Real estate search website and tech provider Placester has acquired RealSatisfied, a customer satisfaction survey service, to help Placester broaden the data and services the startup offers to real estate agents and brokers. Placester, which has raised $50 million in funding, offers bare-bones listing search websites for as little as $5 a month to Realtors (thanks to an agreement with NAR), and $10 a month for non-Realtors.

  • Real estate website and tech provider Placester has acquired RealSatisfied, a service that administers customer satisfaction surveys for agents and brokers.
  • RealSatisfied helps agents and brokers collect feedback from clients that can help them identify weaknesses and strengths.
  • Agents can choose to publish RealSatisfied testimonials and ratings on other websites, including realtor.com.

Real estate search website and tech provider Placester has acquired RealSatisfied, a customer satisfaction survey service, to help Placester broaden the data and services the startup offers to real estate agents and brokers.

Placester’s place

Placester, which has raised $50 million in funding, offers bare-bones listing search websites for as little as $5 a month to Realtors (thanks to an agreement with NAR), and $10 a month for non-Realtors.

Placester’s basic, “essential” agent website product, which includes email marketing and lead management tools, runs for $75 a month. Its “growth” website product for brokers costs $275 a month, and includes lead capture features, a customer relationship management system (CRM) and agent websites. The platform also offers more sophisticated website products that carry a higher cost.

Placester is also gearing up to roll out a mobile app to complement its web offerings, said Seth Price, vice president of industry relations at Placester.

RealSatisfied’s operation

RealSatisfied, which claims to have 100,000 active users, prompts agents’ clients to fill out customer satisfaction surveys shortly after a transaction closes.

The surveys ask 37 questions to homebuyers and 42 questions to sellers to pinpoint where agents may have come up short and where they might have met or exceeded expectations, according to Price.

Brokers, agents and multiple listing services (MLSs) can sign up for the service. Survey results can show brokers “areas for improvement you won’t see by simply encouraging your agents to ask for a recommendation,” RealSatisfied says on its website.

Another benefit, both for agents and brokers, is that RealSatisfied’s “escalation process allows you to respond to problems and address them before a disgruntled client takes to social media.”

RealSatisfied testimonial and ratings on an agent that was published on har.com.

RealSatisfied testimonial and ratings on an agent that was published on har.com.

Nearly half of clients prompted to respond to RealSatisfied surveys begin to fill them out, and nearly 9 out of 10 of that group complete the surveys, according to Price. Customers are twice as likely to “talk about a bad experience as a good experience,” RealSatisfied says.

Another benefit of RealSatisfied is that it can help agents collect testimonials and ratings that they can then choose to syndicate for publication on websites, including realtor.com. Agents’ clients can decide whether or not to complete a survey as a testimonial. Four out of 10 respondents choose to do so, according to Price.

How the two will work together

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 has obtained direct listing feeds from MLSs covering most of the country, which it can use to power listing search for both its agent and broker websites and its publisher sites.

Placester says it serves 1 in 5 real estate agents. That’s thanks in large part due to deals with Keller Williams Realty, NAR and Re/Max Integra, the largest Re/Max sub-franchisor representing 30 percent of Re/Max broker-owners and sales professionals worldwide.

The startup’s wide coverage is helping it learn more and more about what information and listings consumers are most interested in.

Having RealSatisfied means the startup can tell agents, brokers and teams a “complete story from a data perspective,” Price said. It can now show real estate businesses and professionals “where they tend to lose a transaction or lose the potential listing engagement,” he said.

Part of the plan is to eventually integrate RealSatisfied into Placester’s website product, so that users can access survey results alongside their website’s other back-end tools. This would also make it easy for Placester users to publish RealSatisfied testimonials and ratings to their websites.

The acquisition also means Placester will oversee the syndication to public-facing websites and apps of hundreds of thousands of agent testimonials and ratings. The recipients of those testimonials and ratings include realtor.com, which has taken steps in recent months to beef up its agent search tool and profiles.

RealSatisfied president Jeff Turner said that RealSatisfied staff is staying on board.

RealSatisfied and realtor.com

Realtor.com announced in November that RealSatisfied would syndicate testimonials to the “Recommendations” section of realtor.com’s agent profiles. And in March, RealSatisfied revealed that realtor.com would also accept RealSatisfied content into its “Ratings and Reviews” section.

Agents who’ve racked up ratings from RealSatisfied have the option of syndicating their ratings to a specific website or app.

But they reportedly can’t cherry-pick ratings for public display. If they choose to syndicate ratings somewhere, all the ratings they’ve received through surveys must appear there, according to Jeff Turner, president of RealSatisfied.

That contrasts with the syndication policy of RealSatisfied’s testimonials. Agents can choose to publish some testimonials and withhold others from wherever they want to display testimonials, Turner said.

Realtor.com is set to accept RealSatisfied ratings into its “Ratings and Reviews” agent profile sections if agents agree to allow all their RealSatisfied ratings to appear there, Turner said. But he said he wasn’t sure if realtor.com would keep RealSatisfied testimonials in its “Recommendations” section or move them to its “Ratings and Reviews” section.

Placester and NAR

Placester already has a partnership with NAR that makes a basic version of its website product available to members for $5 a month. That partnership has had Placester working closely with realtor.com operator Move, since realtor.com is the official consumer website of NAR, Price said.

So, due to RealSatisfieds’ partnership with realtor.com, Placester’s acquisition of RealSatisfied would seem to further strengthen the relationship between Placester and NAR.

Besides the mobile app that Placester is preparing to launch, the startup also has plans to eventually release a communication tool that could foster collaboration between agents, and, though not directly designed for this purpose, facilitate referrals between agents, Price said.

Email Teke Wiggin

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