This type of job would be a large hour quantity. Especially with the description you gave. I am experienced in VB (5+ years) and I couldn't even do all of that in two weeks. It would take extensive time and testing so you'd be looking at around a month or two if you find a VB newbie to do it. Just some advice. I don't have time to do it right now otherwise I would. Your are probablly looking at a price of $300+.
The reasons why:
1. Accessing online databases is not an extremely hard thing to do, but time consuming.
2. Testing takes up a lot of time.
3. I assume you don't know C++ or VB, but VB is a lot of text, it takes time to type all the code. C++ is basically ALL text so that's even longer. Every line in VB is like 4-5 lines in C++. However, it would probably be better in C++ because of the fact it's more flexible.
4. The "user sessions" alone will require a nicely written class for the session list.
5. The winsock function for the chatting part would be quite some work.
6. You creating the Client end and a different user creating the server end would make it EXTREMELY hard to complete. (For one, why create a exe in Flash when you could do it a lot easier in a language [i.e. Delphi, VB, C++, etc.]) Too much communication would go one between you and the client doing the server. This alone would postpone at least 2 weeks. (forgot to read that part).
7. I personally would have to download MSN Messenger just to do the dang project. Again, wasting more time.
No harm meant by this post, just some insight for you to go by.
I would never do a project like that for $300 but I never see any posts about application programming so I figured anyone who would reply would be a newbie and asking a VERY cheap price (not many web programmers I've seen can produce good quality programs, but there are some). Most inexperienced users would do something like this for real cheap because they'd go to a place like PlanetSourceCode.com and get source code and try to mix it together creating a complete mess. Hence, the reason I put a plus on the end.
Trust me, I've seen it done:
Someone wanted a program that was a replica of WebPosition Gold and I saw the "completed" source code afterwards and it was the biggest mess I'd ever seen. A program like that would run $8000 and up and the person did it for $250 (didn't get paid when the buyer saw the coding and how poorly it was made.)
I would charge at least $4000 for this. Heh, I have taken too much time into learning VB to know how difficult it would be to produce a program of this quality and for it to work pretty close to being flawless. I don't have the time to do it otherwise I'd give it a whack. It'd be nice to get back into the app. programming world.
Since I didn't want the user to give up his/her search I didn't say "You won't find someone who will do it for $3000." Since he wants someone else to do it, he probably doesn't know VB or C++ (just a hypothesis), so I said $300 that way he'd keep his options open, there might be a person out there that was a descent programmer who'd do it for $300. Maybe someone actually likes wasting that much time and effort for that little?
Anyway, I didn't forget a zero, lol. But I didn't want the user to be scared out of his mind when he saw $3000.