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Vast.com Brings Vertical Search to Real Estate, Hires Ben Clark

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RISMEDIA, Dec. 12, 2007-Vertical search company Vast.comTM announced the company will be customizing its search platform for the real estate industry. Vast.com also announced this week that industry veteran Ben Clark, formerly of Zillow.com and eRealty, will lead the company’s real estate business unit.

Vast.com is a vertical search platform in autos and vacation rentals, powering Web sites such as Autobytel’s MyRide.com. Vast.com’s solution combines product listings in its target industries with industry-specific search technologies that help match consumers to the products they are looking for. A white-label provider, Vast.com provides its search platform to partners to offer within their brand and Web experience.

“When I first heard about vertical search , I didn’t quite frankly get it,” says Clark. “But then someone said to me that [other search engines] search everything, but vertical search companies search a category. Vertical search is a specialization.”

Vast.com’s entrance brings executives with decades of experience in consumer Web sites, online collaboration, Fortune 500 partnerships, and Internet technologies into online real estate. Ben Clark joins Vast.com as a vice president and the general manager of Vast Real Estate with a mission to work within the industry to innovate and significantly advance online technology for the benefit of brokers, MLS’s and consumers.

“We’re here to learn and apply what I’ve learned with online real estate applications for the consumer and help the industry innovate from within. I have to ask myself, how do we apply the depth of vertical search technology to real estate?” says Clark. “Vast brings a tremendous opportunity to build something.”

Clark was director of partner relations and vice president of the eastern U.S. for Zillow.com since 2005 and, prior to that, COO of eRealty.com until the sale of the company to Prudential Financial in January 2004. In addition to positions at Zillow and eRealty, Clark has been a licensed real estate agent since 1987, serving as a broker in multiple states since 1992 and managing real estate offices in the Washington DC area.

“Ben brings extensive experience in both online and offline real estate to Vast,” said Kevin Laws, CEO of Vast.com. “With over 20 years as a licensed agent and eight years at leading real estate Internet companies, Ben has the credibility and vision to launch Vast.com’s industry-friendly search platform for brokers, MLS’s, and home shoppers.”

“Brokers are now less afraid of new things that come along,” says Clark. “Now with all the public records and valuations, it’s like – what’s next? In my perspective it’s the right time for brokers and agents to look at the industry and say we have the information and data – what can we do from within to innovate?”

For more information, visit www.Vast.com.

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