fPro’s and Cons Of Using Zurple: A Real Estate Search Platform End-User Review
Zurple is a Real Estate lead generation service that I am currently using. I am NOT a realtor, I’m a digital marketer, and the pro| con list I am going to share is based on my PERSONAL experience running the platform for a real estate brokerage. This post is specifically for real estate professionals looking for detailed information from someone USING the platform. Fits Small Business will give you information on pricing, comparable features to other real estate search platforms and important operation notes. I’m writing this post after I recommended a client sign up for Zurple and I agreed to run the platform for them. After using Zurple, I felt there was a lot of information missing from the FSB blog post and certainly from Zurples own website.
** 1/1/2020 ZURPLE UPDATE: I did an original Zurple review in 2017. The last three years have seen Zurple make a couple of minor changes including offering a custom IDX website solution. I did a brief search in preparation for this update and quickly discover recent reviews on their own Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Zurple/ that are mostly negative and reflect in part my own experiences with a dishonest sales force and a disinterested customer service team. Zurple did hire on a new director of sales in late 2018 so it’s possible they are aware they have problems and are making attempts to fix them. They also reached out to me to initiate conversations to re-review the platform but never followed up beyond opening a dialogue. My technical review seems to still be relevant and my company review as well. If you have additional questions or comments or you are a Zurple team member wanting to discuss my review please use the “Talk to me!” form at the bottom of this blog post. As a final note, I am pasting one of the many complaints from customers to Zurple and I also have to emphasize this was my own experience with them as well three years ago.
Zurples Versions and the one
The pro’s and cons won’t do you any good unless you are familiar with Zurple’s platform and understand how the various options affect the platforms expected operation. I am only using the LIMITED option which is their bottom tier. I cannot speak to the performance of any of the other programs on this list.
These are Zurple options on 2.18.2017. The plan I am using is the RED text: ( This information is Zurples and the names of their plans are under copyright. Zurple does not employ me nor am I affiliated with Zurple.)
| Payers |
|SYSTEM FIXED RATE||$349|
My plan comes with a single website. As far as I can tell ALL of Zurples websites look the same. Here is a LINK to a live example and below is a screen shot of my client’s site. Look the same to me.
We also opted for seller leads which add a button and lead capture form to the Zurple platform. The pricing for seller leads is the same. This screenshot shows the Home Valuation call to action after I navigated to the “sold listings” section of my client’s website. Additionally, Zurple advertises on Facebook to capture Seller leads. They provide a VIDEO that shows sample advertisements and lead capture forms.
Now that you know which Zurple program I am using, let’s talk about the ones I am NOT using. Additional sites, Payee and other agents increase plan to plan. Here’s what that means.
- Websites: More landing page website with different URLs. Example lahomesforsale.com and beverlyhillshomeforsale.com. You would use a larger PPC budget and drive traffic focused on each city to the website with a matching domain name. People searching for Los Angeles homes for sale would be driven to the lahomesforsale.com internet site. People searching for Beverly Hills homes for sale would be driven to the beverlyhillshomeforsale.com website.
- Agents: Zurple is mainly an email nurturing lead platform. That means early in the search process, Zurple asks leads to register. Once registered they are sent a series of market-tested emails. Those emails come with agent profile information. The more agents your platform support, the more profiles you can upload and then generate leads based on rotation controlled by the platform itself.
- Payers: How many Real Estate Agents can split payment. For POWER, three agents could split $500 each.
- System and Exclusivity: You can pay a fee to have a territory to yourself(this doesn’t include OTHER marketing platforms, just Zurple). The system is the platform, and you’re paying an access fee each month. This fee changes based on the program. I listed the price for the program I enrolled in.
Zurple| THE PROS
Great Lead Visitor Statistics
Zurple Imports Your Sold Homes from the MLS to Your Zurple Website
It’s noteworthy that if you have a lot of previously sold homes in a particular demographic like my client does it can make a powerful statement to prospects searching for homes.
The Zurple website has a minimalist design with a clear call to action.
You can email support for a cost per lead
I haven’t done this.
