March 28, 2018

Engineering Spotlight: Placester

Placester was founded in 2011 by Matthew Barba and Frederick Townes with a focus on building a modern software platform to help professionals in the real estate industry ultimately grow their businesses online.

Since then, the company has gone on to raise over $100M in funding and their software is used by over 550,000 brokers and agents.

We connected with numerous members of Placester’s engineering team to get an inside look at its culture, the types of projects the team is tackling, and more. Read on below!

Also, Placester is hiring! Check out its BIZZpage for all the company’s openings!

Quick Hit Details

  • Year Founded: 2011

  • Number of employees in the US: 110

  • Number of engineers in the US: 26

  • Industry: Real Estate Software

Can you share a summary on what Placester does?

Placester creates software for real estate agents and brokers, so they can better help consumers buy and sell homes. We led the first wave of going digital in real estate by providing thousands of agents and brokers with the online tools to help their businesses grow as an all-in-one sales and marketing platform. We provide beautiful lead capturing websites, lead management, email marketing, marketing automation, analytics, free education, and 24/7 support. Placester currently serves three in five real estate professionals in the U.S.

What are some of the different technologies that the engineering team gets to work with and at what scale?

We are totally cloud-based and try to use the technologies that best serve our customers and deliver real value. Sometimes that’s working with Microservice Architectures, Lambda, EC2 or API Gateway solutions. Other times, we’re exploring other brand new technologies to figure out how to best implement them within our product to deliver real value. And, like any company with a product that’s been around a while, sometimes we’re doing the decidedly unglamorous work of paying down technical debt or supporting older parts of the app with PHP, Java and Node.js.

What’s the engineering culture like at Placester?

We focus on creating a great experience for our customers and delivering them real value. As a team, we take great pride in our codebase and continually improving every part of it. We solve problems collaboratively, have the same goals and work for the same team. Going into every project, learning is at the forefront. We value a culture where individuals and teams are able to learn from one another... and we have some super smart people always willing to share things they’ve learned over the course of their careers.

Placester Engineering Ping Pong

What can a potential employee expect during the interview process?

When you interview at Placester, you’ll meet your future teammates, learn more about Placester and our culture, and be given the opportunity to showcase the best of your abilities. We want you to feel comfortable throughout our interview process to give you the best chance of showing your strengths.

Why join Placester?

Engineering has a voice at Placester and real visibility into where the business is going. We also think you should love where you work. That’s why we offer a fun, dynamic, and diverse work environment where we tackle problems directly. Our goal is to provide our customers with an unfair advantage over their competition. Everyone is a hands-on contributor and empowered to take smart risks, embrace ownership, and take every opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We’ll all in this together!

Placester Engineering

Rapid Fire Q&A

What’s on tap?

Varies - teams pick our kegs in Boston and beers in Chicago. Usually a solid IPA and something seasonal.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

We accept all levels of geeking out.

iPhone or Android?


Coffee - hot or iced?

Hot, but cold brew is making a run in Boston.

Favorite employee perk?

The family leave policy is pretty legit. The Boston team digs pool, while Chicago has been rallying around ping pong.

What music is playing in your office?

Team Spotify list. Could be anything from oldies, to current pop.

View from your office:

Team Profile

Jerry Shaughnessy, Chief Architect

Jerry Shaughnessy, Chief Architect at Placester 

Jerry is equally passionate about creating a learning culture in engineering as he is about designing and building innovative high-tech solutions for customers. With a broad range of industry experience culled over 20 years designing, building and delivering high-tech solutions to businesses and consumers, Jerry has unique perspective on how to leverage technology at the enterprise level to solve complex business problems. He’s able to explain even the most complicated concepts to non-technical people in a way they can understand.

Based out of Chicago, Jerry started his career in the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer designing nuclear power plant control systems for submarines. Now he spends non-work time restoring old cars and vintage machinery, and spending time with his grandkids.

Keith Cline is the Founder of VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter: @kcline6.

Images courtesy of Placester.