Mark Johnson Named President of JPAR Real Estate

Cairn Real Estate announced the appointment of Mark Johnson as President of JPAR® – Real Estate. As president, Johnson will oversee the entire JPAR Real Estate enterprise, including brokerage and franchise operations, across 65 states and more than 3,600 real estate professionals. “I am incredibly excited to expand my role with JPAR® – Real Estate and look forward to delivering on our unique value proposition to create strong exponential growth in the years ahead. We are well-positioned as a premium provider of real estate services to our professionals and their customers and are further supported to deliver on our customer commitment as a member of the Cairn Real Estate Holdings network of companies,” Johnson said. Johnson has worked with JPAR…

More Than $1 Million To Be Given Away During Super Bowl LVI Squares Sweepstakes

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Rocket Mortgage say entries are open for the world’s largest official game of Super Bowl squares. The Detroit-based company announced on Wednesday that two grand prize winners will receive $500,000 each that can go toward a dream home. $50,000 will be awarded every time the score changes. Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage, said watching the Super Bowl has been a staple of American culture for the last 55 years. Introducing the Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares in 2020 has elevated that experience for millions of viewers across the country, he said. “Past winners have had their lives transformed and we are eager to give more Americans that opportunity again this year,” Walters said in…

Zillow Hires Jenny Arden As CDO

Zillow has hired tech veteran Jenny Arden as the company’s first Chief Design Officer (CDO). As CDO, Arden’s responsibilities will focus on “delivering seamless, connected and customer-centric experiences across Zillow Group’s brands,” according to a press release. She will oversee Zillow Group’s product design, research, and user experience. “With millions of people using our apps and websites every month, and more people moving than ever before, we’re focused on delivering a more integrated customer experience for everyone on Zillow,” said Zillow Group COO Jeremy Wacksman.  “Jenny has an impressive track record of building and designing transformative customer-facing products that provide intuitive and connected experiences. We’re excited for her to join as CDO to help build Zillow 2.0 and help people…

Rocket Announces Leadership Changes

Rocket Mortgage announced several leadership changeups, including a new title for Jay Farner, the company announced. Farner, currently Vice Chairman and CEO of Rocket Companies, will now have the title of CEO for Rocket Central, the hub for the Rocket Companies fintech platform. The title change will not impact his role at the company, allowing him to “continue driving the growth of the entire ecosystem from mortgage and real estate to car sales and personal finance,” according to the statement. The former CEO of Rock Central, Angelo Vitale, will now focus exclusively on his role as General Counsel and Secretary at Rocket. Rocket Mortgage veteran Bob Walters will take over the role of Rocket Mortgage CEO. Prior to this promotion,…

UWM Under Investigation in Wake of COVID Complaints

Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is under scrutiny from both state and county health officials in the wake of complaints about the company’s handling of COVID-19, a Detroit TV station is reporting. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. And the Oakland County Health Department has also received numerous complaints about UWM, leaving health officials concerned amid the county’s soaring infection rate.“The test positivity rate in Oakland County is 25.5%. It’s the highest it’s ever…

Rocket Mortgage Volunteers Win TMN’s ‘Santa’s Helper’ Charity Contest

Across the country, mortgage professionals step up to help those in need every holiday season so we at The Mortgage Note decided to celebrate organizations and their employees who recognize the importance of giving back to their communities. On November 30, we started a contest asking members of the mortgage industry to submit photos and a brief description of the charity work they’re doing this year. The winner would earn a $1,000 donation from TMN to their highlighted charity. Valerie Pesonen, a senior manager in public relations at Rock Central, sent in a submission for Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, Michigan that warmed our hearts. Pesonen highlighted three community outreach programs the company participates in, including the Rocket Mortgage Cause Campaign…

Guaranteed Rate Names New Divisional Managers

Guaranteed Rate has appointed two new Divisional Managers, the company announced in a press release. Ryan Ogata, who joined Guaranteed Rate in 2017, has been named Divisional Manager overseeing the Northwest market, including Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Northern California. Ogata previously served as a regional manager. Guaranteed Rate’s loan volume in Northern California rose more than 600% in the four years since he joined the company. “Guaranteed Rate offers best-in-class technology, service, and sales leadership, which allows our teams to expand their presence in our markets and better serve homebuyers throughout the entire mortgage process,” said Ogata. “I’m excited to continue recruiting and developing top talent in sales and operations.” Tim Sorenson, who also joined the company in 2017, has…

Divvy Homes Joins zavvie’s Brokerage Marketplace

Divvy Homes and zavvie have teamed up to bring Divvy’s rent-to-own program to zavvie’s expanded brokerage marketplace, the companies announced in a statement. Divvy Homes, a property-technology startup valued at $2 billion, provides a rent-to-own buying option to real estate brokers and agents. Through the program, buyers pay rent on a home to Divvy, part of which is put aside to save for a downpayment. When buyers have saved enough for a 10% downpayment, they can then buy the home from Divvy. The program is currently available in 16 major metros. “The path to homeownership is more challenging today than ever before,” said Divvy Homes Co-Founder and CEO Adena Hefets. “Divvy is leveling the playing field by accelerating one’s ability…

FinLocker Names Andria Thomas SVP, Product

Fintech company FinLocker has named Andria Thomas as Senior Vice President, Product. “As FinLocker continues to build market traction and looks ahead to the next three to five years, we recognize the need to add more consumer understanding and leadership to our team,” said Prabhakar Bhogaraju, FinLocker Executive Vice-President, Head of Strategy and Product Development. “Andria Thomas brings a wealth of experience in product management in a direct-to-consumer setting and in management consulting. She is also a passionate advocate for financial health, equity, and inclusion. I am excited to have Andria join us and lead all things product here at FinLocker.” In the role, which is a new position within FinLocker leadership, Thomas will lead innovations in the FinLocker app.…

Zillow Is Rebounding With Home Sales And Stock Buyback

Zillow announced it has sold about half of its backlog of homes and will begin buying back stocks after shuttering its home-flipping arm, Zillow Offers. In a statement, the company said it had already sold or agreed to sell more than half of its properties, hitting a much faster pace than expected. “We are pleased with the progress of our wind-down efforts and recognize that no longer operating Zillow Offers will allow us to have a more capital-efficient balance sheet and business moving forward,” Chief Executive Officer Rich Barton said in the statement. “We see today as an opportune time to announce a share repurchase program.” Zillow had initially announced it would not buy more homes in 2021, and instead…