Good Lead Generation Mechanics
Offering the overall listing data on the left(neighborhood you are searching in) and the listing street view on the right is functionality only Zurple has. You need to register with the Zurple website you are performing your search on to see this view. No other real estate search platform offers this functionality making it a value proposition to home shoppers and my favorite feature of the Zurple search platform.
Prospect behavior gets them sorted automatically into categories with Zurple suggesting which are the “hottest” categories.
Zurple | THE CONS
Not customizable without emailing customer support.
It takes customer service less than 24 hours to respond but considering how many critical things you need to email them on to have a decent chance of seeing a return on your investment I feel their response time (8-10 hours) is slow. These are my support requests in the first two weeks.
- Make phone numbers a requirement for registration “Buyers Leads.”
- Make phone numbers a requirement for registration “Sellers Leads.”
- Please send me a screen capture of the value statements the Zurple platform is showing prospects
- You didn’t use the agent profile image or information I provided. Can you please change this (sent 3x so far)
- Can you mass import leads into the Zurple platform (yes you can)
Not a passive lead generation system
Get the most out of Zurple by doing the following:
- Experiment with requiring phone numbers. Email nurturing is a long process. The average lead will respond after five contacts, and that is weeks of incubation versus a phone call and a text which shortens the lead cycle considerably.
- Upload old leads (if you have them)
- Email outside of the automated system emails until a prospect responds and in theory gives you their phone number.
- When the system sends you a “LEAD” notification, it is noting the BEHAVIOUR of the prospect. You get messaged that you have a”hot” lead. What you have is a prospect that hasn’t given you a phone number searching a ton of time on your platform. I do not know what the rate of return for these “leads” is but I DO know that of the 10 I have received in 3 weeks, not one has responded to an email sent by me or the platform.
- Use the Craigslist functionality. Posting to Craigslist requires that you manually add photos. The listing description is taken automatically from the MLS and made usable in your Craigslist post.
- When you have phone numbers, text them from within Zurple. You must do this Zurple provides a mass texting feature, but you must provide the content at the time of the text.
Support needs to improve.
Zurple is a top-tier technology company. Their support system is not.
- I’ve had repeated errors on simple requests.
- There is no 24-hour support or instant messaging.
- Many of the support documents I went through were unclear. In some cases like the one below, tutorials and screenshots were of a different Zurple system. I was able to figure out what I needed but not without effort.
Bankable results require an incubation period.
Zurples documentation clearly states leads start in 1-2 weeks in rare cases 4. This IMPLY’S you might expect a lead you can call and sell a home too. That is not the case. What they call a lead are a name and an email address. Only a small percentage of those will email you back. Over time after receiving more emails and gaining trust in your brand, I believe you will see an increasing number of qualified ready to talk leads. If Real Estate digital marketing statistics hold true, it will be 8-10 weeks before the average Zurple customer receives a viable lead.
Zurple is an excellent piece of technology. They need an upgrade to their support documentation, including site navigation, and additional text documents(like case studies covering different user experiences, including statistics within their support section of the website). Way more video’s not only showing what the platform does but making some recommendations about what you COULD do. Their blog gives a ton of tips but NONE that I could find for users of the Zurple marketing system. I’m sure they exist, but I got ten posts deep and gave up trying to find them.
Here are the real estate professionals’ “types” that should consider Zurple:
- Have 500-3000 email addresses of old prospects? This will considerably raise the value of Zurples technology.
- Have a website focused on a real estate niche but want to lock up PPC search positions for your demographic without learning PPC or hiring an agency
- Understand the basics of digital real estate marketing but have neither the time or interest in learning more
- Can expend 90-120 days of marketing capital before seeing the first sale come in
- Have a multi-tiered digital marketing campaign already in place and want to compare cost per lead
If you don’t fit one of these types, I would strongly suggest you wait until Zurple becomes a little more “end user” friendly. They got bought by Perseus the company that owns z57 at the end of 2015. They have already improved the search platform appearance. Perseus develops software as a core business model. Hard to say if customer support will make it to the top of their priority list.
I was surprised to discover there does not appear to be ANY public videos walking through basic Zurple performance and functionality. So I did a Zurple video walkthrough. Enjoy.
Please use the rating widget when you leave a comment.
