Apartments.com Moves Back In With Yahoo as Move.com Exits

Apartments.com has moved back into its Yahoo Real Estate pad now that the portal has severed ties with real estate listings provider Move.com. Classified Ventures-owned Apartments.com has signed with the portal to feature apartment listings on an exclusive basis in Yahoo’s real estate section.

“We’re looking for partners to enhance our exposure to renters,” said Maureen Boyle, director of marketing at Apartments.com. Yahoo users searching for apartments in its real estate section will have access to some 15,000 property listings, representing about 3 million individual rental units from Apartments.com.

All listings from the rental classifieds service will appear above others posted to Yahoo. In Yahoo search results, Apartments.com listings are presented over a light blue background with the Apartments.com logo.

The one-year contract won’t affect Apartments.com search advertising on Yahoo’s main search engine. “We will continue to aggressively buy keywords on Yahoo,” said Boyle.

On initial results pages, listings include the address, basic apartment size information, and a photo. Full property description pages offer a map, link to relevant Yahoo Answers content, as well as links to related information on local schools, neighborhood, insurance, and calculators.

Yahoo ended its partnership with Move.com last month, according to Yahoo spokesperson Jason Khoury. However, listings from the real estate classifieds provider appeared in Yahoo search results as recently as yesterday. Move.com “will offer some listings as we make the transition,” he said. Move.com also provided new homes listings to Yahoo Real Estate until last month. A new partner for that category has signed with Yahoo but has yet to be made public, according to Khoury.

Yahoo also has an agreement with real estate estimate site Zillow, which serves up property value estimates, comparisons, and local median home prices in Yahoo’s Real Estate section. Yahoo upgraded the section in August of last year.

Apartments.com has had an on-again off-again relationship with Yahoo. In November 1998, the listings provider signed a deal with Yahoo that gave Apartments.com classifieds prominence in real estate search results. The firms maintained the relationship through 2002, according to Boyle, who did not provide a reason for the breakup.

Apartments.com listings are distributed across about 150 newspaper sites published by Classified Ventures, in addition to newspaper sites in non-competing markets and local information sites in the Cities Unlimited network. Apartments.com owner Classified Ventures is operated by a handful of newspaper publishers, Belo, Gannett, McClatchy, Tribune, and The Washington Post Company. The outfit runs other classifieds sites such as Cars.com and HomeGain.

Gannett, McClatchy, Tribune, and Microsoft jointly own job listings site CareerBuilder.com, which directly competes with Yahoo’s HotJobs. Apartments.com co-owners McClatchy and Belo are among several newspaper firms that have partnered with Yahoo to run its HotJobs listings on their own sites. Yahoo’s newspaper partners also plan to share content with Yahoo and run display ads served by Yahoo on their own sites.

It’s unclear whether the new deal between Yahoo and Apartments.com will have any impact on broader relations among Yahoo and the Apartments.com owners that haven’t joined Yahoo’s newspaper consortium: Gannett, Tribune and The Washington Post. Those dealings, said Boyle, “are completely separate from this relationship.”

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