Guaranteed Rate, Compass partner to create new originations business

Retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate and national residential brokerage Compass announced Tuesday they had entered an agreement to form a new mortgage origination company.

The new firm, called OriginPoint, will integrate Guaranteed Rate’s digital mortgage capabilities with Compass’s cloud-based software, allowing Compass’s clients — as well as those of other brokerages — to connect with loan officers. The combined venture aims to streamline the home buying and mortgage origination process. Entering the lending market is a new endeavor for New York-based Compass, which began trading as a public company earlier this year.

“OriginPoint brings together two digital-first companies to deliver a mortgage product that provides a seamless and transparent experience for agents and their clients, which ultimately leads to a simpler real estate transaction for everyone involved,” said Robert Reffkin, Compass CEO, chairman and founder.

Chicago-based GuaranteedRate and Compass are both active in the jumbo-homes marketplace, which has seen increased lending volume in recent months.

“With interest rates creeping up, limited housing supply and refis slowing down, right now couldn’t be a more perfect time to hire the best of the best of the top loan officers and sales leaders throughout the country,” said Victor Ciardelli, Guaranteed Rate founder and CEO. Guaranteed Rate companies funded more than $73 billion in loans last year and have closed more than $60 billion in volume so far in 2021.

OriginPoint will be available in more than 50 metropolitan areas across the country where both Compass and Guaranteed Rate operate. Service is planned to begin in select markets later this year with a separate loan team. Borrowers may use OriginPoint regardless of the brokerage handling their home sale. Loan originators joining OriginPoint will be able to use the tools, products and pricing structure developed by Guaranteed Rate.

The agreement is Guaranteed Rate’s latest major deal this year. In January, the lender purchased Stearns Holdings, opening the door for Guaranteed Rate to move into the broker/wholesale business.

It’s also been a busy year for Compass (COMP), cofounded by Reffkin in 2012. In the first quarter, the company posted revenue gain of $1.1 billion — an 80% year-over-year increase — but also recorded a net loss of $212.4 million, which included a one-time $149 million charge connected to its IPO. Compass kicked off trading on the New York Stock Exchange on April 1, opening above its offer price at $21.25. But in subsequent months, the stock’s value has tumbled more than 30%, finishing at $13.65 on July 12.

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