Looking to build a website for your real estate business but don’t want the hassle of working with a web designer? Then you may want to take a closer look at Placester.
Placester is a software provider that uses the WordPress platform to help you create a website for your business. It doesn’t require you to know anything about web design either.
When you sign up with Placester, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to create a beautiful website that will drive traffic your way. Here’s what you need to know about the services Placester has to offer in order to decide if it’s the right solution for you.
What Placester Has to Offer
One of the best things about Placester is that if you’re a member of the National Association of Realtors, you can get a Placester site for free. It’s their basic site plan, but that’s still a nice feather in your web presence cap. Some of the other features we really like about Placester are:
It’s Easy to Use
There’s not a ton of customizability with Placester, but it is very easy to get started with and use. The lack of options available may actually be a good thing because it allows you to get your real estate website up and running fast.
Plus, it’s not easy to mess up as you’re going through and creating your website because it’s simply not complicated. A boon if you’re not exactly website design savvy.
Placester has a blog run by it’s Vice President who has created quite a name for himself in the business. That makes Placester’s online presence pretty prominent. This blog can also help you with any topics you may want to learn more about when it comes to creating and running your website.
Open Home Pro
Placester uses something called Open Home Pro, an app that helps to collect leads based on open houses. You simply download the app on your phone or tablet, then let visitors to your open house sign in. It sends the info directly to your database where you can go through them later in order to build more leads. This product does cost an additional fee.
In the world of real estate website, being able to integrate MLS listings and IDX into your website is a must. With Placester, you can easily integrate MLS/IDX on your website which allows you to feature updated details and photos to the property listings you run.
A Built-In CRM Tool
Placester doesn’t simply help you build a website; it also provides you with a comprehensive CRM tool to track and monitor leads. It logs client interactions, activity, and more. This can help you to nurture leads and keep them moving through your sales pipeline.
Email Marketing Tools
With Placester, you can create and launch an email drip campaign to help you generate leads. It also helps you to boost client engagement, which really comes in handy!
Websites That Are Mobile Ready
People do so much with their smartphones these days, it’s crucial that your website is able to be viewed comfortably on a mobile device. Placester provides you with websites that are mobile responsive, so you don’t have to worry about what device your clients (and potential clients!) are using to access your site.
A Few Drawbacks to Placester
Of course, there are a few drawbacks to using Placester. We think it could use some improvement in:
As we previously mentioned, not having a lot of options available to customize your website with Placester doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But it’s important to mention that you won’t find a lot of options when it comes to fonts, color schemes, and logos for your website.
It simply doesn’t allow you the freedom to make a completely customized website. So, even though the website will look nice, it’s not going to look a lot different than any other Placester-based website.
The Setup Fee
The setup fee charged by Placester can be are quite hefty. We’ll explore their pricing structure in depth in a bit but suffice to say that the Premium and Team plans do charge a steep one-time set up fee that could be a little intimidating.
Limited Tools for Collaboration
If you want to use their Team plan, then you can create groups of agents in the CRM and lead management modules, but the options available are still not as good as some of Placester’s competitors.
Placester’s Plans and Price
Placester offers different plans at different price points for both members of the National Association of Realtors and non-members. Placester’s features are staggered across the plans, so it’s important to choose the one that has everything you want in it.
The more advanced features are, of course, only available in the more expensive package or may mean you have to pay extra for an add-on.
The Agent Pro Plan
This package provides you with everything you need to create and launch a real estate website. It includes:
- MLS/IDX integrations
- Refined search features
- Pre-filtered listing features based on criteria you select
- Map interfaces to help clients browse easier
- Customizable landing pages
- Home valuation pages
- Customizable site templates
- Built-in blogging feature
- RealSatisfed Agent PRO
- Email and phone support
This plan also includes CRM and marketing tools, allows you to create lead capture pages, and track your site’s activity. You can even set deadlines for your appointments and activities in it as well as keep track of tasks and notes.
Their drip email marketing feature included in this plan also allows you to create personalized email marketing campaigns and then put leads into preconfigured email drip campaign lists to help foster engagement.
