Imagine we have a dozen colonists living on mars at whatever cost it took to get them there. Suppose the cost to get more gets close to $5m per person.
The Russians charge us $71m per astronaut to LEO and will stop in 2020. Dragon should cost $20m per person the same as it cost Dennis Tito to take his little vacation.
$5m to mars would be a game changer but having people living on mars also puts enormous political pressure to support them. So even if selling land pays for many new colonists, low cost will mean that many others will simply pay the ticket price to ride along with the permanent colonists. This would include govt. and university employees looking to do research.
That first landing will change two worlds.
Update: Another thing that changes a lot is my revised plan (see previous post) which now unties each colonist from 1000 sq. km. of land. Instead after any arrive on mars they can do all the claiming (in the name of the Mars Colony Trust) to provide land for all future colonists. Get just one colonist to mars would do this (but more are recommended for other reasons.)
While a standard plot is 2000 sq. m. (40m x 50m); 100 sq. m. (10m x 10m) for $35 ($25 + $10 under 1000 sq. m. fee. because utility goes below 86.4% below 1000.)
27 sections (100m x 320m) will fit in a single sq. km. with 10m wide perimeter and interior roads.
A single colonist should be able to claim 100 sq. km. (four corners at a time) in a single day (assuming the procedure is simple enough and why I continue to argue for the boot print method.)