Online Magic Service Magic, the online portal that connects home buyers with home builders, contractors, real estate brokers, and lenders was acquired by InterActiveCorp (IAC) for an undisclosed amount. Companies under the IAC umbrella include Expedia, Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, LendingTree, and Citysearch. Few details were available, but ServiceMagic officials say that LendingTree will take over ServiceMagic's real estate and lending activities. Collaboration with other IAC brands is under discussion. Possibilities include links to ServiceMagic from LendingTree and Citysearch.
Wise Move New-homes portal American Home Guides and online lead tracking and prospect management service BeHomeWise have joined forces. Now, when a home buyer conducts a search on American Home Guides' Web site, the query will hit the BeHomeWise database to see if the prospect has already registered with BeHomeWise. If the prospect has registered with a participating BeHomeWise builder, the lead is sent directly to the salespeople managing the community the buyer specified. When buyers register with BeHomeWise, the builder gets more than a name, address, and phone number. Builders also learn the person's income, when they are looking to move, contingency issues, type of house they are looking for, and the price range they can afford. The goal is to deliver more qualified leads faster.
Just the Basics Fiber-to-the-premises gear maker Alloptic and optical-fiber cable company OFS are partnering to deliver fiber-to-the-home and broadband services to planned development communities. Ric Johnsen, vice president of OFS, says when developers meet with them to discuss home technology, participants will include Alloptic, OFS, local engineers, and contractors to handle the facility, service providers to handle voice, data, and video.
Chapter 11 Survivor ChanneLinx, a dot-com formed in 1999 with an eye toward automating the building materials supply chain, recently came out of bankruptcy. The company emerged from Chapter 11 by focusing on the oil and gas, retail, high-technology, and building materials industries. ChanneLinx's one major builder customer is Centex Homes. The company was initially funded with $24 million, a significant portion of that sum from Hanley Wood, LLC, parent company of BUILDER magazine.