While most of the biggest names in mortgage lending are focused on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference, taking place right now in Boston, one of the biggest names in real estate revealed that it is getting into the mortgage business.
On Tuesday, RE/MAX announced that it is launching Motto Mortgage, a mortgage brokerage franchise that the company plans to take nationwide.
“Motto Mortgage will open mortgage franchises throughout the U.S. increasing competition in the industry, resulting in more choice and a better experience for consumers,” the company said Tuesday. “Its loan originators will work with real estate offices so that agents can help homebuyers obtain the mortgage loans that best fit their individual needs.”
According to RE/MAX, the Motto Mortgage brokerages will be located within RE/MAX offices.
“Pairing a Motto Mortgage franchise with a real estate brokerage means homebuyers can work with a real estate agent to find a home and with a Motto Mortgage loan originator to secure financing in offices at one location,” the company said.
RE/MAX claims that placing Motto Mortgage franchises within RE/MAX offices, it creates a true “one-stop shop” for homebuyers.
“RE/MAX disrupted the real estate industry when it was created more than four decades ago. We did it by empowering real estate agents and ultimately giving consumers a better home-buying and selling experience,” RE/MAX CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Dave Liniger said.
“The RE/MAX model remains unique and continues to thrive because we have the best agents in the business who deliver exceptional service,” Liniger continued. “Today we are extending our core competency of franchising into the mortgage origination market by introducing Motto Mortgage.”
Lingier said that RE/MAX “obsesses” about ways to improve the real estate experience for consumers, and sees this as a way to help mortgage brokers and consumers alike.
“We know that independent mortgage brokers' share of the mortgage origination market dropped significantly following the economic downturn, falling from a 15-year average of 22%– with a high of 35% in 2006 – to 10% in 2015,” Liniger said. “Mortgage brokers bring choice and service to the consumer and Motto Mortgage will work to expand the market share of mortgage brokers and bring better mortgage choice and service to consumers as a result.”
Motto Mortgage President Ward Morrison, who has been with RE/MAX for 11 years and most recently served as vice president, region operations and business opportunities, said the company will look to bring mortgage brokers and “skilled” loan originators back to the market.
“Our priorities will be educating, training and supporting our franchisees so that they can provide exemplary customer service to their clients,” Morrison said.
“Because choice and service matter, Motto Mortgage will offer a variety of mortgage options while promoting honesty and complete disclosure, making it extremely consumer friendly,” Morrison said. “It's the one-stop shop homebuyers want and the experience they will soon come to expect.”
RE/MAX’s move into the mortgage brokerage space comes at interesting time, as the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the association of mortgage professionals, and United Wholesale Mortgage recently announced a new initiative that aims to grow the mortgage broker channel.
Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of UWM, told HousingWire earlier this year that mortgage brokers took a major hit after the financial crisis, leaving their individual businesses behind and moving to the security of working for a bigger company.
And Motto Mortgage could prove to provide that security for mortgage brokers.
The timing of this announcement is somewhat ironic as earlier Tuesday, Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told the audience at the MBA conference that the CFPB has no plans to back off of its RESPA enforcement in the wake of the recent PHH ruling.
RE/MAX notes that Motto Mortgage loan originators “will not be bound” to the loan products of any specific lenders and will have “access to quality loan options from various sources.”