RealTime IT News

A Home of Their Own

Home and real estate network Homestore.com Inc. formally launched its content on America Online's House & Home Channel.

The debut is a highlight of the five-year content, e-commerce and distribution alliance between the companies that was announced last May.

The new channel allows users to find an existing home or a new home; find an apartment; find a real estate professional, gardener, remodeler, landscaper or decorator; access moving and relocation tools; gain information on financing a home; access home improvement "how to" guides; and access home improvement calculators that help determine the costs for performing various tasks.

"This deal should provide a tremendous surge of exposure to our family of Web sites, and it will give AOL consumers unprecedented access to a staggering volume and depth of information to help guide their homemaking decisions," said Stuart Wolff, chairman and chief executive officer of Homestore.com.

The deal (financial arrangements were not disclosed) makes Homestore.com the exclusive national provider of professional home and moving services in home-related areas across the AOL, AOL.Com, CompuServe, Netscape Netcenter and Digital City brands.

Homestore.com also becomes the exclusive national provider of aggregated apartment inventory and newly constructed homes inventory, and continues to be the exclusive national provider of aggregated residential real estate listings across these AOL properties.

Within the House & Home Channel, Homestore.com also serves as the premier content provider in the Home Decorating, Home Security, Hardware and Lawn & Garden areas, and is a prominent content provider in the Commercial Real Estate, Home Finance, Home Technology, Home Office, Senior Housing and Home Appliances areas.

Features on the new channel include one-click access to more than 1.4 million home listings, over 130,000 new homes and more than 45,000 apartment properties.

To promote the new channel from now through Nov. 5, AOL and Homestore.com have designed, with the help of Promotions.com, an online promotion called "The $100,000 Celebrity Home Makeover" Sweepstakes. The grand prize winner gets a remodeling or redecorating project with the help of an interior "decorator to the stars."