Since Barry Diller’s InteractiveCorp bought LendingTree a year ago, the company has been on an acquisition binge, buying up high-traffic Web sites to add to its growing online real estate empire.
Diller purchased LendingTree in May 2003, then later acquired certain assets of GetSmart.com, the highly-coveted RealEstate.com domain and Domania. Today, the company added ServiceMagic to the list.
Here’s a rundown of each acquisition:
Diller started the real estate expedition with the purchase of LendingTree, which matches consumers to lenders and real estate agents. LendingTree’s online lending exchange includes more than 200 lenders, while its real estate services arm includes more than 700 real estate brokers and 10,000 real estate agents.
The company draws traffic to LendingTree.com through aggressive Web and television advertising, marked by the “When banks compete, you win” slogan.
Next up on the purchase trail was GetSmart, which offers borrowers access to loan products, including mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards and auto loans from more than 100 financial service providers. LendingTree purchased GetSmart from Providian, which had owned the brand since 1999.
Under this agreement, LendingTree acquired the GetSmart brand and, at the time of purchase, said it expected to maintain relationships with the more than 100 lenders who participate in the GetSmart network. In addition, LendingTree would offer the GetSmart platform to the more than 200 lenders who participate in the LendingTree exchange.
LendingTree purchased RealEstate.com from Primedia in December 2003. The assets acquired included the domain name–the jewel in the crown–and some small content contracts that the executives said weren’t material to LendingTree’s strategy.
The deal intended to drive RealEstate.com’s consumer traffic to LendingTree’s real estate and lending products.
LendingTree continued growing this year when it purchased Domania, which provides customer acquisition, retention and marketing services to real estate, banking and mortgage companies.
The Domania.com Web site, which features Domania’s HomePriceCheck function, Domania’s business-to-business Portfolio Protect product and current lender contracts for Portfolio Protect were among the Domania assets LendingTree acquired from Primedia.
Today, InteractiveCorp purchased ServiceMagic, which connects homeowners with prescreened local residential contractors, real estate professionals and lenders. Nearly 50,000 service professionals utilize ServiceMagic to find targeted leads for home building, remodeling, architectural services, roofing, fences, decks, painting, flooring, plumbing and landscaping, among other services.
Since its inception in 1999, ServiceMagic has facilitated more than 2.4 million consumer requests for home services, representing an estimated $8.4 billion in consumer spending nationwide, according to company estimates.
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