Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Raise that flag!

OK, indulge me in a little "monkey business" during the holiday season.

A couple weeks ago we gave every HouseValues employee a HomePages flag, and encouraged them to take it with them during their holiday and/or business travels. We offered prizes for the best and most creative pictures of the flag.

Our employees thus far have proven very creative. Check out the pictures submitted thus far. Which is your favorite?

Ho ho HomePages!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

HomePages & MSNBC - So Happy Together...

When HomePages launched in October, we started getting a lot of calls. Calls from people who liked the site, calls from people who wanted to be on the site (home sellers, mortgage companies, even pizza joints), and lots of calls from people who were interested in partnership opportunities.

One of the first partnerships took shape this week with MSNBC, on which HomePages will be the exclusive real estate listings provider. That's 23 million visitors a month, with HomePages front and center.

Pretty cool. Our employees are psyched, and the real estate agents who have already subscribed to HomePages are also thrilled.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

SOLD is one year old today

Today marks the one-year anniversary of when HouseValues went public. I can't believe it's only been a year, especially with such vivid memories still of the days and weeks leading up to that milestone.

It was fun earlier today reading through some of the press clippings from that day. Here are a few to share:

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Times
Puget Sound Business Journal
Serious Money (PBS)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Five years of seminars and counting

Earlier this week, HouseValues announced its fifth year of in-market seminars across the US and Canada. The plan is to host at least 120 seminars in 2006, on top of the more than 400 seminars and conferences hosted by the company in the last four years.

I love that we make this commitment to customers. It's a great way for us to learn directly from our customers what they need, what they like and don't like about it, etc. But it's also a great way for us to create strong connections with customers individually, allow them to share ideas and stories with each other, and generally make them more successful.

Our seminar hosts - Claudia Wicks and Bruce Downs - do a fantastic job with the day. Even for agents who aren't yet subscribers say they walk away with ideas they can put to use in their business.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The talk of Reston, Virginia...

I'm in Reston, VA (just outside of Washington DC) at the Kelsey Group's Local Media Conference, demoing HomePages to the crowd of ~500 local search and directory business executives.

We were on a panel with other companies that offer some really smart aerial mapping technology - MSN, Yahoo, Google and Mapquest. We've actually licensed the aerial mapping for HomePages from an entirely different company - Air Photo USA - which was able to give us images with 3-8 times the resolution of what was already on the market.

This was particularly important for a real estate site, so consumers can see not just the house itself, but what's around it, how close the neighbors are, etc. It's not just enough to see that the park is three blocks away - it's more important to know that there's playground equipment for the kids to use, a basketball court, a dog park, etc.

HomePages is still less than two months old, but the buzz and excitement is growing. Many people approached us after the presentation to learn more.