Houses.com Launches as New “Category Domain” and Online Real Estate Portal for Everything Related to Houses

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Condo.com, the world’s largest condo marketplace, today announced the launch of Houses.com. The new website, marketing over 3 million properties, is a "category” or “generic” domain that combines the power and brandability of the generic domain name with the large volume of web searches for terms relating to houses.

Houses.com Homepage

Condo.com, the world’s largest condo marketplace, today announced the launch of Houses.com. The new site is a “category” or “generic” domain that combines the power and brandability of the generic domain name with the large volume of web searches for terms relating to houses. Similar in scope and design to Condo.com, the website utilizes the team, operations and online real estate platform developed during the past 4 years by the Miami-based company. The new site launched with over 3 million properties and will be adding new listings for sale, rent and vacation in the coming weeks.

The domain, Houses.com, was an undeveloped web property until it was acquired by Condo.com in December 2010 and launched just two weeks later on 1/11/11 at 11:11:11am UTC. The category domain, which leverages the generic term for its industry along the lines of Hotels.com, Cars.com and Apartments.com, may be one of the top category domains in the world based upon the size of the housing market, the amount of available inventory globally and the average price per unit sold.

"The domain acquisition and expansion into the single-family housing market made perfect sense for us", stated Houses.com CEO Richard Swerdlow. "We understand the branding power of Houses.com and how to leverage the category domain into a large and successful global internet real estate company. We became profitable with Condo.com in 2010 with a limited share of online real estate (condos represent approximately 10% of the housing market). With our acquisition and expansion through this new top level single-family housing domain, we look forward to quickly growing traffic and revenue”, added Swerdlow.

The new site will showcase properties for sale, rent and vacation – similar to Condo.com – however with much greater breadth - essentially everything for houses. In addition to property for sale and rent, users will have access to a wide variety of products and services related to houses including mortgages, inspection, title, closing services, home improvement, moving and more - all under the Houses.com "roof".

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity and will continue our core mission to connect buyers and sellers from around the world - creating liquidity for all market participants including buyers, sellers, renters, builders and service providers”, added VP Marketing Virginia Mendez. The amount of housing inventory held by financial institutions and government agencies is staggering. The Company hopes to create the definitive online marketplace and portal for anyone in the world with housing inventory or portfolios of houses. The site will deliver the largest audience on the web for houses in order to provide liquidity to the market at a time when it is needed most.

Securing a category domain name is proving to be a ladder for success across many different businesses and industries. The acquisition and launch of Houses.com takes place in the wake of several high-profile category domains and related businesses being acquired or launched in the past six months. E-commerce giant Amazon.com acquired Diapers.com and Soap.com. Others include Insurance.com, CreditCards.com and Sex.com. “The ability to leverage our team and platform across the new domain with a limited learning curve and marketing costs made the opportunity very attractive”, stated Matt Pluznick, Chief Operating Officer. “The new investors that helped fund the acquisition are a unique mixture of successful real estate developers and internet marketers, each understanding the value of a great address”, he added.

When asked about the site launch on 1/11/11 at 11:11:11 am UTC, Swerdlow commented “it was a unique opportunity that won't come around again for another thousand years in the year 3011 (2111 will have twelve ones). We wanted to connect to the unity of all things by connecting to the eleven ones at launch time. One represents unity, primacy, the first, the only. Our goal is to connect buyers, sellers and all the pieces of the real estate puzzle to help consumers and industry professionals complete transactions easily and efficiently. We will become the ONE site people think of when buying, selling or renting houses.” To account for different time zones, the launch occurred at UTC – Coordinated Universal Time.

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Virginia Mendez