REDMOND, Wash., March 25, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has been selected by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service, a division of GMAC Home Services Inc., to be the technology provider for the company’s new consumer Web site. MSN
™online real estate service will provide a customized version of its award-winning Web site to GMAC Home Services, serving as the backbone of the new Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service national Web site for finding homes and loans. This represents the latest major U.S. company to recognize the value of Microsoft® Web platform technologies to expand its business online.
“Microsoft is the obvious choice as our long-term technology provider for the real estate and mortgage businesses. Our leading brokers strongly endorse HomeAdvisor and what it has done for their business. Microsoft was selected because of the great work the company has done in building HomeAdvisor and its vision for the use of technology in the real estate industry,”
said Allen Sabbag, president, GMAC Home Services real estate division.
“Working with HomeAdvisor is the best way we can deliver a superior product to our franchise network and provide great value to our member brokers, sales associates and their customers.”
“This is a tremendous endorsement of HomeAdvisor and the software technology we’ve developed to help both consumers and real estate agents on the Internet,”
said Laura Jennings vice president of MSN.
“Through our relationship with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service, we can license our award-winning platform to help an industry-leading business expand its online capabilities. We’re excited to expand Microsoft’s technological expertise to a leading company like Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service and provide a significant competitive advantage for its real estate and mortgage businesses on the Web.”
Consumers using the new Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service site will be able to browse neighborhood data, view homes for sale in the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service network, and apply for a loan from GMAC Mortgage directly from the site. In addition, Better Homes and Gardens sales associates and brokers nationwide will also be able to create their own Web pages integrated to the national site. With the HomeAdvisor platform technology, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service will be the first real estate franchise in the nation to create a fully integrated online experience throughout its franchise network.
By choosing HomeAdvisor as its technology provider, GMAC Home Services will create an even closer relationship with HomeAdvisor. First, GMAC Mortgage Corp. will become the newest lender available on MSN HomeAdvisor, joining several other well-respected national lenders already on the site, including Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Principal Residential Mortgage Inc., HomeSide Lending Inc., Prism Mortgage Co. LoanWorks Inc. and American Finance and Investment Inc. In addition, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service listings will be available on MSN HomeAdvisor, joining the thousands of real estate agents and brokers already listed there.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service is known for providing outstanding customer service and tailored marketing programs to its more than 825 member firms. The network is an operating division of GMAC Home Services, which includes GMAC Relocation Services, an affiliate of GMAC Mortgage. By licensing Microsoft Real Estate Technologies as its engine, GMAC Home Services and GMAC Mortgage are among the first major real estate and mortgage sites to capitalize on a comprehensive online model.
This relationship marks the latest expansion of MSN Web Platform Services to include real estate and mortgage technologies. It comes on the heels of a similar arrangement with AltaVista to utilize communications and messaging technology based on the Hotmail
Web-based e-mail service. MSN also offers Microsoft Travel Technologies as a platform for online travel services, including Northwest Airlines and KLM Dutch Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.
About MSN HomeAdvisor
HomeAdvisor is the Internet’s most complete guide for finding homes and loans, combining Microsoft technology with services and expertise from some of the most trusted names in the real estate industry. It 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. Winner of the Inman Innovator Award as the best residential real estate site, HomeAdvisor is a PC Magazine Top 100 Web site and Yahoo! Internet Life Best of the Best winner. Part of the MSN network of Internet services, HomeAdvisor launched in July 1998 and is free on the World Wide Web at http://homeadvisor.MSN.com/ (connect-time charges may apply).
MSN HomeAdvisor is part of the MSN network of Internet services that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news;
popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.
Microsoft, MSN, HomeAdvisor and Hotmail are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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