Industry Briefs Apr. 9, 2021
Top of Mind Debuts Bidirectional Connection Between Surefire Platform and Salesforce CRM
Top of Mind Networks, Atlanta, launched a bidirectional data connection between Surefire, its platform for automated mortgage marketing, and Salesforce, an enterprise CRM. The connection gives mortgage lenders choice and control over the way information is shared between their enterprise CRM and mortgage marketing technologies.
Top of Mind’s connection with Salesforce comes pre-configured with default mapping to Salesforce data fields, making it easy to use out of the box. By adjusting a few simple toggles, lenders can specify exactly what data should be shared between systems, which direction the data should flow and when it should be pushed.
Canopy Retains Content Beacon as PR Agency of Record
Financial technology accelerator and due diligence provider Canopy, Charlotte, N.C., named Content Beacon as its PR agency of record.
Founded by mortgage industry marketing communications veterans Brian Rieger and Rick Grant, Content Beacon provides public relations, content marketing and other marketing communications to firms in the mortgage and real estate industry with a business-to-business focus. Rieger, the agency’s CEO, is also the owner of PR consultancy True Impact Communications and has nearly 20 years of marketing and PR experience in the mortgage, settlement and real estate space. COO Grant also owns RGA-PR, and has served the industry since 1995 as a journalist, content producer and editor with numerous publications as well as on behalf of numerous industry brands.
Canopy is a due diligence and fintech solutions accelerator dedicated to bringing effective modern technology into the real estate financial services industry. Empowered by a network of strategic partnerships, the firm strives to introduce solutions from numerous industries to mortgage-related businesses for results.
Black Knight Launches Second Generation of Rapid Analytics Platform
Black Knight Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., released the second generation of its Rapid Analytics Platform, which includes a new design that delivers a streamlined workflow experience for users. RAP also now includes several additional datasets that clients can leverage to address a variety of critical business needs.
RAP is a cloud-based data marketplace and decision-science studio that allows users to directly access Black Knight’s data assets and create custom analytics within a single platform. Users can source Black Knight data managed on the platform, connect to other data sources, execute queries, create advanced analytics and train machine-learning models.
HUD Allocates Nearly $700 Million for Affordable Housing
HUD announced allocation of $689,565,492.92 through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund for affordable housing. The Housing Trust Fund was launched in 2008 as an affordable housing production program that complements existing federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanity affordable housing for low- and extremely low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.
A list of state allocations can be found here.
The Housing Trust Fund is capitalized through the contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This year’s allocation represents an increase in funding from last year’s allocation of $322,564,267.66. HUD annually allocates HTF funds by formula. There are currently 480 additional projects under construction. This year’s funding is expected to produce more than 5,400 additional affordable units.
Genworth Terminates Merger Agreement with Oceanwide
Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., announced it exercised its right to terminate its merger agreement with China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. as of April 6. Terminating the agreement allows Genworth to pursue its revised strategic plan without restrictions and without uncertainty regarding its ultimate ownership, which might impact the company’s ability to successfully execute the plan.
The Company’s revised strategic plan includes a potential partial initial public offering of its U.S. mortgage insurance business.
“Genworth’s Board of Directors has concluded that Oceanwide will be unable to close the proposed transaction within a reasonable time frame and that greater clarity about Genworth’s future is needed now in order for the Company to execute its plans to maximize shareholder value. Thus, the Board decided to terminate the Oceanwide merger agreement,” said James Riepe, non-executive chairman of the Genworth Board of Directors.
PropertyShark: Homebuying in the 2010s ‘Worth It’
PropertyShark analyzed residential sales in the largest cities in the U.S. and took into consideration all homes that sold both in 2009 and 2019. Taking inflation into account, it determined the best price ranges for home price appreciation, as well as for homeownership and home value gains over the past decade.
“Overall, buying a home in the 2010s was worth it, especially in the majority of large urban centers,” the report said, noting nationally, homes sold at a median resale price of $275,000 in 2019, rising 35% from their 2009 median sale price of $204,000.
The study can e accessed here.
Watson Mortgage Corp. Chooses Adwerx for Direct-to-Borrower Digital Marketing
Watson Mortgage Corp. joined forces with Adwerx to help their loan originators engage interested borrowers and win more referrals in the marketplace.
Watson Mortgage Corp. is leveraging Adwerx’s digital advertising automation technology to power online retargeting ads for their loan officers through Adwerx Enterprise. These campaigns launch for every producer automatically across social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and premium websites visited by potential clients. Loan officers also receive access to a company branded, self-service Ad Store that allows them to target qualified prospects directly with personalized commercials on streaming TV services, giving them access to TV as a marketing channel with custom targeting at an affordable price point.
Ginnie Mae Platinum Securities Volume Hits Record 65 Transactions in March
Ginnie Mae announced a record 65 Platinum securities transactions were completed in March. In a typical month, between 19 and 22 Platinum transactions are executed. The March volume represents $5.6 billion of business.
Ginnie Mae said Platinum demand was additionally bolstered by the effect near record-low interest rates had on MBS prepayment activity, which shrank the outstanding size of many Ginnie Mae MBS pools. By combining smaller MBS securities into Platinum securities, investors increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Redfin Completes Acquisition of RentPath for $608 Million
Redfin, Seattle, completed its previously announced acquisition of RentPath for $608 million in cash. RentPath operates rental sites, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, and Rentals.com.
RentPath’s sites, which draw 16 million visitors each month, will continue to operate after the acquisition. Redfin and RentPath will immediately start the engineering work to get RentPath’s rental listings on Redfin.com; those listings are expected to be on Redfin.com in 2022. RentPath will continue to grow its business with multifamily property managers, developing services and products to make it easier for consumers to find a rental and for multifamily communities and property managers to connect with serious prospective tenants.
Stewart Title Expands in New Mexico with Acquisition of Prima Title Team
Stewart Title, Houston, announced acquisition of the Prima Title LLC office and the employment of the Prima team in Santa Fe, N.M.
Stewart is a global real estate services company, offering products and services through our direct operations, network of Stewart Trusted Providers and family of companies.
Fannie Mae: Housing Sentiment Jumps on Consumers’ Selling, Personal Finance Optimism
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased in March by 5.2 points to 81.7. Four of the HPSI’s six components increased month over month, including the components related to homebuying and home-selling conditions, household income, and home prices. The mortgage rate outlook component experienced the only decline; and the latest results indicate that only 6% of consumers believe that mortgage rates will decrease over the next 12 months. Year over year, the HPSI is up 0.9 points.
“The significant increase in the HPSI in March reflects consumer optimism toward the housing market and larger economy as vaccinations continue to roll out, a third round of stimulus checks was distributed, and the spring homebuying season began – perhaps with even more intensity this year, since 2020’s spring homebuying season was limited by virus-related lockdowns,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Home-selling sentiment experienced positive momentum across most consumer segments – nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels and generally indicative of a strong seller’s market. Consumers once again cited high home prices and tight inventory as primary reasons why it’s a good time to sell. Alternatively, while the net ‘good time to buy’ component increased month over month, it has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, as the homebuying experience continues to prove difficult for many of the same reasons, namely high prices and a lack of supply.”