In the first two weeks of its membership drive People Like Us (PLU) signed up over 1000 members. The home exchange network started charging membership fees this month. And to kick it off the network offered a limited time “founders” deal. This included three years of membership for the price of two. The number of founders is about 30% of the existing (free) membership. That’s a pretty impressive sign up rate. Now the qquestion is, how many more will convert as paying members on the year-to-year rate.
Fees are now:
- One year: $95
- Two years: $170
- Three years: $225, including a Globe
People can stay as non-paying (trial) members on People Like Us but they won’t be able to finalize home exchanges until they pay.
I think an annual fee is a good thing for home exchange networks. It means the members are committed and more likely to be responsive. And it means you don’t end up with an inflated count of listings from people who are completely inactive on the network.
But it’s a challenge to get people to switch from free to paying membership. Especially with travel shut down by the pandemic for the past 16 months. In the long run I think this is the right move for PLU. But in the short term it might be a challenge as the network builds its membership back up.