NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)March 23, 2000 In an industry first, the nation’s five largest homebuilders announced today plans to launch a new platform to focus on a broad scope Internet strategy. Part of the strategy will be to establish the premiere Internet destination for new home listings and related product sales and services. The five builders – Centex Corporation (NYSE: CTX), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Kaufman & Broad Home Corporation (NYSE: KBH), Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) and Pulte Corporation (NYSE: PHM) – sell approximately 100,000 homes primarily in the nation’s fastest growing new home markets.
The newly formed company will operate as a separate business, independent of the founding builders. The search for an experienced e-business management team is expected to be completed within the next 30 days. Salomon Smith Barney has acted as financial advisor in the formation of the new company.
“The Internet is ideally suited to enhance the entire home purchase and ownership experience,” said Richard Moriarty, Head of the Homebuilding/Building Products Group of Salomon Smith Barney. “The formation of this company is a significant event highlighting the major builders’ commitment to transitioning the industry into the new economy. Working together, the nation’s leading homebuilders can establish an unmatched presence on the Internet with significant e-commerce potential. Equally important, this site will be a tremendous resource to homebuyers and homeowners.”
The five largest builders alone are expected to advertise over 200,000 homes on the new Web site, with additional builder participation likely pushing the number significantly higher. The Web site will be open to all builders, with participation in the site by several of the nation’s other leading homebuilders expected to be announced in the near future.
The Web site will provide the most comprehensive listing of new homes available throughout the country and will differentiate itself from competing sites through its immediate access to a critical mass of content, customers and brand name support. The Web site will create the most powerful engine for aggregating data and the marketing of new homes with content capabilities far superior to that of existing multiple listing services. Along with the most accurate and timely information on communities, homes and available inventory, the new site will provide customers with a content-rich experience to simplify their home-search process.
In addition to providing high value sales information, the site is also expected to be an important destination for homeowners following the sale by providing critical maintenance and construction specification information, customized to their individual home. According to industry research, in the 12 months following a home purchase, consumers spend between $10,000 to $15,000 buying related products and services for use inside and outside of the house. With complete knowledge of the home’s construction, homebuilders, with their suppliers and contractors, are in an excellent position to be a valuable resource to homeowners in the months and years following their purchase. The new Web site will facilitate the ongoing communication process and support a strong e-commerce opportunity.
There will be a conference call with management from the five founding companies today at 4:15 P.M., E.S.T.
Matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking information concerning future business conditions and the outlook for the proposed new company based on currently available information. Risks and uncertainties which could cause the proposed new company’s actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed in these statements include the following: changes in general economic and market conditions, changes in the prospects for internet companies and e-commerce generally, changes in interest rates and the availability of mortgage financing, general competitive conditions, and the availability of capital. The founders of the proposed new company assume no obligation to update the information contained herein.
About Builder Homesite, Inc. and NewHomeSource.com
Founded in Austin, TX in 2000 by a consortium of 32 of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Builder Homesite, Inc. (BHI) represents over 225,000 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 the extensive distribution network, more and more builders are making BHI their entry point into the Internet. By providing data to New Home Source, builders can also participate in BHI online partner channels, including Yahoo, eBay, CitySearch, Homegain, newspaper and realtor websites.
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- Eleanor Bowman