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Lenders, tech firms hire executives to navigate down market

Lenders and mortgage tech companies have been cutting costs in the down market, but some firms have hired new executives who they hope will provide better strategies to navigate the shrinking loan origination market.

Motto Mortgage, a national mortgage brokerage franchise, and wemlo, a mortgage processing solution with an all-in-one digital platform, tapped Chris Erickson as vice president of product and strategy for both brands this week. Mortgage lender and servicer Planet Home Lending also named Kathryn Edelen as regional vice president of its sales division this week. 

Erickson will be in charge of product management, the procurement and advancement of technology solutions and will oversee the training department and support teams for Motto Mortgage and wemlo. For the Motto brand, Erickson will focus on streamlining the product ecosystem for franchisees. For wemlo, his primary focus is to enhance the existing loan processing platform to improve user experience.

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Chris Erickson, vice president of product and strategy at Motto Mortgage and wemlo

“His extensive industry experience has allowed him to learn the challenges originators and consumers face in the home buying experience and he will work to develop solutions that improve and streamline the process for our franchisees and customers,” said Ward Morrison, president and chief executive officer at Motto Franchising and wemlo. 

Erickson brings nearly two decades of experience to his new role. His previous positions include vice president of product management at Guaranteed Rate, head of product for rental property solutions at CoreLogic and assistant vice president and product manager for Mr. Cooper. 

Real estate firm RE/MAX acquired Motto Mortgage in 2016 to create a “one-stop-shop” in which homebuyers can work with both a real estate agent to find a home and a Motto Mortgage loan originator to secure financing, according to RE/MAX. RE/MAX and Motto were having trouble hiring experienced processors, so about four years ago they bought wemlo, which has a platform connecting mortgage brokers and loan originators to a processing network.

Kathryn Edelen, who will manage the Eastern U.S. for Planet Home Lending, will focus on increasing market share by adding branches and loan originators. 

Edelen most recently was a regional sales manager at Nations Lending. She also has served as vice president for loanDepot and regional manager for Homebridge Financial Services. She started in operations more than three decades ago and built her career as a mortgage loan producer processing $100 million a year, before becoming a branch manager. 

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“As the market tightens, it is important to educate and equip teams with knowledge and products that improve efficiency and support market growth,” Edelen said in a statement. 

Planet recently introduced a new team in Portland, Oregon, which will focus on borrowers looking to work with homebuilders. The firm plans to open other offices in the state, including in Salem, Eugene and Medford, Planet representatives said last month. 

Floify, a subsidiary of Porch Group providing loan origination point of sale (POS) tools and solutions, appointed Sofia Rossato as president and general manager and Dan Goldman as vice president of sales. 

Rossato will focus on enhancing Floify’s operations, growth and performance. Goldman will be responsible for Floify’s sales development strategies. 

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Dan Goldman, vice president of sales at Floify
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Sofia Rossato, president and general manager at Floify

Before joining Floify, Rossato was CEO of the chat platform SnapEngage and chief operating officer of the information division at MarkIt. Goldman held leadership positions at firms including First Integrity Mortgage Services, Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative and Pacific Union Financial. 

Seattle-based proptech firm Porch Group acquired Floify for $90 million in October 2021 in a deal in which Porch paid $76.5 million in cash and $10 million in common stock. 

At the time of the acquisition, Porch said Floify’s brand will remain intact and its 47 employees won’t be forced to relocate. Floify’s software, which streamlines the loan origination process by allowing document sharing communication between loan officers and real estate agents, helped more than 77,000 mortgage applications close each month in 2021, according to the firm. 

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