02 December 2014 ~ 19 Comments

Yodle Review For Real Estate Agents

yodle

PT Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute, and boy did they see me coming.  In a previous life I worked with Yodle and relied on their PPC service to help my clients.  Back then they made a website for you, then created PPC campaigns around that website to drive paid traffic and leads into your business.  Unfortunately, their services and tactics have changed and my experience has been less than ideal.  In fact this might be a relatively negative review of Yodle and their services.

To begin, I received a sales call from a great salesperson.  Being a former sales trainer myself, I love to see actual techniques in action, and this guy used all of them.  He quoted statistics, referenced the size and growth of the company, deflected negative comments, continued to push for the close, and even using one of my favorite sales techniques; the old feel, felt, found technique.   This guy was so effective, he even asked for referrals at the end of the call.

To say it was an effective high pressure sales presentation wouldn’t do it service.   I felt a little like I was on the receiving side of a pitch from the Wolf of Wall Street.  It had everything that every aggressive sales trainer teaches and it was delivered well.  This was a coercive sales presentation, and I fell for it.   The only chink in the presentation was when another agent in the call center closed a sale and everybody started cheering after he yelled “we got one!”

After hanging up, I pulled up the various Yodle reviews, and even used the text in their privacy policy to find sites that use their service.  I couldn’t find many, but those that I found all have a consistent, albeit dated, template with very few links to social media.  Overall, the reviews were positive, but most agreed that the leads you get trickle in.  I decided that although my cost per lead basis would be a lot higher ($100 or more) that the expense would be justified because they would be pushing periodic content to my Facebook and Google+ pages which I could then push to my LinkedIn profile.

Sadly, what was sold was not what their service actually provides. I had understood that I would be getting content pushed to my Facebook and Google+ pages from ten different websites that would be optimized to specific search terms.  This was a miss communication from my aggressive sales rep who was looking to close the sale.

Now to be clear, Yodle  does provide a service, and for small businesses that don’t take an active role in their online marketing, and for companies that don’t know anything about web marketing they can be useful.  Unfortunately, that is not me.  What I understood their services to be and what they actually provide are two different animals.  When I purchased, I understood that I would receive a number of search optimized lead capture websites and full management of my social profile; specifically with content.  What they actually provide is quite a bit different.

Okay, so you don’t get websites and content.  What do you get when you  sign a twelve month contract with Yodle for $249 a month?

To break it down, you get:

  • One website.  Now this site contains your business information and a contact form so that prospects can reach out to you.  You don’t get ten sites, but just this one.
  • Second, the website that you do get is search optimized for your services.  Obviously the intent is to be found through their service.    Keep in mind that they own the website, so if you cancel your account, you lose all of your SEO, as well as anything you produced to promote that site yourself.
  • Third, you are given access to a dashboard where you can track the traffic going to that website as well as the calls generated from it.  As part of this you do get a tracking phone number assigned to your page.
  • Fourth, your Google+ and Facebook business pages are linked to the dashboard so if you have a post, you can use the dashboard to send it to both locations.

So that is it, that is what you get when you register for their service.  You get a single website and a back end that can tie into Facebook and Google+.

As I said, it is not a bad service if you don’t already have these resources in place and don’t want to spend the time producing them.  My challenge is simply that what I thought I was buying was ten lead capture pages; and more importantly, content continually pushed to my social media sites.  I didn’t  think I was buying SEO services for a website that I would never own.

Overall, if you are just looking for a search optimized website that captures leads for your business, then I could be persuaded to recommend Yodle as a service.  This is as long as you know what you are getting into.  However, if you get a sales call from one of their people, marvel in their sales techniques, then hang up.  What will be promised on the call is nothing like the actual service that they provide.

Finally, I just wanted to add a small observation.  Their service requires a twelve month contract for at least $249 per month plus a $429 start up fee.  That is a cost of around $3417.  If you already have a lead capture website that you are comfortable with, most SEO companies will have no problem drive that site to the first page of Google for that same $3417.  Most will do it for significantly less.

 

 

19 Responses to “Yodle Review For Real Estate Agents”

  1. Jeff Dean 9 December 2014 at 10:25 pm Permalink

    Great article that saved me time from listening to their spiel

  2. Kerri Hurst Carmouche 25 February 2015 at 9:30 pm Permalink

    Thanks for this review.