The RealSatisfied Agent PRO is an interesting real estate agent review tool offered by Placester. It automatically sends surveys to clients and creates a review aggregator you can share on your website.
The cost of this plan is $125 per user per month with a $125 set up fee if you pay monthly. If you pay yearly, they’ll waive the set-up fee and charge you $1500 per user for the year. If you’re a member of NAR, then it’s just $99 per user per month with a $99 set-up fee and $1,188 per user per year with no set-up fee.
The Broker Pro Plan
You get everything included in the Agent Pro plan with the Broker Pro plan, but it adds on agent management tools for up to 10 different users and lead distribution tools that can help you manage your leads.
This is the plan you want if you have a team of people that need to collaborate in order to help your business run a little smoother.
For Non-NAR members, this plan costs $250 per user per month with a $250 set-up fee. If you pay yearly, then it’s $3000 per year per user and the set-up fee is waived. For NAR members, you’ll pay $199 per user per month with a $199 set-up fee or $2,388 per user per year with no set-up fee.
You can customize the services you get through Placester with additional add-ons to your plan.
For the Agent Pro plan you can add:
- Content library access for $50 per month per user that allows you to choose two article per month from their library to add to the blog on your website
- Open Home Pro Premium for $25 per month per user
- Content credits for $50 per month per user that allows two more monthly credits to the content library for use on your website
- Data migration that allows Placester to import data from your old website to your new one for a custom price
For the Broker Pro plan you can add any of the add-ons mentioned above at the same price point but also the ability to add on 10 more agent accounts for $50 per month.
Placester offers a free demo to help you decide if it’s right for you. Just go to their website to find out more about it.
Placester Websites in Action
A lot of real estate businesses use Placester for website creation. If you’re interested in getting your eyeballs on what your website can look like with Placester, here are some examples:
The Placester website created by Perdue Properties highlights the beauty of the island of Kauai. They also include some interesting animations to help engage visitors and use beautiful images that serve to make this island paradise even more appealing – if that’s possible! Notice their interactive map feature and client testimonials section.
Liza King Luxury Lifestyles
Liza King uses Placester’s Plymouth template as a home for her custom logo and pre-filtered search pages on her luxury real estate website. Check out the power of Placester’s templates on this site!
This website was created using Placester’s Highland template. Notice how it provides visitors with an easy way to find the listings and content they need right from the start. This site also runs a blog with helpful homeowner tips, something that can help to drive traffic to a website.
Free Website for NAR Members
As we mentioned, members of NAR get a free Placester website. Well, sort of free. Placester will provide you with a website template, but you will need to purchase a domain if you want a URL that isn’t simply a subdomain of Placester.
There also may be a charge for IDS associated with your MLS. It may simply be easier to sign up for Placester’s basic services so you’ll have access to all the tools.
Placester’s Customer Support
Signing up for any product may leave you with questions from time to time. Placester has you covered with all kinds of customer support tools available through their website. You can use their Real Estate Marketing Academy to find tutorials, webinars, and e-books geared toward helping you to expand your marketing knowledge.
They also have a ton of articles available to help guide you through the most common processes and issues associated with using Placester. Placester support staff are also available by phone or email when an issue arises.
Kendall F., a real estate agent out of Scottdale, Arizona, had this testimonial to offer about Placester:
“I found out about Placester from the National Association of Realtors and thought that I’d give it a try. I had one crazy week where all of our old website data was being transferred to our new Placester site but after that, it’s been great … Our sites are still a work in progress, but they’ve driven a lot of traffic our way and we have garnered some attention online for having such attractive websites to represent our brand.”
Should You Use Placester?
Placester is more than just a website-building platform, it’s really an online real estate business solution that helps real estate professionals establish themselves. With the plans and add-ons you have to choose from, you can build an attractive website without a lot of effort on your part.
And though you don’t have much control over the look of your website due to its limited selection of templates, the functionality of your website makes up for it. If you have a healthy budget and are ready to take your real estate website, CRM, and marketing campaigns to a new level, then Placester is worth looking into.