Realty Plus Online Launches Nationally; Launch Kickoff to Begin At Real Estate Leadership Conference in New York

Realty Plus Online Launches Nationally; Launch Kickoff to Begin At Real Estate Leadership Conference in New York

Business Editors

RISMEDIA Real Estate Leadership Conference

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 18, 2000

Realty Plus Online, Inc., the technology leader in online real estate transactions, today announced the national launch of, the first secure Web site to automate the entire real estate transaction over the Internet — from listing the property to closing the deal. is the first online real estate transaction management system to launch nationally.

The company kicked-off its national launch tour today at the RISMEDIA Real Estate Leadership Conference in New York by sponsoring a cocktail reception where it will formally make the announcement. Today’s launch will be followed by a three-month real estate industry event tour that will continue through November.

“The national launch of is an important milestone for the real estate industry,” said Randy Lintecum, chairman and CEO of Realty Plus Online. “This step demonstrates that the real estate industry is ready to accept online transaction solutions, and that Realty Plus Online is the company leading this implementation.”

With, real estate agents, buyers and sellers, title and settlement companies, lenders, appraisers, and inspectors can easily collaborate in a secure Web environment. users can send messages, exchange documents, and manage the transaction from open to close. This automation reduces time to close, lowers transaction costs, and improves efficiencies.

Already rolled out to more than 4,200 real estate agents and service providers in Northern California, will become available to more than 100,000 users in the next quarter through agreements with MLS organizations, brokers, and other partners. Realty Plus Online was first to market with a Web-based transaction system, outpacing other Web-based transaction systems by six to nine months. The company completed the first online residential real estate transaction in May, and rolled out in Placer County and Sacramento County, Calif. this past summer. Now, the company adds the launch of the first commercially available national online transaction management system to its list of accomplishments.

“From the time the first online transaction was closed, has been revolutionizing the way real estate deals are handled,” said Kelly Pantis, president and co-founder of Realty Plus Online. “Closing cycles are shortened, costs are diminished, and efficiencies have improved.”

“For our 28,500 members, success means the flexibility to work with all parties in an open environment anytime, anywhere,” said Jay Huffman, CEO of the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI) — the largest MLS in the U.S. “ is a progressive, open platform that allows all parties to integrate into the system. It makes the transition from traditional business practices to the Internet quick, easy, and painless.”

Key Partnerships

Integral to the national launch are the various real estate service providers and strategic partners that have adopted, LandAmerica Financial Group, AmeriSpec Inc., Old Republic Home Protection, Buyers Home Warranty, Primis Inc., DocuTouch, and Chipman Moving are among the key service providers who have entered into strategic agreements to provide to their users.

With these key providers in the system, users will be able to order services online from the same leading companies that they have used in the past. Each service provider can customize its order forms with a questionnaire that will save everyone additional time. After being selected, the service provider will receive an automatic order notification so they can begin processing the order directly. Throughout the process, agents, consumers, and service providers can log on and communicate 24/7 with’s online messaging capabilities — missed phone calls and the resulting “phone tag” are now a thing of the past. In addition, each party can post and review documents online, eliminating costly overnight deliveries and the need to courier documents at the last minute. will reach more than 5 million consumers and 130,000 real estate professionals through its agreement with will be unveiling as an ASP component of its suite of services targeted at real estate industry sectors.

“At, we are committed to providing real estate professionals with the very best in services and technology,” said Bob Prince, president and CEO of “ will enable us to offer our subscribers a customizable, scaleable, and secure real estate transaction system, which in turn allows the real estate professional to deliver more efficient and cost-effective services to home buyers and sellers. As the first transaction exchange on the market, is a logical choice for us. Adding to our portfolio of services is key to helping real estate professionals to build successful businesses.”

“AmeriSpec sees real estate transaction technology dramatically improving the way traditional real estate business is being done,” commented Chester Dilday, vice president of Business Development at AmeriSpec Inc., the leading home inspection service in North America. “By participating in, we enjoy the benefits of improved efficiencies and faster turnaround times in serving our clients.”

Atlanta-based Primis, Inc., a five-year old Web-based provider of property information services, is committed to providing leading-edge technology to deliver improved operational efficiency and the most accurate appraisal quality.

“Primis has developed scalable technology and improved work processes to remove friction from the mortgage supply chain,” said Jim Schaper, chairman and CEO of Primis. “By combining our existing Web-based platform, database experience and appraiser technology to more efficiently gather detailed characteristics of a home, we can help and the industry achieve efficiencies and improve the overall customer experience.”

A leading home warranty company in the southwestern U.S., Buyers Home Warranty also recently signed on as a service provider. “Our company is a very progressive company in that we want to incorporate e-commerce into all areas of our business,” said David Goodwin, vice president of E-Commerce of Buyers Home Warranty. “Realty Plus Online’s MLS connections will give it an edge as it rolls out nationally, and its transaction platform is an excellent match for our forward-thinking business model.”

John Peterson, vice president of Old Republic Home Protection, added, “We’ve seen several other transaction systems, and we chose because it is a solid system with the right approach to technology.”

Technological Hurdles Overcome

To complete the national launch, Realty Plus Online had to overcome some technological hurdles. One challenge was customizing to the unique real estate transaction roles and requirements for each region of the country. These requirements vary by state, as well as by county. Realty Plus Online developed its technology with enough flexibility to accommodate each area using a template-based model that relies on a repository of templates designed for each region of the country. When a real estate professional from any U.S. region logs on to the system, automatically creates a transaction file based on that region’s unique rules. As a result, can accommodate unique data and order-processing requirements from service providers, support any number of deal or property types, and allow users and offices to customize and configure the system as necessary to meet their unique needs.

