Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Lone Wolf gets Better

Lone Wolf invites mortgage lenders onto its broker-agent tech platform

“More than 30 technology companies are already integrated with Transactions, offering services including rental screening, earnest money deposit, commission advances, disclosures, home warranty, home insurance and moving services through the Lone Wolf Marketplace.

Better will be the first mortgage lender to have the same opportunity, with Loan Wolf planning to onboard additional mortgage partners over the next several months.

“Adding this integration to Transactions will bring our customers even more value in their trusted transaction management solution,” Lone Wolf CEO Jimmy Kelly said, in a statement. “When agents and brokers have everything they need for their client experience in one place, they can quickly capitalize on opportunities, cross every T, and dot every I along the way.”

Matt Carter, Inman News

Great to see all the pieces falling in to place. Lone Wolf is way ahead with their marketplace and has the product adoption to show their partners real value.

Simon Chen joins Arrival as President and CEO

Arrival Home Loans Announces Appointment of Simon Chen as President and CEO

“Arrival is an innovative bridge loan mortgage company focused on helping homeowners unlock their home equity to help solve the growing buy-before-sell challenges homeowners currently face. Simon will lead all aspects of the company’s growth from early-stage market expansion to establishing a national footprint and developing strategic partnerships.

Simon brings over 25 years of leadership experience in real estate, and brings deep experience in operations, technology, venture capital, and building world class culture.”

Good to see Simon back in the game. We need good people and innovative solutions to help increase mobility in this challenging market.

Propy announces “NFT-powered home purchasing platform”

Real and virtual worlds converge with Propy’s NFT-powered home purchasing platform

“The idea is that prospective buyers can tour a home (in a metaverse environment or in the physical world), see an inspection report – and then purchase the house in just a few clicks. From there, the record of ownership gets placed in your secure wallet. Home purchases can be made in crypto or fiat.

When you’re ready to sell it, you can perform the same process in reverse. Or if your property has not yet had its NFT minted, Propy can connect you with a crypto certified agent to help get your house ready for sale”

I am not a cryptocurrency or Web3 expert but I am still fascinated by it. It reminds me of the early days of PCs, which had a fair share of weird naming conventions and acronyms.

I’ve been following Natalia at Propy for a few years now and they always seem to be coming up with new ways for Web 3 and real estate to converge. I know we all have a lot on our plates but I think this is something we should all be paying more attention to.

Where’s the pony?

Walk with me…

July 2006

Fortress, a Private Equity (PE) firm, buys Nationstar Mortgage, LLC.

2008 – 2010ish

The Great Recession

July 2011

Zillow goes Public

May 2014

Nationstar acquires Real Estate Digital (red) in 2014, under its sub division Solutionstar. See what happen there?

July 2014

Zillow announces it will acquire Trulia.

May 2015

Solutionstar re-launches as the unpronounceable name “XOME” in May 2015. With Nationstar CEO saying “We expect to revolutionize real estate.”

July 2017

Softbank acquires Fortress (owners of Nationstar and XOME)

Redfin “Amazon of real estate” announces IPO, eventually raising $138M

December 2017

Softbank invests $450M in Compass, a “a technology-driven real estate platform.” Sound familiar?

Okay, so it seems the whole “Amazon of” “tech-driven” “reimagine real estate” brokerage of the future is hot right now, white hot.

So I see a few scenarios here playing out. Seems Compass has the branding figured out but, sofar unproven tech. XOME does a lot of the backend “services” bundling. Maybe Softbank, owners/investors of both Compass and XOME, reach the same conclusion that the dual investors of Zillow and Trulia reached back in 2014, “why are they two separate companies?”.

And don’t forget Opendoor, co-founded by former Trulian Eric Wu, or as I like to call him Head of Product Development of Zillow and Redfin (see Instant Offers and Redfin Now). They raised $210M back in December of 2016. What’s their next move?

My “Black Swan” Prediction (nod to the Notorious R.O.B.)

As part of Zillow’s “multi-brand strategy”, they buy fellow Seattle company, Redfin. Boom, now they are a brokerage, which a everyone knows is the sixth sign of the real estate apocalypse.

But, even after all this, I still don’t see the $450 million dollar pony.

Real Estate Tech is Hot!

The article from TechCrunch by Joanna Glasner mentioned in Paul’s tweet does a good job of putting in to perspective whey so much capital is being put in to our industry. A few interesting tidbits…

“Rising interest in real estate deals comes amid a period of generally rising property and rental prices, as well as cultural and demographic shifts that are altering longstanding patterns of household formation. There’s also a sense among investors that real estate, despite being the world’s largest asset class, has historically been slow to embrace change.”

You think?

“Sure, there have already been some multi-billion-dollar businesses like Zillow and Redfin that brought online, mobile and data analysis capabilities to the industry. But real estate VCs believe that it’s still very early innings.

“still very early innings”

“Real estate investments can deliver big returns, too. After a string of lackluster technology IPOs, tech-focused real estate brokerage Redfin reversed the trend with big first-day gains and sustained aftermarket performance. Zillow, which went public in 2011, has also been a big hit with investors, maintaining a market cap of more than $7 billion despite a history of steep losses.

For those looking for liquidity, it’s also worth noting that the real estate industry knows a thing or two about generating returns. After all, before it was co-opted by venture capitalists, the word exit usually applied to real estate.”

Love that last sentence.

HouseCanary preso at Google Next

These guys are doing some very cool stuff in regards to home valuations. Check out this video of HouseCanary CEO, Jeremy Sicklick, giving a presentation at Google Next.

Here’s the press release.


HouseCanary’s predictive data analytics engine processes thousands of data elements spanning 40 years of historical data and one billion residential real estate transactions. HouseCanary indexes, standardizes, and analyzes the data to forecast home-price valuations and market trends for 3 million residential blocks, 18,000 zip codes, and 381 U.S. metropolitan areas. Using the latest machine learning and data modeling techniques, HouseCanary’s team of data scientists and engineers have developed the industry-leading approach to modernize the residential real estate market.

Real Estate FinTech

This a16z podcast: Real Estate — Ownership, Asset, Economy kind of blew my mind.

“So, right now when you want to find a place to live you’ve got 2 choices. You can rent, which means you own 0% of your home, or you can buy which means you own 100%, usually from the help from a mortgage from a bank.

But why can’t you own 80%? Or 85%? Not only would this make owning a way more affordable, but, it would also mean you wouldn’t have 300% of your net worth tied up in this one asset which is completely against all standards of diversification.

Mind blown.

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