As some of you may know I provide SEO and quality content marketing services to successful real estate brokers.
One of the prerequisites to putting up great content is having a website that will support the content & reward SEO efforts.
99% of the time, this means clients need a properly functioning WordPress website.
Current real estate websites
My wife tells me that sometimes in the middle of the night I’ll say something weird such as “This content management system sucks!” Yes, apparently, real estate agent’s websites give me nightmares.
Why is this so difficult?!
In every single niche out there, be it legal, veterinary, real estate, etc., there is a marketing company that specializes in the niche that began with good intentions but now sucks. I have seen real estate marketing company’s website solutions and they are deplorable. Real estate agents everywhere that had no website or had a website that was awful can now dance a little jig and ditch their old “real estate website marketing” company and go to Placester.
Finally, an easy to use WordPress solution for real estate brokers and agents.
Placester is great and starts at only $10/mo.
I am not a designer and I have ZERO desire to sell people websites, but, I will when I have to. What I have done for a recent broker is move him to WordPress and install iHomefinder IDX. I have been pretty happy with this IDX. For those of you that don’t know, an IDX pulls in an agent’s MLS listings. Finding a theme to work with it is a pain, too, although I’ve found that the WordPress Striking theme is extremely customizable and plays nice with iHomefinder.
For people who still need maximum control of their site and have the money get a custom site built and maintained, Placester is not for them. For many brokers, they need to check out Placester. And agents, oh my gosh. I don’t know any real estate agent that couldn’t benefit from Placester. If you are an agent and still do not have your own functioning website separate from the brokerage you work for, you need to check out Placester. ASAP. In other words, Placester is for 99.9% of real estate agents.
A quick review of Placester
I have not explored the back end in depth but as far as I know there are certain limitations, and that is ok. You can not install your favorite plugins or edit certain features of your Placester site like you would a normal WordPress site. Why is this good? Most people don’t know how to do this in the first place, and those that do probably already have their own real estate WordPress site. Plugins conflict with other plugins. Plugins get outdated and are vulnerable to attack.
Placester lets you set up a test site for free. So, I did.
Below: Here’s my test home page with a stock image.
Below: A functioning blog on the domain. Yes!! This, my friends, is what WordPress is all about; it was what WordPress started out as. A place to put CONTENT. There is no excuse to not create great content now. You have no idea how many times I have seen real estate websites with no place to add content. If you do not yet know about the wonderful world of content I’d advise you to go read up on content marketing for real estate here.)
Here’s my test blog post:
Placester VS _________:
I really don’t have anything to compare Placester to. I think Placester is the future. Every niche needs Placester! I suppose if there were a comparison, the alternative would be a WordPress website.
Placester is still advancing. As of April 2015 some of Placesters features include:
- Basic setup takes 10 minutes
- Basic service, including IDX and hosting costs $10/mo.
- All the other real estate stuff you’d expect such as lead capture, lead management
What are you waiting for?
If you are a real estate agent and don’t feel like plopping down a couple thousand bucks on a WordPress site, or you do not have an existing site, go get Placester. Now. And, if you do not have an ongoing content marketing strategy, either get one or hire someone that knows what they are doing.
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Never heard of Placester, but definitely will be checking it out! Thanks for sharing!
Please do. Also, I am going to rewrite this review shortly…
Thanks! I’ve been researching placester vs ihomesearch and websitebox so you pretty much just sealed the deal for me to set up a Placester account for one of my clients!
Cool deal. I’d love to know how it goes!
I purchased a website from Placester almost 2 months ago and have been paying every month. I still can’t get the support I need to get my new placester website up and running. My url still points to websitebox.
Every time I call support on the phone, I have to wait for them to cal me back.
I’m not impressed with this company at all at this time.
is Placester working for you now?
We are two-thirds through 2015, any updates on Placester, their support and products?
It seems they took on more agents than they can handle. My website IDX search function is constantly broken which results in my site showing zero listings. (Not good for business) Support is slow and forget about calling because you will get voicemail.
