Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. I hope we've resolved your concerns and I'm glad we've worked together to reach an outcome that you're happy with.
We appreciate this forum. It's been a huge help in improving products and services we offer to thousands of our real estate customers we serve.
We pride ourselves on being one of the very few custom real estate website companies out there. The work we do is unique to each client. Consequently, every website is different and the custom design process can result in a multitude of changes. But at the end of the day, our customers are getting a personally branded website.
Our team works very hard to launch websites every day and resolve issues. If you're having a problem with your website, it helps us tremendously if you write about specific issues and concerns that you have had with as many details as possible, including: type of site, approximate date of purchase, and the specific issue and you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I or one of our managers will personally contact you.
All the Best,
I see what you are saying. There seems to be a shift in marketing in general, but especially in real estate. My AI website is not the only online media I am taking advantage of . It is only a piece of the puzzle. I think we are still in the times where you have to have a website, although that demand will fade.
I will have to check out your info sources. I am actually reading a book right now by Mitch Joel of Twist Image caled 'Six Pixels of Separation.' Great book on new media and Web 2.0. He also has a blog @ Twist Image.
I will be molding and fine tuning my approach to online media and marketing as I go along. Thanks again for the input Bill.
Solid Source Realty, Inc.
The most important thing is content which is to mean something of interest to make people come back and use you site as a vauable resource, Do you concentrat on an area or demographic that makes you special? Well blog about it, give people something of value keep it up to date and you will have a web site worthy of you. Good luck!
Reps you speak with are in Ca.........your developers are out of the country...thus the call back issue of communication failure and your work not getting done properly....A common issue I had. Better get Rusty on it....he is their damage control guy and has made a couple of people here happy. He seems to cater to the people who are mor knowledgable....if you are novice, you may be in trouble.
Based in the Manilla
Good luck to you
I still see a lot of agents who do so I think it is ok either way.
Your experience is whatever you say it is. My comment was about the probable cause, misunderstanding copyright law, which has a much wider relevance than you and your experience.
As for Agent Image, we have never been in contact with them except to look at their website, along with those of Xsite, z57, and other real estate website services. We are still comparing, but at this time, I like AI's look better than all the others I've seen. No one in my company has ever spoken with anyone at Agent Image, exchanged emails, or otherwise been in contact. We simply are not connected to them in any way.
I'm not surprised by your quick response to my post, or that you have thrown aspersions in my direction as well.
I would also be interested in knowing if Agent Image has offered you an upgrade for you to post a positive response about them above my negative post. It is just really odd to me that I posted on 8/08/09 and no one had ever responded to that in 5 weeks time until I declined an offer for an upgrade from their company if I would remove my negative posts about them .......and two days later there are two posts disputing mine. Just an interesting notation. However, that is the great thing about living in this country....we are all free to voice our opinions based on our real life experiences.
While I appreciate your reply, you and I have apparently had VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES with AGENT IMAGE/THE DESIGN PEOPLE/IMFORZA. SInce someone posed the question about our opinion of them, I felt it was my duty to fellow real estate professionals to post the truth about my personal experiences with this company. As you can see from this forum, there are pros and cons as well as varied opinions about the Agent Image team. This is a healthy situation for consumers who will be allowed to weigh in and make an educated decision on the subject before choosing a web development company. I suppose the most important thing in my opinion is, MAKE SURE YOU OWN YOUR SITE when making that choice. NEVER pay for site development that you don't own. You also MUST pay AGENT IMAGE to do your SEO to be noticed in the industry. That is a HUGE issue when choosing them,. If you do not, then SEO is virtually impossible! We hired an outside professional to help us with that and due to the template design of the AI formatted website and the NON FRIENDLY page titles and formats that are necessary for search engines to "crawl" plus the fact that you MUST have AI do all the back-end work, it was an impossible task to achieve. I am happy to know you are pleased with your site and relationship with this company, but I still stick to my original comment that I could never recommend them from my own personal experience. Once they saw my postings they contacted me and wanted to rewrite and give me my files in exchange for removing my honest comments from this forum and the online BBB. In otherwords, they would take 6-12 weeks and rewrite the files into another format and I would then own my site to have hosted somewhere else. Problem with that was, the files were in a Masterscripts format and only very limited hosting companies even supported these PHP files. After speaking with other professionals in the field, I declined their offer for fear it would simply be more of the same. Best of luck to you and AGENT IMAGE. In their minds they did feel they made a good gesture to resolve our frustrations and disappointments after 15 months. For Julie and I, it was too little, too late. We had expressed our frustrations for many months. We are moving on in search of a new developer for a site that we will own and can edit in an acceptable manner. There are many companies out there who are cheaper, better, and easier to work with. DO YOUR HOME WORK before choosing one....do not let the pictures deceive you. Live and Learn. Good luck to all !
