Starting Thursday, homebuyers interested in getting pre-approved through a mortgage will see advertising from Rocket Mortgage, which will allow that consumer to connect directly with the latter’s online application.
“Homebuyers and their agents can rest easy knowing they are working alongside a lender that brings 35 years of mortgage experience to the table and a strong track record of client satisfaction,” Ben Rubenstein, the chief revenue officer of realtor.com, wrote in a blog post announcing the partnership.
“What we hope this program will create for qualified home shoppers is a much easier way for them to pursue the financing they need quickly so they can compete more effectively in this tight housing market.”
Buyers that are connected to agents through realtor.com’s ReadyConnect Concierge platform will also have the opportunity to pursue digital mortgage approval.
The partnership comes at a time when competition for homes is high in a low-inventory market. Homes are selling quickly and at a higher price point, while new mortgage purchases far outpace last year’s levels.
“We are in a situation in many areas of the country where inventory is low, homes are selling in days, so for a consumer to be able to find a home, get a verified approval, get that information day or night to their agent and make a seamless offer is absolutely critical,” Jay Farner, the CEO of Rocket Companies, told Inman.
Rocket Mortgage allows buyers to get pre-approved in a few as 20 minutes and offers pre-approval 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company has deeply invested in its digital experience in the past five or six years, according to Farner.
The partnership with realtor.com — a company whose leadership Farner praised — allows Rocket Mortgage to bring to the consumer a less fragmented experience, which in turn, Farner believes will also benefit the agents that advertise on realtor.com.
“When we issue that verified approval, we have done the credit underwriting preliminarily on that file, versus the traditional pre-approval which is typically just a look at a credit report,” Farner said. “When we deliver that to our clients, they’re able to deliver that to the Realtor and the Realtor knows this is a real approval, the probability of the closing in many cases is double that of a pre-approval, and now they know they are walking in with a firm, almost cash offer.”
Realtor.com is also testing a new lender co-marking program, which enables brokers and agents to lean into existing relationships with lenders and share the benefits and costs of marketing through realtor.com’s Connections Plus platform, a real estate lead generation and conversation platform.
“Everyone must collaborate to get to the digital closing table,” Rubenstein wrote. “In today’s world, that demands a digital-first approach that provides transparency and seamless process from start to finish.”