Real estate listings giant Zillow looks like it’s getting into the mortgage industry following the completion of its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America.
Zillow has already made some significant steps to evolve its business, which was originally based on simple listings of homes. Back in May 2017 the company said it was getting into the home selling business, announcing its Zillow Instant Offers service. With that, Zillow would allow sellers in certain markets to receive offers for their home direct from investors, all through Zillow’s platform.
Zillow then went one further, becoming an investor itself. With Zillow Offers, the company now buys homes directly from sellers in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Finally, Zillow announced its intention to acquire Mortgage Lenders of America last August, in what was interpreted at the time as a sure sign it would soon be offering mortgage services to its users.
That acquisition is now done and dusted, and the next step will be a rebranding of the mortgage firm in 2019.
“Getting a mortgage is often the hardest, most complicated part of buying a home,” Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group president of media and marketplaces, said in a statement. “We acquired MLOA, which we will rebrand in 2019, so we could streamline, shorten and simplify the home-buying process for consumers who purchase homes through Zillow Offers.”
Zillow announced its acquisition will streamline the home buying process for Americans who purchase homes through Zillow Offers.
Mortgage Lenders of America will continue its current line of business, offering mortgages to consumers and participating in Zillow’s mortgage marketplace.
Zillow explained that owning a mortgage lender will allow it to develop new tools and partnership opportunities, including for real estate brokers with existing in-house mortgage operations or mortgage affiliates and its existing mortgage advertisers.
Mortgage Lenders of America was founded in 2000 and has about 300 employees. The company is led by Philip Kneibert. Kneibert will continue to lead the company as vice president and general manager of Mortgage Lenders of America, reporting to Greg Schwartz. The company will continue to operate from its Kansas headquarters.