Follow the money.
Although best known for its role in the downfall of President Nixon, the adage comes with a more positive angle as well. If you want to find a business with a plan, find a business with investors that believe in that plan.
Placester, one of the most talked-about companies in the real estate website market, just got done with its second round of funding for 2015. The $27 million gathered brings the company across the $50 million line for this year alone.
That excess funding led to the introduction of the $10 website option in late 2014, and agents have been agog since.
Should the hype be believed? Does Placester deliver more than a low sticker price? We’ve gathered four reasons to believe…and at least one for you to dwell upon before you get too excited.
We won’t bury the lede on this one. Setting up a new site for your business for a mere $10 can’t be written off. It’s tough to find a catch. Placester allows users to design and set up a new site before purchase, no pressure. Choose from a dozen themes, customize the formatting, and hold off on buying in until you’re 100 percent satisfied with what you’re purchasing. Placester boasts that you can have an IDX site up in five minutes, and they’re not lying (there’s a big “…” attached to this segment. Scroll down to the bottom for more).
Many site-building platforms offers plenty of design themes that ensure your new domain will be “pretty”, even if it’s worthless. Placester allows users to avoid the latter designation by ensuring that its products are IDX-ready, right out of the gate. The company offers IDX search and data information for more than 95 percent of MLSs in the United States, representing more than a million agents in the process. If that doesn’t convince you, consider that the company signed franchising contracts with Kellen Williams and RE/MAX Integra, a move that gave Placester a hand in the sites of one-in-five U.S. agents.
If you created your real estate site during 2005 and woke up ten years later, you would be overwhelmed by the concepts that have flooded the web since then. Those concepts can’t be ignored if you plan to stay afloat, so it’s good to know that Placester comes equipped to easily adapt your content to deal with modern needs. Needs such as mobile compatibility, search engine optimization, and even installing a “floating” social media bar, which makes it easier for your clients to share your quality content.
Placester may be attempting to disrupt the real estate web game, but it leans on old standards to do so. That’s not a bad thing. A huge number of widgets and other software options are designed around WordPress, being that it’s the big fish in the tank, and those options can now be added into your Placester site. We may be biased, as a company that turns plenty of content, but the “word” in “Wordpress” matters. The platform is built to allow you to add original content aimed at boosting your business, and Placester captures that attitude.
Again, Placester’s claims that you can launch a functioning website within five minutes for as little as $10 are true. Technically. But, as always, you get what you pay for. That’s not to say you can’t build a world-class domain for $10. Just understand that you get what you put in. It’s easy to believe you’ll get by on that barebones budget, but then things comes up. Eleven themes divided among thousands of users means that a lot of these things look alike. If you want to stand out, be prepared to invest either time (and most likely cash) into writing CSS to change colors and other options to ensure you stand out. No doubt you’ll want to switch domain names from the Placester-hosted option provided with your purchase. That’ll cost you as well.
“Template websites are limited to the pre coded layout that you choose from a large selections of designs that are being used repeatedly by other companies who are also subscribed under the same web development firm.” – Dylan Grey
The moral? Placester will probably save you money in the long run, but don’t mistake it for a web-miracle worker. Ultimately, your site will benefit from the amount of time you’re willing to put in.