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Placester offers free IDX websites to N.A.R. members

by Greg Robertson on May 22nd, 2017

Inman News’ Teke Wiggin on Placester’s new offering.

NAR offering free Placester websites to Realtors

“The National Association of Realtors is offering free property search websites to all members as part of a new deal with real estate software provider Placester.

The partnership makes it possible for all Realtors “to build an online presence they can control,” said CEO Matt Barba in a statement. And it could fuel Placester’s efforts to build a massive user base that could be receptive to buying upgrades.

A previous deal between the trade group and Placester made basic versions of Placester sites available to Realtors for $5 a month. Under the new deal, the two are offering Placester websites for no charge.

The free mobile-friendly websites come with features including IDX [Internet Data Exchange] listing integration, “global listings search,” homepage with slideshow, mortgage calculator, social media share buttons and editable listing search, about and testimonial pages.”

This is exactly why I’ve never had a desire to enter the agent website business, it’s a race to the bottom.

But it looks like it’s not “free” in all markets.

“For 60 of the 600 multiple listing services covered by the product, agents must pay a surcharge to activate IDX-powered property search.”

I wonder how many agents do those MLSs cover? Also, it’s well known that less than 90 MLS providers contain about 90% of the all the active listings available. So it will be interesting to see how “massive” their user base grows.

I written about this before but my take on these freemium models is the the TAM (total available market) isn’t large enough.

I do think this is a big win for N.A.R. members. But if you read the comments in Inman’s article you’ll see that agents are keen to look a gift horse in the mouth. Sheesh!

  1. John Reilly, Mike Barnett and I built the earliest agent website templates when we left in 1997. We soon learned that while the customers wanted to pay website template prices, they wanted custom websites. We sold a few thousand and then decided to concentrate on email and leave the website business to others. As CEO of Point2 in 2008, I converted the freemium model to give the company more runway. Website sales to REALTORS is a tough game, requiring more customer service than we had the revenue to provide.

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