GOLDEN, Colo. - ServiceMagic Inc. (, an online marketplace connecting consumers with prescreened and customer-rated residential contractors, real estate professionals, and lenders, reported an 84 percent increase in consumer service requests during the quarter ending June 30, 2004, as compared to the same quarter in 2003. The company says it facilitated more than half a million consumer service requests worth over $1.75 billion in consumer spending.

"We have seen a 32 percent increase in consumer demand quarter-over-quarter this year," said Rodney Rice, co-CEO of ServiceMagic. "The service we provide is helping a growing number of consumers who are turning to the Internet for information and assistance for their local home service needs."

During the last quarter, ServiceMagic saw an increase in consumers looking for local service professionals to help them with outdoor tasks such as lawn and garden care and fence installation as well as preparing for summer recreation by adding swimming pools and decks. Additionally, consumers use of ServiceMagic's newest offering, ServiceMagic Lending, rose 33 percent quarter-over-quarter.

ServiceMagic has noted the following service needs as the most popular among consumers using the company to connect with local service professionals:

1. Find a real estate agent to buy a home.

2. Find a mortgage lender.

3. Hire a pro to clean house interior.

4. Hire a pro to build or install an above-ground swimming pool.

5. Hire a pro to build or install a concrete swimming pool.

6. Hire a lawn care service.

7. Hire a pro to build or replace a deck or porch.

8. Hire a handyman.

9. Hire a pro to build or install a fiberglass swimming pool.

10. Hire a pro to install a wood fence.

ServiceMagic has facilitated more than 3.3 million consumer requests for home-related services, representing an estimated $11.5 billion in consumer spending, says the company. Its member businesses include nearly 50,000 professionals nationwide.

Publication date: 08/23/2004