News from Zillow yesterday tells of the real estate info company's intent to buy pricing engine Mortech Inc. According to a release from Zillow, the acquisition price will be some $12 million in cash plus 150,000 shares.
Zillow apparently intends to be able to deliver new marketing and effectiveness value to lending pros by year's end, a beefing up of Zillow® Mortgage Marketplace, at least according to their media department. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow's CEO, offered this about the deal:
"We are following our proven strategy of building home-related marketplaces. In the case of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, we first innovated on behalf of consumers by creating a transparent marketplace where the borrowers' needs come first, then we connected borrowers with lenders, and now we are investing in tools to help lenders be even more successful serving consumers. Enhancing the capabilities of mortgage lenders ultimately leads to a more vibrant and transparent consumer experience."
As for Mortech™, that company was founded back in 1987 and currently has 39 employees. Their current software solutions include:
Moretech's founder and CEO, Don Kracl (top left), also commented with respect to his company's solutions for helping lenders close deals with Moretech solutions. In effect, many deals go South because of a lack of integration between mortgage estimation tools and the other core elements of purchases - essentially the buyer "bails" when key elements appear to go sour. He said; "we are focused on helping mortgage professionals do a better job at closing deals through a variety of best-in-class productivity tools."
For some these recent moves by Zillow reveal a sort of shift in direction or focus from an "agent competitive" service, towards an "agent inclusive" company. Business Insider's Owen Thomas encapsulates:
"Put Simply: Zillow's trying to buy agents' affections—through services that help them close deals."
Buyfolio, Moretech, and other similar acquisitions by Zillow recently, offer nothing dissuasive of Thomas' suggestion either. It almost seems a late arrival of clarity for Zillow that real estate agents will always be part of the property market equation. Anyhow, the value for the whole industry these "integrations" bring seems to be the important thing, especially given the market now.
Zillow also acquired RentJuice ( $40 million), and Postlets earlier this year.