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October-November Kudos: Celebrating milestones, launches and awards in the mortgage industry

The Ellie Mae Classic, BB&T, the first-ever LGBT+ top agent list and more

Giving Back

Over the course of six days, more than 90 BB&T associates volunteered with Military Missions in Action to serve veterans and current members of the military as part of the Lighthouse Project – an annual effort at BB&T that encourages associates to serve their communities from April through June.

“I don’t think our country does enough for veterans,” BB&T Associate Cindy Overley said.

“When I had the opportunity to do this, it was where I wanted to go,” she added.

Ally Financial donated school supplies to more than 800 Detroit children recently. Ally volunteers gave out backpacks full of supplies, uniforms, and hygiene products at The Children’s Center’s Back to School Bazaar which helps prepare Detroit students to kick off the school year right with everything they need to succeed in the classroom.

“At Ally, fostering economic mobility is the main focus of our corporate citizenship program, so supporting educational initiatives in our communities is an important part of our approach,” Ally Business Administration Executive and Head of Corporate Citizenship Alison Summerville said.

“We hope that helping local students prepare for school will generate excitement for the new year and help pave the road for academic success in the future,” she added.

Movement Mortgage’s tuition-free charter school, Movement School, is opening its second campus in Charlotte following the success of its inaugural year in the original Movement School.

“Our first year exceeded expectations in almost every way,” Movement Foundation Executive Director of Education Tim Hurley said.

“I can’t speak highly enough of how the teachers, staff and Movement School families worked together to love, value and educate the students, encouraging them to new heights.”

The Movement Schools are open to all students in North Carolina. About 75% of the students are from economically underserved areas.

“Nothing unlocks potential like education,” Movement School Founder and Chairman Casey Crawford said.

“We believe opening a second campus will help the unique gifts, talents and abilities of even more children across Charlotte become fully realized,” he added.

In early August, the annual Ellie Mae Classic took place at TPC Stonebrae in California, just outside the Bay Area.

Pops of color punctuated the country club grounds as polo-clad players lined up for Ellie Mae’s Community Pro-Am, sponsored by HousingWire, where teams of three industry amateurs partnered with a pro to hit the links for a good cause.

The event, now in its fourth year, raises money for the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Opens Doors Foundation, which provides financial relief to families with critically ill children.

It also benefits the Warriors Community Foundation, the charitable arm of the Golden State Warriors.

Stephen Curry, the team’s star guard, graced the competition alongside other big names like Andre Iguodala, Dallas Braden and Jose Canseco in the event’s Celebrity Shootout.

At the Pro-Am kickoff, HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins delivered a $40,000 check to support Opens Doors from HousingWire and the rest of the Pro-Am sponsors, which included Ellie Mae, Teraverde Financial, PrimeLending and Pulte Mortgage.

“At HousingWire, we’re not only focused on keeping housing industry professionals informed with breaking news and insightful journalism, we also seek to build a community of engaged housing professionals,” said Collins.

“The Community Pro-Am brings together some of the most impactful executives in the industry with the shared mission of giving back through support of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation,” he added.

For some of the players, Opens Doors’ mission is personal.

Teraverde Financial CEO Jim Deitch, an Opens Doors board member, said his own daughter’s cancer battle motivated him to get involved.

“Thankfully, we were able to step in and help her, but what about the people who have to make a choice between caring for a sick child or working to make a mortgage payment?” Deitch said.

“Opens Doors provides the opportunity for seven hospitals to refer people who need help. They have the opportunity to have their mortgage or rent payment made while they’re tending to their very sick child, so they don’t have to make a choice between taking care of their child and keeping their home,” Deitch added.

Deitch said the donation from sponsors of the Ellie Mae Community Pro-Am will help 15 to 17 families afford a month’s worth of rent or mortgage payments.

Launches

Keller Williams is teaming up with Austin-based artificial intelligence firm KUNGFU.AI to create a new data pool and explore future tech gamechangers for real estate agents.

The first project KW and KUNGFU will work on together is a program that can read and help generate business insights from PDF-based real estate contracts, which contain a mixture of text and handwriting.

Redfin Mortgage announced that its mortgage lending arm is setting up shop in North Carolina as it continues its national foray into the national mortgage lending landscape. North Carolina is the eighth state Redfin has launched its since it started offering the mortgages last year. This is the second Southeastern market Redfin has expanded into recently. In June, Redfin Mortgage started doing business in Georgia.

Milestones

Opendoor, an online marketplace that buys homes directly from homeowners, is about to go nationwide.

Now operating in 10 markets, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Tampa, and San Antonio, the company plans to expand into California, the Pacific Northwest, and several other areas over the next few months.

According to information provided by the company, Opendoor’s next market expansions will be in Sacramento, California; Riverside, California; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida.

The company said that by expanding into those markets, it will be able to reach approximately 15% of the total population of the U.S.

The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, Sotheby’s International Realty and Real Trends unveiled the inaugural Top LGBT+ Agent List, the real estate industry’s first recognition of top producing LGBT and allied agents and teams.

According to Kevin Thompson, CMO of Sotheby’s International Realty, and sponsor of the list, creating the list creates an opportunity to showcase real estate’s top professional who combine outstanding service and unmatched market knowledge with an impeccable work ethic and an insatiable desire to succeed.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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