Homebytes.com Is Sold on CadmusCom Pitch

Online Real Estate Service Closes Deal With Richmond Agency
ATLANTA-CadmusCom has been named agency of record for startup Homebytes.com. Both companies are based in Richmond, Va.
Homebytes, a Web real estate service, is designed to help owners sell their homes without an agent.
“There’s a real lack of services for [home] sellers on the Web,” said agency senior vice president Carolyn Dixon. “It’s always exciting to be on the ground floor of a new business, especially in the e-commerce area.”
Both client and agency estimated billings at $3 million annually.
The only agency invited to pitch against CadmusCom was Work, Richmond’s member of the Ogilvy & Mather Syndicate creative network.
“We talked to a number of agencies, all in Richmond,” said client marketing director Claude Davenport. “I’ve lived here my whole life and I know a lot of people, so at first I just got together with [them] on an informal basis . . . to make sure it seemed like a good fit . . . then moved to a more formal presentation.”
Following research with focus group individuals who have sold their own homes or used realtors, CadmusCom will develop a 12-month marketing and advertising plan, followed by creative execution. The shop is also redesigning the client’s Web site.
Currently available for properties in six mid-Atlantic states and seeking to go national by the end of 2000, Homebytes.com charges a flat fee of $299 for homeowner services including a “For Sale” sign and multiple book and database listings. An additional fee brings other services like comparable market analysis and all the necessary contract forms.
“They’re trying to make this much more simple and empower homeowners to sell their homes themselves,” said Dixon. “One thing that has hindered sellers in the past is that if you aren’t listed in the book, realtors aren’t giving much exposure to your property.”
Dixon said Homebytes.com subscribers could “realistically cut in half the 6 percent [agents’] commission,” usually split between the pair of realtors providing the buyer and seller of a property. -T.W. Siebert