Top Producer 8i Stinks!

Real Estate Agent with The Alan Donald Team at Keller Williams Realty SC 47887

I don't know if I'm alone, but about a year ago I decided to adopt Top Producer as my CRM solution. It is indeed a very comprehensive solution, with MANY great features (too many??).

Although I am not technologically challenged, it took me about six months to learn it (it's not that intuitive!). Finally, I was able to USE IT to develop my business and WHAM! they came up with 8i, the next version.

Normally, a new software release shares most of the navigation and user interface with the previous one. Top Producer decided to do a complete OVERHAUL, including changing EVERYTHING AROUND! Why didn't they keep the interface intact and change the back engine? (Likely Answer: Because it was probably re-designed by programmers, not by users...)

I have been struggling with 8i for a few months now. I do not like it! Although it is true that it is much faster than 7i (yeah!) , and IT DOESN'T NEED JAVA (double yeah!), it is confusing and not as user-friendly as 7i.

The contact notes are hard to read, the boolean searches are much more difficult... etc...etc. Do these people expect us to spend an enormous amount of time re-learning their software? I don't know about you guys/gals out there, but I barely have time to use it to generate leads, let alone re-learn their interface...

They say that Top Producer is trying to "phase out" 7i. I say they are going to find out that if they do, they will lose a substantial chunk of their existing clients (myself included). Anyone else shares my feelings?

Alan Donald, MBA, REALTOR, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty
Charleston, SC

Posted by

Alan L Donald - Broker Associate, REALTOR, e-PRO
The Alan Donald Team
Keller Williams Realty
Mount Pleasant, SC
(843) 900-0155

Comments (8)

Bobby Wallace
Vacant Land Solutions - Charleston, SC
Sell Your Vacant Land The Hassle Free Way!

Alan- I agree with you; (Six months is a lot of time invested in a database that isn't functional). There are a lot of features that Top Producer lacks as compared to some other programs. Good luck with your search.  

Dec 04, 2008 12:49 PM
Carl Stars
Sutton Group About Town Realty - Burlington, ON

I have an agent in my office who swears by Top Producer. Maybe Im different, but yes I have a data base set up on a spread sheet in my computer. My newsletter runs on autopilot. My lead generation systems are in place . So now we have say 6 serious buyers and ( truthfully only one listing right now ) but say you have 4 listings and 6 buyers. Buyers get auto emails from the board computer program. So if there is only 10 files do you really need a fancy system? If my business grew to more than that on aregular basis I would hire somebody? I guess Im old fashion. Another Realtor just uses Outlook express. I hope you get more comments on this blog.. But I have a feeling this program could be a huge time waster. thanks for the feedback as I was actually looking into this program.   

Dec 04, 2008 12:56 PM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Glad it is not just me. The fact that we continue to need to have classes on 8i speaks for itself

Dec 04, 2008 08:43 PM
Gregg Paul
Top Producer Systems - Richmond, BC

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your post.

I can understand the frustrations of moving to a different software platform (Top Producer 7i to Top Producer 8i), I am going thru those frustrations myself with the transition from MS Office 2003 to 2007. I feel that once you become familiar with Top Producer 8i it is far superior to Top Producer 7i in many different ways; the speed of 8i and the fact that it does not require java as you mentioned are just a few of those reasons.

Top Producer 8i has all the features of Top Producer 7i plus additional features like E-mail Stationery, support for multiple E-mail Signatures, and business stats just to name a few.

As always Top Producer is constantly reviewing feedback from our customers and implementing change. I wanted to share some information on a few comments in your post.

Notes Section

The notes section is due to receive an enhancement in the next update release of Top Producer 8i, this update will give you a view of all of your notes on one screen (like 7i).

Top Producer 7i

We know you, like many other 7i users, have become familiar with using Top Producer 7i in your daily business. We want to reaffirm our commitment to our 7i product and advise that we have no plans to retire 7i in the foreseeable future.

If you have any further questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to respond to this post or e-mail me directly at

Have a great day.

Feb 05, 2009 04:58 AM
Alan L. Donald
The Alan Donald Team at Keller Williams Realty - Mount Pleasant, SC
Professional Service, Local Expertise, Adv. Tech

Update July 09: Top Producer HAS made some improvements to 8i, although I still believe that 7i (while slower) was more intuitive than 8i...

I am using both (depending what I need to do) - they run off the same database, so it's just the interface.

Jul 08, 2009 10:04 AM
Scott Schmitz
RealOrganized, Inc. - Windsor, CO

There are alternatives out there for Top Producer.  I can understand the sentiment of using Microsoft Outlook.  After all, it can sync with your smart phone (blackberry, iPhone, windows mobile etc) and can handle about 60% of what you need.  But, honestly, it isn't all the way there.  Its missing real estate specific functionality.  It lacks the ability to track deals, lockboxes, promotions, yard signs, expenses, DRIp Mail etc.  I would like to suggest that you take a look at one of the many products that are available that work in concert with Microsoft Outlook.  That way, you can keep using Outlook but get the extra capabilities you need for real estate.


Scott Schmitz

RealOrganized, Inc.


PS Many of these alternatives cost of a fraction of Top producer.  So, you can save quite a bit of money by making the switch.

Aug 28, 2009 05:26 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I stopped using Top Producer a couple years ago when they went to 8i, but tasked my new assistant (and daughter-in-law) with learning it this year.  I figured she would probably have an easier time learning it from scratch than I've had trying to unlearn the systems I'd used comfortably and successfully in 7i and several previous versions.  So far, so good... she does like it and is busily updating my contact database.

Jan 20, 2010 08:00 AM
Robert Earl -The Earl of St Pete
St Pete LUXE Living Group - Saint Petersburg, FL
The Earl of St. Pete

Great post and well put.  It should never take that long.

Mar 11, 2010 12:15 AM