Point2 Agent, one of the leading suppliers of templated real estate web sites, has announced a change in their pricing model.
Effective March 9, 2009, Point2’s “Standard” level of web site will be moving to a paid pricing model. All previously established and new Standard level sites will cost $9.95/month (or $99.95 annually if paid in advance).
In a message and FAQ posted on the Point2 Agent site, CEO Saul Klein had this to say about moving from a free to a pay model:
. . . the time has arrived to take the hard step of asking all of our members who receive a value from our products and services to share in the costs, a move that will allow us to offer even more value.
Charging a nominal amount for all Point2 Agent Standard accounts will help Point2 to constantly improve its services, to continue to build new features, and to devise new ways to help members succeed in their markets and generate new business. Additionally, this adjustment will help to ensure that all members are enjoying an equal and fair level of service for their dollar rather than having some members pay to access the same services others are receiving for free.
Prices for Point2’s other levels of membership, Professional and Premium, are not affected by this change. The new pricing for the Standard level includes a free 3 month trial period before the monthly pricing kicks in as well as four free “Spotlight ads” on Point2’s home search site (a $100 value).
Personally, I think this is a good move on the part of Point2. There are countless abandoned Standard level sites out there, and this will clean those up. Additionally, as Klein discusses, it will allow P2 to focus on innovation and improvements.
It would be unrealistic to expect all existing Standard level members to pony up the money, so Point2’s membership count will most certainly drop. But it will now be an accurate count. I’ve always struggled with the membership numbers they report. If you ask me, counting a site as a “member” that hasn’t been touched since the day it went on-line 4 years ago was never appropriate.
I’m sure that some members who have been enjoying a completely free web site will not be pleased with this move. In fact, this morning someone running a free Standard P2 site left a comment on an ActiveRain post I made about Point2 over two years ago. The comment was, “Well… all good things got to come to an end… and so with P2”.
Point2 isn’t coming to an end. In fact, this could be a “rebirth”. I’ve been a little disappointed lately with Point2’s pace of innovation. Moving to a pay pricing model for all levels may help with this.
And let’s face it. If a real estate agent has to have a free web site and can’t afford to pay $10/month for an Internet presence, they might want to take a serious look at their own business model.
Disclosure: I am a Point2 Premium Member and Authorized Point2 Agent Distributor.