Placester and the ‘.realtor’ domain: Is it worth it?

by Ciao Bella Marketing on December 17, 2014

The biggest news in real estate technology the last few weeks has been the introduction of the .realtor domain and the National Association of Realtors’ effort to encourage people to use it by offering low-cost websites to agents. The NAR is subsidizing already-low monthly subscriptions at Placester, meaning pretty much anybody can get a website with basic IDX starting at $5 a month. They’re going to be encouraging members to switch over to .realtor.

But is it worth it? Well, it depends what you want.

The first big question mark is the .realtor domain. It’s part of a larger move by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to broaden the number of so-called top-level domains, or TLDs, beyond the usual .coms, .nets and .orgs. There’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s a good idea to get in early or wait and see. On the one hand, this could be a coup for the industry, or it could be a major gaffe caused by inevitable confusion when people try to enter “website.realtor.com.”

As for the Placester sites, there’s no doubt that these amount to a great improvement for many agents and brokers who haven’t upgrade their websites in years. Many professionals certainly stand to gain immensely from an affordable, functional website that looks good. For thousands of Realtors in low-volume markets, going this route makes a lot of sense.

But for higher-volume markets participating in global competition, it may not. In digital marketing, simple features custom formatted by experts in user experience can mean the difference between a high Google rank or a potential client who leaves your site in frustration. Placester has great customer service, but they aren’t a boutique design firm and can’t become a close partner in your marketing strategy. For example, at TREM Group, we boast one of the most powerful IDX solutions in the industry, and it’s part of our suite of custom led-generating products you can’t find anywhere else.

Obviously, we highly recommend it — but maybe not for everybody. If you’re looking to overhaul your website and you’re not sure where to get started, our experts are happy to talk out the pros and cons (no sales pitch!). Just give us a call at 305-705-5000 or write to us at info@tremgroup.com.