Key features of that any national online transaction management platform should have include:

— Secure access based on transaction roles

— Filtered views by region, deal, and property type

— Autopopulation of basic data from any source

— The ability to select and add any participants

— Capabilities to track progress against checklists

— Calendar for scheduling events and tasks

— Integration with service provider backend systems

— Open platform with paper-based alternatives

— Online first time user help and Web-based training is free to real estate agents, brokers, buyers, and sellers, and will be rolling out in major cities nationwide this year. For more information or to take an online tour, go to:

About the Company

Based in Sacramento, Realty Plus Online is the Internet technology leader in online real estate transactions. Our goal is to automate the real estate transaction process, starting with the listing of the property for sale, through to the closing of the transaction. The company was founded in May 1995 by three professionals with 25 years of combined experience in the Northern California real estate market. Our solutions are used by multiple-listing services, real estate agents and brokers, title companies, and mortgage lenders, and other real estate service providers. Today, over 50,000 agents have access to Fusion MLS(tm); the leading Internet-based multiple listing service (MLS) system. Realty Plus Online’s newest product development is, the first secure Web site to automate the entire real estate transaction over the Internet. is the only system available today that supports Order Processing, Document Posting, and Transaction Management for all parties involved in the real estate transaction. Realty Plus Online is privately held and is backed by various strategic angel investors. For information, visit our Web site at

What users are saying:

— “Since Realty Plus Online provides key support for their

transaction system within many of our major markets, will allow us to provide more value-added

services to our existing customers. will

play a vital role in our strategy to control costs while

providing the highest quality of title services and

insurance.” — Janet A. Alpert, president of LandAmerica

Financial Group

— “Our agreement to run both Fusion MLS and

concurrently is a progressive step for our MLS as well as the

real estate industry itself. Realty Plus Online is

revolutionizing the industry with, and we

need to be prepared for the revolution. This agreement is the

first deal of its kind, and it demonstrates the need for all

real estate professionals to move toward online real estate

transaction management.” — Jay Huffman, CEO of MLSNI

— “Through our agreement with, we’re able to

offer our technology solutions for ordering, tracking, and

receiving appraisals and other property information throughout

the country — removing many of the inefficiencies of the

mortgage supply chain. We believe technology will continue to

improve the overall customer experience by offering improved

turnaround times, quality, and operating efficiencies.” — Jim

Schaper, chairman and CEO for Primis Inc.

— “We’re extremely pleased to provide digital signing

capabilities to the Realty Plus Online, Inc. community. We’ve

experienced in our business practices upwards of 80 percent

time-and-cost efficiencies through the ability to securely and

legally sign documents online. The new federal E-SIGN Act,

which goes into effect Oct. 1, provides an important national

framework for what will soon become an international means of

consummating business contracts online.” — Mir Hajmiragha,

CEO and founder of DocuTouch(tm), a Seattle-based company that

specializes in secure online document management and digital

signature technology

— “ provides many benefits to both the buyer’s

and seller’s agent. The seller did not live in the property,

and therefore was one step removed from the process to begin

with, so the online deal tracking and communication using was very beneficial…. The online

communication and document capabilities allow each agent to

create a thorough historical record for each deal, which is

important. The ease of communication, having all documents

instantly available, and the ability to work around everyone’s

schedule make an attractive tool for the

agent.” — Fran Dixon, owner, Ellington Properties,

Sacramento, Calif.

— “ gives me the ability to provide a higher

level of service to my clients and lets them feel more

involved in the closing process. Allowing them to see the

status of their deal instantly makes all participants in a

transaction more accountable and promotes better communication

between clients and service providers.” — Fran Dixon, owner,

Ellington Properties, Sacramento, Calif.

— “ made it easier to check the status of this

deal at all times. The business hours of the agent, lender,

and escrow representative are very different, so being able to

check the deal status online makes it easier to close the

deal.” – Lynnette Raisbeck, Stewart Title, Sacramento, Calif.

— “Seeing documents online is wonderful; there is no more

waiting for couriers or overnight packages to show up. Loan

documents come to us from all over the U.S., and sometimes you

even have to deal with weather delays. With,

we can get them instantly online.” — Lynette Raisbeck,

Stewart Title, Sacramento, Calif.

— “Putting the entire closing transaction online will make

closing a deal easier and significantly faster. As it stands,

it takes way too long to get a house closed, and I see online

transaction processing as a way to speed the process up. is exactly the sort of thing the real estate

business needs because it will be a benefit to the consumer,

and that’s what it’s all about.” — Tim Thompson, managing

broker of Prudential Real Estate in Roseville, Calif.

— “The thing I was so excited about is that at any time of day,

I can go in and access the deal. I don’t have to leave

messages for people or waste time trying to track them down, I

can go in and pull up the information I need as soon as I need

it. It’s very exciting.” — Marta Medcalf, River City Bank,

Sacramento, Calif.

— “Placer County Association of REALTORS(R) is excited to have

the first opportunity to use The real

estate community welcomes any opportunity to strengthen the

communication between the consumer, the REALTOR(R) and the

numerous parties involved in a real estate transaction. Online

transactions will speed up the process, reduce paperwork and

make the real estate transaction more efficient. As an

Association of REALTORS(R), we are always seeking new

opportunities to benefit our Association members, and we see

huge potential with” — Cindy Picos,

executive vice president of the Placer County Association of


Note to Editors: Realty Plus Online, Fusion MLS, and are trademarks of Realty Plus Online, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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