Microsoft HomeAdvisor Keeps Brokers in Front With BrokerFirst Program Innovative New Program Generates Endorsements and Alliances With Industry Leaders

REDMOND, Wash., September 2, 1998 — The Microsoft HomeAdvisor online real estate service, a comprehensive guide to finding homes and loans, today announced BrokerFirst, a new program that helps keep brokers at the center of the real estate transaction while allowing them to take advantage of new revenue opportunities. BrokerFirst gives residential real estate brokers a new way to broadly market their full suite of consumer services on HomeAdvisor through a direct link from each of their listings.

BrokerFirst provides brokers on HomeAdvisor with a free Web page through which they can promote their products and services, such as mortgage, relocation, title and escrow, available to their potential customers. To ensure that these broker services are aggressively promoted to all users of HomeAdvisor, they will be linked via a rich, branded button on every home listing provided.

While other real estate Web sites charge thousands of dollars per month for similar services, all current brokers on HomeAdvisor will receive BrokerFirst free for life. In addition, all real estate brokers who display their listings on HomeAdvisor before Dec. 31, 1998, will also receive the benefits of BrokerFirst absolutely free for life.

“This is a natural extension to our successful AgentFirst program, which encourages agents to provide their complete contact information in each home listing free of charge,” said Scott Smith, industry product manager for HomeAdvisor. “HomeAdvisor was created with leaders from throughout the real estate industry to be an information tool for consumers and real estate agents alike. By offering agents and brokers the opportunity to market themselves and their homes for free, we add incredible value for consumers while creating an unprecedented means for agents and brokers to gain new customers and sell more homes and real estate services faster.”

“Microsoft’s approach to the real estate broker is right on target,” said R. Michael Knapp, president of Iowa Realty, a member firm of MidAmerican Realty Services. “With BrokerFirst, HomeAdvisor has cemented the traditional role of the broker at the center of the transaction while helping us take advantage of the vast opportunities that have been created by the emergence of the Internet.”

“What impresses me most is the value HomeAdvisor places on the relationship between the home buyer and our agents,” said J. Lennox Scott, president of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The HomeAdvisor AgentFirst program provides us with a daily flow of qualified customers who are ready to buy. It makes agents the first point of contact with consumers and connects us with buyers from across the country. The addition of BrokerFirst will provide us with an even greater marketing opportunity by helping us sell more John L. Scott real estate services to each of these customers.”

HomeAdvisor also today announced agreements with several new leading listings providers from throughout the country, which are the first to join under the BrokerFirst program. These include The Equity Group Inc. Realtors in Portland, Ore.; Lifetime Realtors in Vienna, Va.; West Penn Multi-List Inc. in Pittsburgh; Dade County Association of Realtors in Coral Gables, Fla.; Iowa Realty in Des Moines, Iowa; First Realty, BH & G in Des Moines, Iowa; Coldwell Banker Flouhouse Inc. in Charlotte, N.C.; Long Realty in Tucson, Ariz.; Southwestern Illinois Regional MLS Inc. in Granite City, Ill.; Quincy Association of Realtors in Quincy, Ill.; Greater Tyler Association of Realtors in Tyler, Texas; and Billings Association of Realtors in Billings, Mont. Providers interested in displaying their listings on HomeAdvisor and taking advantage of the BrokerFirst program should send e-mail to brokerfirst@microsoft.com or call (425) 703-8854.

About HomeAdvisor

HomeAdvisor is the Internet’s most complete guide for finding homes and loans, combining Microsoft’s technology with services and expertise from the most trusted names in the real estate industry. The site empowers consumers through every step of the home-buying process and is the first Internet site to fully integrate content and services such as neighborhood, crime and school statistics with homes, loans, editorial content and expert advice. Part of The Microsoft Network of online products and services, HomeAdvisor launched in July 1998 and is free on the World Wide Web at http://www.homeadvisor.com/ (connect-time charges may apply).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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