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What exactly is it about SmartAsset's Zillow-for-RIAs play that converted Focus Financial from funding seeker to a VC backer of $28-million round?

The Manhattan-based startup uses Yahoo!, CNN and other mega-sites to generate 45-million monthly visitors then sells leads to RIAs at $190 per high net worth lead

Author Brooke Southall June 21, 2018 at 6:26 PM
no description available
Michael Carvin: This was not the original business model.

James Martin

James Martin

January 7, 2020 — 3:07 PM
Don't trust SmartAsset. They sell 5% conversion rates, but for my office, it is no where close. It is pretty much a cold call.
Joe deJaco

Joe deJaco

February 10, 2020 — 4:02 AM
Smart Assets is a referral service. They also will sell the data people put in their questionnaire like phone numbers and email addresses plus their earnings. Consumers may not want this data selling. They at the moment do not seem complicit with CA new data privacy laws.
Bill O'Donnell

Bill O'Donnell

May 10, 2021 — 8:27 PM
Several problems with SmartAsset, largely around inconsistencies in what advisors are told as a prospective customer and a lack of responsiveness when issues are raised. 1. Because of issues with another service using geographical ranges, I told the sales rep that I wanted leads only from certain zip codes. The sales rep told me their leads used distance radiuses. I set mine to short distances, but leads I got were routinely out of those ranges. 2. Supposedly, leads are validated for accurate phone numbers, emails, and other date. Several leads came through with non-working phone numbers or nonexistent emails. So, I have to conclude that the company response on April 21 is a lie or their "concierge" staff isn't doing their jobs. By the way, a senior manager with the authority to take action is welcome to provide me a phone number so we can discuss my dissatisfaction with their abysmal service. 3. When I complained to my account manager, he told me they absolutely could restrict leads to specific zip codes, which is inconsistent with what the sales rep said. I gave him the specific zip codes I wanted and he promised to get back with me once he had it all sorted out. This was on April 23. He also promised to suspend activity on my account until he had the leads issue fixed. I heard nothing until May 4, I got another bill and sent him another email. He wanted to talk; I gave him two times and didn't hear from him. I called May 4 and haven't heard from him yet (now May 10). They don't even acknowledge receipt of emails, perhaps to secure the excuse of "we didn't get his email". This unresponsiveness is unacceptable. 4. Leads are generally unresponsive. I know they can't force people to return calls, but SA could do a lot more to encourage prospects to engage with advisors. They talk in grand terms about their vetting process, but that process does nothing to prod clients to talk to advisors. 5. Nowhere on their web site is a phone number to call where you can link up with a senior manager to troubleshoot problems with their people. That's bad business. Bottom line - I no longer trust the firm and believe they'll tell you whatever it takes to keep your money flowing to them. I terminated my service.

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