By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Stung by the success Homestore.com has had in listing homes for sale on the Internet, in September the nation's five largest builders launched their own Internet listing service of new homes.
Called NewHomeSource.com, the site listed some 200,000 new homes in 4,000 communities being developed by the 54 home builders that have invested in the new service. The number of communities is expected to rapidly grow as other builders decide to list their communities online, says Tim Costello, chairman, president, and CEO of the new dot-com startup.
The site will list homes by builder subscribers who pay $190 per month per community listed, Costello says. "You don't have to invest in the company itself to advertise your homes." Because it is open to all home builders, Costello says NewHomeSource does not violate any anti-trust agreement laws.
Costello says the site is the first major launch by parent company, BuilderHomeSite.com, founded by Pulte, KB Homes, Lennar, DR Horton, and Centex in the spring of 2000. The group decided to create a listing service because surveys of home buyers show that more than 75 percent use the Internet while shopping for a new home.
"The builders decided that they needed to make sure they were doing all they can to control the marketing of their homes on the Internet," Costello says. The 54 builders who had invested in the site by early September constitute a consortium with about $30 billion in annual revenue, Costello says. "It doesn't make any sense for us to stand on the sidelines" and let companies in which the builders have no control, such as Homestore, market the builders' homes on the Internet, Costello explains.