done that, as well.  <Ooops x 2>

It is great that Market Leader stepped up for you and made things right.  Good for you, and Thanks... Market Leader !

May 24, 2012 05:06 PM #18
Rainer
356,137
Lauren Selinsky Perez
CA Coastal Estates- Monarch Bay Real Estate DP - Laguna Hills, CA
REO -CEO - CDPE - SHORT SALES - Woman Owned

Eileen, good to hear! Action speaks louder than words! But apparently WORDS were LOUD this time ;) One of my websites are with them, but it's possible since I am in a city area it would work. Principle goes a long way with me!

May 24, 2012 10:58 PM #19
Rainmaker
24,461
Eileen Schreiber
HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land - Flagstaff, AZ
ABR, Flagstaff, AZ

I am leaving this comment LOGGED IN. :)

Thank you for the responses!

As one person said in this comment thread, my biggest issue is being held hostage to a service with which I am extremely dissatisfied, no matter what the contract says.

As an agent, or really, as anyone in a service industry,  I would never force someone to work with me if they are unhappy with me, no matter what document they may have signed.

The good news is that Market Leader caught wind of this blog and my wordpress blog and immediately contacted me.

We are talking immediately. The operations manager of Market Leader listened to my unhappiness and offered to refund my money, retroactive five months. 

It never should have come to this, but it did, and they are making it right.

I still say loud and clear: Do your due diligence!  Ask other professionals how happy they are with a service! Compare your community to a similar community.  Understand the definition of 'qualified lead'.  And be prepared to spend money for 6 months even if you are horribly disattisfied. (or just create a blog on a site that is owned by the company with which you are dissatisfied)

Thanks all!

Eileen

 

May 25, 2012 06:14 AM #20
Rainmaker
582,897
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

HIEileen - Sounds ike they need a little more training in their customer service department, both with the way they handle leads andthe way they handle their paying customers. Glad they finally woke up.

May 28, 2012 02:41 PM #21
Rainmaker
185,161
Joye Hollis Ridgeway
AgentOwned Realty, Charleston SC - Charleston, SC
- Homes, Land, Investment, Commercial

Thank you for enlightening us on ML.  Ironically, I was just beginning to consider "paying for leads"...and thinking about ML.  Now I know more, and will re-consider the subject matter.

May 30, 2012 07:24 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,055,852
Ginny Gorman
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Eileen, hmm, not a good experience but a great share...glad they are rebating you your moneys...i still think that blogging with great content is sufficient.

June 02, 2012 02:58 AM #23
Rainmaker
471,384
Teral McDowell
Keller Williams Central - Plano, TX
I am a Texas Realtor, Dallas and Collin County

Hi Eileen, good information to know. It seems that if you want a really good site you have to do it yourself only most of us don't have the know how.

June 03, 2012 02:57 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,374,588
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Eileen, glad that you got a refund...and thanks for sharing this information to the rest of us.

June 03, 2012 03:41 PM #25
Rainmaker
941,602
Georgie Hunter
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Thanks for telling it like it is.  The worst part is that they were probably farming your hits right here on AR for the leads they were selling back to you.

June 03, 2012 04:30 PM #26
Ambassador
884,141
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

What a shame!  I took advantage of a six month free trial offered to Activerainers by Market Leader a couple years ago, and experienced nothing that would make me want to pay them.  (As opposed to Zillow advertising, through which I DO get quality commission-generating leads.)  I'd like to think Market Leader has improved since then.

June 04, 2012 08:39 AM #27
Rainer
10,606
Matt & Jill Crofcheck
MDC Realty - Dunkirk, MD
RELOCATION SPECIALIST

We've used Marketleader since 2006. The leads generally have been poor and less than 1 a year has come through.  However, the backend is better in our opinion than top producer.  That being said they changed the backend recently and all of our leads (1400) lost the home searches and other important data.  They set every one of our clients up with the same search with one city, the city our office is in - Dunkirk. Market Leader was unable to dedicate the resources to fix the problem.  The old backend goes away in 5 days and we now are left to scramble getting all 1400 clients updated in a new system.  Just what we wanted to do in peak Real Estate Selling Season. We've had to bring on additional staff and dedicate all manpower to trying to get things resolved so that our business doesn't fail. Market Leader DOES NOT stand by its clients!

