Many heavyweights in the real estate industry remember 1973 because it was the year Dave Liniger founded the real estate franchisor Re/Max with his wife, Gail. Will 2016 be marked by future industry players for similar reasons?

  • Re/Max has launched Motto Mortgage, a mortgage brokerage franchise that will be available to brokerages inside and outside of the Re/Max brand.
  • Motto Mortgage loan originators will work directly with brokerages and will provide loan options from a number of lenders.

Many heavyweights in the real estate industry remember 1973 because it was the year Dave Liniger founded the real estate franchisor Re/Max with his wife, Gail.

Will 2016 be marked by future industry players for similar reasons? Today, Liniger and Re/Max announced the launch of Motto Mortgage, a new franchising opportunity for both real estate brokerages and mortgage loan originators.

Liniger told Inman that the company was inspired by consumer demands for a more streamlined homebuying experience.

In a press call, he added that various industry surveys — including one that Inman produced with real estate branding company 1000watt last year — were instrumental in the decision as they showed Re/Max what consumers are demanding.

Each Motto Mortgage franchisee will be paired with a real estate brokerage — and not just Re/Max brokerages; these partnerships are open to companies beyond Re/Max.

Motto Mortgage loan originators will work within real estate offices so that agents can help homebuyers obtain mortgage loans for a “one-stop shop” experience.

Re/Max says Motto Mortgage will be RESPA-compliant (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act-compliant) while satisfying consumer demand for one-stop shopping by setting itself up as an intermediary that will offer access to a variety of loans from four mortgage lender partners. This will give consumers a choice of loan that best fits their individual needs, says Re/Max.

“For the broker-owners, its goal is to reduce the many barriers of entries to become both a franchise real estate broker and a franchise mortgage broker,” said Liniger in a press call. “It’s a very complex business for a small- to medium-sized real estate broker to be able to navigate all the regulations and come up with the funding, so the franchise concept made sense.

“All we need is possibly a separate entrance, a private office and a loan origination station. It’s a relatively inexpensive process to add that to the local brokerage,” he added.

Ward Morrison, an 11-year Re/Max veteran who most recently served as Vice President, Region Operations and Business Opportunities, was tapped to lead Motto Mortgage. As President, Morrison says he’ll focus on creating a transparent and consumer-friendly mortgage process.

“Because choice and service matter, Motto Mortgage will offer a variety of mortgage options while promoting honesty and complete disclosure, making it extremely consumer friendly,” said Morrison in a statement. In the press call, he also noted that Motto will provide a loan origination system for its brokers.

In addition to providing the mortgage experience of a consumer’s dreams, Liniger is aiming to shake up the loan origination industry that has taken a sharp downturn over the years.

“Like the MLS, this is an attempt to do the same thing with mortgages and open it up to the industry. Brokers are used to cooperating,” Liniger told Inman.

“We know that independent mortgage brokers’ share of the mortgage origination market dropped significantly following the economic downturn, falling from a 15-year average of 22 percent — with a high of 35 percent in 2006 — to 10 percent in 2015,” he added in a statement.

“Mortgage brokers bring choice and service to the consumer, and Motto Mortgage will work to expand the market share of mortgage brokers and bring better mortgage choice and service to consumers as a result.”

The franchisor will begin selling franchises in certain markets today.

Email Marian McPherson

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