Placester’s new partners give even more agents a home online

Homes in Somerville.
Homes in Somerville.

Even if you make reservations on OpenTable, and book your flights and hotels via Kayak, chances are you’re going to contact a real human when you’re looking to rent or buy a home.

Placester, a Boston startup, has been selling website-building tools and marketing software to real estate agents and brokers looking to ease into the e-commerce landscape.

The approach reflects in nearly equal parts the skills of its founders: Matt Barba worked as an agent in Allston, and Frederick Townes is a WordPress whiz who was founding chief technology officer at the news website Mashable.

Unlike titan Zillow which is an all-purpose destination, Placester empowers individual agents to use social media and Web search tools to find their way to potential customers.

That seems to be paying off: This month the company announced two partnerships that will bring its tools to a global customer-base.

A deal with Canadian brokerage firm RE/Max Integra disclosed Thursday will provide website-building tools to some 16,000 real estate professionals affiliated with the firm.

Another 123,000 brokers and agents of the firm Keller Williams Realty will also get to make use of Placecaster’s services, as part of a second big deal made public this month.

Placester got going in 2010, and joined the TechStars Boston class of 2011. The company has raised $22 million in venture funding so far, and announced its latest $15 million in April this year, along with plans to double its staff in Boston. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Romulus Capital, and Angel Street Capital.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about science and research. Email her at
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