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Move, Inc. launches consumer lending site, Mortgage Match

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Today, Move, Inc. announces their newest acquisition, MortgageMatch.com. Retail mortgage banking company, Cornerstone Mortgage in Houston, TX (founded in 1988) is now doing business as (dba) Mortgage Match which is operated by Move, Inc.

After two years in development, according to Julie Reynolds, Vice President of Public Relations at Move, Inc., Mortgage Match uses proprietary technology originally used for student loans, reengineered for the lending company in combination with third party data sources like Closing.com for detailed information down to the county level.

Sue Stewart, Move Inc. Senior Vice President told us that the inspiration for Mortgage Match is not only an educational tool for consumers but a tool to help the timeliness of closings given that nearly 50% of real estate agents and brokers they had spoken to cited their number one challenge being deals falling apart at the eleventh hour because of surprise conditions buyers didn’t meet.

Mortgage Match is aware that they are entering a sea full of competitors but considers itself unique in that they do not participate in lead auctioning or selling user information, and they claim they provide superior accuracy and transparency. Although a different product because they’re addressing wholesale loans, we evaluated RateSpeed in 2008 which found success due to the similar theory of education and transparency.

How it all works

Mortgage Match has three different modules. First, the snapshot where without registering, consumers can define what they can afford and view different loan products. Secondly, when users have outlined what they can or will afford themselves, they can search for a home using Realtor.com listings and get a tangible feel for what X dollars can buy them. Thirdly, users can prequalify with the Prequal Plus option using “out of wallet questions,” as Stewart called them. The last step of prequal only asks for the last four of their social and has users give credit authorization and they consumers can see a two page prequal letter with the second page outlining all of the conditions. Then, they can email the letter to their agent or wherever they need to.

What we like and what we are unclear about

There are some pretty cool things about Mortgage Match that we enjoy starting with the ease of use and really clean and slick user interface to the side by side comparison chart. We also like that when users go to actually apply for a loan (using their True Application feature), the system remembers their information, intuitively saving them a step. Mortgage Match also features a refinance module which we find to be forward thinking along with the “find a Realtor feature” and the integration between Mortgage Match and Realtor.com.

We asked if a full transaction management system like SureClose was in the works for Move, Inc. to make the lending/buying process complete but no clear indication was made by the folks at Move, Inc.

Move, Inc. is a publicly traded company and rarely reveals trade secrets, including this one. So far as we can tell, it does not appear to be ad supported and Stewart and Reynolds both stated that Mortgage Match and Move, Inc. do not collect any commission from consumers. We were invited to join the next earnings call to possibly review how the model makes money, but for now, it simply makes sense that Move, Inc. owns all profit from Cornerstone given the acquisition.

Mortgage Match business model versus Zillow

We believe Mortgage Match is a step in the right direction for the industry and it will be interesting to see what adjustments competitors might make. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, founded in 2008 is a major competitor as their goals to empower consumers are similar. According to Zillow.com Chief Revenue Officer, Greg Schwartz, the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (ZMM) gets 300,000 consumer loan requests each month, and has about 1,500 active lenders in a given month, all of which can be rated and reviewed by users. Schwartz notes that borrowers’ identities are anonymous until they choose otherwise. Although the business models between ZMM and Mortgage Match are different, watching their growth will be intriguing as their goals of transparency, anonymity and consumer empowerment are in line with each other.

AG is not affiliated with Zillow, Move, Inc. or Mortgage Match. Realtor.com, operated by Move, Inc. is an advertiser on AG.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Julie Reynolds

    December 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hey Lani – Thanks for sharing our news with your community. We think Mortgagematch.com will help agents save time, save deals and sell more homes.

    We surveyed Realtors earlier this year and 53.5% told us they had deals fall through, and clients lost homes, because of problems related to getting financing approved. More than half reported problems with financing cost them at least one transaction in the past year.

    We believe the lending experience needs to be easier to understand and navigate, especially for first-time homebuyers.

    Mortgagematch.com was developed to help home buyers avoid the traditional pitfalls of other online mortgage products.

    We know consumers want something that’s fast, easy and helps them set realistic homebuying expectations. Buyers and their agents need to know up front what they can afford and what will be required to fund the loan We think Mortgagematch.com will help ease the stress many agents experience when deals are left hanging or purchases fall through.

    Mortgagematch.com offers 24/7 access to real rates and real loan products in real time in an uncluttered and easy to use interface.

    We look forward to sharing success stories with your community, and we always welcome your feedback on this newest site.

  2. Matt Kelly

    December 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    So to “avoid the traditional pitfalls of other online mortgage products” they acquire Cornerstone? They aren’t exactly what I would call “Savvy” in that space.

    • Julie Reynolds

      December 1, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Hey Matt – Saw your post and wanted to mention that Move, Inc., hasn’t acquired Cornerstone Mortgage Company. They are a Houston-based full-service mortgage banker that will underwrite all loans funded through Mortgagematch.com.

      Move selected Cornerstone for this role for several reasons. They do business with all of the nation’s large lenders, which creates an ideal interface with Mortgagematch.com. Cornerstone is fully licensed, handles conventional, VA and FHA loan products, provides excellent customer support and offers a selection of excellent loan products at competitive rates.

      When I said that Move developed Mortgagematch.com to avoid the traditional pitfalls of other online mortgage products…I was referring to the user experience, to how the site guards the privacy and security of its users, and to the decision and pricing engine developed specifically to help borrowers access real loan products accompanied by real rates in real time so they can be more successful in working with their agents to purchase their next home….among other things.

      I have an idea, if you haven’t tried the site out yet, please give it a spin. Or, we can arrange for a demo tour for you. Let us know.

      Thanks for your comment and for giving us the opportunity to stay in touch and answer your questions.

  3. aMY L cavENDER

    December 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I’m excited for this addition to our Cornerstone family.

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Economic News

Boomers retirement may be the true reason behind the labor shortage

(ECONOMY) Millennials and Gen Z were quick to be blamed for the labor shortage, citing lazy work ethic- the cause could actually be Boomers retirement.

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Older man pictured in cafe with laptop nearby representing boomers retirement.

In July, we reported on the Great Resignation. With record numbers of resignations, there’s a huge labor shortage in the United States. Although there were many speculations about the reasons why, from “lazy” millennials to the number of deaths from Covid. Just recently, CNN reported that in November another 3.6 million Americans left the labor force. It’s been suggested that the younger generations don’t want to work but retiring Boomers might be the bigger culprit.

Why Boomers are leaving the labor force

CNN Business reports that 90% of the Americans who left the workplace were over 55 years old. It’s now being suggested that many of the people who have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic were older Americans, not Millennials or Gen Z, as we originally thought. Here are the reasons why:

  • Boomers are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than their younger counterparts, so they aren’t returning to work. Boomers are less willing to risk their health.
  • The robust real estate market has benefitted Boomers, who have more equity in their homes. Boomers have more options on the table than just returning to work.
  • Employers aren’t creating or posting jobs that lure people out of retirement or those near retirement age.

As Boomers retire, how does this impact the overall labor economy?

According to CNN Business, there are signs that the labor shortage is abating. Employers are starting to see record number of applicants to most posted jobs. FedEx, for example, just got 111,000 applications in one week, the highest it has ever recorded. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the pandemic-induced increase in retirement is only temporary. People who retired due to the risk of the pandemic will return to work as new strategies emerge to reduce the risk to their health. With new varients popping up, we will have to keep an eye on how the trend ultimately plays out.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?

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NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<

#CarsonHUD

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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.

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young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

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The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.

#JobOpenings

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