Pro’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 haven’t updated this review since the middle of 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.)
|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 screen shot 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 which Zurple program I am using let’s talk about the ones I am NOT using. Additional sites, Payee’s 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 of those cities to the website that had 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 what they call 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, 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 10 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.