Category Archives: Mortgage

The role of a healthy marketplace in real estate sales


More and more, buyers and sellers are recognizing the value of consumer-facing technology in the real estate market. With these tools, buyers are gaining unprecedented levels of intelligence when looking into properties for sale, while sellers are better understanding what buyers are willing to bid on.

However, not all real estate marketplaces are the same. Marketplaces such as, which is the largest in the market in terms of the number of registered users and assets listed, can accommodate the specific needs of buyers and sellers while also promoting an active, engaged market in which all parties find success.

Investing in a healthy marketplace

The core of any real estate marketplace is the ability to provide an accurate read on pricing paired with the ability to efficiently support the selling of real estate in any market condition. Yet, many marketplaces are unable to achieve this.

A healthy marketplace, such as, will consist of buyers who continually find attractive opportunities, sellers that receive market prices and qualified bids early and often, and the process of transferring ownership through the marketplace will be effective and risk-free. invests heavily into technology that operates within changing market conditions, but more importantly, consists of over 1,000 knowledgeable and experienced professionals throughout the United States that understand the real estate industry and how to maximum the tools at hand to provide the best disposition strategies.

This team is made of both in-house professionals and on-the-ground partnerships, such as local sheriffs and real estate professionals, to provide solutions to some of real estate’s most complex challenges. These relationships help accurately — and quickly — process assets through the system, from the onboarding of an asset onto to the platform to the successful closing of sale while ensuring all seller and legal requirements are met.

Transparency in a healthy marketplace

While buyers and sellers have unique individual needs, both parties require greater levels of transparency and access to market intelligence and information relating to individual properties.’s marketplace enables buyers to gain access to information specific to a property’s condition, the neighborhood it’s located in, and, if it’s inhabited, the tenants themselves.

This level of insight enables buyers to make more informed decisions about which properties to bid on and how to best leverage the asset should they win. In doing so, buyers gain confidence to bid early and bid often, helping ensure the health of the marketplace.

On the seller side, increased transparency takes the form of providing greater insight into buyer interest on a particular property. A seller’s ultimate goal is to sell the asset quickly, efficiently and profitably, resulting in the best outcome on the investment. To achieve this,’s client management team helps sellers gain a better understanding of the types of properties buyers are looking to bid on, how much buyers are willing to pay and the length of time comparable assets tend to remain on the market through leveraging proprietary data analytics.

With these resources, helps sellers more confidently manage their disposition portfolios through the marketplace.

Healthy marketplaces foster continuous improvement

A healthy, successful marketplace also requires a culture that fosters continuous improvement. The market changes rapidly and buyers and sellers often lack the time and resources to keep up-to-date on every facet of change. This is why employs a team of experienced and dedicated industry professionals with proven industry expertise to lead this charge and support the needs of buyers and sellers.

Additionally, healthy marketplaces should be scalable, with the capacity to support increased levels of demand from an increasing population of both buyers and sellers.

Technology, experienced staff and the ability to understand the market are at the foundation of a healthy real estate marketplace. These elements work together to form the best experience for buyers and sellers alike. Truly healthy marketplaces are those in which buyers and sellers are continually able to find success —ones that help sellers sell of properties more quickly and profitably, while enabling buyers to gain unprecedented access to market insight and property information in multiple counties and states without the requirement of physically being present.

Ultimately, a healthy marketplace enables more qualified buyers to compete in a way that aligns with both seller and buyer objectives, creating an environment where both parties thrive and achieve success at the end of the process.


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2018: The year of the title company

The real estate industry made significant movement this year toward improved communications between all the professionals and consumers that are required for a property sale. At the core of this is a concerted effort by the title industry to apply technology to modernize and upgrade the closing process. 

One may even look back at the Fidelity National Financial Q1 2017 earnings call to pinpoint a specific event that solidified the importance of the industry’s investment in technology. Bill Foley, Chairman of the Board, highlighted the value of consolidating transactions to a single technology platform while discussing strategies “to develop an end-to-end program from the time the Realtor gets the listing to the time when the transaction closes and we interface with the lenders.”

