NAF, The Agency Partner Up

New American Funding and The Agency are partnering to meet the needs of The Agency’s clients, with NAF becoming the preferred mortgage lender of The Agency. NAF, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2023, holds the distinction of being the largest Hispanic-owned mortgage lender in the U.S. Meanwhile, The Agency has earned global recognition as a rapidly growing luxury boutique brokerage. “We are thrilled to be working closely with one of the most prestigious companies in real estate today,” NAF Co-Founder and CEO Patty Arvielo said.  “As one of the nation’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, NAF is uniquely positioned to cater to the needs of The Agency’s clients nationwide. We look forward to evolving our partnership into an even stronger…

Alex Urmersbach Joins Kiavi As CFO

Investors’ lender Kiavi has named Alex Urmersbach as Chief Financial Officer, the company announced. In this position, Urmersbach will head the company’s finance, accounting, capital markets, and business operations divisions. “I couldn’t be more excited to join Kiavi, especially as the company continues to demonstrate impressive growth and differentiation in this challenging macroeconomic environment,” he said. “I look forward to working with the Kiavi team to build on its already strong foundation, and am deeply committed to the organization’s mission of providing real estate investors with the capital they need to scale their businesses and revitalize aged homes across the country.” Kiavi is a private lender focusing on residential real estate investors, with more than $13 billion in funded loans.…

Shawna Hernandez Named Endpoint COO

Digital title and settlement company Endpoint promoted Shawna Hernandez to COO, a newly created position, the company announced. “I’m honored to be named COO at Endpoint. We have such a talented and fantastic group of folks here at Endpoint, making it a joy to collaborate with great people and drive meaningful change in our industry,” she said. Hernandez was promoted from SVP of Operations, a position she held since April 2022. In her new role, Hernandez will take lead on implementing the company’s digital closing solutions, as well as introducing strategies to optimize and scale operations. Hernandez joined Endpoint in October 2020, bringing two decades of settlement industry experience to the company. She oversaw the development of the company’s proprietary…

Sun West Mortgage Releases MORGAN, A Real Estate AI Personal Assistant

Is the real estate industry ready for artificial intelligence? Sun West Mortgage is betting yes. Paval Agarwal, CEO of both Sun West Mortgage and its affiliate Celligence, has created a 24/7 personal assistant A.I. platform called MORGAN, and he’s ready to teach the world how to use it. MORGAN is designed to automate certain tasks for real estate professionals, primarily in lead follow-up and marketing. Borrowers can apply for a loan through MORGAN, which analyzes their loan documents immediately to calculate their options. Potential clients will receive automatic follow-up emails and calls four days after contacting a realtor, according to information provided by company leaders. On the marketing side, MORGAN can create listings in minutes, with realtors needing only to…

Investors Flee Market As Borrowing Costs Rise, Home Prices Cool

Investors are backing away from the home purchase market as price appreciation continues to cool. Investor home purchases declined 45.8% YOY in Q4 2022, according to a new Redfin analysis of 40 U.S. metros. This is a record drop, besting 2008’s 45.1% dip during the subprime mortgage crisis. Quarter-over-quarter, investment purchases fell 27%, the largest decline excluding the beginning of the pandemic. Pandemic boomtowns in particular saw massive dips, with investor purchases in Las Vegas and Phoenix dropping by more than 60%. High borrowing costs and declining home values have “made real estate investing less attractive,” Redfin said. Home prices have risen less than 1% YOY, down significantly from 15% growth last year. Investors who bought homes at a premium…

Automated Valuation Model Offers Property Data For Industry Professionals

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A new automated valuation model that recently hit the market uses a national property database, geospatial comparable data, and artificial intelligence to help users evaluate properties. Altisource, founded in 2009, is a provider of services and technology for the mortgage and real estate marketplaces. Their NestRange AVM helps with valuations for originations and defaults. The original AVM model was built as an in-house tool, according to Chief Strategy Officer and CTO Israel Meir. “Early last year, we felt that we were at a pretty good place to package this up and offer it as a commercial system in addition to continuing to use it internally,” Meir said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note. NestRange was…

Meet The GenZer Focused On Multi-Family Properties In 2023

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The 26-year-old CEO of Alpha Capital Funds has plans to buy multi-family properties throughout the state of Connecticut with the goal of acquiring 500 units by the end of 2023. Tyler Smith, who says he was always hustling, started his career investing in real estate when he was still a student at Quinnipiac University in New Haven. “I was putting myself through school,” Smith said during a recent interview with The Mortgage Note. “I came across real estate.” Smith said he was 20 years old when he closed his first deal. Over time, his original company, Quick Cash for CT Houses, grew. “Once I started doing a lot more deals I scaled the company up. We were…

Compass Cuts More Jobs As 2023 Outlook Dims

New York-based real estate brokerage Compass Inc. announced a third round of layoffs Thursday as part of its ongoing cost-cutting strategy in the face of a housing slowdown. Compass CEO Robert Reffkin has made major investments in technology as part of its business strategy in the competitive residential brokerage industry. According to reports, the cuts will leave the tech side of the company largely untouched. The layoffs, which began last June, are part of what Reffkin has said will be a $320 million cost-cutting plan. Compass is a major player in some large urban markets like New York and Los Angeles, with more than $250 billion in sales in 2021, according to RealTrends. However, over the past six weeks, the…

Flyhomes Announces Two Exec Hires

Real estate and mortgage brokerage Flyhomes announced two new executive hires. Andrea Collins and Dan Richards joined the company, which offers buying and selling services as well as in-house finances, as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Mortgage. Both will serve on the Flyhomes Executive Committee and report to co-founder and CEO Tushar Garg. “Bringing in the level of experience and expertise Andrea and Dan possess to Marketing and Mortgage, respectively, fills key roles within our executive team and will empower us to drive major facets of the business in 2023,” Garg said in a press release.  Collins will lead the marketing team, working to increase Flyhome’s demand through brand amplification, communications, and market strategy. She joins the…

Real Estate Professionals Face Prison Time For Allegedly Rigging Bids At Farmland Auction

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Two Kentucky real estate professionals who allegedly conspired to rig bids for farmland and timber rights each face up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Barry Dyer and Mackie Shelton allegedly rigged the bids for hundreds of acres of farmland and a tract of timber rights during an auction in April of 2018. The auction took place in Allen County, Kentucky. The bidding reached a point where the only participants were Dyer, Shelton, and two men who had leased the farm together to grow tobacco, according to an article by Bill Estep at the Lexington Herald Leader. Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice claim Dyer and Shelton demanded $40,000 from these competing…