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3-D Model Allows Visitors to Virtually Tour House Online

(Aug. 2, 2007) – The process of looking for a home for sale has evolved dramatically over the past several years. Reading through the classified ads in the newspaper has morphed into an upfront online research phase where potential buyers explore real estate Web sites, look at virtual tours and slide shows, and consider price points before even contacting a real estate professional. Now Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC has taken this upfront “infotainment” process to an entirely new level by enabling buyers to tour an exact replica of a home for sale online. Coldwell Banker® has created a 3-D reproduction precisely matching the specifications of a newly constructed $3.1 million Mercer Island, Wash., home, currently listed for sale by Coldwell Banker Bain on coldwellbanker.com (MLS# 27053398). This home is available for showing to prospective buyers within the virtual community of Second Life®.

The experience allows Second Life avatars to “virtually” walk through each room of the house as if they were in the actual home. A variety of different touch points in the home allows interested visitors to instantly click through to coldwellbanker.com where they can ask for information about the home or even set up an appointment with Coldwell Banker Bain sales associate Suzanne Lane.

This marks the first time that any national real estate brand has used the virtual community to market an actual home for sale. Users can visit www.coldwellbankervirtualhome.com for immediate access to the “real world” home and to Second Life.

“Societies like Second Life are allowing industries to completely revolutionize how they interact with their consumers,” said Charlie Young, senior vice president, marketing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “What makes this so unique is that prospective buyers can literally ‘tour’ this home from the comforts of their home and computer. Prospective buyers can get the most comprehensive view of the home possible short of actually visiting it.

“Not only does this open up a whole new way of marketing a home, but it also exposes Coldwell Banker to an entirely new pool of potential customers who embrace technology and collaboration,” Young continued. “As growing numbers of people join Internet communities such as Second Life, and use social networking sites to interact, it becomes even more crucial for us to have this type of online presence. Second Life offers us an extremely effective and innovative way to reach a new audience,” Young added.

The move comes on the heels of the Coldwell Banker brand’s successful entry into the Second Life community in March, having generated more than 130,000 visitors in four months. These visitors spend an average of seven minutes interacting with the brand in its in-world headquarters. Coldwell Banker consistently ranks within the top 15 most visited branded sites within the community according to the Project Factory, a Second Life activity monitor.

“Being part of Second Life has made Coldwell Banker extremely relevant to the emerging generation of homebuyers who conduct an enormous amount of their daily business online,” Young continued. “Making this home available to tour in Second Life is just another example of how Coldwell Banker has recognized the need to consistently find new ways to reach potential home buyers and sellers.”

Listed at $3,095,000, the Mercer Island property is a 5,702 square foot home designed by award-winning architect Rick Jones and built by Western Construction. The gated property features a two-story great room with adjacent outdoor living space including a fireplace. The lower level media theater opens into a gathering room and sports bar. The home also includes a full wine cellar.

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