Cyberhomes partners with AOL

Partnership provides valuations, property listings to real estate portal

Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions is ramping up its stake in online real estate through a new partnership with AOL to provide property listings and home valuation data from its Cyberhomes Web site.

The partnership announced today makes Cyberhomes the exclusive provider of automated home valuations to AOL’s real estate portal, which claims some 3 million monthly visitors.

Cyberhomes General Manager Marty Frame said the partnership marks an important shift for brokers and multiple listing services. “Now there will be one destination that unifies their content and offers the best of both listing search and home evaluation, while applying their traffic and lead-routing requirements consistently throughout,” he said in an announcement.

Later this year, consumers on AOL will be able to search real estate listings provided by Cyberhomes, putting an end to AOL’s longstanding exclusive listings content relationship with Realtor.com.

AOL and Realtor.com’s parent company Move Inc. in late 2005 extended an exclusive content distribution agreement by which visitors to AOL’s real estate portal have access to an online database of existing, new and model homes for sale and apartments for rent from Move’s network. That agreement is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2007, according to the 2005 announcement of the two-year deal.

“At that point, AOL Real Estate will be hosting its own broker and MLS-centric listings search powered by us,” Frame said.

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Launched in 2006, Cyberhomes provides consumers with real estate information that includes more than 100 million property, ownership, sales and mortgage records. The site provides automated home valuations and recently began seeking out partnerships with brokers to provide listings.

Cyberhomes’ parent company in May announced the first broker partnership with Keller Williams Realty, and at the time said there were other deals with brokers that would bring about 500,000 searchable property listings to the site.

Also, Fidelity officials said in May they are pursuing data-sharing agreements with MLSs. The site’s valuations are based on a database of about 100 million property records.

Frame said today that Cyberhomes will be announcing more partnerships with brokers in coming months.

In its latest release, Cyberhomes added new tools such as heat maps and tagging. Frame said in conjunction with the latest changes, the average session time on the site has increased to 30 minutes.


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