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Coldwell Banker Enhances Home Search Experience, Allows for ‘Hands-On’ Engagement

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RISMEDIA, March 5, 2009-Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC announced the launch of its customized real estate application developed for Microsoft SurfaceTM, unveiled at the Coldwell Banker® International Business Conference being held this week in San Antonio, Texas. Its new Microsoft Surface home search application allows users to interact with home listings, mapping and other www.coldwellbanker.com features in a way that is familiar, by using simple hand gestures. Similar to the intuitive technology featured in the futuristic film, “Minority Report,” this exploration on the use of Microsoft Surface represents yet another way in which Coldwell Banker is working to harness innovative technologies to benefit home buyers and sellers.

The first commercially available surface computing platform from Microsoft, the company says Microsoft Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, interactive surface. Its 30-inch diagonal, table-like display provides effortless access to digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects placed on the display.

Coldwell Banker leveraged the unique interface and capabilities of Microsoft Surface to develop a home search application that will provide a new interactive and intuitive way to explore real estate listings and neighborhoods. Over the course of the roll-out, the following features are scheduled to be released:

Explore. Home listings can be viewed via area maps, specific search criteria such as city, state and price, and by standard number of bedrooms and bathrooms. With a simple touch of the screen, users expand or contract the search area and locate listings, Coldwell Banker offices and area amenities including restaurants, hospitals and schools – gauging the distance between them.

Learn. Details of a particular property listing are displayed and arranged by screen touches. Images of the home are easily accessed, enlarged and moved by hand movements.

Interact. File listings by “grabbing” content with their hands from the display and “dropping” them into the appropriate folder, thus creating an itinerary that they can e-mail to a sales associate.

Coldwell Banker unveiled its home search application by conducting demonstrations of Microsoft Surface during this week’s International Business Conference. More than 1,700 attendees were provided with specially tagged badges that, when placed on the Microsoft Surface, unveiled that individual’s profile and contact information.

Coldwell Banker says that the company plans to continue rollout of this technology at brand events and at offices across the country this year.

“As a leader in the real estate industry with a strong heritage of innovation, we recognized that the Microsoft Surface technology has some very interesting potential to change the future of the real estate search,” said Michael Fischer, senior vice president of marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Microsoft Surface allows us to showcase listings in a very unique way that offers users a different experience with the entire real estate search process literally at their fingertips. We believe the technology can increase consumer engagement to an entirely new level.”

Last year, Coldwell Banker became one of the first national real estate brands to put its listings on in-car GPS devices through an exclusive feed to Dash Navigation and also the first to launch a customized online platform for iPhoneTM and BlackBerry users.

To see a video of Coldwell Banker’s home search application for Microsoft Surface, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a4273i_K2k.

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