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Point2 Agent Changes Pricing Model: Will no longer support free sites

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.

And

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.

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  • I agree that this is a smart move by point2.

  • This is going be devastating to the handful of agents that have set up several spammy Point2 websites. Hopefully this change will put a little more money in Saul’s pocket as well as clean up some of the Point 2 spam.

  • I agree with Jay – if an agent can’t afford that little amount they should get out of the business.

  • Most of the P2 sites are worth what they have cost and getting rid of all the junk sites will only help the industry.

    When you pay nothing for something you don’t care as much about it and the more invested an agent is in their web presence the more effective it will be.

    Obviously, I think agents should get a custom website (Only $100/month) instead of a template, but for those who are going to use P2 I think this will probably motivate them to think about their website more, and that is good for the industry as a whole.

  • This is a positive move for Point 2 and for those that pay for upgraded sites. It will rid the system of all the junk non-active sites. Additionally, I’m excited to see the next sets of upgrades from Point 2.

  • Great move on Point2’s part. I’ve got a professional version and it’s worth every penny and pays for itself many times over each year. There are many applications for the standard Point2 site and so 10 bucks a month is nada compared to the value you receive.

  • Hopefully they will invest the money in making a really awesome product. Innovative and creative use of the funds will force everyone to do an even better job to keep up with them. I don’t see any reason that $10 a month could be a problem.

  • I attribute 95% of my online marketing success to Point 2 Agent. The price is nothing compared to the benefits and they are hading great tools every month.

  • I think my P2 site was free for 6 months. When the time came to pay up, I did so gladly. It has been one of the most cost-effective marketing tools I have used.

  • I would like more than I get from my P2 site. I hope this leads to innovations. I have been a professional member for a long time.

  • Mike D.

    GETTING SUED

    The problem with this move is they sold the sites on the basis of “there are no fees ever!”

    They will get sued

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030811230010/agent.point2.com/catch.asp

  • Wow- it is interesting that they would claim that there will never be fees and it will always be free.

    An agent who has put considerable time into their website expecting that it will always be free might have a legitimate gripe.

    I wonder if they will start making exceptions for some agents who complain, which would open a new can of worms, but nobody would know which agents were getting their site for free so maybe they are making exceptions like this now.

  • Were there innovations and improvements in 2009? How did the membership numbers look after they cut all us slackers who could not afford the $9.99 a month? I had a Point2 website for awhile, first free, then paid, then free. Then gone but that was OK because I had a site to send buyers to, I have a presence on the internet.

    I got an offer for a free month of Point2 recently but on the Point2 site I can get three free months???

    I was always confused by Point2.

    Just wondering if you've seen innovation and improvement and how the TRUE numbers look without people who were not using their Point2 sites.

  • Were there innovations and improvements in 2009? How did the membership numbers look after they cut all us slackers who could not afford the $9.99 a month? I had a Point2 website for awhile, first free, then paid, then free. Then gone but that was OK because I had a site to send buyers to, I have a presence on the internet.

    I got an offer for a free month of Point2 recently but on the Point2 site I can get three free months???

    I was always confused by Point2.

    Just wondering if you've seen innovation and improvement and how the TRUE numbers look without people who were not using their Point2 sites.

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