Technology

Placester makes you think about the Web presence it helps you build

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The pitch

If you depend on someone’s office assistant for website content updates or a companywide help queue to update a listing, you’re doing it wrong.

There are just way too many tools and resources out there among the Interwebs for you to be relying on the website your brokerage provides you. Look, I’m all about hiring professionals to assist in copy and content management, but you need to have full access, as well as a finger always on the pulse of that stream of ones and zeros.

Marketing needs to be an investment in self as much as an investment in business. I feel very strongly about agents having their own websites and a proactive Web presence, and I think that they should be able to know how to manage both.

This is why I like Placester. They provide the tools and technical infrastructure, but it’s up to you to paint over the numbers. It’s Socratic Web development, if you will. Nothing is overly automated. You have to think … wait for it … strategically about your page hierarchy, content models and conversion tactics.

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Let’s check it out.

The sale

Marketing shouldn’t be overly automated.

When too much happens without your involvement, you become unattached to the outcome. You can’t micromanage, either, because that leads to being shortsighted and reactionary.

Placester helps you build a compelling, contemporary website, then backs away, leaving you to run things.

Placester Multi-Site Management

They’ll forward a domain you already own or help you register a new one. I strongly encourage you to forward or buy a new one if you don’t already own one; the standard Placester domain is really clunky.

You can choose from a solid array of site models, all of them responsive and receptive to your IDX (Internet data exchange) feeds. They have relationships with more than 500 MLS (multiple listing service) locations.

Placester_ssSutterTeamSite

When your listing page is assembled, you can also control how site visitors search for them. Maps are plugged in, and so are social media share tools.

Placester understands how content plays a role in online marketing, because it also offers an extensive catalog of free resources on the subject. With a billion people on the Internet every day, the data absorbed about how to reach them is flowing by the second. Find a way to irrigate your knowledge base with as much of it as you can.

Placester_ssStevensSite

Along those lines, Placester offers a good deal of flexibility in lead capture, too. You can build forms, ask questions and offer newsletters.

One warning: If given the option in Placester to block your website’s listing pages with a contact submission prompt, don’t.

Don’t entice me with information about a house I’d be compelled to visit, then demand I give you my email address in order to see it. This is a bully tactic, and it turns off users. Instead, give visitors to your site a good reason to trust you via free content and sound market information.

Placester sites come ready for agent rosters, testimonials and blogs, which are great tools for offering market knowledge, reports, company videos and promoting events.

Placester_ssListingPage

When your site is up and ready to roll, Placester piles on the pitch for a number of bolt-on Web marketing efforts, like Google AdWords, SEO (search engine optimization), Facebook ads, and even some CRM (customer relationship manager) integration. Granted, it’s the upsell you were probably expecting, but it’s not nefarious; those are proven methods to build traffic.

The close

Placester offers the right tools and the proper balance of agent accountability to make for an excellent Web marketing solution. The $10 per month fee also includes hosting.

Again, you need to put in the time to make it work. Stop thinking a compelling website is just something you “should have.”

Instead, make it something you do.

Do you use Placester? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.