While nobody is perfect and all businesses lose clients, even real estate agents, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a company to not respond to their clients, especially when management has stepped in and promised to help and asks for another chance. Nobody from Agent Image has made any attempt to contact me via phone, text, letter, or even email after I have asked for a refund.
If anyone like me spends $2,000 and their site is live only about a month and they ask for a refund for a third time to only be totally ignored with absolutely no responses back, there is simply no excuse.
Agent Image is a rip-off company and if they were not, instead of writing a blog with a lame excuse, YOU would have called me yourself! Shame on you for this sham!
Say you diligently advertise and show a property, but nobody buys. Seller decides they don't like you and they want to work with another agent or do a FSBO. Seller demands your files. They think they own the photos, ads, fliers, contact list, and whatever else you did for them as part of your service. They want your files for themselves or to give to another agent, because of course they don't want to start over, even though that was their decision and not yours.
Maybe you don't want to give away what you created on the seller's behalf, allowing someone else to profit from your work while you don't. You might explain that you own the files because you paid for them in time and/or money. (Assuming you or an employee made the fliers etc -- if you contracted a designer to create those materials, they own the layout files.) The value of the files comes from the expense for the other party to reproduce them.
The seller decides to complain about his experience with you - not just a comment on a website in response to a question about your service, but posting the same complaints to multiple sites. This looks a lot more like vengeance than a presumed 'duty' to inform others that you didn't do X and they don't recommend you. Even though you could win a libel suit if a statement that harms your reputation is found to be untruthful, you might still try to stop the pain by giving in to the seller's demands.
If that seller is especially unreasonable or unaware, they might decide your peace offering is not only worth less than their desire for revenge, but it's another chance to harm your reputation. That doesn't leave you with much room for a remedy.
Intellectual property attorney Elizabeth Russell, says on her blog: "Understand what contractors own - and what you may not. If your employee created copyrightable material in the course of his/her employment, you own the copyright. The same is not true for material created by contractors, even though you specifically paid the contractor to create the material."
I'm not a lawyer or a Realtor and have never posted to Trulia. I don't know any of the companies or agents named in this thread. My partner is a Realtor and we were looking for a new real estate website company when we found this thread. I own a small graphic design studio, just me and two employees plus several contract designers, illustrators, photographers and writers. It would cost me thousands of dollars in staff time to create a real estate website that does what Agent Image does, beautifully. I think we'll give them a try.
San Luis Obispo, California
Her desire to own everything suggests she may understand the value of copyright, but her campaign against the website company suggests she doesn't understand copyright law. That's not uncommon, but it's still not fair.
Copyright law, which is part of the US Constitution, gives creators ownership of their work. Even with the law on their side, it looks like AI tried to placate this gal by giving her what she wanted - control (ownership) of the files - though she apparently took it as further evidence of wrongdoing and continues to complain.
Fact is, the website company owns their work product, meaning the files and structure they create to provide a service for Realtors. They don't own your logo or any photos you gave them; their copyright is on the layout itself, the layered files, their work product.
The website company is selling a service, not their work product. Service and work product are two different things, with different values. The service is valued at $49 per mo. If you quit paying, they stop the service. Very clear. Work product is different. By law the copyright on a creative work is owned by the creator (or their employer). The copyright owner gets to decide how the material is copied. As with any property, the owner can set a price to sell, license, or give it away - or not.
