Saul Klein, an Internet pioneer for the real estate industry who leads an online community of real estate professionals and created the e-PRO technology certification program for Realtors, is the new CEO for Point2 Technologies Inc., a company that is restructuring following resignations by a group of managers earlier this month.
Klein, who has served as president and CEO for Internet marketing and support company InternetCrusade and the RealTown online community, will continue in that role while taking on the new position with Point2.
Based in Saskatoon, Canada, Point2 offers real estate technology and marketing services for real estate professionals. The company operates a property search and marketing service called Point2 National Listing Service, or Point2 NLS, that allows real estate professionals to exchange property listings information for display on other participants’ Web sites.
The company’s Web site reported today that Point2 NLS has 164,300 members. Point2 also has operations in the construction industry, and began offering services for heavy-equipment dealers in 1996. The company added its real estate operations in 2003. The Realtown.com Web site reports that community has about 59,000 subscribers.
Point2 and RealTown earlier this year announced a “single sign-on” collaboration that allow members of the Point2 NLS community and RealTown.com community to access or sign up for either system using a single password.
And Barry Willick, Point2 Technologies president, said in a statement, “Over the past few months we’ve examined the value and need to add a CEO position to our leadership structure. In light of the recent restructuring of our management team, we moved to attract one of the best, most respected minds in the industry to help us execute on our mission and vision.”
Klein plans to spend one week each month in Canada, two weeks each month in San Diego, and a week each month fulfilling speaking engagements on the road.
“I see great opportunities for collaboration” between Realtown and Point2, Klein said. “It’s just going to work to our mutual advantage. We do have some great synergies between the two companies.” He added that there have been no discussions about merging the companies.
Prior to his hire as CEO, Klein was named to serve on Point2’s board of directors about two months ago. He received a call on Monday last week from Willick asking him to serve as CEO. “I thought about it until Saturday,” Klein said, adding that the only potential conflict he saw was in relationships with some of RealTown’s advertisers.
He said he has been impressed with Point2’s NLS system, which allows brokers to make decisions about where to advertise proeprty listings. Such a system could spark revolutionary change in the industry, he said, related to broker control over the dissemination of listings information online.
“I really see this as an opportunity to move Point2 forward and to move InternetCrusade forward and we believe move the real estate industry forward,” he said.
Inman News reported earlier this month that Point2’s chief operating officer, chief technology and five other managers for Point2’s real estate division resigned from the company, and the chief operating officer for the construction division also resigned. Outgoing COO Brendan King told Inman News that he left for personal reasons, including a fundamental disagreement with the company’s future plans.
“I disagreed with the strategy and direction going forward, so I decided to move onto different opportunities,” King said.
Klein served as a consultant for the Realtor Information Network in the formative days of putting property listings on the Web. That effort led to the creation of property-search site Realtor.com.
He also served as the 1993 president of the San Diego Association of Realtors and has been a licensed real estate broker in California since 1977. He has also served as a director for the California Association of Realtors, a member of that group’s MLS Committee, and has served on numerous National Association of Realtors committees and in numerous NAR forums.
The CEO position at Point2 had been vacated by Willick’s brother, Point2 co-founder Wendell Willick, who resigned in September and later that month entered a guilty plea in a criminal case that is unrelated to his work at the company.