SAN FRANCISCO (01/27/2000) - Real estate giant Cendant - owner of Century 21 and Coldwell Banker - is staking out its turf on the Web Thursday, launching Move.com and the creation of a real estate channel on AltaVista.
Move.com, formerly called Completehome.com, is designed to meet the needs of people relocating, from finding a new home and securing a mortgage to disconnecting and reactivating utility and phone services.
In addition to launching its so-called moving "portal," Move.com has signed a three-year, $40 million exclusive agreement to provide content to AltaVista's new real estate channel. That channel will launch within the next month or so on the AltaVista Live personalized portal section.
"They're a blue-chip name in the real estate business, one of the largest real estate companies in the world. They also, by far, have the largest number of listings on the Web," said Ross Levinsohn, VP and general manager of AltaVista's new media division.
There are lots of small sites online that help people find housing, but Move.com should easily slide into a leadership position with the help of Cendant's other companies - real estate firms Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Cendant Mobility and Cendant Mortgage. On the Web, Cendant owns Rent.Net, SeniorHousing.Net and WelcomeWagon.com and is partnering with Barnesandnoble.com, Carefinder.com, CarsDirect.com, Furniture.com, ImproveNet.com and MetroRent.com among others.
Move.com executives feel they have an advantage over rivals like Realtor.com and Microsoft's HomeAdvisor.com because of Cendant's mix of offline and online holdings.
"I think we will be seen as that one source for relocation, real estate and home-related decisions; before moving, during the move and afterwards," said Move.com CEO Sarah Nolan, who previously worked at American Express and Hambrecht & Quist.
Meanwhile, Cendant plans to spin San Francisco-based Move off into a separate tracking stock and take it public, Nolan said.
The company recently got some help from AT&T in launching its new Web site.
AT&T's Liberty Media unit invested $400 million in Cendant late last year to help develop its Internet plans. In addition to real estate, Cendant is looking to create online travel, mortgage and membership services businesses. New York-based Cendant also has hotel, car rental agency and tax preparation franchises. In addition, the company owns a small stake in HomeStore.com, which operates Realtor.com and other sites.