Websites Built for Builders

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It seems as though every day the American public is notified of dozens of new websites, Internet IPOs and online services.

July 11, 2000

It seems as though every day the American public is notified of dozens of new websites, Internet IPOs and online services. With this proliferation of a still-burgeoning industry, it can often be overwhelming to decipher which sites are useful to you and your business.

The construction industry and all of its many complementary and supporting businesses are often thought to be lagging behind in Internet use and e-commerce strategies. This may have been the case a few short months ago, and may still apply to a certain extent, but every day there are new URLs bringing the industry up to speed.

Thoughtmill, a Ga.-based eBusiness engineering firm, and theInsuranceXchange.com just announced their launch of a comprehensive portal to simplify buying business insurance.

Supported by several "A" rated national insurance companies, the site offers all lines of property and casualty insurance. The site enables executives to learn about business insurance products, profile their enterprise, obtain premium estimates, and then be in a "reverse auction" where insurance companies compete for their business. The construction segment of the site will be ready soon, but users can log on now to learn more about the site at theinsurancexchange.com.

Master-planned community developers have the chance to showcase their properties at privatecommunities.com, and those who do will receive a valuable newsletter on successful Internet marketing. The first issue of "Marketing on the Internet" was sent to developer and marketing customers in early June.

According to Elisabeth Miler-Fox, co-founder of PrivateCommunites.com and editor of the publication, the purpose of the newsletter is to support its client’s goals and provide a resource for Internet marketing information.

"Many of our clients use the Internet successfully and others are catching up to speed," says Miller-Fox. "The questions we’re asked range from e-mail protocol to database management."

FutureofHomes.com is a new site aimed at making the upgrade process more efficient and profitable for small-volume and custom builders and remodelers. The site, developed by building materials supplier GMA Supply, features one-stop shopping for everything from lighting and plumbing fixtures to roofing and siding, often at significant discounts.

By using the site (www.futureofhomes.com) as a selling tool, builders can quickly and efficiently collaborate with both clients and interior designers. Not only does the site provide builders more control over their work, it also ensures accurate order processing. A sub-site lists wholesale pricing for all products and is accessible only via password and ID number, allowing builders to show clients list pricing only.

Those in the HVAC industry now have an online resource for those seeking both employees and employment. At hvaconlinejobs.com visitors enjoy a powerful recruitment resource and job seekers can market themselves anonymously. This tool streamlines the process, connecting users with the HVAConline CareerSite and the top free job sites elsewhere on the Internet. For a small fee, employers can access over 200,000 candidate profiles in CareerSite’s database, which was recently ranked second in resumé quality by the National Electronic Recruiting Index.

The site also provides job seekers with career management tools, a powerful search engine to find openings, resumé storage and automatic e-mail notification of job matches based on registered preferences. The site also features SmartTouch; a proprietary technology that matches employers and job seekers based on concepts rather than simple keywords.

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