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Roost Hatches Next Generation Real Estate Platform

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RISMEDIA, Feb. 4, 2008–Roost (http://www.roost.com), an innovative platform for real estate search, launched last week in public beta. Roost partners with Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) to help local real estate brokers and agents attract high-quality consumer traffic directly to their Web sites via an intuitive search tool. Roost offers consumers an advanced, highly visual search experience, complete with comprehensive property listings, to help them find the right home fast.

Roost’s platform brings together a network of individual real estate broker Web sites and a comprehensive search engine. This approach ensures that consumers have access to the freshest and most accurate property listings as soon as they are available. Local brokers and Realtors® can leverage the high quality of the MLS listings to attract additional, self-selected and highly relevant traffic to their core websites.

Unlike other online real estate platforms, Roost’s network of broker sites ensures consumers have access to comprehensive MLS listings in major metropolitan areas across the U.S., via close collaborations with MLSs and leading local brokers that can help them find their next home. The Roost platform currently covers the Atlanta; Baltimore; Boise, Idaho; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Minneapolis, Minn.; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento/Modesto, Calif.; San Diego and Washington D.C. areas and will expand quickly into additional markets nationwide. “It is all about getting it right and being comprehensive to each local market,” said Alex Chang, CEO of Roost.

“The current real estate climate is a tough one for everyone, so our aim is really two-fold: to empower local brokers in their online marketing and sales efforts, and help consumers find the right home at the right price,” said Chang.

For the real estate industry, Roost offers an innovative online marketing vehicle for brokers and Realtors. It provides individual IDX sites as part of its platform, which use MLS listings in compliance with local policies to attract and qualify self-selected, relevant buyers and sellers to local Realtor’s sites.

“We are always exploring new and innovative ways to market to consumers, in order to generate the highest quality traffic to our site,” said Derek Overbey, Vice President of Marketing for Intero Real Estate Services (http://www.interorealestate.com/). “Roost has demonstrated its commitment not only to data integrity, but also to an industry-friendly approach, so we’re excited to work with them.”

“The Roost platform was built specifically to be industry-friendly, as well as consumer-friendly: open to and inclusive of all sizes and types of local brokers, and we’ve worked hard to ensure full compliance with the policies of every local MLS,” added Chang. “We strongly believe the local MLSs provide a critical service to their members and we are committed to working closely alongside them at every stage.”

“Roost is all about being comprehensive. The more educated the consumer is, the less time the broker will have to spend with them,” added Chang.

Other features of Roost include:

- Search criteria can be set and results adjusted dynamically using intuitive controls, making it much easier to close in on the homes that fit each user’s exact needs
- Roost’s proprietary search and compression technology provides much faster results to the search and filtering experience, and eliminates the need to re-download the data every time consumers perform a search, saving valuable time
- All available photos for each property listed, with multiple interior and exterior views of each home
- The Roost search tool will also soon include the ability to search on free-text descriptions such as ‘hardwood floors’ or ‘pool’
- Roost is privately funded and was founded in May 2007 by Internet industry veterans Alex Chang, Alex Lange and Matthew Cullen. The backgrounds of the Roost founders have been instrumental in this visual, intuitive approach to real estate search, spanning careers at Walmart.com, Art.com and Excite@Home.

Roost’s Board of Directors is composed of strategic investors and successful Internet entrepreneurs with deep experience in the consumer Internet and vertical search spaces. The board comprises Joel Cutler, Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners and Director of Kayak.com; Greg Slyngstad, Director of Kayak.com; Thomas Gottlieb, Managing Partner of Geolo Capital; Howard Wolk, Co-President of The Cross Country Group LLC and Chang, CEO of Roost.

“By enabling brokers to harness the power of an intuitive search engine like Roost, the company is helping the real estate industry continue to innovate in a challenging market,” said Greg Slyngstad, Director of Kayak.com and Roost board member. “The fact that this also translates into a compelling consumer experience means Roost is well positioned to become a major player in real estate search.”

Roost has formed partnerships with MLSs across the country including MLS Property Information Network (http://www.mlspin.com) (MLS PIN), which covers 90% of the state of Massachusetts (including Greater Boston) and other parts of New England, as well as MetroList Services, Inc. and SoCalMLS, which cover much of California. As Roost grows into new target markets, the company will continue to forge these partnerships to provide the most accurate and complete listings data on the market.

For more information, visit http://www.roost.com.

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