AI's work product is obviously valuable or this agent wouldn't want it. So the advice to "own your site" is flawed because it fails to mention that you have to pay for the work product in order to own it, unless you can persuade (or bully) the real owner to give you those files.
I was looking for a complete semi-custom design as I knew the market was asking for it and needed the update. Just because they charge for things does not mean that the services they provide are over-priced, it is simply a way of breaking out the prices of items we may or may not desire in our plan, so we are not paying for things we do not need.
If you are looking for the best team in real estate, look no further. As, since my site was re-energized by Daniel and Jennifer, I have tripled my sales from this time last year. I owe them much more than the referrals I give them everyday. These are simply the best and the brightest in internet marketing and design today. Good luck everyone.
I will also say that there are 4 other agents in my office who have Agent Image websites and they have been extremely happy with their sites so far. They have closed homes from their websites already, which has probably made up my mind for me. The only thing holding me back is the price, but if my main thing is how much their products are then it is just a matter of my budget at that point I guess. I suppose you get what you pay for anyways.
I am most likely going to get a site with them. When I do I will be happy to let anyone know how my experience goes. I expect that for what I am going to pay that they will take care of me. If not, then this thread will have another post from me.
Your experience was exactly like mine with Agent Image. And Karen, Robert was here doing damage control for them, but can not handle all their problems. They can't stop us from us from experssing our bad experiences with them, so they have people out and about on the forum trying to act like they are correcting people's issues. Communication gets lost between the US account reps in Calif. that we speak to and the designers in Mamilla. William, I too found Tiger (CEO) and emailed him through LinkedIn several times.....he never responded to me either. Glad to hear you moved on. It took me a year only because of the investment, but at some point you have to cut your losses. It is good to know others have expressed their real experiences with AI so others won't fall victim to their "Pretty" websites with horrible customer service, endless timelines for resolving issues, as well and the functional issues that never get resolved.
Best of luck to you both.
Thought it would be good to give a little update/explanation of my scenario for others as well. I have been a Top Producer website client for many years and loved their website as it has the best community reports, market snapshot, mortgage calculators, and other features, as well as a self-serve back door way to customize every page with pictures, links, and more. The only problem was I wanted a more polished/custom look to my website and they only offered the various templates of which I had tried.
After researching online and looking at many website companies sample websites, I found Agent Image had some of the slickest and most professional looking home pages around, although their tools, gadgets, widgets, and such were very lacking. So I decided to go with them for a more custom and professional looking site as they said they could incorporate sub-pages and widgets from my current website thru Top Producer (and TP said it was fine as long as I continued to pay them too).
Here is the problem. Every time I ever spoke to someone at Agent Image, they would NEVER do any work on the site while I was on the phone. Hence, they would take some notes, and say they would get back to me. As a result, two weeks later or more, they would get a portion of what I asked done, and then we would have another conversation and then start the delayed process over again. Also, one of the main problems was that they didn't listen and do what I asked them to. So months would go by, and hardly anything got done. I ended up designing my home page on my own and emailed it to them in various jpg and pdf formats and they converted it to the website. But when you send an email asking for a reply, on average it would take 10 days to even get an answer.
Now, here is the funny part. When they coerced me into 'going live' with the site although the site wasn't anywhere near complete (about a month ago), then it was like I was dumped into the abyss and the designer quit answering me altogether. So I decided to forget them and if I had to lose the $2,000 and start over it was something I had to do. Then I called Top Producer about something and they now tell me they do custom sites for FREE now!
SO IN ONE FORTY MINUTE PHONE CONVERSATION WITH TOP PRODUCER, THEY ACTUALLY CONVERTED MY WEBSITE INTO EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR PIECE BY PIECE WHILE I EMAILED THEM INFORMATION AND TALKED THEM THROUGH IT, AND ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED MORE IN 45 MINUTES THAN FOUR MONTHS OF AGENT IMAGE!!!!
And they are going to put in my flash animation slideshow for free as well, and said it will take about 2-3 weeks! The best part is that I could fully understand them on the phone too! Most of the people I spoke to at Agent Image were of a natural dialect not of this country's origin and it was very difficult for them to understand me as well as my understanding them.
