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 each month’s noteworthy deals here. Check back for updates.
Michigan’s largest MLS partners with Remine
Realcomp II Ltd. announced its official launch of online tool Remine, which leverages big data with predictive analytics to flag and rate individuals who are most likely to sell or buy in the near future. Now completely integrated with Realcomp’s MLS data, Remine gathers over 3 billion data points related to online consumer behavior and public records, providing Realcomp agents and Realtors with data sets and intelligence that will help them determine to whom they should target their proactive marketing efforts.
LeadingRE selects PlanOmatic as preferred provider
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World has named PlanOmatic as their preferred provider through its Solution Group program, which provides a library of business resources for 565 real estate firms worldwide. PlanOmatic offers real estate photography shot by professional industry veterans who work among a network of 130 photographers in 32 states. The company also provides interactive floor plans, aerial photography, virtual staging, 3-D walkthroughs and digital advertising, all deliverable within two days.
Ellie Mae partners with financial technology company
Ellie Mae announced that it has entered a partnership with COCC, a client-owned financial technology company servicing financial institutions throughout the Northeastern United States. Through the partnership, members of the COCC cooperative will be offered Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution. The solution provides a digital mortgage experience that covers the entire loan lifecycle, and because of this, lenders are able to originate more loans and reduce origination costs and closing timelines. There are 230,000 users and thousands of service providers in Ellie Mae’s connected community, and the Ellie Mae network processes millions of transactions per month, or approximately 30 percent of U.S.-originated residential loans.
Arizona-based real estate franchisor HomeSmart announced a unique partnership with Resourcing Edge, a Texas-based human resources firm, to offer a comprehensive benefits package, including health care, dental, vision and 401k — with group buying prices. Through this new group buying initiative, HomeSmart’s 14,000 agents will have access to a health insurance program, which is a rare opportunity for real estate professionals who, as independent contractors, don’t typically receive benefits through their brokerage. Agents who franchise under HomeSmart’s umbrella will be able to leverage the agency’s size — which boasts 127 offices across 17 states — to find benefits packages at a lower cost than what’s available on the health care exchange.
In what is said to be the beginning of an ongoing strategic partnership, online investment marketplace Cadre announced that it has closed $250 million in commitments from global investment banking company Goldman Sachs’ private wealth clients, a move that will enable Goldman Sachs’ private clients to easily invest in Cadre’s broad-based portfolio of commercial real estate assets. Beyond giving Goldman Sachs’ private wealth clients access to its portfolio of commercial real estate assets, Cadre CEO and co-founder Ryan Williams revealed in interviews with TechCrunch and Business Insider that the partnership will enable them to expand their platform to include assets like farmland, private equity investments and even credit.
San Francisco-based luxury independent brokerage Pacific Union International formally introduced its brand into Southern California and announced that Nick Segal, co-founder of Los Angeles boutique Partners Trust, will be named president of Pacific Union L.A. Over the past 14 months, Pacific Union has been making a series of market share grabs in SoCal through acquisitions, including merging with L.A. indie firms John Aaroe Group and Partners Trust, and upping its investment in Gibson International, another L.A. firm, to a majority stake in December. This week, the three companies will all be re-branded as Pacific Union International.
Retail mortgage originator and nonbank consumer lender loanDepot announced the creation of AVH Mortgage, a joint venture partnership with homebuilding and community development company AV Homes. LoanDepot’s mello, the $80 million fully-digital end-to-end mortgage loan application process unveiled last year, will power this partnership, and with it “AV Homes customers will enjoy a one-stop shopping experience with their lender and their builder.” AVH Mortgage will operate out of Scottsdale, Arizona, and offer a centralized and integrated team of licensed loan consultants solely supporting AV Homes communities. AV Homes homebuyers’ mortgage experience will be the same as any other buyer using the mello platform, which includes access to licensed, on-site loan officers.
Luxury real estate brokerage Hawaii Life merged with top-tier Honolulu boutique Choi International, which will now be known as the Choi Group with Hawaii Life, effective immediately. For Hawaii Life principal broker and CEO Matt Beall, Choi International’s decision to join forces with his brokerage — after approaches from a number of others over the years — is “a huge acknowledgement of who we are and what we’ve achieved.” Choi International has been Honolulu’s luxury market leader for the past 30 years, specializing in the most expensive properties in the Oahu market. In a strong year, the firm books an annual sales volume of around $225 million.
Rosemont, Illinois-based VHT Studios, a 20-year-old provider of professional real estate photography, virtual staging and visual marketing services, announced its acquisition of Circlepix’s real estate photography business, a deal that brings together the country’s two largest real estate photographer networks in North America. The Circlepix photography business acquisition, which does not include its PIXmarketing and PIXsocial divisions, is the second photography business acquisition in the past two years for VHT Studios, after it snatched up New York’s Gotham Photo Company in 2015.
Black Knight partners with Citibank
Black Knight, Inc. announced it will be implementing its suite of mortgage origination solutions in the U.S. The agreement was signed with Citigroup Inc. subsidiary Citibank, and includes the implantation of the LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS), which supports wholesale, retail and consumer-direct lending channels by assisting lenders with electronically capturing, processing, underwriting and closing loans.
IDX, the Oregon-based real estate technology firm that manages $2 trillion in multiple listing service (MLS) data, has acquired California-based tech company Agent Marketing in a $6 million deal. For IDX, the acquisition is intended to turn its MLS platform into a “one-stop shop for all things real estate,” IDX CEO Chad Barczak told Inman News on Tuesday. IDX will add 17 employees and begin to deploy services such as print signage creation, single-property websites, full-blown marketing packages and mobile marketing to its portfolio of offerings.
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