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Lunch & Learn about underserved markets and affordable housing

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IPO / M&AMortgagePolitics & Money

Zillow is now officially in the mortgage business

Is “Zillow Mortgage” coming soon?

It’s official – one of the biggest names in real estate just joined the mortgage industry.

Zillow announced Thursday that it completed its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, marking its official first step into the mortgage industry.

Zillow began making significant changes to the housing industry when, back in May 2017, it announced that it was getting into the home selling business by launching “Zillow Instant Offers.” In that program, prospective home sellers in certain markets can receive offers for their home direct from investors, all through Zillow’s platform.

But the company soon took the next step, and became an investor itself. Through Zillow Offers, Zillow is now directly buying houses from sellers in DenverAtlanta, Las Vegas and, Phoenix.

Then in August, the company announced it would be getting into the mortgage business with the acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America.

Now, that acquisition is complete.

And Zillow already has plans for its acquisition, announcing it plans to rebrand the mortgage company in 2019.

“Getting a mortgage is often the hardest, most complicated part of buying a home,” said Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group president of media and marketplaces. “We acquired MLOA, which we will rebrand in 2019, so we could streamline, shorten and simplify the home-buying process for consumers who purchase homes through Zillow Offers.”

Could Zillow Mortgage be coming soon?

Zillow announced its acquisition will streamline the home buying process for Americans who purchase homes through Zillow Offers.

Mortgage Lenders of America will continue its current line of business, offering mortgages to consumers and participating in Zillow’s mortgage marketplace.

Zillow explained that owning a mortgage lender will allow it to develop new tools and partnership opportunities, including for real estate brokers with existing in-house mortgage operations or mortgage affiliates and its existing mortgage advertisers.

Mortgage Lenders of America was founded in 2000 and has about 300 employees. The company is led by Philip Kneibert. Kneibert will continue to lead the company as vice president and general manager of Mortgage Lenders of America, reporting to Greg Schwartz. The company will continue to operate from its Kansas headquarters.

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