July 26, 2012 11:58 AM #28
Rainer
10,606
Matt & Jill Crofcheck
MDC Realty - Dunkirk, MD
RELOCATION SPECIALIST

We've been begging for help from Market Leader.  When they made the conversion of our data people got mixed up. Buyers as sellers and sellers as buyers. Sellers lost important information. All searches disappeared. We have written emails begging for someone to help us. Our business will burn because we used Market Leader. We were always very happy with the company. We truly can't understand how our pleas for help with the new system fall on deaf ears.  We were informed 3 individuals had similar problems and there is just nothing they can or will do because they just don't have the man power to rectify the situation. It leaves a successful Realtor in shambles.  All I can say is truly....Watch Where you Store Your Data!

July 26, 2012 12:43 PM #29
Rainmaker
343,409
John Mosier
High Country Realty - Prescott - AZ - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot REALTOR & Land Man 928 533-8142

Thanks for your post, Eileen. I made a post about my own experience with Market Leader. My experience with them is not something for them to brag about.  Here is a link to my article. I am putting a link to yours in that blog post.

I also made you an Associate.

July 30, 2012 07:32 PM #30
Rainmaker
59,120
Pam Burzynski
Grace Realty Co. Inc. - Bethlehem, PA
Bethlehem Area Homes, Grace Realty Co. Inc.

I tried Market Leader about 3 or 4 years ago and had just about, in every way the same experience as you, Eileen. The leads were total garbage, with false e-mails and phone numbers. The reason for that was that they got the information from the "so called" qualified leads from misleading advertisements.  The people giving their info., that Market Leader sells to customers like us, had no idea that they were going to be contacted by a Real Estate professional. Anyway, I learned my lesson....never, ever buy leads of any kind for any business.  Glad you were able to get your money back.

July 30, 2012 08:06 PM #31
Ambassador
389,814
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
Realtor - Charlottesville Virginia Homes and Horse Farms

I had their crm years ago and was thinking of trying it again.  glad I read this first.

August 22, 2012 05:57 PM #32
Rainer
99,657
Rebecca Riopelle
Greater Boston 617-794-3023 www.RebeccaRioRE.com - Arlington, MA
Vice President & REALTOR® at BYRE, LLC

Eileen, I am so glad you posted this!  I was considering using Market Leader and spoke to one of their sales people, but I couldn't believe how expensive it is! My gut was telling me something was off, so I start Googling their reviews and found many upset customers. I trust hearing from my peers on ActiveRain so this is helpful. Not to mention, I am at the end of my contract with RealEstate.com (also owned by MarketLeader) and have not been satisfied by the quality of the leads, not the user interaction. 

Here's a better questions. What IS a good program for lead managment?  Has anyone found one that works?  I think I'm going to make my own post about this.

August 24, 2012 05:20 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,329,121
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Hi Eileen are you still using ML cause I am about to sign up and looking at the reviews 

November 20, 2013 07:01 PM #34
Rainmaker
24,461
Eileen Schreiber
HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land - Flagstaff, AZ
ABR, Flagstaff, AZ

Charles

No, my post was all about how I wanted to cancel Market Leader, so I am not using it now. I have been contacted by quite a few people from this site and have shared my experiences.  In my case, almost all of the "leads" I received had false emails or false phone numbers, and I never converted one person to a sale.   I am almost 100% web based, so I know how to convert.

Other people have shared that Market Leader has worked for them.  

Thanks

Eileen

November 21, 2013 05:14 AM #35
Rainmaker
53,554
Cheryl Dukes, Realtor
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - East Point, GA
South Fulton Georgia Homes For Sale

Thanks for sharing your experience Eileen. I tried one of the "Big 4" and got a ton of leads -- mostly low budget, credit challenged and rental seekers. It was very time consuming to follow up on all of the leads. Though I did convert a few to sales, it just was not how I wanted to spend my time, chasing after the business like that. So I did not renew. It's good to try it out though, so we know what works for us and what doesn't.

November 21, 2013 06:50 AM #36
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Eileen Schreiber

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