Holiday Listings Are More Common Than You Think – Here’s How To Stand Out

By NICOLE MURRAY The holiday season can be a tricky time of year in the real estate industry. For many agents, business slows down because people generally don’t want to sell, buy, or move during peak celebrations.    But whether it be a new job or a life update, buying and selling during the holiday season happens more than one would think.    The Mortgage Note spoke with real estate industry professionals across the country to discuss the pros and cons of listing during the holiday season and what to know if you do.    To start, there is less inventory on the market and therefore less competition for those who decide to sell. Shant Banosian, EVP of sales at Guaranteed Rate, said…

A Gift Doesn’t Cut It Anymore: Holiday Marketing Tactics For A Successful Season

By NICOLE MURRAY The goal with any holiday marketing plan is to create connections and remain top of mind with the hopes of gaining future business, but how can professionals do that during one of the most chaotic times of the year? Industry leaders say it’s important to start by realizing that one of the most predictable marketing tactics seen amongst real estate agents and loan officers is to send gifts to previous and current clients. While Rob Jensen, broker/owner of the Rob Jensen Company, has seen many successful agents utilize this tactic, he warns that the time and money spent may go unnoticed and offer no return on investment. “Gifting during the holidays is the least memorable time for…

Guaranteed Rate Launches “Lock It, List It” Program

Guaranteed Rate rolled out a new discounted rate option for real estate agents to offer sellers as they compete for buyers. The “Lock it, List it” program lets sellers working with a Guaranteed Rate loan officer to pay a fee and lock in a discounted rate for a prospective buyer. Sellers can then advertise that rate as part of the selling process, getting a leg-up over the competition. “We want to offer real estate agents and their clients the opportunity to lock in a rate that they can market to their potential buyers. In an environment where rates can be volatile, this is a key selling point for a future buyer,” said Jeremy Collett, Guaranteed Rate’s EVP, Head of Capital…

Guaranteed Rate Insurance Adds Flood Solution

Guaranteed Rate Insurance has developed a solution for homebuyers in high-flood risk areas, the company announced in a press release. Its new private flood insurance API connection allows agents to provide flood quotes in all zones from multiple providers, directly through its CRM platform. Agents need only confirm property details and coverages/deductibles, with the binding process taking just minutes, company leaders said. Flood quotes will be presented alongside homeowners quotes for properties in 48 states and Washington, D.C. “Any agent who does not provide a flood quote is doing a disservice to their customer. Our top priority is to equip our agents with the necessary tools to offer their customers a wide range of coverage options, empowering them to make…

How Capitol Hill Chaos Affects The Mortgage Market

Turmoil in Congress is making headlines, but will it impact the economy – and the mortgage industry – more broadly? The House this week voted 216 to 210 to remove Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position as speaker. He was the first speaker to be ousted through a vote in the middle of a congressional term. No new speaker has been appointed, though several Republicans have put themselves in the running. “It’s uncharted territory because we’ve never done that in the history of the United States,” Matthew Green, a politics professor at Catholic University, told CBS News. The short-term impact of this week’s turmoil has been felt immediately in the mortgage market. Redfin Economic Research Lead Chen Zhao said that…

John Cady Joins Citywide Home Loans

Citywide Home Loans named John Cady as its new president, the company announced in a press release. Cady brings more than three decades of mortgage industry experience, having held senior leadership positions at Cardinal Financial Company and Mountain West Financial prior to joining Citywide. His other experience includes high-level roles at Bay Equity, Stearns Lending, and PrimeLending. “I’m incredibly pleased to be joining Citywide Home Loans. The company is the perfect mix of culture, service, and programs that many mortgage professionals have been looking for. I believe we’re in a position to pick up market share throughout the country,” Cady said. He noted that Citywide’s entrepreneurial relationships with origination partners, offering collaborative perks like tools, technology, training, and pricing. “We…

Guaranteed Rate Releases “5 Minute Approval”

Leaders at Guaranteed Rate have announced their latest speed-centric mortgage product, the 5 Minute Approval. Borrowers can sign their initial application package and upload documents at Rate.com. Then, once the approval comes through (in five minutes or less), they can continue their homebuying journey and close on a property in as few as 10 days. 5 Minute Approval is available for purchase and refi transactions with at least 3% down. Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli said the company has already approved more than 100 loans within five minutes through its completely automated process. “And we’re now the only lender in the entire country setting this new standard,” Ciardelli added. “Consumers deserve lightning-speed service powered by modern technology platforms.…

Guaranteed Rate’s Mark Leslie Joins CBC Mortgage Agency

Mark Leslie is joining CBC Mortgage Agency as director, capital markets, the company announced in a press release. “During my 22 years as a mortgage trader, I’ve worked through several extreme mortgage market cycles that taught me invaluable lessons that apply to today’s high-rate environment,” Leslie said.  “I look forward to using this experience to help CBC continue to provide down payment assistance programs that enable low- to moderate-income families across America to achieve homeownership.” CBC is a national housing finance agency, recognized as one of the Top 25 Companies in Mortgage & Servicing by MReport. It is the provider of Chenoa Fund, a down payment assistance program offering up to 3.5% of the purchase price. Leslie brings two decades…

Guaranteed Rate Launches “Same Day Mortgage”

Just a few weeks after Better.com announced its One Day Mortgage product, Guaranteed Rate is trying to speed things up further with Same Day Mortgage. Same Day Mortgage promises a loan approval in less than 24 hours, which Guaranteed Rate calls an “industry first.” “Guaranteed Rate is known for revolutionizing the mortgage industry and making the home buying process easier – innovations like the first-ever digital mortgage that we launched in 2015,” said Guaranteed Rate President and Chief Executive Officer, Victor Ciardelli.  “Today we’re changing the game again with Same Day Mortgage. Customers expect services to be fast and easy, Same Day Mortgage delivers exactly that with cutting-edge technology and a totally efficient process.”  The program was tested with a…

Deephaven Hires Guaranteed Rate Exec Aaron Drago

Deephaven Mortgage has hired Aaron Drago as its new Chief Operating Officer, the company announced in a press release. “It’s an absolute honor to join such an esteemed organization focused on innovation and growth,” Drago said in a LinkedIn post. “Deephaven already differentiates itself through its agility and highly responsive service. In nautical terms, we’re a yacht, rather than a cruise ship, with the flexibility to make changes that cater to customers’ emerging needs. I’m excited to help us innovate our operations and leverage technologies to build on that advantage—and ultimately empower brokers and correspondents to serve more Non-QM borrowers,” he said. Drago brings decades of experience, including c-suite positions, to the company. He most recently served as COO for…