Brendan King, COO of Point 2 Realty Solutions in Saskatoon, Canada, explains the company’s mission, business model and more.
IN: How long has Point2Realty Solutions been in business?
BK: Point2 has been developing software solutions since 1996.
IN: What is your company vision?
BK: Our company vision is to establish Point 2 Agent as the community for real estate professionals to maximize business opportunities by collaborating via their Web sites.
IN: How did the company get started?
BK: In 1996 Point2 began developing a software solution for the marketing of heavy equipment on the Internet. Point2 now dominates this industry and powers Caterpillar Inc.’s Used Global Trading System.
Point2 recognized that by leveraging our knowledge in marketing complex capital assets we could provide grassroots real estate agents with powerful user-friendly software products. In the span of one year, Point2 has delivered powerful marketing solutions to more than 20,000 members. Point2 is now connecting these members, which exponentially increases their exposure and allows them to work together to better satisfy their clients.
IN: What is your business model?
BK: To eliminate the barriers to participate, Point2 Agent provides free access to a full-featured online marketing solution at www.point2agent.com. Members are rapidly upgrading their subscriptions to pay versions, as they desire to play an increased role on the network.
IN: Do you have a killer application? If so, what is it?
BK: Agent Handshake is one of our killer apps. It is the only solution that allows members to selectively share and display their listings on each other’s Web sites–maximizing listing exposure and increasing listing inventories. Agent Handshake is included in the free version of the product.
IN: What is your most popular feature?
BK: Freedom is our most popular feature. Point2’s patented technology gives our membership the freedom to create, maintain and even edit their Web site from anywhere at anytime all at no extra cost.
IN: What are the prices for your products?
BK: There are three levels of Point 2 Agent membership: A standard membership is free. A professional membership is $29.95 per month or $299.95 per year, and a premium membership is $99.95 per month or $999.95 per year.
IN: What are cutting-edge Realtors doing today with their Web sites?
BK: Cutting-edge Realtors are using their Web sites as the focal point of their marketing strategy. They attract new business, capture leads, incubate prospects, communicate with clients and maximize listing exposure. In addition, by collaborating via their Web sites with a community of agents, they are able to share rich listing data (through Agent Handshake), exchange client referrals and leverage the experience of other network members. More important, cutting-edge Realtors are recognizing that technology plays an important part in their “full-service offering,” allowing them to earn full commissions.
IN: Are leads playing a bigger role in your Web business? If so, how?
BK: Lead generation is and always has been, a big part of Point 2 Agent’s offering. Internet leads have different expectations than traditional prospects have. Many are in the early stages of their decision-making process and may not be ready to buy or sell a property for six months or more. As a result, they need to be incubated. Point2 Agent automatically captures the lead, categorizes it, then interacts with it, delivering timely, relevant information. It then notifies the agent member when the lead should be contacted personally.
IN: How has your business changed?
BK: Quite simply, it has grown and continues to grow faster and faster. Point2 Agent was launched in January 2003 with a handful of local members. In just one year, it has grown to more than 20,000 members throughout North America. Presently, the network is growing by well over 100 members per day. This pace of growth continues to increase rapidly as members spread the word about Point2 Agent.
IN: What changes do you see in the Web business in real estate?
BK: To date, the Internet has not yet lived up to its promise of revolutionizing the real estate industry. In fact, the reputation and promise of the Internet is in jeopardy because of the poor quality of listings data. Rich data on which consumer can make informed decisions must be made available.
In addition, savvy real estate professionals must realize that forces outside their industry are exploiting the client relationships and listing data that Realtors have always had. Working together, with collaborative and powerful technical tools, real estate professionals will be able to increase the value they add for the consumer in the real estate transaction.
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