Real Estate

Steve Murray on new brokerage models, CFPB crackdowns

Today’s HousingWire Daily features a crossover episode with RealTrending, a podcast showcasing the brightest minds in real estate and the housing market. In this episode, Steve Murray, RealTrends advisor and industry stalwart, discusses the emergence of a new brokerage model and the validity behind the concerns against institutional investors. 

Additionally, Murray shares some of the challenges that the mortgage and title industry might face under the Biden administration’s new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau director.

Here is a preview of the topics Murray discussed. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

New brokerage model: We’ve all watched the companies that are doing bridge financing. And we’ve watched the iBuyers, whether it’s Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor or OfferPad. IT occurs to us, from talking to industry leaders who are engaged in some of these services, that soon we’re going to have a new type of brokerage company.

Department of Justice/Federal Trade Commission: The DOJ Antitrust Division basically reneges on a settlement agreement with the National Association of Realtors that would’ve provided, basically, a lot more transparency to buyers and what their agents are earning. They just simply walked away, postponed it, whatever you want to say. That’s a pretty big event. 

Second, we noticed that the Biden administration has appointed a new sheriff at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. And, his background is more like Richard Cordray than the Trump administration’s appointee. You can expect far more scrutiny of the mortgage lending industry, especially iBuyers and companies like Ribbon and Knock, along with the title insurance industry. They are likely to get a lot of scrutiny. Where will that lead?

Institutional investors and iBuyers: We’ve written about this and even commented about it before, but there seems to be a lot of hysteria around the influence institutional investors are having in the housing market. Let’s set the stage first.

Starting at the end of the last downturn, private individuals started accumulating portfolios of single-family properties as investments. Now, this has always been a part of the makeup of our industry. Prior to the downturn, it was estimated that nearly 20 million, one-to-four family homes were owned and rented out by private, individual investors. Then the downturn happened and those investors accumulated more than ever before, because there was a great opportunity to buy foreclosures, distressed homes and then rent them at very, very strong returns. What does that mean to you?

​​HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsrooms that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at

HousingWire Daily

Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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