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Agents working under the banner of The Real Brokerage (Real) can now extend mortgage services to their clients as a result of the company’s acquisition of LemonBrew Lending (LemonBrew), a single division of the multi-tiered, technology-forward home lending and related services company LemonBrew Technologies.
The acquisition intends to broaden the services agents provide their respective markets, Real said in Monday’s announcement.
“LemonBrew will play a meaningful role in achieving our vision to reimagine what homebuying can be,” said Chairman and CEO of Real Tamir Poleg in the press statement. “With LemonBrew’s current mortgage capabilities and future lending potential, we can now layer in another key building block to our consumer-facing strategy and take a significant stride towards developing a frictionless homebuying experience.”
Real will acquire 100 percent of the issued and outstanding equity interests of LemonBrew Lending for $1,250,000 — $800,000 of which is cash. The remaining $450,000 will be in stock, priced by the five-day volume weighted average trading price of Real’s common shares on the NASDAQ immediately before the closing of the acquisition.
LemonBrew does business in 20 states including California, Texas and Florida. Twenty-five employees including CEO Samir Dedhia will join Real.
“The company currently operates as a mortgage brokerage,” according to the release. “Additionally, LemonBrew is licensed as a lender in certain states, positioning Real with the option to expand its mortgage platform as long-term strategic needs for the business evolve.”
Capturing revenue beyond the real estate commission is a long-proven tactic for large and growing real estate brokerages, many of which have embedded lending, title and insurance divisions.
LemonBrew’s modern marketing motif runs contrary to blue blood, bank lending appeals and thus overlaps with Real’s approach to working with agents and its customers.
In 2020, LemonBrew presented a lead-gen and qualification solution for agents, using a matchmaking tactic to pair aspiring buyers and sellers with agents, as well as scoring leads.
The company drastically shifted a few months later when SD Capital Funding, then a major Quicken loans partner, merged to launch LemonBrew Lending. Title and insurance services soon followed, and the company’s website communicates nothing related to its previous agent-facing services.
“Real’s technological vision for the future of integrated homebuying is what drew us to the platform,” said Dedhia. “This industry is ripe for disruption, and together we can make a huge impact.”
Real furthered its commitment to equipping its agents for the modern market when it announced the continuation of its enterprise relationship with CRM and marketing software provider Chime.
All points of the deal have been approved by Real’s board, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, according the release.