SAN FRANCISCO -- HomeLight is now allowing agents who have claimed profiles on the site to create a list of recommended vendors, opening up the door for them to use the platform to recommend other real estate professionals like mortgage lenders and title insurers to their clients.
The site -- which serves up information on more than 2 million real estate agents in 35 markets including licensing information and transaction history -- now lets all real estate professionals, not just agents, create profiles showcasing their skills.
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HomeLight works with "thousands of top producing agents across the country," said CEO Drew Uher in a statement. "Other real estate professionals such as lenders and title companies are approaching us asking how they can build relationships with the agents in our network to garner referrals."
The profile enhancements "are a great way to do that," Uher said. "What better way for a lender to impress an agent than to demonstrate how other top producing agents already trust them and recommend them to their clients?"
Agents were previously able to claim their profile and upload new transactions, solicit reviews from clients, and link their profile to their LinkedIn recommendations. Now agents also have the ability to add testimonials, awards and certifications.
Many large real estate brokerages have affiliated mortgage and title insurance companies that depend on agent referrals for much of their business. Agents sometimes recommend settlement services providers because they are confident that they will provide good service to their clients.
The provision of settlement services like title insurance is governed by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPSA), which prohibits companies from paying kickbacks to agents and brokers for referring business to them. RESPA is enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.