Saturday, December 15, 2007

Real estate site will compete with Zillow

Newspaper and cable TV giant E.W. Scripps has made a big Internet push recently, including the purchase of Vashon Island online recipe site Recipezaar.

Now, the company's Knoxville, Tenn., unit, Scripps Networks, is unveiling an online real estate service called FrontDoor that is trying to leverage content from its HGTV cable channel.

In addition to real estate listings on interactive maps, mortgage calculators and house buying and selling tips, FrontDoor includes more than 300 videos from HGTV. It also boasts an exclusive video series called Cool Houses Daily.

The site -- starting with more than 1.2 million property listings from Realogy and Sotheby's International Realty -- is a direct competitor to Seattle-based

Zillow has been trying to bolster its property listings in recent months by sealing deals with real estate companies, but at this time has only 404,548 properties for sale on the site. It also has been adding new neighborhood features to create an online destination in which users can gather additional information about where they live.

That will also be a focus of FrontDoor, which says it "plans to expand its user community involvement to provide localized, in-depth information that will answer the question of what it is really like to live in specific neighborhoods."

Last month, Zillow signed a deal to swap content with 11 major newspaper publisher companies, including Scripps.

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