Renewal of Strategic Alliance Comes as New-Home Sales Surge 6.7 Percent, According to Recent Commerce Department Report
REDMOND, Wash. – September 17, 2002 – The MSN® HomeAdvisorTM service (https://homeadvisor.msn.com/), the Internet’s most comprehensive resource for home buying, selling and ownership, today announced a renewed relationship with Builder Homesite Inc. (BHI), a consortium of top U.S. home builders and operator of NewHomeSource.com.
The agreement, coming at a time when new-home sales nationwide are at an all-time high, provides consumers with relevant tools and information throughout the new-home-buying process, enabling them to access BHI’s listings of new homes by builder or community. Home buyers can browse thousands of new homes from leading national and regional builders, sorting by square footage, number of bedrooms, price or date available. For its part, MSN offers targeted exposure of BHI services to 6 million users monthly on MSN HomeAdvisor and more than 300 million consumers monthly on MSN, putting homes in front of more potential buyers than any other site.
“Home builders understand the important role the Internet plays for consumers in the market for a new home or community to live in,” said Tim Costello, CEO of BHI. “We continue to successfully leverage the massive consumer reach of MSN HomeAdvisor to provide a seamless new-home-buying experience to consumers searching for new homes.”
In July, the Commerce Department reported that in 2001 new-home sales surged 6.7 percent for a total of 1.017 million, topping the 976,000 new-home sales projected by some economists. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) projects 920,000 new-home sales this year, up 1.2 percent from its 2001 projections. BHI’s consortium of top U.S. builders sold 225,000 homes in 2001, representing more than $46 billion in gross revenue.
“Our great relationship with BHI enhances the new-home offerings of MSN HomeAdvisor and makes the home-buying process more efficient and less stressful for consumers,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of MSN HomeAdvisor. “We are committed to working with BHI and other industry partners to convert the massive consumer reach of MSN into mutually beneficial relationships between consumers and advertisers.”
MSN HomeAdvisor offers a variety of new-home-buying tools, including virtual tours, finance calculators and neighborhood information to help consumers find their ideal home. MSN HomeAdvisor has experienced a surge in traffic in recent months as a result of the record new-home sales figures and the increase in home refinancing due to lower mortgage rates. Monthly traffic has increased 38 percent over the past three months.
Consumers can explore new-home options and search for available homes and communities on MSN at https://homeadvisor.msn.com/newhomes/newhomes.aspx.
About MSN HomeAdvisor
Launched in 1998, MSN HomeAdvisor is the most comprehensive resource for buying, selling and owning a home. With fully integrated content and services, ranging from improving and maintaining to buying and financing a home, HomeAdvisor is one of the most trusted names in the online real estate category. MSN HomeAdvisor has agreements with hundreds of Realtor associations and multiple listing services, and offers its 6 million monthly visitors access to more than 1.5 million listings of homes for sale. MSN HomeAdvisor is the exclusive House and Home Channel on the MSN portal and can be found at https://www.homeadvisor.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.
About Builder Homesite, Inc. and NewHomeSource.com
Founded in Austin, TX in 2000 by a consortium of thirty-one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Builder Homesite, Inc. (BHI) represents over 400,000 new home sales annually. BHI’s mission is to offer improved technology and marketing solutions for the new home industry. The first product by Builder Homesite is NewHomeSource.com, a consumer website offering the most comprehensive information and selection of new homes available on the Internet. Because of their extensive distribution network, many additional builders are making BHI their entry point into the Internet. By providing data to a single source — NewHomeSource.com — builders can not only be listed on that website, but also participate in other BHI online partner channels including eBay, MSN HomeAdvisor, newspaper websites, realtor websites, CitySearch, and Yahoo!. Builders can also participate in new home auction services through the eBay partnership.
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- Eleanor Bowman