Agents and brokers who are embedding Google Maps into their listings will now have to pay to do so.
The Google Maps application programing interface (API) allows agents and brokers to embed maps into listings on their websites. This provides potential homebuyers the opportunity to view the listing within the neighborhood.
Previously, individuals received 25,000 free hits per day to pages featuring the maps service. Now it will cost $200 per 28,000 page views a month of Google’s Dynamic Maps feature, according to GeoAwesome.
Even if users aren’t hitting the threshold to get charged, Google is requiring credit card information to be attached to the API. This means that even if you just embed a static map onto your contact page, you will still need to attach a credit card and billing information.
Google is providing one month of the feature free, but most brokerages with more than 500 agents will end up having to pay more, according to Morgan Carey, chief executive of Real Estate Webmasters, a company that makes websites for real estate firms. She said that for one of his clients with more than 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 to Inman.