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loanDepot unveils ambitions to expand beyond lending into entire real estate transaction

Wants to connect approved homebuyers with real estate agents

loanDepot is already one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, but now, the company wants to become a much larger part of the home buying process.

On Tuesday, loanDepot unveiled an ambitious new plan that will see the lender expand beyond simply lending a borrower the money to buy a home into facilitating the entire real estate transaction.

Today, loanDepot launched a new service, called mello Home, that connects pre-approved homebuyers with verified real estate agents in their local market.

mello Home is an expansion of mello, loanDepot’s proprietary digital lending platform that the company introduced last year. mello includes three different segments, a web-based consumer portal, a mobile point-of-sale system, and a fully digital mortgage loan application.

The aim of mello, according to loanDepot, is to revolutionize the mortgage lending process.

Now, loanDepot wants to bring its revolutionary ethos to the home buying process itself.

“We first created the mello brand as a name for our proprietary technology platform which redefines fintech from simply streamlining the loan process to a blended digital/local relationship covering all aspects of consumer lending and homeownership,” said Anthony Hsieh, founder and CEO of loanDepot. “Now we are expanding the mello brand.”

mello Home, which will be free for consumers, will connect customers who’ve received credit and digital underwriting pre-approvals from local loanDepot loan consultants with a local real estate agent to begin the process of selecting and purchasing a home.

Real estate agents will not be required to pay up-front fees to join the mello Home network or to be connected with ready-to-transact clients, but will pay a fee to mello Home on closed transactions.

“As America’s digital marketing leader in the homeownership space, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars to connect with homebuying consumers each year, and increasingly, these home shoppers are not yet working with a real estate agent,“ Hsieh said. “mello Home unleashes our digital marketing power to real estate agents by connecting them with homebuyers who’ve been pre-approved by loanDepot’s local loan consultants and are ready to shop and close with a local real estate agent.”

But connecting buyers to real estate agents is only the first phase of loanDepot’s plan to expand its presence in the real estate process.

The company also plans to launch a home improvement business under the mello umbrella, which will provide home improvement loans and connect borrowers with verified contractors.

According to loanDepot, the mello home improvement business will provide borrowers with immediate approval of home improvement loans up to $75,000, along with “seamless” introductions to verified contractors.

For the contractors, they can use mello technology and proprietary digital underwriting to offer financing at their point of sale; so when they propose a project to a homeowner, they can offer financing in real time, loanDepot said.

“Because all real estate is local, not all housing disruption is digital,” Hsieh said. “It’s about matching home buyers and owners with trusted local pros and relevant services throughout their homeownership journey. mello’s proprietary technology and local teams serve the trend of Americans researching real estate services online and closing with local pros.” 

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