ZipRealty has extended its Florida footprint with the opening of a hub in Tampa and will begin opening transactions there in the first quarter of 2006, the real estate brokerage company said today.

Ric Carter, a 10-year Florida resident, joins ZipRealty as the company’s district director for the market, and will oversee recruiting and training efforts for agents.

Tampa, the second-largest real estate market in the state, follows Miami as the second market for ZipRealty in the state. Since ZipRealty’s IPO in November 2004, the company has expanded into four new markets including Tampa, Miami, Las Vegas and Houston, and the company plans to expand into four to six new markets next year.

The company said it chose Tampa because of its strong population and steady population growth.

ZipRealty offers rebates to buyers who work with its agents and discounts to sellers, and the company relies heavily on its technology platform to generate new business.

ZipRealty stock (Nasdaq: ZIPR) traded at $8.48 this morning.

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