In real estate location is one of the most important factors that determine whether a property will sell or not. But what many real estate agents don’t know is that location is just as important…online. Placester, a website-building platform, allows agents to quickly create and launch beautiful real estate websites for both desktop and mobile, complete with fully-integrated MLS listing data.
The system provides massive distribution, premium listing services, and deep analytics to help real estate companies and professionals stay competitive and grow their businesses online.
“I think the most significant thing about Placester is that this is one of the first times in the industry’s history where you can make it easy for the 1.2 million real estate professionals to make websites that have all of their MLS data on it and is accessible by search engines, presented professionally, and has completely responsive design, meaning it works on a desktop, a tablet, or a mobile device,â€ says Frederick Townes, co-founder of Placester, who was the founding CTO of Mashable.
Before Placester, which launched in 2010, agency-built websites were often slow, didn’t capture leads well, were difficult to navigate andÂ didn’tÂ provide the capability for house hunters to save or share listings with friends. In addition, while agents have become adept at posting content on sites like Zillow or Trulia, often times they did not have their own website or domain name, meaning they had no control over their branding and could not position themselves uniquely in the market over their competition.
“The industry as a whole isn’t leveraging [technology] in a consistent way and that creates lots of different challenges,â€ says Townes. “With Placester, you can have your own website. It’s about taking control of your own destiny.â€
The concept has been well received. In fact, this week, Placester just closed a round of funding that amounted to $2.5 million of seed financing led by Boston-based Romulus Capital and others. In celebration of Placester’s accomplishment, Black Enterprise recognizes the company as Tech Startup of the Week.
Townes will be joining the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, May 15-18 in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the coaching, mentoring and subsequent financing he received as a result of his participation in TechStars, a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund founded in 2006 by David Cohen and Brad Feld, among others.