July 16, 2013
Team Contactually is back in DC after a successful stint for Contactually at the recent Inman Real Estate Connect event in San Francisco. While the event itself might be over, we're keeping the vivacious real estate spirit alive with today's special announcement. We're so excited to announce our newest partnership with Placester, a fantastic platform that helps real estate professionals build appealing and engaging websites. I recently spoke with Placester's CEO Matt Barba about our integration and all that it entails. Read the interview below, and then hop over to Placester to see everything in action.
1) What is Placester and what prompted you to create it?
Placester is a tool for real estate professionals and their developers for building beautiful websites. It allows them to have a presence online that really exemplifies who they are as a person and as a brand and, in many ways, it helps them establish a relationship with future clients: buyers, sellers, and renters.
80 percent of a real estate professional's job is marketing. The problem is that the marketing world is big and complicated and many folks just aren't great marketers. They're very personable, they're awesome at knowing their neighborhoods and knowing what's going on in the market, but they're just not marketers. The world of marketing is becoming increasingly digital and increasingly tech-focused and we felt there was this big gap emerging between real estate professionals and their clients. My co-founder Frederick Townes and I created Placester as a way to bridge that gap.
2) What sets Placester apart from other real estate website solutions?
The big thing that sets us apart is our platform focus. Specifically, we've got an intense focus on open source. Ninety percent of our tools you can download right now. You can modify them, you can build off them, you can power your website with them, and you can start your own business with them.
Another big thing that sets us apart is our focus on partners and weaving those partners together in a platform that actually works - where all the data is interconnected and it's all working for the real estate professional. We want our partners to say, "Wow, look at all the really cool stuff we can do because we're working with Placester!" and not say, "Sorry, we can't do that because our IDX vendor doesn't support that," or, "Sorry, it just doesn't work."
3) How do you think real estate professionals who use Contactually can benefit from using Placester?
I think one of the most obvious answers is that your website will be able to perform "double duty." Not only are folks going to be reaching out and calling you from your site, but all of the folks who fill out a lead capture form or who enter an email address will have their information show up right in Contactually. It's less data to enter and that resonates with everybody.
With the integration, you're going to get a much deeper snapshot of who these people are who are using your website. The integration is going to reveal some really interesting information about what folks are searching for on your site, like what folks have searched for on your site, what properties they've looked at, and what properties they've "favorited." It will really give you a picture of what they're interested in, which is what every real estate professional is looking for.
I also think you get this sense of leverage that happens with this partnership. You get bigger and stronger as a real estate professional by using these two tools in coordination. In this instance, one plus one equals three. With Placester and Contactually combined, you really get the ability to talk to a whole lot more people and create a whole lot more opportunities than you could without them.
4) What's one aspect of Placester that Contactually users should know about?
If I had to highlight one thing for individual real estate professionals to check out it would be responsive design. I just think it's something that we do very well and it's something that we're pioneering. For those who don't know, responsive design websites adapt to different screen sizes. So regardless of the device a visitor is using (computer, tablet, or phone), a responsive website will always look great and will always provide an excellent browsing experience.
We've got a lot of really cool things going on with this company, but you should really check out our responsive designs. I think they're going to blow you away.
5) What will the Placester/Contactually integration look like?
The integration with Contactually starts when you grab your Contactually API key and drop it into the Placester IDX plugin. From there, at the highest levels, you're going to get two things: all of the contact information that is generated from your site - emails, phone numbers, etc. - all of the lead capture features are going to start creating contacts in Contactually for you, and all of the property searches and other actions your visitors perform are going to get logged and recorded in Contactually. I think the powerful thing you'll be getting is that insight into what folks are doing on your Placester-powered website.
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