Two companies over the years have provided excellent tech assistance, Go Daddy and Top Producer.
So my advice to anyone seeking a good website company provider is to get a domain thru Go Daddy and use Top Producer for the hosting as you will be fully pleased with all of their support, and not be out a ripoff setup fee like me! $2,000 for wasting my time, but another life lesson learned is invaluable!
As a vendor and a sales person my company's revenue as well as my personal income is directly tied to the amount of success my clients are experiencing. And the amount of success they are experiencing will be proportional to their understanding of the technology they are using. Which include's website's, blog's, listing syndication, email marketing and social media. First and for most if you have any intention of doing long term business with someone in real estate you must.... absolutely MUST get an understanding of what there time and ability is when it comes to new ,marketing tools.
If they have limited time and understanding, your going to present a passive "fire and forget" marketing campaign such as pay per click. You can always manage their email list's as well as any news letters they want to send out though honestly that's probably more of a commitment than a "New Realtor" could handle.
Anyone who is more conversant or has more time has their choice of online marketing methods and your job become's recommending the one that suits their needs, budget and knowledge base.
Everyone fumble's the ball. I certainly have. The question is will they pick it up and get back in the game. On "your team" so to speak. Every point you made was a good one. However a dedicated team can take the"pain" out of the process...or at least limit it. One of the ways I attempt to do that is by posting tutorials on you tube when my clients ask me for help. Oddly one of them deals with email list management. If your interested check it out http://youtube.com/realestateseo.
Not only do I have 350 clients who's results matter very much to me...but the company employee's a fair number of former real estate agents. I'd like to think while we are not perfect we have our ear to the ground listing carefully and with great consideration to every idea that is presented to us. Thank you again for joining the conversation. Time is money in this world of ours....and I appreciate you spending a little of yours with us.
I thought I'd put this out there to our Agent Image clients. We are currently running a contest to show our appreciation. All you have to do is go to the "Fan Contest" tab on our Facebook fanpage and complete this sentence: â€œMy Agent Image website helps me showcase my expertise inâ€¦â€. The best answer will be our grand prize winner and will receive 2 months FREE off their website service monthly plan. The contest ends June 30, 2011 @ 03:00 pm (PDT).
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Jon and I will be calling you tomorrow at noon PST / 3PM EST per your request. If something has changed from our last email correspondence, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We really want to speak with you so that we may hear your experience and look forward to talking with you then.
Good luck !!!!!!!!!!!!
My argument is not, nor has it been, with the design. However, it doesn't matter how pretty the producct is if it doesn't deliver. In the case of Emerald Dunes Real Estate, the links do not work, and have not worked for sometime and Jedd seems to feel that delivering a "impressive" look should satisfy me. I still have not received my $2047 refund for work your technololy department promised in April and to date has never delivered. I am anxiously awaiting my refund. Please advise!
Please register abusive vendors along with your data on http://www.RipoffReport.com This is a great repository to which we can all refer before handing a credit card number to a vendor. (ALWAYS A BAD IDEA)
Vendors can state their case and their attempts to resolve the matter. "Ate the pizza"a will certainly get a lot of consumer sympathy.
http://www.RipOffReport.com ....if you are serious about holding vendor accountable. Pass the URL along.
I can assure you that I have no stake in Agent Image whatsoever. I do however own different businesses outside of my real estate career and one of them happens to be a restaurant. What aggravates me is when people join a forum with no other purpose but to cyber slander. Jennie â€“ you have done this on MULTIPLE FORUMS. I know this because I actually made a search for â€œagent imageâ€ on Google and stumbled upon another forum discussing advanced access which you posted on back in August. While I donâ€™t know you and the timing of this post may seem â€˜coincidentalâ€™ in your eyes, I am a HUGE fan of Agent Image and the company they have built. Having used them for as long as I have I know the quality of service and product they provide. I also know how much they care about their clients and their reputation. As a business owner I can relate those same feelings. When I saw this post I felt it was my duty to respond as would many loyal customers.