Complete waste of money. Poor leads, bad emails. I had a one year contract and did not receive one legitimate lead during that period. Whenever the system failed, customer service was horrendous. Even after my contract ended and I canceled they continue to bill me. Would strongly discourage if you’re considering. Recommend Commisions Inc or Boom Town.
Thank you so much for the comment. I haven’t used Commissions Inc. Since they got bought and used to be Tiger leads. Are you using them with success?
Does Zurple have its own website or does it require that you already have one or get one on your own?
Zurple provides a website for you. Check out the video at the end of the review to see it in action. Think it is only a 10 minute watch.
I signed up for two Zurple products and a large advertising budget. My average cost per lead was over $40 and did not include valid phone numbers or emails.
I am successfully using 3 other lead generation platforms (including Boomtown and Cinc), and converting over 7% into clients so I know it is not me or my team that is the problem.
Total waste of over $5000 and an even bigger waste of time. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
Thanks for sharing your experience especially the numbers. The cost per lead is of special interest to me and I am sure my readers as well.
The worst company I’ve ever spoken to. Rude, obnoxious and totally arrogant. Will never speak with them again.
@Christine I Know you directed this to Mike but I wanted to drop a note and thank you for sharing your experience. The way companies change is through the measurement of their customer’s concerns and this review has taken such a prominent position on Google Zurple will almost certainly see this thread and be given the opportunity to address what appears to be a systemic business failure. This could be caused by a person or persons or a bad process. Thank you for sharing.
Good article, they have great backend, not as good though at generating leads. Better at nurturing leads.
I agree with your summary Keith.
Anyone know of a way to export the leads from Zurple to a CRM? This seems to be a limitation.
I haven’t exported yet but importing required sending an email to email@example.com. It took getting referred to a couple of DIFFERENT reps and calling but eventually, I managed to get them to add 500 names to the platform. I’m sure a similar process would have to be gone through to export leads.
I have been using Zurple for over two years for buyers only. It has more than paid for itself each year. Upgrades have continued to improve functionality. You can export leads to a spreadsheet with filters.
Good to know on the exports. Thank you for sharing your experience.
can i use my own website or do i have to use zurples
You have to use zurples. You can look at searchcoronado.com if you want to see a live Zurple website.
Robert I have been following your words for awhile, thank you for sorting through the abyss. I am currently 5 months into my contract with Zurple…I despise them now. First, customer service is non-existent…simple concerns, features needed, and overall just trying to get them to respond has been terrible. Second, sales promises at contract were unfulfilled, i.e. promise to build a full website (its just a landing page, and a two page info website, not quite “full”), all of my agents being included, etc. Third, they said all my paid leads would go to my CRM…in actuality only zillow and Realtor..not Homes or any of the other ones are automated. Fourth, if you generate a lead through your own marketing…zurple will not allow that lead to be added to your CRM if another zurple user has them in their CRM. Which means you have to have another email address to add them to your CRM or use an outside CRM off of their system. They say its because lead exclusivity, however they will offer a workaround by adding a different email address for that lead…seems like its not really lead exclusivity but rather an inflexible system. Finally, I’ve yet to convert any of my old leads, new leads or anything for that matter on their system. The contact software is pretty slick, but really its just a really robust drip campaign. At $600 a month, I feel like I could do better with a different site and just throw that money into SEO/FB advertising.
I currently have a Placester site, while that is ok for a real estate website it appears lacking in lead generation potential. I read your breakdown of EAP and RG. I think I am leaning toward a word press site that can provide landing, squeeze, and seller valuation landing…is that something you could design?
Thanks for following the IREM blog. I really appreciate it. There is very little I couldn’t design or develop. Why don’t you schedule an appointment using the calendar on the inboundREM home page and I can either steer you in the right direction or take on a custom project myself.
Thank you for all of this information Robert. I was considering moving forward with Zurple. I think I need to put a hold on that and reassess my company’s marketing needs.
Unless you are sitting on a list of valuable email contacts that exceeds a few thousand names I would take a pass on Zurple. Just IMO. Thank you so much for sharing a comment here. They really help my blog and I appreciate it.
Robert, what would you recommend to a new real estate agent to use? I need to get my business going. Too many options and I do not want to waste my time and money.
