SRE Matrix — the hybrid brokerage that’s raised $200 million — has launched a mortgage brokerage licensed in Hawaii, California and Arizona.
The new venture is designed to take the low-fee real estate brokerage a step closer to becoming a “one-stop shop for homebuyers” — a goal shared by some other prominent real estate companies that are pushing into the mortgage space.
It will feature a network that mortgage brokers and lenders can join to market a cheap loan product made possible by SRE Matrix’s buyer rebates.
SRE Matrix pockets a 1 percent fee for representing homebuyers, rebating the rest of the buy-side commission to clients. It typically charges sellers anywhere from a 2 percent to 4 percent commission, collecting a 1 percent fee for itself and paying the remainder to buyer’s agents.
The company’s sole investor is Takeshi Sekiguchi, a billionaire resort developer who views SRE Matrix as “his baby.”
After getting its start in Hawaii, SRE Matrix has hired a handful of salaried agents in Los Angeles, Arizona, South Carolina and Tennessee.
But the company has expanded to many other states through partnerships with “alliance agencies,” whereby partner brokerages service leads from SRE under the company’s business model.
SRE Matrix’s mortgage operation also features a partner program for both mortgage brokers and lenders. Businesses that join the program can work closely with local SRE Matrix real estate offices and market an unusually cheap loan product made possible by buyer rebates.
“Every transaction is different, but what many of our buyers have been able to do is use the rebate (given as a credit as closing) to cover closing costs,” explained SRE Matrix Executive Vice President Robert Young.
“Anything leftover they are able to use to buy points on the loan rate and save money monthly over the term of their loan. Those who do that end up saving much more than the typical 1.5-2 percent cost of the home.
Troy Huerta, vice president of CA operations for SRE.com, will lead the task of building SRE Matrix’s mortgage broker network. Several mortgage brokers and lenders have already signed up for the network, according to Young.
Some large real estate brokerage companies operate mortgage, title services and other “affiliated businesses” with the aim of providing a end-to-end home-buying experience.
A number of prominent real estate companies have adopted this strategy recently.
Redfin plans to debut a lending arm (which, unlike a mortgage brokerage, directly funds loans); property-exchange platform Opendoor is setting up a mortgage brokerage; and Re/Max has made Motto Mortgage — a mortgage brokerage franchise designed to work in parallel with Re/Max offices — a central part of its growth strategy.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.