Reali, a flat-fee real estate startup that operates in California, is following the path laid out by other tech-focused real estate companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor and getting into the mortgage business.
Reali announced Wednesday that it acquired Lenda, an online mortgage lender that launched in 2013 and currently operates in 12 states.
And with the acquisition, Reali is launching Reali Loans, a mortgage lending operation of its own.
Reali is taking the Zillow track to becoming a mortgage lender by acquiring an existing lender (as Zillow did with Mortgage Lenders of America, which recently became known as Zillow Home Loans), rather than starting its own from scratch as Redfin and Opendoor did.
According to Reali, by acquiring Lenda and its technological capabilities, the company will be able to offer borrowers “no origination fees, easy online customer experience, fast approvals, and competitive rates,” along with “faster than industry average” loan closing times.
Reali also said that borrowers will be able to get lower interest rates with Reali Loans (.125% to .25% lower, the company claims) than those they’d get at “big banks.”
Reali’s move into mortgages is a big one for a company that’s grown quickly over the last few years.
When it raised the $20 million last year, the company said that it planned to expand beyond California, and while the company’s real estate services are still only available in the Golden State, it can now offer mortgages in the 12 states where Lenda operated.
Last year, Lenda expanded multiple times, but the company ruffled some feathers in its early years.
More recently, the company announced that its service would be available in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona. Then, Lenda expanded to Virginia. The company also lends in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
And now, Reali Loans will operate in those states.
“Our mission and vision is to simplify the home buying and selling experience for our customers by creating transparency and offering multiple services including home loans, to minimize the amount of complexity in today’s antiqued real estate process,” said Amit Haller, co-founder and CEO of Reali.
“This acquisition of Lenda into Reali Loans accelerates our company roadmap with goals to vertically integrate all parts of the home buying transaction in the near future and realize our vision for a reimagined real estate experience,” Haller added.
Lenda Co-Founder and CEO Jason van den Brand said that the deal will allow the company to expand.
“Every industry is experiencing a digital transformation, mortgage lending included. We’ve been focused on understanding consumer data to simplify outdated processes," van den Brand said. “Our team is thrilled to be joining Reali where we can scale our vision of reimagining homeownership to be a customer-first experience.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.