Now since you asked and keep pressing for this, here is a little background on my relationship with Agent Image. I have actually owned and operated over 20 websites that were built by Agent Image at different stages of my career. I paid for these websites in full and have NEVER received special consideration from them. Back in 2000 I was co-founder of eopenhouses.com. I also operated my personal website http://www.90272.com as well as two additional companies which were comprised of over 20 domains with associated landing pages built for the search engines as well as a site focused on my real estate charitable foundation for Cystic Fibrosis. The success of these sites at different stages in their businesses cycles is exactly why I can speak to the expertise of their websites and SEO department since a large percentage of my business was generated by leads from these websites and the referral network I developed.
Jennie â€“ you were right when you said â€œgreat thing about living in this country....we are all free to voice our opinions based on our real life experiences.â€ Iâ€™m just here to say that as a long-time, uncompensated customer of Agent Image, they have been a fantastic company to have in my corner and they have created many beautiful, profitable websites for me. Call it rah, rah, if youâ€™d like; itâ€™s just been MY experience and the experience of the colleagues Iâ€™ve sent to them. Good luck in the future.
Communication is a big thing to me. Especially, when things aren't going as promised or expected. I can tell they are working hard to repair to our relationship and I appreciate it. It's great to get the kind of service I'm receiving now. It's even better to get it right from the start.
Someone yesterday mentioned their issues with Agent Image. It reminded me of the money and time spent on a site where frames do not fit, the colors are wrong, misspelled words remained for months, and no one at Agent Image cared enough, not even the few project managers. There are only so many times the same "project manager" can get married, have nearly everyone in his family have some horrible tragedy, and then die. My project manager went to 4 family funerals in 3 months before not returning calls and emails. It appears many others had this experience too.
Now the refunds are coming, but is that for the money spent? The amount of time my wife and I spent on our "initial design" was a couple of weeks. It took weeks more to pull our photos and other ones which were promised. Then the delays came. Many of the delays came although we continued to work on the site development from a different platform.
In the end we used another company for our real website as Agent Image and The Design People failed us miserably.
Jennifer and Rusty both communicated with us at some time early last year, but both said problems like our rarely happen. Still no results occurred for another couple of months. It sounds like Rusty was terminated a few months ago. Jennifer of Agent Image stated recently that thousands of clients are happy. Agent Image does not have thousands of clients. That would expressly be more than 2,000 clients.
The person whom I spoke with about Agent Image said he was given a demand to retract his online statements made about Agent Image. He was offered an incentive. No amount of money less than five figures would satisfy either of us. It is a shame or-and a sham.
I do not know the people at Agent Image. My comments are not personal about individuals, but it is a company that cannot be trusted with full payment upfront. It is sad to see so many people having had gone through such a bad and agonizing experience. There are likely many dozens more out there who do not write on Trulia or other sites, but we all shared in feeling like we were ripped off.
In real estate, we have a code of ethics. As a suggestion, Agent Image should read it and apply it to their company or corporate policy.
More can be written, but I believe NAR should hear from us. The BBB has a reputation for clearing "paid" clients of wrongdoing. I will stick with my association.
Effie Aultman, RealtorÂ® and Proud member of the Franklin and Gulf County RealtorÂ® Association.
More control, better platform, maintain design superiority, that's the objective. I'll let you know when the platform is available for public consumption. I'm confident it will address your specific concerns and give you the control you're looking for.
My name is Jennifer and I work for Agent Image. I am sorry that you felt that you did not have enough control over the back-end of your website and content. However, on that note, I am excited to say that we are currently building a new platform that will allow our clients complete control over their content. It is because of client feedback such as yours that we are working toward such a platform and hope to have it released by this winter. If you are interested, because it sounds like your main issue with your website was that you want more control over it, I would love to have you be one of the few that will get a chance to beta test our new platform.
Also, if you can provide any additional information such as your name or domain name, I would be happy to look into the refund situation and see if there is anything I can do to help you out. If you feel more comfortable, you can email me in private at email@example.com.
I saw your comment below and apologize that you are not having great service with us. I understand from your comments that the main issue is email and not answering the phone. Aside from that, is there anything else specifically that we can do for you that you feel would greatly improve our services?
Thank you for any feedback you might be able to provide.