Sending Record Number of Leads to Advertisers
Low cost-per-lease advertising solution providing optimized ROI

  CHICAGO, June 24, 2004 - - Online rental resource announced today that overall an average of twelve percent more leads are being sent to advertising properties this year than in 2003 and the figure continues to grow. Demonstrating its position as an industry leader, has exceeded its all-time record with more than four hundred thousand leads being sent to advertisers in May and a projected number closer to five hundred thousand expected for June. With a newly launched redesign of the Web site, an increase in marketing spend and better advertiser response to leads, expects the positive trend to continue throughout 2004.

Based on year-to-date totals through May, holds the number one position among top rental sites for the greatest number of unique visitors (comScore Media Metrix, YTD May 2004). Many factors are contributing to recent increased conversion of these visitors into leads.
  • Product enhancements based on consumer input, including: improved control over site search tools; a repackaging of community features in the ad presentation; increased opportunities for consumers to contact advertisers directly
  • A printable brochure feature launched in late 2003, though not currently calculated into the cited lead increases, is extending the value of advertisers' ads. In a recent poll, nearly all of those who had printed a brochure indicated that they intended to contact or visit the property in the future
  • In addition to historically steady organic traffic visiting, $55 million dollars in advertising exposure provides an even larger localized campaign than in prior years and further explains the recent surge in consumer contacts to advertisers
  • The frequent addition of new properties to the site provides visitors with a larger selection of local communities from which to find the right combination of location, rent range and amenities
  • Better lead management by advertising properties, which are converting more leads into signed leases resulting in a lower cost-per-lease than the average apartment magazine or online locator
"Our advanced ability to track the source of our Internet leads provides us the necessary insight to maximize our marketing investments online." said Bob Keator, Assistant Vice President, Equity Residential. "In reviewing all of our outside Internet advertising sources, our data shows that has a favorable closing ratio. Partnering with them has strengthened our ability to drive qualified traffic and leases at our Equity Residential communities."

Confronting the challenging economy, the burden of which falls heavily on the multi-family industry, has used its primary market differentiator - a 170-plus-strong network of newspaper and television Web sites - as well as an experienced and dedicated sales force locally entrenched in more than sixty markets to help bolster sales and generate strong results for its growing customer base. The customer retention rate is nearly ninety percent at, which is indicative of the company's clear commitment to service and advertiser return on investment.

"We could not be more pleased with the value is providing both consumers and advertisers," said senior vice president and general manager Tim Fagan. "We are committed to offering a reliable and proven product with the support of significant promotion and exceptional people - all of which is culminating in meaningful performance."

About is a leading national online apartment resource distinguished by its personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours and professional photography, and comprehensive 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 (, The Washington Post ( and the Los Angeles Times (, a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC, delivers highly qualified, ready-to-rent prospects to more than 12,000 trade customers, which increases closure rates and decreases the average cost of leasing an apartment.