The nation’s biggest mortgage lender is making a play to build its business by partnering with thousands of banks and credit unions that are too small to run their own mortgage operations.

Rocket Mortgage is partnering with Salesforce to make its mortgage origination technology available as an end-to-end “mortgage-as-a-service” to any lender with licensed mortgage loan officers through Salesforce Financial Services Cloud.

“The market opportunity is significant, as there are nearly 5,000 FDIC-insured banks and more than 5,000 credit unions in the U.S.,” the company said in announcing the move. “While some have highly specialized mortgage operations, most have disparate partners and technology vendors that handle home loans for them.”

Loan officers will be able to use Rocket Mortgage’s technology as their point-of-sale (POS) and loan origination system (LOS) — in many cases without the need for underwriters, processors, compliance or closing teams, with Rocket Mortgage handling processing of the loans.

Rocket Mortgage says it will offer its technology to banks and credit unions, “regardless of how the financial institution chooses to offer mortgages, simplifying a potentially fragmented process.”

Jay Farner

“We recognize the important and personal role local banks and credit unions play with so many Americans – they have a trusted relationship with their customers,” Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner said in a statement. “Financial institutions can now combine those relationships they’ve already established, while leveraging Rocket Mortgage’s transformational platform powered by Rocket technology.”

Another option for smaller banks and credit unions is to form joint ventures with mortgage lenders.

Farm Bureau Bank, a federally chartered savings bank that provides services to 5 million members in 45 states, this year entered into a joint venture with loanDepot, Farm Bureau Mortgage.

Farm Bureau Bank CEO William Hileman cited loanDepot’s technology as a factor in the deal, saying it “ensures a seamless and straightforward transaction” that will enable Farm Bureau members “to achieve their dreams of homeownership on their terms.”

Farm Bureau Bank had previously referred mortgage borrowers to Cornerstone Home Lending, which provided loans in 16 states.

In reporting record second quarter purchase loan volume, Rocket Mortgage cited growth in its partner channel, which includes mortgage brokers, community banks and credit unions. Loans originated through Rocket Mortgage’s partner network totaled $38.5 billion during the three months ending June 30, up 45 percent from a year ago. Rocket’s direct-to-consumer originations were essentially flat at $45.2 billion.

Email Matt Carter

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