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 Rolls Out Enhancement To Rocket Logic

Rocket Mortgage launched a new AI-driven technology for analyzing calls. Rocket Logic – Synopsis can listen to, transcribe, and search client calls, then analyze the sentiment, recording the patterns and preferences of the caller, according to a press release. This innovation allows Rocket to create “bespoke experiences” for both current and potential borrowers. “Rocket Logic unlocked the transformative power of AI to begin streamlining and modernizing the homebuying process. Now, with Rocket Logic – Synopsis, we have harnessed generative AI to create a tool that both anticipates and solves clients’ needs, effectively changing the future of homeownership,” said Varun Krishna, CEO of Rocket Companies and Rocket Mortgage.  The tool is active for calls to Rocket’s client experience teams, including loans…

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…

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…

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…

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…