Microsoft’s HomeAdvisor BrokerFirst Program Serves Both Consumers and Brokers

REDMOND, Wash., September 2, 1998 — J. Lennox Scott, president of John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle, has been a HomeAdvisor fan from the beginning. A strong proponent of Realtors using the Internet to its maximum potential, he became a charter listing provider of Microsoft’s online real-estate and mortgage service for several reasons.

“It’s the best site I’ve ever seen,” said Scott. “It includes a wealth of information – not just about properties but also about surrounding communities and nearby schools.”

What really sets HomeAdvisor apart from other online real-estate services, Scott says, is the attention it gives to Realtors. Scott’s real-estate brokerage was one of the first to take advantage of HomeAdvisor’s AgentFirst program, through which agents can list their complete contact information, including links to e-mail and Web pages, for free on each of their home listings.

Today, HomeAdvisor took another giant step toward keeping brokers involved in every real-estate transaction. The new program, called “BrokerFirst,” gives real-estate brokers the opportunity to market their consumer services on HomeAdvisor through a directly-linked Web page from each of their listings. Both AgentFirst and BrokerFirst are absolutely free to agents and brokers who post their real-estate listings on HomeAdvisor before Dec. 31, 1998″.

“The most important part of HomeAdvisor is the connection between the home buyer and our agents,” Scott said. “The HomeAdvisor AgentFirst program provides us with a daily flow of qualified customers who are ready to buy. 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.”

Other brokers agree.

“Microsoft’s approach to the real-estate broker is right on target,” said R. Michael Knapp, whose brokerage, Iowa Realty, became one of the first to join HomeAdvisor under the new BrokerFirst program. “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.”

According to industry data, more people are using the Internet to shop for their dream homes than ever before. HomeAdvisor helps those cyber-shoppers take control of the process by offering all of the information they’ll need — from getting started to finding a home to pre-qualifying for a mortgage to closing the deal — all in one place.

HomeAdvisor also has worked diligently to make sure its services and listings are widely available to consumers throughout the Internet.

HomeAdvisor’s efforts to expand its reach, benefiting consumers and Realtors alike, have been unmatched since its preview launch in July. Just last month, the site announced several distribution and marketing deals with some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including Yahoo!, Infoseek, Pathfinder and Switchboard. According to Ian Morris, group product manager for HomeAdvisor , more deals are on the way.

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to get the broadest exposure possible for every listing on HomeAdvisor,” Morris said. “This helps consumers find homes quicker and easier, and helps agents sell homes faster.”

HomeAdvisor offers consumers the Internet’s most complete guide for finding homes and loans, combining Microsoft’s technology with services and advice from the most trusted and respected names in real estate.

HomeAdvisor is available on the Web at http://www.homeadvisor .com.

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