Zillow is interjecting itself further into the the buying, selling, and home-financing process with its recently-added lending arm.
The real estate juggernaut projects it will be making upward of 3,000 mortgage loans a month within the next few years, according to a report by GeekWire.
The new mortgage origination feature, introduced in an earnings announcement last week, is a result of the company’s acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America (MLOA). Zillow Group finalized its purchase of the Overland Park, Kan.-based brokerage for $66.7 million (in cash!) last October.
All Things Real Estate—in One Place
Zillow’s latest move is sparking comparisons in the media to companies like Netflix, Uber, and Amazon.
Now more than ever, consumers expect to be able to access “information and services via the internet, as well as to complete transactions,” Seattle-headquartered Zillow noted in its most recent 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The loan offering is meant to do just that, transforming the Zillow platform into a one-stop shop for users to find and buy homes “where, when, and how they want” within a single app.
“Homes are the center of people’s lives, the focus of some of their most important decisions, and often their most valuable assets,” the 10-K went on to say. “In addition to whether to buy, sell, or rent, [our] consumers frequently make many other important home-related decisions, including decisions relating to home financing and home equity loans.”
Branch Into Financing Follows Addition of Buying and Selling
The extension of the scope of its business comes on the heels of other big changes at Zillow. For instance, the company rolled out another new feature early last year, namely buying and selling homes directly through Zillow Offers.
In addition, co-founder Rich Barton has been reinstated as CEO as of last week. Barton, who held the position the first five years of the company’s existence, replaces Spencer Rascoff. Rascoff is stepping aside after 10 years but will continue to serve on the board.
Zillow is the most popular real estate website in the U.S., averaging 36 million unique visits a month, according to May 2018 data from statista.com. Trulia and Yahoo! Homes are the second and third most visited, with 23 and 20 million monthly visits respectively.
While MLOA originated just 4,000 mortgages in 2018, power-player Zillow anticipates being able to scale the operation to a much larger degree, GeekWire reported.
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