  3. Stephen M Whitlock 14 April 2015 at 4:31 pm Permalink

    Nice review. I have a call scheduled with them this afternoon.

  4. Jake Mabus 20 May 2015 at 4:18 pm Permalink

    Thanks for the review. I too was lured in from a very good sales call and I too heard cheers from another sale. I thought at that moment…"you need to hang up!" I continued and ended up moving forward with their service.
    After the initial set up, I quickly realized this was a service that was very high in cost to benefit ratio. I called them back immediately following the set up call to cancel and hope for a return of my money, beings that I only had agreed to something that performed to what I was explained to on the sales call. I in essence was paying for stuff I already did. My mistake but the sales person made seem like I was missing out on certain features (Hook, line and sinker!).
    So, the account manager that took my call, although very sweet and kind, could not refund my initial investment of $249.00. Siting the waved set up costs and all "indexing" they have done for me up to this point. Which I would argue that very little to none had taken place up to my set up call, which had just ended about 20 min ago.
    They did offer a three month contract of $199 And a refund of $50 of paid advertising with the site that they set up. Just as long as I agreed to a three month term. I said to go ahead and keep the money and cancel everything. So, to sum up my brief experience, I paid $249.00 for about a 25 minute really great sales call, 45 min set up call and a 50 min cancelation call.
    I know I may sound like a "rube" but for what it's worth, use my experience as a learning experience. If I can help a fellow Realtor out…to me it was worth it!

  5. Jake Mabus 20 May 2015 at 4:18 pm Permalink

    Thanks for the review. I too was lured in from a very good sales call and I too heard cheers from another sale. I thought at that moment…"you need to hang up!" I continued and ended up moving forward with their service.
    After the initial set up, I quickly realized this was a service that was very high in cost to benefit ratio. I called them back immediately following the set up call to cancel and hope for a return of my money, beings that I only had agreed to something that performed to what I was explained to on the sales call. I in essence was paying for stuff I already did. My mistake but the sales person made seem like I was missing out on certain features (Hook, line and sinker!).
    So, the account manager that took my call, although very sweet and kind, could not refund my initial investment of $249.00. Siting the waved set up costs and all "indexing" they have done for me up to this point. Which I would argue that very little to none had taken place up to my set up call, which had just ended about 20 min ago.
    They did offer a three month contract of $199 And a refund of $50 of paid advertising with the site that they set up. Just as long as I agreed to a three month term. I said to go ahead and keep the money and cancel everything. So, to sum up my brief experience, I paid $249.00 for about a 25 minute really great sales call, 45 min set up call and a 50 min cancelation call.
    I know I may sound like a "rube" but for what it's worth, use my experience as a learning experience. If I can help a fellow Realtor out…to me it was worth it!

  6. Thanks for the review, this was very helpful! I am considering them and this gives me alot of information to discuss with them.

  7. Dave Peterson 19 June 2015 at 4:05 pm Permalink

    Wow. I just went through the same presentation with yelling in the back ground and request for reviews (which he wouldn't give me a reference to call). I got them down to $199/month though. The salesmanship was excellent. The cheers really rubbed me the wrong way too. Glad I didn't do it! Be careful and do your homework to avoid buyers remorse. It might be right for you…but maybe not.

  8. Jillian Von Ohlen 8 July 2015 at 7:59 pm Permalink

    I have a call with them tomorrow so this definitely helps. Thank you! Don't want to waste my time or money any longer.

  9. Brad Moutz 18 July 2015 at 3:30 am Permalink

    I bought the sales pitch… hook, line, and sinker. The company i worked for before starting my own business used outrank, which is now owned by Yodle. They swear by the service and brag about multiple leads daily. I so very much wish my experience had been similar. After 7 months under contract for $300 per month, my complaints at the lack of results got a drop in price to $249, and a free month. A completely rebuilt Yodle site, and still… a trickle. that ocassional call that whispers "yodle" in your ear before the prospect begins talking is so rare that im genuinely surprised when it comes. Me, with no formal training, and nothing but internet search on SEO optimization have built a website that stands strong against my local competition. front page google search on most relevent search phrases… how is it i can place my site, with little knowledge of how to do it, and a company im paying $250 per month can't beat me?

