MSN HomeAdvisor Helps Real Estate Agents and Customers Feel Right at Home on the Internet

MSN HomeAdvisor Helps Real Estate Agents and Customers Feel Right at Home on the Internet
This article is the first in a series of stories about how Microsoft is bringing consumers and partners together through the power of the Internet.

REDMOND, Wash., December 14, 1998 — When Barbara Corcoran heard a few months back that Microsoft was introducing a real estate and mortgage service for consumers, she knew she had to be a part of it. After all, her customers were spending more and more of their time using the Web as a first step in the home buying process. It only made sense to put her real estate listings there as well.

But marketing her properties online is nothing new for the president of The Corcoran Group, one of New York’s largest private residential real estate brokers. In fact, Corcoran’s sales agents regularly discuss Internet marketing with their clients and how it can help sell customers’ properties. Putting listings on MSN HomeAdvisor , then, became natural.

“Our relationship with HomeAdvisor has led to more leads for our agents and higher traffic to our Web site,” Corcoran said. “Microsoft has used its technical expertise and resources to build a powerful consumer real estate site that is bringing lots of customers to our properties. HomeAdvisor is fast becoming an integral part of our success.”

Since first appearing on HomeAdvisor, The Corcoran Group has seen a 100 percent monthly increase in customers, translating into a huge increase in business. Corcoran believes the key to success, especially on the Internet, is finding as many distribution channels as possible, as well as giving her listings extensive nationwide exposure. HomeAdvisor allows her to do both.

Corcoran is definitely not alone. In just the past two months, HomeAdvisor has signed hundreds of new real estate listing providers to the site, including market leaders from nearly every corner of the country. Agents and brokers everywhere appreciate Microsoft’s willingness to work with them as Realtors and protect their vital role in the real estate transaction.

“We’re thrilled by the exceptional response we’ve had from listings providers in the past few weeks,” said Ian Morris, group product manager for HomeAdvisor.

HomeAdvisor encourages its new real estate partners to put their listings on as many local and national real estate sites as possible. This wide distribution of listings gives more consumers the chance to see homes, and helps real estate agents sell homes faster.

Joe Mottola, who runs the largest database of homes for sale in New York via the Long Island Multiple Listing Service, has turned down offers from other real estate sites who ask for exclusive listing agreements.

“HomeAdvisor gives our brokers the perfect avenue through which they can show their homes for sale to a national audience and promote themselves as real estate professionals,” Mottola said. “Microsoft has truly shown itself to be sensitive to the needs of the real estate industry.”

Other industry leaders agree.

“We want to get the most exposure we can for our listings and HomeAdvisor, more than any other real estate site out there, helps us do that,” said Lee Finch, president of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. “They’ve worked hard to make this site the most comprehensive, consumer-friendly site on the Web today and have preferred distribution agreements with the top Internet sites to ensure that users everywhere have easy access to our agents and our listings.”

Though launched just four months ago, HomeAdvisor is also the recipient of several awards and accolades in both the real estate trade and tech communities. Earlier this month, HomeAdvisor was awarded an Inman Innovator Award, given annually to the year’s best residential real estate site by Inman News, the real estate industry’s leading online news source. PC Magazine also lists HomeAdvisor among the top 100 sites on the Web, referring to its user interface as “unparalleled by any shopping service.

HomeAdvisor offers consumers the most comprehensive home buying guide on the Internet, seamlessly integrating home listings, loan information and expert editorial about the entire process of finding and purchasing a home. Launched in August of 1998, HomeAdvisor is available for free on the Web at .

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