The Technology Podcast: Generative AI Takes Center Stage

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing every aspect of the mortgage industry and as companies create systems that can help from origination to servicing, leaders speak highly of the possibilities ahead when it comes to accuracy, efficiency, and enhanced customer service. At the beginning of the year, leaders at Rocket Pro TPO announced a new AI-powered hotline for brokers. Executive Vice President Mike Fawaz told brokers they can expect more tools to be released over the course of the year. “Know that in 2024, AI and technology and really putting tools at your fingertips is our mission and these are the things we want to be able to deliver to you every single day,” Fawaz said. “And we’re going…

Rocket Hires Shawn Malhotra As Chief Technology Officer

Leaders at Rocket Companies announced on Monday that they have hired Shawn Malhotra as their first group chief technology officer. Malhotra is tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of technology across the entire Rocket Companies’ ecosystem. That includes artificial intelligence development, data science, product engineering, technology operations, and information security, according to a press release. While working at Thomson Reuters, Malhotra held several technology leadership roles. Under his oversight, the company established a platform to accelerate development of generative AI solutions while introducing an industry-leading AI assistant spanning all Thomson Reuters products. Malhotra also served as the CTO of Thomson Reuters’ Corporate Technology business unit and when he joined the company in 2017, he helped found Thomson Reuters’ Toronto…

Rocket Reports Momentum Gains In Q1

Rocket Companies began 2024 with strong momentum, according to CEO Varun Krishna. The parent company of Rocket Mortgage reported a total net revenue of $1.4 billion and adjusted revenue of $1.2 billion. GAAP net income was reported at $291 million, or $0.11 per GAAP diluted earnings per share. Adjusted net income was reported at $84 million, or $0.04 per adjusted diluted earnings per share. The company delivered a first-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $174 million, the highest adjusted EBITDA in two years, according to company leaders. “As an organization, we are driven to execute and win and our determination is absolute. We’re playing both the short and the long game, gaining momentum and achieving success while strategically planning and executing for…

Rocket Team Members Explore GenAI During HackWeek

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A total of 1,250 team members at Rocket Companies dove headfirst into the topic of leveraging generative AI during their most recent HackWeek. More than 250 experiments were tackled as these team members explored how technology can streamline the homeownership journey. They ranged from finding solutions for when buyers first start browsing home listings to creating a system that presents payment assistance options to homeowners if they experience hardships. CEO Varun Krishna said in a post on LinkedIn that harnessing the capabilities of GenAI is a major goal for the company and having a week of dedicated time to focus solely on breakthrough innovations was “incredibly valuable.” “It is incredible how many great ideas can come from…

Rocket Companies Launches AI-Driven Platform

Rocket Mortgage has launched an AI-driven technology platform geared towards streamlining the homebuying process. Rocket Logic processes insights from proprietary data and call transcripts to speed up the lending process for buyers. Buyers upload documents to a secure portal. Rocket Logic then scans and identifies the files, extracts the necessary information, and instantly processes the documents. The company says Rocket Logic can automatically identify about 70% of more than 1.5 million documents received monthly, saving lenders 5,000 hours of work in February 2024 alone. Automation also reduced the number of times team members had to interact with a loan by nearly 25% YOY, decreasing turn times by 25% from August 2022 to February 2024. “Rocket Logic is transforming the homebuying…

Tim Birkmeier Retiring From Rocket, Mortgage Industry

Tim Birkmeier, Rocket Mortgage president, is retiring from the company and the industry altogether. After nearly three decades with Rocket, Birkmeier announced his leaving in a LinkedIn post. “As I move on to the next chapter in my life, I hope to have proven to those at RKT what can be accomplished when you are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, consciously make professional improvements, and be consistent in your actions to get great results,” he wrote. Birkmeier thanked Dan Gilbert, Bill Emerson, and Jay Farner, saying they allowed him to have a strong leadership voice in the company. “I will always have a deep respect for our unique and good company culture that has been formed through the…

Woman To Woman: Female Leaders Offer Advice To Others

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Female mortgage professionals are breaking barriers and making strides. As Women’s History Month is celebrated this March, The Mortgage Note asked leaders in the industry and related fields to share their advice with others. Here’s what they said: Be kind. “Always be kind. This is a small pond. You never know who you will work with or for,” said Erica Giorgiantonio, senior director of field services at SingleSource Property Solutions in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Have confidence. Julia Curran, senior director of product design at SitusAMC in New York City, said, “Don’t be afraid to speak up and assert yourself in meetings and negotiations. Confidence and assertiveness are key qualities for success in our field.” Gaining that confidence can…

Rocket Companies Releases 2023 Results, CEO Emphasizes Importance Of AI

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of Rocket Companies says they will achieve scaled growth and profitability through their AI-fueled homeownership strategy. Varun Krishna spoke during an earnings call Thursday after leaders at Rocket reported that their total net revenue for 2023 was $3.8 billion. In comparison, total net revenue was reported at $5.8 billion for 2022. Krishna started his comments by saying they delivered strong fourth-quarter and full-year results despite market challenges as the industry faced persistent strains in affordability and inventory. He pointed out that their purchase market share grew by 14% and their refinance market share grew by 10%. Krishna said by continuing to leverage artificial intelligence, they will transform an industry that is ripe for innovation. “With…

Are You Ready To Fall In Love With A Home?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS This Valentine’s Day, if you are ready to get off the sidelines and into the housing market, you are likely not alone in your quest to find a place you love. Potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork and touring homes, according to Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index, which measures requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents. And although that hasn’t translated into home sales yet, they expect this increase in tours to convert into an improvement in pending sales over the next few months. Dana Anderson, a data journalist at Redfin, explained that more buyers are touring homes now because mortgage rates are holding steady at below 7% and some of these people…

Rocket Homes Search App Now On Apple Vision Pro

Tech-minded buyers can tour homes in virtual reality on the Rocket Homes app, now available on Apple Vision Pro. The app features a home search page and map of nearby listings. The listings fill the user’s entire field of vision and give a realistic sense of the location and layout of the home, including a “Look Around” option that lets them see the neighborhood and exterior. Listings that include 3D tours allow potential buyers to tour inside as well, seeing each room in detail. “At Rocket Homes, we know there are millions of people who are waiting for the right moment to buy a home. We also know that there are many ways to find and fall in love with…