  10. Susan Zimmer 22 July 2015 at 3:14 pm Permalink

    They are still sales ninjas. I am expecting a 3rd phone call today and thanks to this post I will NOT be placing an order. The old adage, "if its too good to be true"!!!

  11. Jake Mabus 28 July 2015 at 3:45 am Permalink

    Update: After going around and complaining on almost all of the most popular review sites and the BBB of New York, they promptly returned my money after I had to sign an agreement to terminate the relationship. The CSR I spoke with was kind and walked me through their paperwork.
    I think the main thing to take away from this experience was their concept of an "Adversite." Probably useful for someone with absolutely no organic leads from an online presence. Turned out with a little extra work and time with complaining everywhere I could think of, they where honorable and returned my money.
    I don't see why it took so much to get to that point. I'll never know why a company would go to such lengths to keep your money when you find out that it is not for you. I would rather return the money immediately and have a satisfied non customer in hopes that one day you may be able to be of service to them.
    A little advice for Yodle, for what's it worth, don't burn bridges because you'll have a harder time rebuilding them.

  12. Jon Petersen 19 August 2015 at 3:26 am Permalink

    After speaking with them, my understanding was that it was search engine optimization with social media being tied into what they do when they build your website. My agreement was not one year, but only three months, along with no start up fee, and only $200 a month. I have yet to see real results, but I am giving it time, because I know that SEO takes time. It seems my salesman was the rare one that spoke the truth….jury is still out…

  13. Aileen Frauman 24 August 2015 at 5:27 pm Permalink

    I have a call with them tomorrow and I am so glad I read this. I am not into wasting money either!!!!

  14. Sharon L. Barnes 28 August 2015 at 11:10 pm Permalink

    Thanks for the reviews My partner told me that we have a call scheduled for Monday. We ow know that we have to stand I urgrounds with these sales ninjas. Thanks for asking me time and money.

  15. John Foster 1 September 2015 at 4:56 pm Permalink

    Nice. I just got off the phone with them. WAS considering. No longer. Didn't get the hooray scream in the background (must be a slow day). based on reading here, will NOT be continuing on.

  16. David Read 1 September 2015 at 7:05 pm Permalink

    My experience started out similar to others with a "15 minute apointment" that lasted more than one hour. At the end I determined that I could use some help and agreed to a six month contract at $249 /month with all set up fees waived. My card was charged immediately and the brief confirmation email did not contain any contractural language. At onset of the set-up call I was asked to click "accept" and agree to all the terms of an agreement I had not read. The representative was very understanding and agreed to allow me time to read it and rescheduled the call. I refused to agree to the contract and canceled my account. It was no problem and no hassle. Elizabeth Turner came on the line and even volunteered to reimburse the initial charge. A confirmation of the cancelation has been received via email and now I have no reason whatsoever to distrust this company. They have been pleasant and professional. I just decided not to pursue the marketing they offer.

  17. Mary Hoffman 2 September 2015 at 4:02 pm Permalink

    I received a call from them too, very good explanation for how they can help my business however not willing to take the plunge after reading these reveiws. I would like more online presence but something that generate business not cost my business money and goes no where. I got burnt with zillow and truila adds a few years back and very skeptical.

  18. Denna Green 4 September 2015 at 10:16 pm Permalink

    My experience has been quite different from what other people have written on here. I’ve been a customer for over a year and honestly, I’ve had a very good experience using Yodle to get extra phone calls. I work for a small independent real estate firm and they’ve definitely helped us get our name out there more than it was before we signed up. I also think the marketing package they offer is worth the price we’re currently paying. We are able to stay in touch with our clients more easily and send out way more pictures and review requests than we did before, the value of that alone has been worthwhile to us. I’m not saying it’s for everyone but Yodle does try to deliver on what they say and I’d say it’s worth a shot.

  19. Christopher King 18 September 2015 at 5:46 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Brian!
    I got the call and was at a computer and immediately looked them up as I was speaking with the "Dialogue" on the other end.Your name and input came up and helped me through the conversation.
    Perhaps you should see how people feel about the ripoffs occuring with Trulia and Zillow? A little bit of an expose' might be in order there…


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