REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
PRnewswire | May 10, 2023
FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, announced today that America First Credit Union selected its FirstClose Equity™ solution to provide members access to a digital end-to-end home equity product that delivers a best-in-class experience and dramatically cuts down loan application approval times.
Industry analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages have seen their equity increase by a total of $1 trillion since the fourth quarter of 2021, a gain of 7.3% year over year. While home equity lending is experiencing rapid growth, it continues to be a friction-filled process driving demand for a solution.
America First is a Utah-based credit union with 120 branches across Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico, serving more than 1.3 million members, making it the 5th largest credit union in the country in terms of membership. Using FirstClose Equity, America First will be able to reduce the time to close from initial inquiry to as little as one week, versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days.
"Our focus is always on our members, and our partnership with FirstClose supports our goal of delivering the best member and processor experience possible," said Austin Coleman, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending at America First Credit Union.
FirstClose Equity makes home equity a low-friction lending experience that consumers have come to expect. Consumers have one experience via a private labeled POS and borrower portal. The application process itself is extremely streamlined. With the member's consent, FirstClose Equity collects and verifies asset and employment information. Even the few pieces of information that the member is required to provide can be uploaded through the platform. The decisioning engine delivers a firm decision on CLTV and pricing in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
"Because we absorb many of the fees for our members, efficiency at every stage of the origination process takes on greater importance, and automation on both sides of the transaction is key," said Coleman. "Through our integration with FirstClose, loan officers, underwriters, and processors never have to leave their LOS, which greatly increases our efficiency with home equity lending."
Founded in 2000, FirstClose offers lenders a user-friendly home equity technology solution to lend more efficiently, faster, and at scale. "We are thrilled to be trusted with such an important role of helping fulfill America First Credit Union's mission to provide their members with a simple and streamlined home equity experience," said Tedd Smith, Chief Executive Officer of FirstClose. "We are the category leader and are committed to advancing our technology so our customers, like America First, can focus on what matters most - their member's experience and improving their bottom line."
About America First Credit Union
Founded in 1939, and with a long-standing history of exceptional member service, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable, and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 120 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $17 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1.3 million members. For more information, visit americafirst.com.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FirstClose, Inc. provides fintech solutions to HELOC and mortgage lenders nationwide. The company's mission is to increase profitability and reduce cost for mortgage lenders. FirstClose makes this possible through offering systems and relationships that enable lenders to assist the lender's borrowers more effectively, reduce closing costs, and ultimately shorten closing times. For more information, visit firstclose.com.
MARKET OUTLOOK, MORTGAGE AND LENDING
Affinius Capital | March 13, 2023
USAA Real Estate recently announced it has successfully consummated a decade-long partnership with Square Mile Capital after acquiring the balance of Square Mile Capital in 2021. The final integration of the investment management platforms would be under a new corporate brand, Affinius Capital®. The company will continue to offer strategic equity and debt capital, and it will continue to capitalize on the growing demand for structured credit, technology-driven real estate assets, and flexible deal structures while addressing the pressing need for rental housing solutions under the new corporate brand name Affinius Capital.
The same dedicated and diverse group of senior leaders will be operating Affinius Capital, using the disciplined approach as previously to invest and align interests that have made USAA Real Estate and Square Mile Capital successful. In addition, former Square Mile CEO Craig Solomon will now be the CIO and Vice Chairman of the new company.
Affinius Capital, with the original approach of the two integrated companies, will continue to put its clients and their interests first and ensure they align with its own goals. It will also continue to look for risk-adjusted returns that have a positive and measurable effect on society while keeping its multifaceted focus on creative and dynamic solutions that use technological advances in digital automation, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence. The company's headquarters will remain in San Antonio and New York, and regional experts will continue to operate in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul, and Washington, D.C.
About Affinius Capital
San Antonio, Texas-based Affinius Capital and affiliate companies invest across the risk spectrum for a client base worldwide, managing more than $35 billion within a diversified portfolio across Europe and North America as net assets under management. It offers strategic equity and debt capital to capitalize on the escalating demand for technology-driven real estate assets to meet the critical demands for housing solutions and other capital and market structure opportunities exhibiting convincing risk-return characteristics.
