Residential agents who use Google Maps on their websites and to bolster their listings are bracing for an unprecedented price increase to the service.
The Google Maps application programming interface, or API, allows agents and brokers to embed maps into listings on their sites, which gives interested buyers a view of the surrounding neighborhoods. Now, Google says it will impose a 1400 percent price hike for the embedding service, according to GeoAwesomeness, a geospatial technology blog.
Users were previously given 25,000 free hits to pages featuring the maps service per day, but will now be forced to pay $200 per 28,000 page views a month. The API will be unusable without attached credit card information.
While Google said it would offer the first month free, the imposed fee could force firms to lean on alternatives, including maps services provided by Bing, Apple Maps or OpenStreetMap.
Morgan Carey, chief executive of Real Estate Webmasters, a company that makes websites for real estate firms, said that for one of his clients with over 1,000 agents, the price hike could impose a $5,600 fee.
“Let’s say you get a listing of the Playboy Mansion or something. If it’s all over the news, that could be millions of hits,” Carey said, according to InMan. [InMan] — David Jeans