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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 2, 2000. All rights
Start-Up Real Estate Firm: GMAC
A brand-new real estate firm is bucking the trend
consolidation. But the name — GMAC Real Estate — reflects
its ace in the hole: It is associated with a global firm, General
Motors, and its various financial entities, including GMAC Mortgage.
The other name behind this company — Richard Schlott, founder
of Schlott Realtors — has a familiar ring in New Jersey.
Gloria Hutchinson left the Princeton Junction office of Coldwell
to be regional manager of the first real estate offices opened under
the GMAC name. She and Ed Bershad, manager of the Princeton Junction
office, moved into their new quarters on Princeton-Hightstown Road
on January 31.
In this time of consolidation, for anyone to set up a new national
firm is very unusual, says Carl DeMusz, former president of the
listing service that serves New Jersey. (His Cherry Hill-based
merged with a Philadelphia firm on January 1 and he is now vice
of sales at Trend.) "GMAC is the first real estate company that
I’ve seen in which the name of the real estate firm follows the
lender’s name," says DeMusz. "Usually it is the other way
"We’re starting out with at least 15 agents and will work up to
at least 30," says Hutchinson. But GMAC has also purchased the
Better Homes & Gardens franchise, which has 1,450 national offices.
Hutchinson cites the obvious advantages of working with a large
plus the financial backing of General Motors.
Married to a retired IRS agent, Hutchinson has five children and one
grandchild. Hutchinson will learn about her new firm by attending
company training in Des Moines, Iowa. She had been a nurse at
Medical Center before going into real estate some 13 years ago.
At that time she was working for Richard Schlott at Schlott Realtors,
a large regional office at a time when regional companies were few
and far between. Schlott was one of the first of the east coast
for Coldwell Banker, then based in California and owned by Sears.
Richard Schlott, briefly the president of Coldwell Banker Corp., was
said to be looking for investment opportunities. Meanwhile, Cendant
bought Coldwell Banker, and Cendant now owns ERA and Century 21.
current headquarters for GMAC is in Liberty Corner (908-542-5500).
"I know it is going to be an innovative company, customer service
oriented — which a lot of companies have gotten away from —
and that will bring us a lot of business. We have all of the services
under one roof," says Hutchinson, who was the top producer in
the county for her former organization. "We are trying to be real
high tech. In our new office, for instance, we have a home search
department, so a customer can conduct a search for new homes with
no obligation. Our office is totally computerized."
Princeton Junction, 08550. Gloria Hutchinson, regional manager.
609-750-2020; fax, 609-720-0894.
Web Services Inc., which has a bricks and mortar address
of 55 Princeton-Hightstown Road, has expanded its job posting service
to make it available to the general public. For a limited time,
can post jobs for free on
Founded by brothers Bill and Harrison Uhl the company develops
high-end interactive sites (http://www.web-services.net
Harrison Uhl has a degree in electrical engineering and philosophy
from Cornell University (Class of ’77) and worked at Dow Jones
After Carnegie Mellon University, Class of ’88, Bill Uhl worked as
a licensed architect using computer aided design (CAD) but then moved
to network and Internet-related administration.
The recruiting site has good value for both employers and jobhunters.
Jobhunters can browse the well-organized listings or sign on and post
a resume for free. Employers can post jobs for free in early February,
and these jobs will run for free through early March.
To add heft to the job postings, the Uhls use a webcrawler, a program
that follows links on the Web and downloads the job listing pages
that it finds. Then another program digests, filters, and selects
the pages to be indexed. Thus the Uhls can provide full text search
on millions of job postings from news groups plus thousands of jobs
crawled direct from corporate web sites. The webcrawler harvests from
20,000 to 30,000 jobs, some free and some paid. With its 2.5 million
pages, the site is considered a "reservoir" for the search
engines. For instance, Google takes 30,000 to 50,000 pages at a time,
roughly once a month.
The Uhls launched the site last year but have rebuilt it from scratch,
migrating it from Microsoft to Linux with Java and Java server pages,
and making it open to the public.
Companies can use the Uhls’ jobposting service for as little as $400
a year. "If you already have jobs on your website and have them
organized appropriately, we crawl them and put them into our index,"
says Uhl. The summary page must have a click through for one job on
a page — and provide target location, functionality, title, and
salary if available. If you have some unusual programming on your
sample page, there will be an additional one-time charge. And if you
change your programming every couple of months (a surprising number
of companies do that, he says) your cost will reoccur.
Pricing for individual jobs will be similarly promotional, perhaps
less than $1 a day. He’s planning a first-time charge of $50, which
would include one job posted for 30 days, followed by a credit for
a second 30-day posting.
Lots of other companies offer jobposting sites, including Dow Jones
(http://www.careers.wsj.com). To post an individual job on the
Dow Jones site, says Tony Lee, editor and general manager, costs
about $250 for 30 days or $350 for 60 days. Corporate memberships
are $1,800 per month with a "no additional work" option. If
you maintain your job-posting website, the Dow Jones webcrawler will
pull your open positions and post them in its database.
But only a couple of other companies, the Uhls say, are offering web
crawler software for job postings. "We provide an easy mechanism
for recruiters to post their jobs in a much larger pool and also still
have search and posting tools on their website," says Bill Uhl.
"We price proportional to where our traffic is," says Uhl.
"Our focus is not so much on selling the individual posting, but
on selling the business behind it, so a recruiter can get a first-tier
site up on the Web."
"We are working on tools that don’t require human effort,"
says Uhl. "Everybody else is out there at the high end, and we
are at the middle tier, the grass roots level — where there is
more going on."
— Barbara Fox
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