In the not so distant past, technology powerful enough to drive the real estate industry’s impending step-change evolution would have only been available to the largest enterprises and institutions. Today, however, thanks to advances in how technology can be built and distributed, it is available to businesses of all sizes.

In the year ahead, real estate professionals operating in disconnected silos simply cannot afford to continue with business as usual – the risk of losing a substantial amount of business is just too big. Digital transactions that provide connections between transaction parties have slowly become not only a normal way of doing business, but the requirement. Case in point, Zillow, a cloud-based product built to help buyers and sellers find each other online, has more than 160 million monthly users, over 100 million homes in its database, and has quickly displaced traditional methods for starting a home search.

The ease at the front end of the transaction from products like Zillow heightens the pressure to improve the actual operations of a transaction on the back end. It’s what is expected. For title companies specifically, slow adoption of the latest technology brings a significant risk of losing business. Partners and customers will abandon companies providing legacy settlement service levels for a better experience. The most frustrating part of this risk to those slow to adapt is that they won’t even see their relationships with lenders and real estate brokerages slipping away until it’s too late to rehabilitate them.

Title companies should look hard at being the drivers behind a unified real estate transaction platform if they don’t want diminished control of their business. Leaving it to the lenders or brokerages to “own” a shared system that manages transactions puts the title agent at significant business risk.

Title companies would see a deteriorating bottom line driven by these following pressures:

  1. Market consolidation:  Margins will compress as larger national title operations that previously relied on the refi business pivot towards consolidating the purchase market. 
  2. Lead consolidation:  As information about transactions become more accessible and consumers drive more of the purchasing decisions, there will be an increasing consolidation of the source of leads that slip away from being exclusive word of mouth referrals.
  3. Margin compression:  The fees currently charged by RealEC, Ellie Mae, and many eMortgage software products are good examples of the type of margin compression to expect.

It’s important to point out here that “owning” the real estate transaction platform of record isn’t only about the players supporting the property sale. The consumer will play an increasingly influential role in consolidating transactions to a single technology platform.

Companies that focus on customer first experiences will quickly gain their unfair advantage and expand their market share. According to a recent American Bankers Association survey, two thirds of Americans use digital banking channels which is representative of the indisputable trend that consumers and service professionals alike want easy, fast, and digital. They’re managing their credit, savings, and checking accounts online and increasingly venturing into cloud-based lending. Lender products such as Blend, Roostify, and Encompass Consumer Connect are evidence that consumers are fully engaged in the trend.

While digital mortgages will play a big part in the consumer first transition (and especially in the marketing around it), adoption will remain below 1% of the market throughout 2018 as service providers test out the waters.

Title companies must explore taking the lead on implementing technology that drives the real estate industry forward. If they don’t, the coming year will be one that marks the beginning of business challenges that will remain with companies for years to come rather than one that marks a time they expanded their presence while taking the customer experience to new heights. 

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Bankers concerned as Trump mulls credit kinship regulator for CFPB

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s care of J. Mark McWatters to lead a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is stoking fears among bankers that he will uncover preference to credit unions once in office.

In his stream position as chair of a National Credit Union Administration, McWatters has publicly advocated for slicing behind a CFPB’s slip of a credit kinship attention and upheld apart measures that would concede such institutions to enhance their lending footprint.

“The NCUA has grown a repute for being a cheerleader for a industry,” pronounced Camden Fine, boss and CEO of a Independent Community Bankers of America.
Banking regulators, on a other hand, “have traditionally and still are fundamentally just regulators of their industry,” he said.

In a Jul minute to a CFPB, NCUA Chair J. Mark McWatters pronounced credit unions above $10 billion in resources should be free from a consumer bureau’s oversight.

Bloomberg News

But some observers pronounced that if he leads CFPB, McWatters, a former confidant to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., would take a some-more design proceed to regulation.

