CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 2, 2004 - More than 24 percent of the nation's top 500 real estate brokerage firms (using the top 500 broker lists for 2004 that were compiled independently by REAL Trends and RISMedia and based on closed transaction sides and closed sales volume) are members of the LendingTree Realty Services network. Among the top 25 firms on REAL Trends' list, 24 percent work with LendingTree. Among the top 25 firms on RISMedia's list, 28 percent work with LendingTree.
Said LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda, "These numbers demonstrate our mainstream acceptance by the real estate industry. Many brokers and agents have come to recognize LendingTree for what it is: an important channel that they can use to drive incremental business, shorten sales cycles and develop a steady, reliable stream of new clients at great customer acquisition costs."
LendingTree's nation-wide real estate network is made up of more than 700 brokerages drawn from large independent firms and various independently-owned-and-operated franchisees of the nation's most prominent real estate franchise companies. LendingTree enjoys a total brand awareness of 83 percent among frequent Internet users in major metropolitan markets. The company will spend approximately $70 million on marketing during 2004.
Consumers come to LendingTree through the company's LendingTree.com and RealEstate.com Web sites, as well as various partners and affiliates. Many of the consumers referred to LendingTree's network partners are already pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage.
LendingTree works only with brokers that are REALTORS®, that have a relocation specialist through which to process LendingTree customers, and that will commit to additional training and customer service. Brokers on the LendingTree network utilize a best-of-breed lead management software that helps them track, manage and maximize their LendingTree customer flow.
LendingTree earns its fee only when the customer closes a real estate transaction. The fee ranges between 25-35 percent of the gross commission, depending on the price of the home, and approximately half of that fee is returned to the consumer in the form of a rebate (where permitted by law).
Added Lebda, "LendingTree is a classic pay-for-performance model, and because the broker only pays us when the transaction successfully closes, our partners find it easy to measure the return on their investment."
About LendingTree, Inc.
Founded in 1996, LendingTree is an online exchange that connects consumers with Lenders and REALTORS®. LendingTree has facilitated nearly $81.7 billion in closed loan and real estate transactions since its inception, serving more than 12.8 million consumers. Loans available via the LendingTree exchange include home mortgage and refinance, home equity, automobile, personal, debt consolidation, and credit cards. The LendingTree Realty Services offering enables consumers in the market to buy or sell a home to choose from a nationwide network of REALTORS® who can help them from start to finish. LendingTree is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI). LendingTree also owns and operates RealEstate.com, Domania, and GetSmart.com.