Industry Briefs Monday Feb. 22 2021
Redfin Enters Agreement to Acquire RentPath for $608 Million
Redfin, Seattle, announced it entered into an agreement to acquire RentPath, an Atlanta-based owner of ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, and Rentals.com, for $608 million in cash.
“RentPath has more than 20,000 apartment buildings on its rental websites, and grew its traffic more than 25% last year,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “We can almost double that audience, as one in five of Redfin.com’s 40+ million monthly visitors also want to see homes for rent.”
Redfin said it will increase RentPath’s reach, creating more rental opportunities for the rental properties promoted on RentPath sites. Redfin estimates that 10 million of Redfin’s 40+ million monthly online visitors may also be interested in rental properties.
SimpleNexus User Group Conference Features MBA’s Marina Walsh, CMB
SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, holds its annual user group (SNUG) event virtually on February 22-24. Mortgage Bankers Association Vice President of Industry Analysis Marina Walsh, CMB, will lead a 2021 economic forecast session, giving lenders an overview of forces impacting the market and how they will impact mortgage lenders.
The conference also features Shane Hartzler, director of eMortgage strategy and solutions with Fannie Mae; SimpleNexus’ Ben Miller and Shane Westra; David Burner of Notarize; Chuck Walker, vice president of digital alliances and product distribution with Fannie Mae; Brett Brumley of Lender Toolkit, Brent Chandler of FormFree and Tammy Louks of Progressive Insurance.
Tickets and full conference details for SNUG 2021 are available at https://simplenexus.com/sn/snug2021/.
Adwerx: ‘FaceForward’ Advertising Trend to Continue in 2021, Beyond
Adwerx, Durham, N.C., said 2021 will be the year of Face-Forward advertising—merging in personalized data and images of the ‘local’ company representative into the brand advertising for the firm, resulting every representative personally advertised in their market automatically.
“Putting a ‘local’ face on your brand creates trust, affinity and ultimately improved outcomes for your producers who are out selling,” said Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson. “If you are in a business built on relationship sales, your people are the product. But until recently, it’s been impossible to advertise that product at scale.”
Carlson said FaceForward ads also get more noticed than traditional brand ads. A study on the effects of face images on consumers’ responses to print advertising found ads featuring a person’s face attracted 11 times more attention than non-face ads, with the effect being even greater in scenarios where exposure time is short (such as an ad on the internet or social media). Using the Face-Forward Advertising Method, advertisers increase the likelihood that an ad will get noticed.
CoreLogic Launches Digital Title and Closing Platform
CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., launched its digital Title and Closing Solution. This launch represents CoreLogic’s latest enhancement to Complete Collateral, the company’s drive to deliver a single, end-to-end digital mortgage workflow to simplify, streamline and orchestrate the entire collateral underwriting process.
With its new digital Title and Closing Solution, CoreLogic can help lenders accelerate their existing title processes by automating dozens of manual steps.
Black Knight: Mortgages in Forbearance Up 15,000
Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said its weekly blog showed mortgages in active forbearance rose by 15,000 (+0.06%) since last Tuesday. Despite the weekly increase, the monthly rate of decline held steady at -2%, continuing the trend of very slow but steady improvement in the number of outstanding forbearance cases.
According to the company’s McDash Flash daily mortgage performance data set, as of February 16, 2.69 million homeowners – 5.1% of all mortgage-holders – remain in active forbearance. This includes 9.2% of FHA/VA, 3.2% of GSE and 5.1% of portfolio/private mortgages.
Portfolio held and privately securitized loans saw the largest increase in plans (+12,000 / +1.8%), followed FHA/VA loans, which saw active forbearance plans rise by 5,000 (+0.4%). GSE loans were the only cohort to see a decline – albeit slightly (2,000; -0.2%).
FormFree Expands Income/Employment Verification
FormFree, Athens, Ga., announced its AccountChek 3n1 asset, employment and income verification service now covers 85% of U.S. workers whose employers use a payroll processing service, representing more than 100 million wage earners.
3n1 allows lenders and GSEs to capture structured, direct-source data and original income documentation at a cost-effective price point. Direct-source payroll data provides a more current understanding of a borrower’s ability to pay and mitigates risks associated with human error and document fraud. With 3n1, FormFree enables lenders to deliver a borrower experience and directly addresses key industry pain points by electronically furnishing lenders with high-fidelity income and employment data.
First Option Mortgage Opens Offices in 4 States
First Option Mortgage, Atlanta, opened four new offices in multiple states. The new locations and branch managers are in Tampa, Fla., led by Lorena Colin; Corbin, Ken.; led by Tim Hill; Alexandria, Va.; led by Melissa Willoby; and Orland Park, Ill., led by Brian Kedzior.
First Option Mortgage started in 2004. It is licensed in 17 states and has more than 200 employees.
First American Mortgage Solutions Integrates with BackintheBlack
First American Mortgage Solutions LLC, Santa Ana, Calif., completed a strategic integration with default/loss mitigation workflow provider BackInTheBlack LLC that automates orders of First American Mortgage Solutions’ loss mitigation products and services for BackInTheBlack technology users.
This includes loss mitigation title reports, uninsured property reports, loan modification and partial claim documents and lien priority insurance, which can now be ordered and delivered directly through BackInTheBlack, eliminating manual input and streamlining the process. The integration helps lenders and servicers more efficiently process loss mitigation options for borrowers, using BackInTheBlack calculators and workflow automation.
Redfin Publishes Flood Risk Data from Flood Factor for 94 Million Homes
Redfin, Seattle, published flood risk information for nearly every home on its website in regions where this data is available.
Visitors to Redfin.com who want to understand the potential flood risk of any individual property can now see a Flood Factor score from 1 to 10 associated with each home, representing its cumulative risk of flooding over a 30-year period. First Street Foundation, a science and technology nonprofit organization whose mission is to quantify and communicate America’s growing flood risk, provides Flood Factor data to Redfin. Currently, this data is available everywhere in the contiguous U.S.