“Like Chairman Hensarling, his faithfulness is to ideas, not to institutions,” pronounced J.W. Verret, an partner highbrow during a George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School and former comparison warn to Hensarling. “The longstanding adversary between banks and credit unions is irrelevant to McWatters’ candidacy for a CFPB.”

James Ballentine, executive clamp boss of congressional family and domestic affairs for a American Bankers Association, sought to strike a some-more neutral stance.

“I am certain whoever stairs into that purpose will make a law scrupulously opposite a board,” he said.

Still, McWatters’ open record is a regard for bankers, quite his lobbying for breaks for credit unions from a CFPB.

In a Jul minute to then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray, McWatters pronounced credit unions with resources of some-more than $10 billion should be free from a bureau’s oversight.

“As not-for-profit, consumer-owned and -controlled financial institutions,” McWatters wrote, federally insured credit unions “serve a unique, certain purpose for consumers in today’s financial services marketplace. we trust that purpose can and should be renowned from a purpose played by for-profit, investor-owned and –controlled financial institutions.”

McWatters also called on a CFPB to explain a management to manage unfair, false and violent acts.

Credit unions are carefree that if McWatters is commission and confirmed, he will follow by on his possess recommendations.

“In both of those cases he put in essay really plain justification for it and we would wish it would lift over” to a CFPB, pronounced Ryan Donovan, arch advocacy officer during a Credit Union National Association.

But, Donovan said, McWatters shouldn’t be prejudged by his reign during a NCUA.

“I don’t cruise his time during NCUA would have really most temperament on how a financial services attention should viewpoint him,” Donovan said. “He is not narrow-minded and he knows a law.”
Geoff Bacino, a former NCUA house member, pronounced McWatters’ knowledge competence yield additional discernment into how CFPB regulations impact credit unions and other financial institutions.

“Having someone there that has lived it competence bode good for a agency’s bargain of a impact of a actions,” pronounced Bacino.

But Fine pronounced he hopes that President Trump would instead cruise a stream or former bank regulator for a tip CFPB post.

“I would wish that a administration would cruise regulators, policymakers from a blurb bank regulatory agencies, stream or former, that are some-more capable in a full physique of regulations and maybe maybe have worked some-more closely with CFPB given it was stood up,” Fine said.

He remarkable that there are differences in regulations of a dual industries.

“Credit unions are not theme to all of a regulations that blurb banks are theme to” such as a Community Reinvestment Act, Fine said.

However, others speculated that if McWatters was nominated he competence have a smoother trail to confirmation, carrying already been reliable by a Senate to lead NCUA and carrying been nominated by former President Obama to lead a Export-Import Bank in 2016. (His acknowledgment was blocked by Senate Republicans.)

“Certainly Mr. McWatters has a education for a position and carrying been reliable once, as good as going by a accommodate and hail routine with countless senators when he was being deliberate for a chair on a Export-Import Bank, his trail to acknowledgment might be easier than others,” pronounced former NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel.

NCUA board

Nominating McWatters to lead a CFPB would also emanate another cavity during a three-member NCUA board, withdrawal usually Democrat holdover Rick Metsger. Metsger’s tenure lapsed in August, though has remained during a NCUA until his inheritor is nominated. He could opt to leave during any time.

As for NCUA, given there already exists a cavity and an lapsed tenure it would be prudent, should a boss commission Mr. McWatters to be conduct of CFPB, to commission a Republican to a lapsed tenure of Metsger and appropriate that authority chairman while nominating a Democrat to a empty chair of former Chairman [Debbie] Matz,” pronounced Fryzel.

“Then when those 3 nominees are confirmed, a boss can commission a second Republican to a vacated McWatters seat. That routine will safeguard a well-spoken transition during NCUA.”

Bacino also forked out that nominating McWatters to lead a CFPB would put Trump in a position to designate all 3 house members during a NCUA.

“All of a remarkable we get something … that is historic,” pronounced Bacino, who remarkable that a Trump administration would be means to “focus a direction” of NCUA formed on a forms of people it nominates.

“For credit unions who are looking during this from a long-term, big-picture perspective, that is a concern,” pronounced Bacino.

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