Industry NewsMortgage

Mortgage lenders find niche in gay, Christian, ethnic groups

Razor focus on specific communities creates new business model

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Alex Espinoza and his brother began selling real estate to the Hispanic market in 1981. They decided to focus on their own ethnic group because they saw a niche no one was filling at the time in Southern California's Inland Empire. "We saw a need to help people," Espinoza said. "People were buying homes and they didn't understand the process. They'd have their children helping them out with a major real estate transaction." That focus has now extended into a development company and a mortgage brokerage. The Espinoza brothers now do business as De Oro Home Loans, which caters to the Hispanic community. Their story mirrors that of other lenders and mortgage brokers focusing on a specialized niche that they felt traditional companies didn't understand and weren't serving well. Larger lending companies usually are the ones that grab the most attention, while niche lenders quietly go about their business, focusing on the particular group makes sense for them. There are companies that focu...