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HomeGain offers varied services

Part 3: Inside story on real estate lead machines

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Editor's note: There are dozens of online lead services in real estate and brokers and agents are still sorting out what's what and which works best for their budget and needs. This three-part series examines the nuts and bolts of three major companies in the space, including HouseValues, Move Inc. (formerly Homestore) and HomeGain. (See Part 1 and Part 2.) Vikki Landes, a Prudential California real estate agent in Northern California, signed up for HomeGain's lead generation service when the company launched in 1999 and the Realtor has closed 32 transactions through the company since then. She said HomeGain "has lived up to its promises" over the six years she has used the lead generation service. As with many real estate lead generation sites, with HomeGain, consumers give up personal information including their names, telephone numbers and other details in exchange for the service. Emeryville, Calif.-based HomeGain forwards some of this information via e-mail to one or more agents ...