- Nationstar operated at a loss of about $66 million in 2015.
- The company invested $140 million into Xome; it expects to invest about $20 million to $30 million in Xome in 2016.
- Nationstar is also undergoing a significant branding revamp for its servicing and loan origination offerings. The new name for these consolidated services is Mr. Cooper, which represents the company's efforts to create a more personal customer experience.
Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, which owns and operates the real estate marketplace Xome, reported its fourth-quarter and 2015 results this morning.
As a whole, the company operated at a loss in 2015 to the tune of about $66 million. Xome contributed $78 million to the company’s total $882 million in revenue, but expenses, amortizations and other costs meant that Nationstar was $15 million in the hole before taxes.
“Xome delivered $6 million in pretax income in the fourth quarter,” said Nationstar in a statement. “Earnings were down sequentially due to an increase in technology and marketing investments, higher title expenses due to TRID delays and increased title orders, and a reduction in property sales attributable to seasonality and pipeline delays that are in the process of being addressed.”
Nationstar said Xome’s total revenues increased 43 percent year-over-year, “principally due to higher sales price execution on property sales and growth in our title and close business.
“During the year, Xome invested over $140 million to advance its strategy through the acquisition of three companies, the development and launch of new products and technologies, including Xome.com and mobile apps, establishing an offshore captive and building out corporate infrastructure. We expect similar investments for Xome to be between $25 – $30 million in 2016.”
After launching as Xome in June last year, Nationstar’s real estate marketplace lost its CEO, Kal Raman, in November when he resigned. Raman has not yet been replaced.
Xome transacted 20,640 property sales last year, 8,426 REO ending inventory, and 657,129 fulfillment orders. Property sales and REO ending inventory activity were both down year-over-year, but fulfillment orders were up.
What’s up with Mr. Cooper?
Nationstar is also undergoing a significant branding revamp.
CEO Jay Bray announced that the company is planning to change the brand name specifically for its servicing and loan origination offerings, which will be consolidated.
“It represents a more personal relationship,” Bray said, “And aligns this whole company with the idea of customer advocacy.”
He added that when a customer has a positive experience with a mortgage loan, it’s usually due to one person who held the customer’s hand and solved a problem on the customer’s behalf.
Mr. Cooper will initially debut with Nationstar’s existing 2.5 million customers later this year. The launch of Mr. Cooper includes a new website and mobile experience (ideally in the first half of 2016) in addition to products and service offerings. Tech upgrades and new tools will focus on automation to make the home loan process simpler.
Bray also discussed an investment in training across the organization, a customer-first strategy and an emphasis on empowering the company’s employees to resolve customer concerns on first interaction via Twitter, Facebook or email.
The company is striving for a cross-functional team that proactively assists customers via social media in real time before situation ever arises to a complaint.
Since implementation of these communication systems, the company has witnessed a decline in official complaints, Bray said.
And how did they come up with “Mr. Cooper?”
The company conducted a couple of focus groups and asked customers’ opinions on several branding possibilities, including some other “boring financial services names,” Bray said. “We threw out some radical names like Mr. Cooper and people loved it.” He added that reactions to the branding change have been positive both inside and outside the company.
“This is not about spending more money. It’s about being more focused, coordinated and delivering higher level customer experience with a fresh look and supportive human brand voice,” Bray said.