Apartments.com and Equity Residential Automate Data Exchange Using New Apartment Industry Data Standard


  CHICAGO, March 14, 2005 - - Apartments.com, a leading online real estate rental site, and Equity Residential, the largest apartment owner in the country, announced today that they have automated all of Equity's property listings on Apartments.com using the industry's Multifamily Information and Transactions Standards (MITS). Equity Residential is the first apartment owner to fully utilize the new MITS standard to update all of the infor-mation in their advertisements on Apartments.com.

MITS is a shared data standard that was created by the largest apartment firms and software providers under the umbrella of the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association. After three years of collaboration, MITS has published seven standards that allow different software products to "talk to each other" and easily exchange data. Widespread adoption of MITS will ultimately revolutionize the way apartment firms are able to integrate and maximize the potential of their various software products.

The automated data exchange between Apartments.com and Equity Residential marks an important milestone for the MITS initiative. Through MITS, Equity Residential is able to maintain a constantly updated presence across MITS-compliant Internet Listing Services for more than 450 communities. Equity Residential, which has partnered with Apartments.com for more than five years, selected the firm as the premier apartment rental Web site to move forward with their MITS data exchange.

"With the integration of the MITS data exchange, we're now able to keep all of our property advertisements on major ILSs current and competitive," said Jay Kurtzman, Sr. Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Equity Residential. "Our successful work with Apartments.com proves the importance of the MITS initiative. Not only will it increase our internal efficiencies, it will also give prospective renters a superior user experience and confidence that the information they see in an online ad is up-to-date and accurate."

"Apartments.com is thrilled to be the first ILS to implement the MITS data exchange for Equity Residential," said Jerry Gately, VP Product Development, Apartments.com and MITS governance committee member. "Apartments.com has taken a leadership role in the MITS initiative since the beginning of the effort in 2002. Completing the successful data exchange for the largest owner and op-erator of multifamily housing demonstrates the value of this initiative."

The MITS initiative was formed by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) at the request of owners and technology providers to the apartment industry to create an industry-wide initiative to establish data standards and extensible mark-up language (XML) architecture to enhance and support the development of systems solutions for the apartment industry. Today, this collaborative effort is sponsored in part by NMHC, along with MITS outreach partner the National Apartment Association (NAA). MITS provides software firms and others a standardized way to handle the automated exchange of data and transaction information. One transaction area that has received the most interest and use is the MITS data standard, designed to make it faster and easier for apartment firms to update the information they provide to any ILS in the rentals category. Apartments.com has taken a pioneering leadership role in the development and application of MITS thus providing the confidence and expertise for Equity Residential to implement MITS as a method of data exchange.

"The collaboration between Apartments.com and Equity Residential serves as a strong example of what MITS is all about," said David Cardwell, NMHC/NAA Vice President of Capital Markets and Technology. "Through the use of the MITS Property/ILS standard both firms have enhanced their ability to not only exchange data more effectively and at less cost, but also improve the quality of information to the consumer."

About Apartments.com
Apartments.com is a leading national online apartment resource distinguished by its personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours and professional photography, and com-prehensive community listings, which make it possible for in-market renters to access rental inventory from across town or across the country and make informed decisions quickly. The site's foundation of solid partnerships with the local newspaper and television station Web sites of more than 170 affiliates across the country includes the Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com), The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) and the Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com). Apartments.com, a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC, delivers highly qualified, ready-to-rent prospects to more than 13,100 trade customers, which increases closure rates and decreases the average cost of leasing an apartment.

About Equity Residential
Equity Residential is the largest publicly traded apartment company in America. Nationwide, Equity Resi-dential owns or has investments in 942 properties in 32 states and the District of Columbia, consisting of 200,326 units. Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company. For more information on Equity Residential , visit www.equityresidential.com.

About MITS
Established in 2002, the Multifamily Information and Transactions Standards (MITS) initiative is an indus-try-wide initiative to establish data and extensible mark-up language (XML) standards for the exchange of information. Through MITS systems integration, business process and data exhange is made more effec-tive and efficient. MITS is a collaborative effort funded and supported by the apartment industry and its technology, financial services and business partners. Additional funding and support are provided by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA). You can learn more about MITS at its web site www.MITSproject.com.

About NMHC
Based in Washington, DC, NMHC is a national association representing the interests of the larger and most prominent apartment firms in the U.S. NMHC's members are the principal officers of firms engaged in all as-pects of the apartment industry, including ownership, development, management and financing. For more information, visit www.nmhc.org.

About NAA
Based in Alexandria, VA, NAA is a federation of 164 state and local affiliates, comprised of more than 30,000 multifamily housing companies representing more than five million apartment homes throughout the United States and Canada.
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