Your business website is the hub of your marketing wheel. All your branding, prospecting, lead generation, and property marketing efforts begin and end with your site. If it’s optimized, your real estate website can convert visitors into prospects, leads, and finally—into new clients.
Placester is a real estate website builder that promises a specialized, high-performing website that brokers, admins, and agents can create and manage without the help of a web developer. Lofty goals! Can Placester deliver?
In this article, we’ll take a dive deep into the Placester experience with a full video walk-through. We’ll show you how to build a Placester website, examine base pricing and extras, and ultimately, we’ll help you determine if Placester is the best choice for your business needs.
Placester: Pros & Cons, Features, Pricing & The Close Recommendation
Placester offers two core services:
- Placester Website Builder
- Placester Marketplace
After our careful review of the Placester’s capabilities, we present you with its pros and cons. Their website builder offers a “code-free” design experience that lets you create and manage your own IDX-enabled, mobile-friendly real estate website. You don’t need any special training or coding experience with their simple site editor.
1. Placester Website Builder: Plan Features & Pricing
Placester’s real estate website builder platform offers three plans. All three plans provide you with a fully customizable, IDX website that’s mobile-friendly. Also, each plan includes a simple CRM and autoresponders to beef up your communication with clients, no matter how small or large your team.
All plans offer the ability to create an unlimited number of site pages using their user-friendly site editor. You’ll be creating the pages using modules and widgets, so there’s no complicated coding necessary. All plans include special rates for NAR members.
Placester Starter Plan Features & Pricing
Placester’s Starter Plan is designed for budget-conscious real estate agents who may be looking for a quick and easy solution without a lot of bells and whistles.
- $64/month with an annual contract for National Association of Realtors (NAR) members
- $80/month with no annual contract for National Association of Realtors (NAR) members
- $100/month for non-NAR members
|Placester Starter Plan Features|
|Easy to use, code-free site editor|
|IDX integration that displays listings|
|Simple CRM & autoresponders|
|Unlimited posts and pages|
|Online customer support|
Placester Advanced Plan Features & Pricing
Placester’s Advanced Plan is for the agent, team, or small brokerage looking for more design and branding options. This plan includes everything in the Starter Plan, plus it offers more customization options.
- $120/month with an annual contract for NAR members
- $150/month with no annual contract for NAR members
- $190/month for non-NAR members
|Placester Advanced Plan Features|
|Includes all features of the Starter Plan|
|More upscale design features|
|More design customization|
|Custom landing page options|
|Advanced lead capture features|
Office Builder Plan Features & Pricing
Placester’s Office Builder Plan is for larger brokerages. If your real estate business has multiple offices, the Office Builder Plan lets you created dedicated site pages for each one. If you want to recruit and provide support for larger teams of agents, this is the right choice for you. You can supply agent webpages and even agent websites with this option.
- $160/month with an annual contract
- $200/month with no annual contract
|Placester Office Builder Plan Features|
|Includes all features of the Advanced Plan|
|Agent & office roster pages|
|Agent profile pages|
|Office detail pages|
|Websites for agents|
|Simple CRM & autoresponders for agents|
2. Placester Marketplace Pricing
Placester Marketplace gives you access to on-demand creative services to help with tasks outside your skillset. Placester Marketplace is a convenient way for you to contract with creative and technical experts to customize your website design and take your lead generation to the next level. Creative and technical services include logo design and lead capture landing pages.
Prices on Placester Marketplace
- Range from $29 to $399
- Most services cost less than $60
The Close Recommendation
Placester is a multidimensional platform that offers a lot. Their website platform makes it easy for anyone who can operate a computer to build a website with little or no assistance. Their prices are very competitive, and while you do get what you pay for in terms of customer support and customization options in the Starter package, there’s a clear value proposition with Placester that works for realtors.
Add in the Placester Marketplace, and there’s a clear reason we’ve named Placester our best overall Real Estate Website Builder of 2021.
Building & Maintaining a Website With Placester: A Behind-the-Scenes Video Tour
You could read about the Placester user experience or view our detailed walk-through video showing what you can expect when you become a Placester agent.
Getting Started With Placester
After signing up with Placester, it’s time to get started building your website. The Placester dashboard is your starting point and a hub where you’ll (eventually) see all the details about your website and access your customer relationship manager (CRM), email auto-responders, and the Placester Marketplace. You’ll also access back-end management tools for teams and brokerages on the Placester dashboard.
Choosing a Placester Template
Your first step in building your Placester website is to choose a website design template. Placester offers about 20 ready-made templates to choose from, though subscribers to the Starter plan will only have access to about half that number.
Choosing a template is easy. Simply click into each option, see a preview of a live site that uses each theme, and easily switch from template to template to get a feel for what might work well for your business.
Filling In Details
After choosing your template, it’s time to give Placester the information it needs to populate your website.
You’ll go through the typical onboarding for building a site like this: verifying your contact information, filling in links for your social profiles, and of course, adding a headshot. Placester will populate your chosen website template (often referred to as a theme) with the details you’ve provided, getting your site closer to launch readiness!
Customizing Your Website
The Placester site editing workflow will feel very familiar to anyone who has worked with other codeless sites like Squarespace or Wix. There’s an intuitive editing window on the left-hand side of the browser that lets you select the area of the site you want to edit. You can see the changes you’re making in real-time in the main display area, at right.