I have had a site with Placester for a year and there have been no updates or improvements that I am aware.
Uh oh, that isn’t good. Please let us know if anything changes!
Anyone have anything to say about how Placester is or compares with others as far as SEO?
Ranking any site typically comes down to getting great links to great content.
For the most competitive niches I only use a custom WordPress install.
HI Len, hope you are still around. I forgot I posted on here over a year ago. I did end up going with Placester, and it has been ok, but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get good SEO. I write 3 blogs a week and post, and still can’t get any better than like page 3 on Google for any of my search terms. When you say “for the most competitive niches I only use a custom WordPress install,” are you saying a custom built WP site is going to do better with SEO than a template based WP site like Placester?
Hi Steve! I remember you. 🙂 Yes, I am here. Your site is fine but it needs links from other websites. I’ll add to this comment shortly.
I’m an agent in Massachusetts. I recently signed up for Placester. There have been problems with the site. Here are some of the technical issues I’m encountering with the $125 per month plan:
1. Email are showing the wrong domain — showing a variation of site…myrealestateplatform.com
2. Emails are showing ? where ‘ should be in the email content
3. The IDX searches are outdated. Drawing on a map where you want to buy/rent is what my customers are seeing and expecting. Shocking this doesn’t appear to be on their product roadmap.
4. Managing content is horrendous on Placester. Did I say horrendous? There’s no way to search the content. Only 10 pages show up at once. If you plan on doing something meaningful online, this is a problem.
5. Limited control over URL changes.
6. They won’t let you upload PDFs.
7. You can’t control the dates on blog posts.
8. Limited overall template customization.
I will give them 1-2 months to bring their platform up to par or will move onto one of their competitors.
Thanks for the feedback Ryan!
I was impressed with the $10/mo plans from Placester, especially compared to the other trash that is on the market, although for those who want the best flexibility/customization features your own WordPress site is going to be impossible to beat. Although- I know very few people in the RE industry willing to take the time to configure and maintain their own WP site…
For a Broker that I work with I am currently running this theme I use on this site along with Optima Express IDX.
I do not work with many in the real estate field but another option I may test soon is an Agent Evolution theme in combination with IDX Broker Platinum on a self hosted platform. Here’s a site running that exact combo: http://theprosrealestateteam.com/ in case you’d like to see it.
And here’s one running Optima Express: http://www.ericandrewsrealtor.com/.
I have a Placester website. Initially I signed up on the legacy platform which I believe is the one you originally wrote about. Without mentioning it, they then switched to a new platform within a few months. In short, it was slick looking, super simple, but lacked the R&D and basic functionality one needs for quality SEO. The Devil is most certainly in the details – and Placester is wicked short on details. I’m not going to go in to every single support request I’ve submitted but needless to say I’m totally gobsmacked. I’ve invested enormous time and effort into this website and I feel utterly trapped. If anyone wants me to compile my list of issues to share I could do that, but it hardly seems worth it. Just know Placester is full of bugs and dysfunction. Often when presented with an issue, support just shrugs their shoulders and says we don’t support that right now.
I would actually love to know more.
I just visited your site, went to click the blog, and noticed that it was hosted off on a different sub-domain.
I have no idea what happened but it doesn’t look good…..
I’ve been have MAJOR issues with the Placester Support department. They area having a “technical issue” going on for almost 2 weeks not upgrading my account to genius level so it can be professionally modified….their support department, while very polite, have been completely ineffective in getting any movement on getting the issue resolved.
Hi Lisa, I have been getting lots of emails from people who are not happy with Placester and have complaints. Did you get things resolved?
I was finally taken care of but not before I had to resort to sharing my poor experience to every site that I could find mentioning placester. Within a couple of days of blasting them, they fixed it. Even then, they didn’t contact me to tell me it was fixed, I found out on one of my daily afternoon calls checking on the status…..very poor support and customer service.