Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Z acquires FUB for $400M

Zillow acquires CRM Follow Up Boss, super app ‘mission’ ongoing

“A CRM makes sense for Zillow. The acquisition demonstrates that the evolving proptech remains on a path to become an increasingly influential presence in the residential real estate industry with consumers and agents.

It has taken on a number of software brands of late, starting with ShowingTime in early 2021, which became the basis for ShowingTime+, an umbrella brand under which a litany of agent-oriented marketing services come to rest, such as Listing Showcase and Aryeo, a marketing media management solution which it scooped up in August.

Follow Up Boss will not be part of ShowingTime+, Zillow President Susan Daimler told Inman.”

Craig Rowe for Inman News

Congrats to Dan and his team. Follow Up Boss is all about culture. I think it’s smart not to roll them in to the ShowingTime+ team. Also, talk about timing….

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

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!

VC’s double down on Placester with $50M series D round

Placester CEO, Matt Barba
Placester, a real estate tech provider, raises another $50 million

“Drawing on data partnerships with hundreds of multiple listing services (MLSs), Placester provides websites, lead management and marketing tools to agents. It also powers the property-search tools of many news websites. The latest raise brings the company’s total funding to $100 million.

The round “will support our aggressive product roadmap and address the full breadth of challenges and opportunities that define the future of digital for real estate professionals,” CEO Matt Barba said in a statement.”

$100M, that’s a lot of cheddar!

Here’s the thing, and I believe I written this before, what I like about Placester is it’s inclusive strategy. While Zillow only really wants to focus on “super agents” and “teams”, Placester says, come as you are. Real estate is an aspirational business and I think Placester realizes that fact.

Congrats to Matt and team.

Placester acquires RealSatisfied

From Inman News this morning.
Placester acquires RealSatisfiedReal estate website provider will use RealSatisfied to broaden data it offers agents

Placester sees bringing RealSatisfied under its roof as a way to further expand the range of data it can offer to agents.

The real estate website provider powers the listing search tools of a vast network of online news websites through partnerships with a range of publishers — a level of coverage that was boosted when Placester acquired HomeFinder in March.

Placester is fast becoming a juggernaut in the industry. NAR partnerships, acquisitions, franchisor deals, they are making all the right moves. Having raised 50 million dollars doesn’t hurt either.

And RealSatisfied is legit. These guys are great to work with and their product is rock solid simple to use, with an easy to understand value proposition. It was super easy to integrate in to our Cloud CMA.

Congrats to Jeff, Phil and the rest of the RealSatisfied team.

Placester acquires Homefinder

Placester Acquires Homefinder LLC to Connect Agents to Hyperlocal MarketsPlacester to Power Newspaper Real Estate Sections Through Partnerships With Gannett, Tribune, and McClatchy

“With this acquisition, Placester will take over HomeFinder’s multi-year contracts with media companies Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) and Tribune Publishing Co., transitioning them to Placester’s Sites product for publishers, which powers the real estate sections of local newspapers. The HomeFinder platform including, Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune power 375 news sites across the U.S., including the LATimes.com, ChicagoTribune.com, Azcentral.com and MiamiHerald.com.”

HomeFinder also owns Andrew Machado’s OpenHomePro app, which they bought for all cash back in 2014.

NAR levels the playing field with $5 agent websites.

NAR partners with Placester to offer members websites for $5 a month

“Nearly every Realtor can now get a personal website equipped with a listing search tool for just $5 a month.

The National Association of Realtors has partnered with real estate website provider Placester to offer the deal, which is available to all Realtors operating in markets where Placester has Internet Data Exchange agreements with multiple listing services.”

$5.00 is pretty cheap. When Zillow announced IDX websites for $10 a month, I quipped that many IDX vendors might have “pooped their pants” well now I think they shit their bed.

I’m curious if NAR guaranteed Placester a minimum number of sites. That would make sense to me. So that would mean NAR dues are paying for IDX websites whether or not you are utilizing this service. Also what if the MLS has a surcharge on IDX feeds, does Placester eat that cost or do they add it to the $5.00?

Three things strike me about this deal.

1. Big brokers are gonna be pissed. The Realty Alliance has made a big kerfuffle about MLS providers providing agents tools (like websites) for “free”, when brokers would typically want to charge their agents for those same tools.

2. Nice win for Placester! You gotta wonder if MOVE had the option to put a similar deal together.

3. IDX has officially jumped the shark.

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