Apartments.com Launches Service on the Web Site of the Chicago Tribune

More than Two Dozen Newspapers Now Feature and Promote Apartments.com,
Boosting Traffic to Nearly 2 Million Visits Per Month

CHICAGO—June 10, 1999—Apartments.com (www.apartments.com), the fastest-growing national online apartment guide, today announced the launch of its service on the award-winning web site of the Chicago Tribune, located at www.chicagotribune.com. With the addition of the Chicago Tribune, Apartments.com is now featured as the exclusive provider of apartment information on the web sites of 26 newspapers across the country, including The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

In a related launch, Apartments.com is now also featured on the local web site of RELCON, a Chicagoland apartment finding service and print guide owned by the Chicago Tribune. RELCON represents more than 350 apartment communities in the Chicago area on its web site, all of which will have their online ads converted to the Apartments.com format.

Apartment hunters in the Chicagoland area can conduct a local or national search of Apartments.com’s database of visual listings by clicking on Classifieds at www.chicagotribune.com or visiting the RELCON web site at www.relconapartments.com. In both cases, the sites have retained their current look and feel, but have been enhanced by the robust search functionality and highly detailed listings provided by Apartments.com.

Apartments.com currently represents approximately 20,000 listings—about 3,000 visual ads of apartment communities and 17,000 classifieds—across 44 states and Washington, D.C.

After customizing their search to reflect their preferred location, rent range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and up to 23 amenities, such as whether an apartment includes a washer and dryer or allows pets, Apartments.com users can take a "virtual tour" of their results, viewing up to dozens of interior and exterior photos for each advertised model, floor plans and interactive video. Giving apartment hunters the ability to finely tune their search and review such in-depth, visual information enables Apartments.com to deliver more highly-qualified, motivated leads to its customers.

"Partnering with such highly respected resources for local apartment information like the Chicago Tribune and RELCON will significantly increase the distribution and promotion of our customers’ ads," said Dan Donaghy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Classified Ventures Real Estate. "By giving them greater visibility with motivated apartment hunters, Apartments.com can deliver property managers more qualified leads and lower their average cost to rent an apartment," he said.

Since the beginning of the year, Apartments.com has been launched on the local web sites of a dozen newspapers, which has helped to increase its traffic to nearly 2 million visits per month, as tracked by internal audits. According to the latest report issued by Media Metrix, the leader in Internet and digital media measurement, Apartments.com is now the fastest-growing national online apartment guide in generating monthly traffic.

"Over the past year, as we’ve launched on the web sites of our affiliated newspapers, the number of monthly visits to Apartments.com has increased by more than 400 percent," said Donaghy. "This tremendous growth represents in part the power of local newspapers to drive apartment hunters to Apartments.com on their web sites, and illustrates the additional exposure property managers can realize when working with Apartments.com."

In conjunction with the launch of Apartments.com on www.chicagotribune.com, Apartments.com will initiate a print advertising campaign in the Chicago Tribune, extending its campaign running in its other affiliated newspapers. Apartments.com expects to be featured on the web sites of more than 100 newspapers by the end of 1999, and will coordinate local advertising to coincide with each launch.

Through www.chicagotribune.com, Apartments.com also provides renters with an easy way to search and review the most current classified apartment listings from the Chicago Tribune, as well as in-depth local community information to help them through their search.

Classified Ventures

Based in Chicago, Classified Ventures, Inc. provides nationally branded online services for developing e-commerce opportunities in the classified advertising marketplace that build upon the local capabilities and expertise of its national affiliate network. The company currently operates five national web sites in the apartment, auction, automotive, relocation and new home construction categories, including Apartments.com (www.apartments.com), Auction Universe , cars.com (www.cars.com), MovingCenter (www.movingcenter.com) and NewHomeNetwork.com (www.newhomenetwork.com). Classified Ventures will also launch HomeHunter as a local resale real estate service on the web sites of its more than 130 newspaper affiliates in summer 1999.

Classified Ventures was formed by eight leading media companies, including: Central Newspapers, Inc.; Gannett Co.; Knight Ridder; The McClatchy Company; The New York Times Company; The Times Mirror Company; Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company. For more information on Classified Ventures, visit www.classifiedventures.com.


About Chicago Tribune Interactive Media

Chicago Tribune Interactive Media takes advantage of the resources of the Chicago Tribune and extends them to cyberspace. The Chicago Tribune Internet Edition at chicagotribune.com and on AOL (keyword: Tribune) includes the daily newspaper, breaking news as well as special presentations and archives.