Articles by Ben Lane

Property management platform BuildingLink taps Zachary Kestenbaum to replace father as CEO

Jerry Kestenbaum will focus on smart home efforts
It’s a true family affair for property management platform BuildingLink, as the company announced this week that the company’s executive vice president of sales, Zachary Kestenbaum, is being elevated to CEO. Kestenbaum replaces his father, Jerry Kestenbaum, who founded the company 19 years ago and has led it ever since.
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New Penn Financial rolls out non-agency loans for condos

Allows larger portion of commercial space, fewer pre-sale requirements, more
New Penn Financial is expanding on its financing options for condominiums. The lender announced this week that it is rolling out non-agency loans for condos. The new loan product, called SmartCondo, is the newest loan in the lender’s SMART Series, a collection of non-agency loans that provide a variety of options for “highly qualified borrowers.”
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Mixed mortgage news: Refis fall to four-year low, but purchases climb sharply

Total originations actually rise 15% in second quarter
The signs were all there. It was clear that refinance originations were trending down as interest rates rose, but it’s still striking to see the results in black and white. According to newly released data from ATTOM Data Solutions, refinance originations fell to a four-year low during the second quarter, thanks to increases in interest rates.
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Shakeup at Caliber Home Loans: COO of Production Phil Shoemaker departs

Jordan Licht, who joined from Morgan Stanley, is taking over
There are some changes afoot amongst the executive ranks at Caliber Home Loans as the nonbank lender works to continue its growth. Chief among those changes is the departure of Phil Shoemaker, executive vice president and chief operating officer of production. Sources close to the situation told HousingWire that Shoemaker is leaving Caliber to take the no. 2 spot at Home Point Financial. But that's not all that's happening at Caliber.
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Co-living startup Bungalow launches with $64 million in funding

Pairs “early career professionals” with property owners in unique arrangement
Bungalow, a real estate startup, recently launched to bring a new renting option to some of nation’s largest cities. Think of the company as a cross between co-living and a short-term rental platform like Airbnb, because instead of co-living in an apartment building, Bungalow renters co-live in a house. And instead of only staying for just a few days, Bungalow renters stay for an average of 12 months.
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RealPage completes $100 million acquisition of LeaseLabs

Provider of digital marketing services and software is RealPage’s latest acquisition
RealPage’s $100 million acquisition of LeaseLabs is now complete. The acquisition of LeaseLabs is just the latest for RealPage, a provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry. This is RealPage’s sixth since January 2017 and pushes the company’s total outlay for its recent expansion past $1 billion.
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Stearns Lending continues expansion, buying piece of Citywide Home Loans

Also closes on acquisition of minority stake in Certainty Home Loans
Over the last few years, Stearns Lending has been in growth mode, rolling out new loan programs and acquiring new lending channels, and it appears the company is not done growing yet. Stearns announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire an equity interest in Citywide Home Loans, an independent mortgage bank with operations in 36 states.
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Opendoor buying Open Listings to build one-stop shop for home buying and selling

Growing direct buyer acquires low-commission real estate site
Opendoor is about to take a huge step forward in its attempt to create a true one-stop shop for the entire real estate experience. Opendoor announced Tuesday morning that it has acquired Open Listings, a real estate site that offers homebuyers a 50% refund on the fees their real estate agent would have received. With the acquisition, Opendoor now touches all parts of the real estate process.
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Hard money lender Delancey Street bringing commercial bridge loans to NYC

Company uses AI in decision-making process
Delancey Street, a hard money lender based in New York City, is expanding and will begin offering commercial bridge loans in the city's five boroughs. And the company, which also has a lending presence in Los Angeles, said that it may soon begin offering commercial bridge loans in L.A. as well.
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