Another Dot.Com Joins Martin




Online Realtor Homebytes.com, Richmond Agency Close Deal
ATLANTA–The Martin Agency continued riding the crest of a dot.com wave last week, winning the estimated $20 million account of Homebytes.com, an Internet real estate company.
Martin was chosen for the assignment after a review of several undisclosed East Coast shops.
The client offers homeowners an alternative to the traditional means of selling a house. Homebytes.com charges a flat fee for property owner services including a “For Sale” sign and multiple book and database listings. An additional stipend brings other amenities like comparable market analysis and all the necessary contract forms.
The Richmond, Va., start-up originally named the now defunct CadmusCom in Richmond its agency last May. At that time, annual billings were estimated at $3 million. Competitive Media Reporting cites no ad expenditures in 1999.
“The Martin Agency has the strategic, marketing and public relations muscle we need to help package and promote Homebytes.-com,” said David P. Clark, the company’s president and chief executive officer in a statement. “[Martin] has the experience and creativity to make our brand a household name.”
Clark did not return phone calls by press time.
“The concept is a winner,” said Kerry Feuerman, vice chairman and creative director at The Martin Agency. “Homebytes.com guides people through the home-selling process in a simple, organized manner. [It] gives consumers more power and more choices.”
Martin’s first work will appear this spring. Various media and public relations will be employed. Martin will also buy all media.
A Homebytes.com representative said last May the company would “realistically cut in half the 6 percent [agents’] commission” usually split between the two realtors of the buyer and seller of a property.
After a difficult first nine months of 1999, in which it lost the creative accounts of both Banc One and Wrangler, Martin has followed a strong fourth quarter with a fast start in 2000.
Since October, the Richmond agency has added four dot.com accounts worth $50-65 million in billings. The clients include online gamer Sandbox.com, automotive information site Carfax.com and retailer performancebike.com. K