MARKET OUTLOOK, REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Businesswire | April 27, 2023
Turner Impact Capital, one of the nation’s largest real estate investment firms dedicated to social impact, has expanded its efforts to address the country’s urgent housing affordability crisis with the acquisition of its first multifamily housing community in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.
Acquisition of the 207-unit Urbana Court Apartments in Brooklyn Park, Minn., closed today as one of the final investments of Turner Multifamily Impact Fund II. The purchase enables Turner Impact to bring its innovative market-driven housing solution for low- and moderate-income families to a fast-growing Minneapolis community with convenient access to job opportunities, healthcare, and schools.
The Turner Multifamily Impact Funds have acquired, preserved, and enriched approximately $2 billion of critically-needed housing for working individuals and families located in densely populated, ethnically diverse metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. These investments represent nearly 13,000 units of workforce housing nationwide, serving residents earning up to 80% of area median income while generating strong risk-adjusted financial returns for its institutional investors. Residents include community-serving professionals such as teachers, police officers, healthcare workers and others who often earn too much to qualify for subsidized housing but struggle to afford higher-cost housing located near job centers.
“As rents rise and recession concerns mount, we must ensure that working families have access to stable, affordable, and high-quality housing in major metropolitan areas,” Turner Impact CEO Bobby Turner said. “We continue to expand our housing initiatives, and Urbana Court presents an opportunity to bring our successful model to one of the most dynamic markets in the Midwest.”
Urbana Court is a newly built apartment complex with a large community center, 24-hour fitness center, pool, pickleball courts, playground, and underground heated parking. The units feature a wide range of appliances and full-size washers and dryers, and as part of Turner Impact’s sustainability initiatives, the Fund has identified ways to reduce energy and water use.
Minneapolis has the largest metropolitan economy in the region after Chicago, where Turner Impact also has significant housing investments. Brooklyn Park is located just north of the city, near the largest health-technology cluster in the country, known as medical alley, and major employers such as Medtronic, Target, and Amazon, as well as easy access to jobs in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Turner Impact’s holistic approach to workforce housing also entails enriching residents’ quality of life with demand-driven essential on-site services in education, health, safety, and other areas that help build a sense of community. These include after-school tutoring programs, exercise and nutrition classes, community watch programs, and more.
“We are excited to expand our impact to greater Minneapolis and are actively pursuing additional investments in the market,” said Gee Kim, President of Turner Impact’s Multifamily Housing Initiatives. “We welcome and look forward to opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way to the housing solution in this key part of the country.”
Housing initiatives are a core component of Turner Impact Capital’s holistic approach to social impact investing. Since 2016, Turner Impact has raised more than $650 million in equity for its first two housing funds – Turner Multifamily Impact Funds I and II – and has recently launched a third fund, Turner Multifamily Impact Fund III. The new Fund is the firm’s largest to date, targeting between $750 million and $1 billion in total commitments. The Fund has already received strong interest from both U.S. and international investors and will build on the work of its predecessor funds to preserve and enrich workforce housing through the acquisition of existing affordable rental housing at scale.
Turner Multifamily Impact Fund III will also pursue the development of new affordable housing through public-private partnerships, as well as opportunistic investments in and recapitalization of workforce housing projects resulting from market dislocations.
Turner Impact has recently accelerated its expansion by hiring Gary Rodney, a national housing leader, as Managing Director for Housing Initiatives. Rodney joined Turner Impact from Tishman Speyer, where he launched the firm’s first affordable housing platform, and earlier served as Chairman of CREA, a national syndicator of low-income housing tax credits, as well as President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation.
About Turner Impact Capital
Turner Impact Capital is the nation's largest private equity real estate firm exclusively dedicated to social impact. Based in Santa Monica, California, the firm focuses on creating sustainable solutions for many of today's most daunting societal problems by developing and investing in community-enriching infrastructure in densely populated, underserved communities. The firm seeks to generate superior risk-adjusted financial returns by investing in markets with large supply/demand mismatches of core community infrastructure (i.e., workforce housing, public schools, and community-serving healthcare facilities) and a lack of institutional capital. Turner Impact Capital seeks profits with a purpose. Learn more at www.turnerimpact.com or @turnerimpact on Twitter.