Elk Grove Citizen * Friday, August 10, 2001

HomeGain honors Sacramento agent as
a top online producer nationwide

 HomeGain, the largest provider of customized services to consumers using the Internet to sell or buy a home, has named Derek Kirk, a Realtor® with Century 21 Haley & Associates in Elk Grove, as one of its top online producers nationwide for 2000-2001.

Kirk successfully closed 16 transactions at HomeGain with online sellers over the 12-month period from June 2000 to June 2001, with a total value of $2.45 million.

Through HomeGain, Kirk received inquiries from consumers wishing to sell or purchase a home, to which he responded with a detailed electronic listing presentation, and was chosen to represent them. Kirk also met HomeGain's criteria for creating a highly professional online listing presentation that includes a customized response based on the consumer's stated needs, a detailed sales history for the past four years, and a statement of planned advertising and marketing services.

Kirk has a long and impressive list of honors and achievements in his seven-year real estate career. He has consistently been a top producer for his own office, and was named a Sacramento Association of Realtors Masters Club Member in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001. For further information, he can be reached at 916-685-2100 ext. 107.

"Derek is an example of the 'Internet empowered agent' who has fully adopted the Web as a means of generating business," said Bradley Inman, CEO and founder of HomeGain.

"He has adapted his highly successful offline marketing strategies to the Web with impressive results. Derek's success can be attributed to having a highly professional online presence, a daily commitment to working with online consumers, and an understanding of the needs and expectations of those online consumers."

Derek Kirk of Century 21 Haley & Associates closed 16 transactions valued at $2.45 million in a 12-month period with online agent-to-consumer matching service.

According to Gomez Advisors, an online research company, 55 million people are now surfing the Web for real estate-related information, and 12 percent of real estate agents report they get at least half of their leads through the Internet, a four-fold increase from one year ago.

Consumers who come to HomeGain looking for an agent fill out an anonymous profile that states whether they wish to sell or buy a home and includes information on square footage, number of rooms, price expectations and attributes of their ideal agent.

The information is forwarded to competing real estate agents in the consumer's Zip code who, in turn, submit online listing presentations to the consumer. Those electronic proposals include the agent's photograph, listings, sales experience, professional designations, marketing ideas and commission rate (for sellers). The consumer remains until he or she decides to contact an agent for an interview.

"Homebuyers and sellers I've worked with through HomeGain liked going online to find an agent because they didn't want a hardcore sales pitch and wanted to respond in their own time frame," said Kirk. "They can review numerous agent proposals at home after dinner, or over the weekend, which is a huge time saver with their busy work schedules."

On average, Kirk competes with eight other agents for each consumer to whom he sends a proposal. He spends one hour customizing each response to a prospect.

 "Over the past year, my sales have increased 30 percent due to my online marketing efforts, and I am confident that it will grow significantly in the next year," said Derek. "The Elk Grove/Sacramento County region is a growing area for consumer adoption of the Internet because of the many Bay Area 'dot-comers' who have relocated here to buy more affordable homes."

HomeGain has approximately 3,000 Northern California agent members.

HomeGain's agent finding service gives users direct access to a nationwide network of more than 50,000 real estate agents. These top-producing agents sell, on average, nearly three times the number of homes per year as their offline counterparts, and their average sales volume is about $3 million, compared with the national average of $770,000 for an offline agent.

Yahoo! Internet Life has named HomeGain the "Best Agent-Finder" site for the past two years.

HomeGain is the largest provider of customized services to consumers using the Internet to sell or buy a home.

Its Agent Evaluator feature is the only personalized referral service that matches consumers with the best local real estate agent from a nationwide network of more than 50,000 real estate professionals.

Users can also access a full range of home buying and selling tools, services and content to research home listings, value a property, prepare a home for sale, secure a loan, arrange a move, or make home improvements.

More than 2.3 million consumers have registered at the HomeGain Web site (www.homegain.com) since its inception in 1999. HomeGain is a licensed real estate broker. State license information is available at www.homegain.com/broker.


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