Industry News

The week in real estate industry deals: Oct. 24-28

Mergers, integrations, acquistions, partnerships and more

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While real estate agents chase leads and close deals on houses, there’s another level of deal-making that takes place within the real estate industry: mergers, acquisitions, integrations and partnerships.

We’ll be recapping every week’s noteworthy deals that didn’t make it into print (and some that did) for your perusal.

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October 17

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty has inked a deal with HipPocket to help with its intra-brokerage communication and marketing. “We were looking for a way for our agents to work more effectively and efficiently as a team,” said Joseph Rand, Managing Partner, BHGRE Rand Realty, in a statement. “Ultimately we wanted to ensure we were not missing out on any in-house deal opportunities…. HipPocket offers our agents a private marketing network dedicated to helping them promote their ‘Coming Soon’ listings and Buyer Needs to each other. Rather than waiting until the weekly meeting, or team email, agents can start marketing to their teammates from the moment they have the listing agreement in their hands.”

October 20

ClosingCorp, a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology, announced that it has rebranded its Loan Estimate (LE) and Good Faith Estimate (GFE) solutions as SmartFees. “Now, lenders can use SmartFees to automatically deliver, real-time, accurate closing cost data and populate the appropriate disclosures,” said the company in a statement.

Roostify, an automated mortgage transaction tool, will build a connection between The Work Number, a workforce solution platform, and its mortgage platform by the end of 2016. “Lenders currently using the Roostify platform will benefit from the connection to The Work Number, as they will now have access to reliable data instantaneously, helping to simplify one more vital step in the application process,” said Seth Kronemeyer, vertical marketing leader, Equifax Mortgage Services, in a statement. “We are happy to be able to provide our data to lenders who aim to offer consumers the most efficient closing process possible.”

DocuSign unveiled DocuSign Payments, a platform slated for release early next year that will offer a one-step way to collect payments and signatures. “After years of market research, extensive platform development, and in partnership with leading payments providers, we’re announcing DocuSign Payments today,” said Keith Krach, chairman and CEO at DocuSign, in a statement. “This strategic initiative will offer significant incremental value to more than 250,000 companies and 100 million users who will be able to DocuSign and pay in one easy step as part of the DocuSign Global Trust Network.”

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Horacio LeDon and Mark Rutstein have formed Iconic Group, a luxury residential group at Partners Trust. “I am proud to partner with Mark Rutstein, a consummate professional whose success and impeccable relationships are the Gold Standard of real estate,” said LeDon in a statement. “Mark and I have complementary skill sets that we look forward to parlaying into a great business relationship.” “Horacio’s experience speaks for itself. After 20 years of friendship, I am excited to join professionally and create great things together” added Rutstein in the statement.

Seven new builders in Texas joined HomesUSA.com, an MLS inventory management platform. New builders include Historymaker Homes, Taylor Morrison, M/I Homes, Altura Homes, Certus Homes, Brookson Builders and Shea Homes. “We are proud to welcome these seven Texas builders to HomesUSA where their new homes will reach local real estate agents and home buyers. Our marketing system helps homebuilders reach more buyers and generate faster home sales,” said HomesUSA.com president Ben Caballero in a statement.

Zillow Group has partnered with Exit Realty to add Zillow agent reviews to its agent profile pages and makes dotloop its preferred transaction management platform. “Exit Realty has been an excellent partner,” said Errol Samuelson, Zillow Group chief industry development officer, in a statement. “Exit Realty and its agents are focused on delivering the best experience to home buyers and sellers from contact to close, and we are excited to continue supporting this mission with enhanced branding on their listings, higher visibility of agent reviews from Zillow and Trulia and stronger implementation of dotloop’s streamlined transaction services.”

This week’s deals

October 24

First American Mortgage Solutions announced a Vendor Management Suite for residential lenders that will provide “continuous oversight of thousands of counterparties,” according to First American’s statement. “First American practices extreme due diligence in our selection and monitoring of third-party counterparties, and our Vendor Management Suite is so effective that we use it in our own business,” said Kevin Wall, president of First American Mortgage Solutions, in the statement. “This is only the tip of the iceberg — we will continue to add features, including, in the coming months, workflow management capabilities.”

Altisource Portfolio Solutions, which provides real estate, mortgage and technology services, announced that Altisorce Origination Services will be rebranded as Trelix. “The rebranding to Trelix is another important step in the evolution of our story as we continue to invest in technology to address the evolving and increasingly more complex needs of mortgage lenders and investors,” said Jon W. Gerretsen, president of the Trelix business, in a statement. “We are dedicated to building successful long-term relationships with our clients and will continue to deliver best-in-class solutions and services.”

October 25

DocuSign announced eMortgage, a series of expanded features that will allow lenders and title companies to complete mortgages digitally. “DocuSign’s vision is to make the home buying process fully digital, from lead to close. DocuSign has transformed several aspects of home buying, but enabling a seamless, digital mortgage remained a paper-burdened experience for home buyers and sellers. Today’s expanded investments in eNotary demonstrate our commitment to making a completely paperless eMortgage reality,” explained Georg Gerstenfeld, general manager: Global Real Estate Solutions, DocuSign, in a statement.

eXpWorld Holdings announced that Darren James, principal of the Baton Rouge brokerage Darren James Real Estate Experts, has transitioned his team of agents and brokers over to eXp Realty. “The eXp Realty business model is more progressive and agent-centric than any I’ve seen in my 15 years in this business,” said James in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity, not just for me and for my family, but for all of the agents who have been great and loyal contributors to my success.”

Carol Brubaker and Jason Mitchell, agents with the Oakland office of Alain Pinel Realtors, announced they have officially formed The Carol Brubaker Team. “It feels like Jason and I have known each other and been friends for years,” explained Brubaker in a statement. “Given that we work in one of the hottest, most in-demand real estate markets in the country, taking a team approach with someone I trust and respect is the best way to approach the needs of our clients while extending our reach to prospective buyers and sellers.” “I literally met Carol on the curb of the home I bought with my wife,” added Mitchell. “She was an amazing guide and support for us as our agent when we bought our home, and we immediately hit it off. She is part of my inspiration for getting into real estate.”