A California real-estate firm and tech startup has added a mortgage brokerage division, making it the latest in a growing list of initiatives connecting the two industries.
San Francisco-based Radius, a real-estate brokerage and provider of tech-based services to real estate agents, recently began offering mortgage options to its home-state customers. The introduction of the mortgage business at Radius follows the company’s $14 million Series A capital raise earlier this year.
With the expansion, Radius expects to see increased efficiencies in the purchase process by giving agents within its network quick access to key documents. Mortgage borrowers will also be able to easily receive status updates about the loan process from their agent. The new unit, named Radius Mortgage, is led by Michael Bardales, appointed as director of mortgage, and senior lending manager Grace Davis.
Left to right: Michael Bardales, Grace Davis
“For far too long, the lending process has been frustrating and burdensome for agents and their clients alike,” said Sam Kasle, chief revenue officer at Radius. “By keeping cost structures low and bringing transparency to the entire lending process, we hope to help real estate professionals deliver a better client experience and grow their businesses.”
Radius’ real estate brokerages currently operate in California, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, Florida, and Washington. The company was founded in 2015 and is backed by founders of technology-focused real estate companies Trulia, Zillow and Roofstock. Radius agents closed more than $400 million in sales in the first quarter, according to the company.
The company’s entry into mortgages is another example of the growing links between real estate and home lending.
Last year saw the introduction of OriginPoint, a joint venture between home lender Guaranteed Rate and online brokerage Compass, launched during what was a record period for loan originations. In January, Redfin announced plans to purchase Bay Equity Home Loans, providing that company with a natural source of leads. As mortgage volumes slow from 2021’s pace, other tie-ins continue to emerge, including partnerships between digital lender Lower and iBuyer Opendoor and Beeline’s deal to provide mortgages for Roofstock subsidiary, Stessa, the platform serving single-family rental investors..
Recently, Remax, the nationwide network of real estate agents, also said it intended to increase investment in its Motto Mortgage broker franchise chain, aiming to eventually generate more than $100 million in related revenue.
The focus on lending businesses at Radius and Remax comes even as industry researchers anticipate home buying to slow further this year. Economists at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association all recently revised their 2022 forecasts to include lower purchase volumes than what was predicted earlier this year, as rising rates and affordability concerns take their toll on consumers. Last week, new purchase-mortgage applications came in 16% lower from their level of one year ago, according to the MBA.