RealTime IT News

Classified Ventures Launches HomeHunter.com

Classified Ventures will launch HomeHunter.com, a site designed to drive traffic, leads and sales to real estate agents and brokers by combining advanced technology with the local- market reach of newspapers and their Web sites.

Classified Ventures, the Internet services business formed by eight newspaper companies, companies, is showcasing its new product at the National Association of Realtors annual convention and trade show in Anaheim, CA. Under the new program, participating affiliate sites will share a common technology platform and the HomeHunter.com name.

Zip2 Corp., a provider of Internet platform solutions for media companies, will supply HomeHunter.com's underlying technology. Affiliates will begin rolling out the distinctive real estate platform in early 1999.

Select affiliates, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and several Knight Ridder newspapers, among them the Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer and San Jose Mercury News, will preview their sites at NAR this weekend.

"This strategic partnership represents a powerful vote of confidence and recognition for our company and its solutions," said Elon Musk, Zip2 founder and executive vice president.

"Local newspapers and local real estate professionals have worked together for generations to develop innovative, effective marketing solutions for local home sellers and buyers," said Bob Bellack, general manager of real estate for Classified Ventures. "HomeHunter.com brings a powerful new dimension to this proven partnership."

"With their reach, strong local content, reputations for reliability, and integrated print and online marketing power, our affiliates are uniquely able to drive traffic to their real estate Web sites and the advertising and listings of their real estate customers," said Marc Kravitz, vice president of HomeHunter.com.

Zip2's real estate platform allows listings to be searched by multiple criteria, from price to proximity, while mapping and direction features enable consumers to get directions to open houses from any starting point.

Affiliates will decide for their markets--after discussions with local MLS associations and brokers--how listings will be displayed, what categories of information will be offered, and what types of decision-support tools to be provided. HomeHunter.com also will provide a range of advertising services to agents, offices and brokers to complement their other local marketing efforts.

Other resources on affiliate sites include mortgage and local school information, community and neighborhood demographic, lifestyle, income and transportation data, and insurance quote and credit report services.