We’ve invited Matt Barba to tell us a bit more about Placester one of Follow Up Boss’s partners that provides a WordPress website, real estate theme, hosting, lead capture and IDX/MLS integration all for $45 per month.
1) How did you come up with the idea for Placester?
When you look back, it’s hard to point at one person or one moment in time and say, “That’s Placester.” It’s really been an enormous team effort. In terms of my personal journey with the company, it was born out of being a real estate agent here in Boston. I went in, like a lot of agents, thinking that I was going to spend a lot of my time showing homes, working with buyers, sellers, and renters, and helping them find places to live.
What actually happened (at least for me) was that I spent at least 80% of my time trying to market myself and trying to find folks to work with. As an agent, you have to learn very quickly how to make yourself stand out in a sea of choices. Placester came out of that specific pain point. The reason we decided to build a revolutionary software company to empower agents is because we recognized that marketing was becoming increasingly digital.
We felt there were some really interesting ways folks were succeeding offline in terms of marketing, but when it came to that online experience there was a gap. The existing solutions out there weren’t about empowering the agent; they weren’t about revealing what made the agent wonderful. We we wanted to build something that magnified what made an agent great.
2) What does Placester offer?
Placester provides a full solution for agents, brokers, and brands for creating a real estate website. We provide the hosting, the IDX, and themes that are designed to work with the IDX. A large percentage of those themes are responsive and are fully supported by the team in-house. If you want a “do-it-yourself” website, we offer that as a turnkey solution.
If you’re a developer (or you have an existing website) and just want to add IDX functionality, you can do that too. You can accomplish that either at the API level or at the WordPress plugin level, where you can just drop in the plugin, decide where you want your IDX to be placed, and customize it.
It’s also a mission of this company to push price as low as possible. And while that doesn’t sound intuitive, the underlying reason is that we want the cost of your website to be as little as possible so you can spend as much of your online marketing budget as possible on promoting it. Whether that’s through advertising, finding a trusted professional to help you with SEO, or hiring someone to help you with content, marketing yourself online will help you establish the presence you’re looking for. Getting your website set up is only step one.
3) How many MLS’s do you cover?
It changes every day, so by the time you read this it will have grown. We have 90% coverage as we speak right now, but that will continue to grow every day. You can see the full list here: https://placester.com/mls-directory/
4) What makes Placester stand out in the IDX space?
As an agent, Placester’s IDX is wonderful because it’s a complete solution. Everything from hosting to support to the theme to the IDX is all designed as one turnkey platform and you’ve got a whole bunch of dedicated folks to help you. It all goes back to that vision of you having to spend as little as possible on the IDX so you can spend as much as possible on promotion.
If you’re a developer or a partner, the thing that really stands out with Placester’s IDX is the flexibility and customizability of the platform. You can literally search off of any field and display any field in the MLS. Our team has made this platform a joy to work with, both programmatically in the code as a developer and through the shortcode interface if you don’t want to dive into the code. It’s that combination of completeness and flexibility that makes Placester the obvious choice for folks.
5) What upcoming feature are you most excited about?
To be honest, I am very excited about the partner integration. This concept that Placester is going to be pushing and pulling information from a whole bunch of wonderful partners is the thing that I’m most excited about. Having a website is one thing, but having the ability to have all of your information pushed to your CRM, to have your site really be this tool that continues to pay dividends over the course of your professional career is extremely exciting.
To learn more about Placester visit www.placester.com if you signup let us know so we can make sure your all connected up to your Follow Up Boss account.