It’s clear that Placester is striving for a website design and editing tool that is as simple and streamlined as possible.
Choosing Your Overall Design
Your first task is to set your site’s overall design direction. Here, you’ll customize colors, fonts, your website header and footer, and more. It’s simple enough to do, and you can get set up very quickly. Then, should you wish to, you can tweak it over time.
Depending on how picky you are, it could take an hour or all day. Either way, the process is simple and easy to understand. You can make universal changes like site theme colors, but you can’t get much more granular than that.
Building Your Website
After you’ve got your primary design direction figured out, it’s time to customize your template to meet the needs of your specific business. You start by choosing the elements you want on your homepage and ordering them correctly. Placester calls these “modules.”
You’ve got nearly two dozen modules to choose from. Standard features include:
- Property Search
- Contact Us
Some of our favorites are:
- Featured Listings
- Mortgage Calculator
You’ll need to build some site mechanics, including pop-ups, lead capture in the form of landing pages that aren’t connected to your site’s navigation, and more. You can easily accomplish these tasks in the Placester website builder area.
Managing Your Content
Once you’ve designed your site and set it up to your liking, it’s time to start managing your content. In other words, you’ll need to create all the different pages that will power your website experience. The more your website covers, the more work you’ll have to accomplish (and keep updated later on). Remember that the more content you have on your website, the more value you can provide to readers. Readers can turn into prospects, prospects into leads, and leads into clients.
Placester Marketplace: Answering All Your ‘What if I Can’t…’ Questions
Placester’s website design and maintenance functions are well-suited for use by non-web designers, so you can easily update your site on a daily or weekly basis. However, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have either the time, patience, or confidence to execute all the tasks necessary to optimize your website, Placester Marketplace is your solution.
With Placester Marketplace, you can contract with experts in website design, marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and more to knock out specific tasks that might be holding your website back from greatness. This is a cool system and one of my favorite features of the Placester platform for a couple of reasons:
- Price: The price of these services is really reasonable, and most of them are less than $60. And, they’re not a bill-by-the-hour estimate. When you request a task, you know the price for getting it done, not just started.
- Timeline: Since these experts have also been trained by Placester on their specific platform, they know exactly what they need to do, where they need to do it, and can tell you exactly when it will be done—normally, within just a couple of days.
- Services: Though you can contract services like Website Design or Website Refresh, these aren’t the services I’m most excited about since the Placester platform is so easy for non-designers to use.
I love the fact that there are services like Facebook Pixel Installation, Logo Design, and Custom Branding and Style Guide available. These aren’t my strong suit, and I’m always grateful for help in these areas.
Placester Websites in Action
Reading about making a website isn’t quite the same as seeing live examples on the internet. Here are four of our favorite real estate websites built on the Placester platform.
Now you know how Placester works and the tools Placester users have at their disposal. But you may still have questions. Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about the Placester real estate website builder.
Is the Placester CRM any good?
OK, so this is a tricky question to answer because, ultimately, it depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a full-throated CRM with all the bells and whistles, including sophisticated automation, a dialer, and more, then no, this CRM isn’t going to meet your expectations.
On the other hand, if you want a place where you can simply track the leads coming in from your website, keep them organized, and get a basic understanding of what you should be doing with them next, then yeah, this CRM works.
The fact of the matter is, the Placester CRM isn’t going to win any beauty or functionality contests, but its features work. We’d suggest using another CRM, but if it’s a choice between Placester and nothing, choose Placester.
Is the Placester pricing a good deal?
Yes. When comparing what you pay vs what you get on Placester, there is a significant value on this platform. Yes, there are less expensive options out there, which are generic website builders. Those aren’t going to provide you with the specific tools realtors need to run their business. Based purely on strength-to-weight, the Placester pricing is a good deal.
How long will it take to build my Placester website?
You can have a basic website up and running with Placester in about 20 minutes, which, let me tell you, is FAST. Will it be completely optimized and ready for lead capture in 20 minutes? Probably not.
I’d say you’ve got about two hours of work to get your site launched—taking you from a brand-new agent to operating a fully functioning website that is firing on all cylinders. After that, you’ll need to dedicate at least an hour a week for regular maintenance and to continue to add details that will make your site super relevant on Google—including adding weekly blog posts, building out your geographic area features, and so on.
Does Placester have good customer support?
Yes, we were satisfied with the Placester level of client care.
If you’re a Starter plan agent, you have access to email support, which was pretty responsive and answered our question, though there was some lag time. Advanced plan members get upgraded to phone support. With the Office Builder plan, you’ll have a dedicated customer service rep to answer all your questions.
All in all, Placester passes the customer support tests. They answered all our questions, solved our website problems, and did so in a professional manner.
Bottom Line: Is Placester Worth It for Agents Looking for a Real Estate Website Builder?
Definitely. For agents looking for a cost-effective, powerful, easy-to-use website builder, Placester is definitely a winner.
Are they the only game in town? No. There are other website builders out there that offer quality products and services. But, the Placester codeless builder, the Placester Marketplace, and the fact that you can use Placester without signing a long-term contract—these factors combine to make Placester a winner in the race for the best real estate website builders.
If you’re eager to learn more about Placester, you can schedule a no-obligation demo to see the platform in action.