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…

AI Advocate Joins Rocket Board Of Directors

Rocket Companies has appointed an AI-oriented independent director to its Board of Directors, according to a press release. The new addition, Alex Rampell, is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz who focuses on fintech investments. Described as a “serial entrepreneur,” he co-founded companies like Affirm, a leader in “buy-now-pay-later,” and TrialPay, a transactional advertising and payments company that was acquired by Visa in 2015. Rampell now promotes the responsible use of AI, which he says will bring about a new era of transformation and disruption in the financial services space. “When I heard [CEO Varun Krishna] speak about the AI tools Rocket is creating, and the massive amount of data at their fingertips, I was simply blown away,” said Rampell.…

Rocket Pro TPO Announces AI-Powered Hotline For Brokers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A hotline that will give brokers the ability to make changes to approval letters at any time was announced by leaders at Rocket Pro TPO this week, and it is powered by artificial intelligence. Executive Vice President Mike Fawaz unveiled the new technology during an Ignite: Live! session on Monday afternoon. He demonstrated that to use the new AI system, all brokers have to do is make a call to provide the loan number, client name, and financing request. If approved, the system will update the appropriate documents. “This is a win for you. This is a win for us to be able to deliver to the broker community something that you can use that gives you…

Rocket Hires Former Airbnb Exec Jonathan Mildenhall As CMO

Rocket Companies named former Airbnb exec Jonathan Mildenhall as Chief Marketing Officer, the company announced in a press release. In this new position, Mildenhall will craft a marketing voice that unifies all businesses under Rocket Companies, keeping their branding in line. All marketing and communications teams will report directly to him. “The role Rocket plays in helping people achieve the American Dream through home ownership and financial freedom is massive and cannot be overstated,” he said. “I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with this talented team.” Mildenhall brings more than three decades of experience to the position. He is a co-founder of leading branding and marketing consultancy, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand. The company has worked with game-changing companies such…

Rocket CEO Joins Board Of Directors

Rocket Companies expanded its Board of Directors to include CEO Varun Krishna. Krishna became the eighth member of the board effective December 21. His term is scheduled to end at the company’s annual meeting in 2026. Regulatory filings showed that Krishna will not be paid additionally for his new role. His earning potential as CEO is up to $20 million, factoring in base salary, bonuses, stock, and options awards. Board members who are not part of Rocket typically receive a retainer fee of $50,000, $3,000 per board meeting attended, and stock options. “We are thrilled to welcome Varun to the Board of Directors. With more than 20 years of experience in the fintech space, Varun brings with him a wealth…

How Will AI Change The Mortgage Market In 2024?

By ERIN FLYNN JAY As artificial intelligence plays an increasingly important role in the mortgage business, industry leaders are figuring out ways to harness its power to revolutionize homebuying. Dan Weisman, director of innovation strategy at the National Association of Realtors, said AI brings enhanced automation, efficiency, and transparency to the process. People who can effectively use it have the chance to dominate the landscape in 2024. “With artificial intelligence rapidly entering our lives faster than most could imagine, the industry has opportunities to improve analyzing market trends, assessing credit risk, and ensuring regulatory compliance, which will lead to a more tailored lending experience,” Weisman said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note. For example, JPMorgan Chase is developing…

UWM, Rocket Best Profit Expectations For Q2

The country’s two largest mortgage lenders reported unexpected profits in the second quarter of 2023. United Wholesale Mortgage and Rocket Companies both bounced back last quarter after dismal results at the beginning of the year. UWM reported a net income of $228.8 million, making up for losses of $138.6 million in the first quarter of 2023 and $62.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. It originated $31.8 billion in loans, up from $22.3 billion in Q1. The boost coincided with warm weather bolstering home sales, though this past spring buying season was tepid compared to historical norms. “UWM continues to prove that regardless of the interest rate environment, our business model, coupled with the broker channel being the best…

New Rocket CEO Named

Fintech exec Varun Krishna has been named CEO of Rocket Companies, the parent company of Rocket Mortgage. “I am honored to join the Rocket Companies team,” Krishna said in a statement. “Rocket has a rock-solid foundation and tremendous potential, with its comprehensive ecosystem and industry-renowned technology, strong brand, and award-winning client service. I look forward to working with Bill, the Board, and Rocket’s exceptionally talented team members to drive the company’s future success and create long-term value for our stakeholders.” Krishna succeeds Bill Emerson, who has served as interim CEO since June when Jay Farner retired. Emerson will remain on the Board and work with Krishna throughout the transition. Krishna officially takes over on September 5. Krishna brings over two…