As you may know, running Property Bee (PB) has taken a lot of my free time over the past four years and has gone from an idea to something that tens of thousands of users use and love.
It reached a stage about a year ago, where I couldn't cope with its demands and something needed to be done for my sanity and health, hence I started to look to pass the baton on to someone else. Unfortunately, even tho a community effort was my preferred outcome there wasn't a viable proposal made, and hence I had to consider the alternative and more commercial offers. Whittling these proposals down it became clear there where two parties that were head and shoulders above the others, and I met both several times in person to discuss the future of PB with them. Ultimately the question I asked myself was; which could help both PB and me more?
It's my great pleasure to announce that a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) has been formed to take over the running of PB, between myself Mark, John and Roger, both whom are directors at nethouseprices.com
. Between them and nethouseprices MD Catherine, their experience, enthusiasm, contacts and resources will help PB mature and allow us to provide the service that I alone cannot provide. They also have a similar ethos to PB, and have been providing free sold price information for the past 7 years.
By forming an LLP this means PB will not be sold to another company, but be an independent legal entity in its own right, with myself continuing run PB, helped by John and Catherine.
Over the coming months we will be in somewhat of a "transition phase", sorting out how its going to work day to day, getting systems in place so I can go away on holiday and know that PB and its users are being looked after, so please bear with us if / when things go wrong!
I guess the question everyone is asking, is how will this affect me? Positively I hope.
Firstly be assured the Property Bee toolbar will always be free to download and use.
However unlike now, there will be support during office hours so that problems should be sorted out / emails responded to quicker that at present. This also means I spend less time on administration tasks, and more time to do what I do best, write code and develop new features which make PB even better and will help everyone. Further ahead, well who knows, but its going to be exciting and cutting edge stuff!
Probably the biggest change will be is the way PB is funded. As an LLP I don't think we should accept donations to pay for hosting and will have to rely purely on revenue generated by advertising to keep PB running.
Ironically the rush of donations recently (which always amazes me, and I'm truly grateful for the passion people have for PB) is a bit of an issue for me as I'm not sure its ethical to accept them given the change of PB into an LLP. Hence I will be emailing those that have donated recently, asking them what they wish me to do with their donation; refund it, help PB whilst we start this journey into new territory, or donate it to Shelter on their behalf.
This is very much a new and exciting journey for PB. I hope you will all understand the reasons why I needed to do this and continue to support us.