GOLDEN, Colo. - ServiceMagic (, an online marketplace connecting homeowners to prescreened, profiled, and customer-rated home services contractors and real estate professionals, has announced the launch of ServiceMagic Lending, a service that connects consumers to prescreened lenders. ServiceMagic has formed a joint venture with Cornerstone Mortgage, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha, to bring ServiceMagic Lending to its Web site visitors.

"Currently over a million homeowners per year request home improvement and real estate services valued in excess of $3 billion via ServiceMagic. The addition of lending services was the next step in our effort to provide consumers a comprehensive solution for purchasing, financing, and improving their homes," said Rodney Rice, co-founder of ServiceMagic.

The company estimates there are in excess of two million residential contracting, real estate, and consumer finance businesses in the U.S. which spend over $30 billion per year via offline advertising. ServiceMagic says its business customers use the service as a more cost-effective lead generation and prospecting tool as compared to offline marketing mediums.

With the launch of ServiceMagic Lending, banks and mortgage brokers are now able to take advantage of the efficiencies of ServiceMagic's Web-based marketing platform. According to the company, banks and brokers are now able to acquire new customers at a fraction of the cost of direct mail, newspaper, Yellow Pages, radio, or TV advertising.

According to ServiceMagic, the Web portal serves more than one million homeowners and over 45,000 business members, facilitating over $3 billion in home services spending annually.

Publication date: 10/27/2003