Technology

Placester matches Zillow’s rate for agent websites

$10 a month buys IDX-integrated website

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Real estate website provider Placester has slashed the cost of its agent websites to compete on price with the cheapest products available to real estate professionals.

Placester-powered websites feature responsive, customizable designs, Internet data exchange (IDX) and social media integration, blogging capability, phone and email support, and lead capture functionality.

The company announced today that it’s reduced the monthly rate of its agent websites to $10 from $45. (It also briefly charged $25 a month as part of a sales promotion.)

Placester cast the new pricing model as a challenge to, in the words of CEO Matt Barba, the “real estate technology model” of third-party listing portals like Zillow, which “have thrust themselves between agents and brokers and the consumers they’re trying to reach.”

The first step to bridging that gap, Barba said, is for agents to build their own websites.

Placester may be challenging Zillow’s relationship with consumers, but it’s also challenging Zillow’s agent website product, which, at $10 a month, costs the same as Placester’s (and would also seem to advance the cause that Placester is championing).

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WebsiteBox provides another product that falls into Placester’s general price range. The company offers websites for a one-time fee of $99 with the option of purchasing add-ons for an additional $99 each.

Placester said it supports IDX search and data for over 95 percent of MLSs in the United States, representing nearly 1 million agents.

“We strongly believe this is what it should cost to build and run a quality real estate website,” said Barba. “Anyone charging more doesn’t have the best interests of real estate agents in mind.”

Placester’s price cut comes shortly after the company introduced a revamped version of its website that it claims an agent can set up in five minutes.