Zillow is getting into the mortgage game as it bids to own more of the home buying process. The company has just acquired Mortgage Lenders of America to fuel its new bid, it said in an announcement timed to coincide with its second-quarter earnings report.
The company reported total revenue of $325.2 million for the second quarter, up 22 percent compared to one year ago. Profits came in at 13 cents per share, excluding certain costs, above Wall Street’s estimates of profits of 10 cents a share.
Mortgage Lenders of America is a national brokerage headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. With the acquisition, Mortgage Lenders’ 300-odd employees will now become a part of the Zillow Group.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Zillows move into mortgage lending doesn’t come as a surprise, as the company recently kicked off a new line of business this year that involves buying up homes, doing them up and selling them on. Zillow’s Instant Offers service was first made available in Phoenix, Arizona, and has already been expanded to Las Vegas and Atlanta since then. Now, by acquiring a lender, Zillow can serve its customers during more steps of the home buying process.
“We’re taking our huge advantages, which are our audience and our brand and our resources, and expanding into other business vertically,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call.
Zillow’s audience is certainly big enough, as it reported 186 average monthly users during its most recent quarter, up 4 percent year-over-year. This figure includes all of Zillow’s brands, including Trulia, RealEstate.com and StreetEasy.
“This quarter also marked a major milestone in Zillow Group’s history, as we launched our Homes business and began buying houses directly from homeowners in two cities through Zillow Offers,” Rascoff said in a statement. “At this exciting time in the real estate industry, Zillow Group is committed to developing innovative technology and services, like Zillow Offers and, with today’s announcement, potential for mortgage originations, that help our partners meet evolving consumer expectations, while generating more revenue opportunities.”