Either bold leads or Real Geeks.
Myself and my team has been using Zurple for nearly 3 years now.
I am sure there is a better system out there. However, we are in it. It is working. In reality they are online leads. Like everything else it takes time. Our first deal took 1 year from the system. It was a fairly large deal so it paid for itself 5 times over. Granted we are in Orange County, CA. Also, keep in mind we have a lender paying half the cost. $500 each. Luckily for him that was a VA Loan. So he did quite well too.
Since then we have pretty much been doing about 30k in GCI a year off a total of 1k in spend. Half handled by the lender. In reality to me it is where leads go to get nurtured. I have a database day twice a week that I call and text people and send specific messages to. This is on top of the immediate calls to people that come into the system or into Zillow. We also use this system for our Zillow leads and instead of an IDX on our own sites we direct people to our Zurple website. The system does a decent job. They call it AI. Honestly it is still all a drip campaign. Some of the emails are written poorly. The way they structure the sentences etc to me seems obvious they are just a script. However people respond. It does have some smart features. For example if a prospect looked at specific home more than 3 times it will que it to send a question if they want to schedule a showing. What is lame is then if they respond Zurples auto response is I am tied up at the moment when is the best time to contact you. Or what questions do you have so I can best serve you. They are close but they need to pur better effort into their scripts. I think that would increase conversion. They also need to put more effort into the ability to customize certain aspects of the system. Like the auto texts that go out are not changeable. Also, when a lead comes in via Zurple advertising they do not get auto texted. However they get auto emailed. When a lead comes in from Zillow they get auto texted. You cannot change it so they do not get auto texted. That would be a good feature to turn off if you want to hire a company that manages the initial texting conversation.
With our system we can have 5 backend users. So I have a couple different backend for the varying advertising we do. 2 separate cities. We also have a custom wordpress sites we use for our own personal branding and retargeting via Facebook and adroll. This is purely for branding and to give people a resume behind the sites and the zillow ads so to say. I would love to find something as robust as a backend as zurple with the customizability of my wordpress site so it is all in one. Not sure if this exists without spending 20k.
Most of my budget is spent on either a new listing or online with Zillow, Facebook, Zurple, and Adroll. I spend some money on backend admin. A Virtual Assistant(New venture) and a marketing pro to handle some of the more difficult tasks on the backend and give extra guidance.
Zurple has really been the only consistent result. 16k so far this year from it I am thinking we will get that remainder 14k by the end of the year. In reality it should grow a bit every year due to the old leads that are still getting nurtured and one could come out from nowhere. We make a profit off it and then have a pretty good place to let our leads that come in from other avenues get nurtured. The mass texting feature is definitely useful. I plan on adding in the direct send to Voicemail(another service from another vendor) as well to help with our lead nurturing. I know there is a way to find where people live as well based off an email name and number. So eventually postcards to these people. I believe this will increase conversions quite a bit.
Couple good point you made. Make the phone numbers required. I asked them to make this change. They told me not to and the lead count has not gone down. Many of the numbers are accurate as well. Also, their tech support is slow. While it is easy to call during the day before they close at 4pm pst. You are just going to talk to a customer service rep. Who are knowledgeable but do not have the ability to make changes. I have had open tickets for weeks. I have waited for up to 4 plus days for a response and having t email them multiple times to get me an answer. The usual answer is that is not a feature at the moment but we are looking into adding this at a later date.
There is probably a better solution. At the moment I am two heavily invested in the system. My advice understand that you may be two years down the road and be in my boat and wondering is there a better way to have all the things the system is lacking and still get most of what this system is good at using a different company.
It seems you have some great insights on many of the options. Honestly wish I came across this site years ago.
Wow! Patrick this is an amazing analysis of Zurple. I love the detail especially the analysis of how long it took from purchase to first deal and the continuing look at return on investment year after year. I agree 100% with your assessment RE: “They call it AI. Honestly, it is still all a drip campaign.”
In terms of having a better lead nurturing option – Follow up boss.
In terms of generating new leads and having them nurtured – Bold Leads (you can see a review that I just did)
Patrick if you ever build another website and are looking for some custom solutions I hope you’ll reach out.