Looking for a strategic partner to build its business through branding, HomePriceCheck.com has launched a review it expects to complete in three weeks.
"I want a partner that understands what to do after a big splash," said chief marketing officer Ellen Bossert. "We make decisions fast here--we have to." Bossert has spoken with Partners & Simons, Boston, and may contact full-service agencies.
The size of the ad budget, now estimated at $5-10 million, may grow depending on a second round of funding in April. The majority of the money raised will go toward marketing, said Owen Eagen, the company's outside media manager.
HomePriceCheck.com already has received $5 million in initial funding from @ventures, the venture capital arm of CMGI in Andover, Mass.
HomePriceCheck.com was launched two years ago by Cambridge, Mass.-based INPHO. The site offers consumers access to the largest free U.S. database of home sales records, said Eagen.
In addition to more than 21 million sales records, the site will offer new features, such as information on crimes and schools in 50 metropolitan areas, Eagen said.
Corey McPherson Nash of Watertown, Mass., recently was hired to develop the company's corporate identity in preparation for a relaunch of the site next month.
The company has never advertised its service, relying instead on public relations. Copithorne & Bellows, Boston, handles the account.
Prior to joining HomePriceCheck.com, Bossert had worked at Presto Technologies, an MIT Media Lab spinoff, and Hasbro.
INPHO was founded in 1989 by Cornell classmates Steve Kropper and Fran Rivkin. INPHO's name connotes the delivery of information using telephone technology.