Real estate startup Ribbon secures $330 million to grow homebuying platform

Ribbon | November 01, 2019

Ribbon, a homebuying startup that offers a unique proposition to its customers, currently operates in eight markets in four states, but the company has big plans for expansion now that it has secured more than $300 million in new funding. Ribbon, which began operating in the Carolinas in the last few years, works with homebuyers to ensure they can buy the home they want on their timeline, rather than waiting for their mortgage to be approved and processed.

Spotlight

Looking to buy a home in Seattle or Las Vegas? You might want to hurry, as prices are rising fast—and showing no signs of slowing down. The just-released Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows home prices in most major markets are increasing steadily, with the west coast being especially hot. Seattle has been a fast-growing market for months. In the past year, the price of the average single-family home has gone up 12.7%. That’s more than twice the national average of 6.21%.

Spotlight

Looking to buy a home in Seattle or Las Vegas? You might want to hurry, as prices are rising fast—and showing no signs of slowing down. The just-released Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows home prices in most major markets are increasing steadily, with the west coast being especially hot. Seattle has been a fast-growing market for months. In the past year, the price of the average single-family home has gone up 12.7%. That’s more than twice the national average of 6.21%.

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HOME AND DESIGN

HomeStars Launches Home Renovation Flexible Refinancing in Partnership with Perch To Help Canadian Homeowners Bring Their Dream Home to Life

HomeStars | May 19, 2022

HomeStars, Canada’s largest network of verified home service professionals, is proud to announce a new partnership with Perch, a technology platform offering homebuyers and homeowners the financial insights they need to build wealth through real estate. This first-of-its-kind partnership will help homeowners find flexible refinancing solutions to fund their renovation and home improvement needs. Through the new partnership, HomeStars offers a refinancing option to Canadian homeowners looking to make home renovations, repairs, or improvements. Homeowners can now receive cash based on the equity in their homes and use these funds for home improvement projects. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Perch and offer Canadian homeowners flexible refinancing options to fund their home renovations. It’s been a difficult year for Canadians, with the volatile housing market and economic pressures making purchasing newer homes less accessible and forcing many Canadians to stay in their homes longer. This partnership will allow homeowners to increase the value of their homes and make the much-needed improvements to their homes. This is a great opportunity to provide Canadians with an alternative to financing to give them continued comfort in their homes and live in a space they’re proud of.” Shir Magen, CEO of HomeStars The 2021 HomeStars Reno Report reported that 20 percent of Canadians needed financial assistance to execute home renovations, and many put off home improvements due to the daunting costs associated. With the current market volatility, its expected more Canadians will be financially stretched. HomeStars met this growing financial need by partnering with Perch to empower Canadians to execute their home renovations without the upfront investment. Whether it’s Canadians choosing to age in place, convert their home to one that can be multi-generational, or reinvest in their current property due to the current housing market, through this new partnership, homeowners will be able to get quality work done through vetted professionals with a lower financial impact on their monthly budget. Homeowners can access the Perch refinancing calculator on https://homestars.com to help understand their borrowing power while starting a HomeStars service request. After entering your current property value and mortgage information, homeowners will have the ability to view the results and either begin the pre-approval process or chat with a Perch advisor. Once your loan is finalized and you are matched with a verified pro, you can leverage the funds towards your dream home project with a reputable pro. “Perch’s analytics help Canadians get pre-approved for their mortgages and give them insights to understand exactly how much they can afford,” says Alex Leduc, Founder & CEO of Perch. “We saw a connection to the HomeStars online home services platform, and we’re very excited to be working with them. Together, we can help homeowners reach their goals faster.” By leveraging Canada’s largest network of verified home service professionals, HomeStars allows Canadians to choose qualified professionals in their area and have a clear line of sight into home service professionals' ratings and quality of work. Canadian homeowners are well equipped to hire right the first time with a proprietary star score, verified background and finance checks, and manually verified reviews. About HomeStars HomeStars is Canada's largest network of verified and community-reviewed home service professionals. HomeStars empowers Canadian homeowners to hire right the first time for home renovations or repairs by connecting project-ready homeowners with the best pros in their neighborhood. In 2021, 8 million homeowners visited HomeStars looking for a pro for their next home improvement project. HomeStars was created in 2006 to relieve Canadian homeowners’ anxiety and put their minds at ease knowing they’ve hired a vetted, highly rated home service professional. With three distinct trust metrics, HomeStars gives Canadians the confidence of hiring right the first time, can vet pros recommended to homeowners, and allows for searching and requesting for specific home service professionals. HomeStars is based in Toronto, Ontario, and is an operating business of Angi.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Douglas Elliman Announces Strategic Investment in Bilt Rewards

Douglas Elliman | September 22, 2021

New Valley Ventures, an investment vehicle managed by Douglas Elliman's parent company, Vector Group, announced a renter rewards program via strategic investment in Bilt Rewards, the first loyalty program and co-brand credit card for renters. The investment comes as Douglas Elliman officially joins the Bilt Rewards Alliance, a network of more than 2 million rental units across the country where renters can enroll in the loyalty program to earn points on rent with no fees. We are proud to support and align ourselves with Bilt Rewards as its program fills a gap in the market to set renters up for financial success and encourage a path towards homeownership. - Scott Durkin, CEO of Douglas Elliman. New Valley Ventures is dedicated to investing in innovative tech-driven solutions for the greater real estate community. - Dan Sachar, Managing Director of New Valley Ventures and Vice President of Enterprise Innovation for Vector Group. The funding round, which also counts Mastercard, Wells Fargo and other leading real estate property owners including AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential, GID, Lennar, The Moinian Group, Morgan Properties, Starwood Capital Group, and Related Group as investors, will propel Bilt Rewards to further expand its loyalty partner network, grow its organic distribution channels, and open the Bilt Rewards platform and Bilt Mastercard more widely to the public. Launched this June by Kairos HQ, Bilt Rewards is the first-ever loyalty program and co-brand credit card for renters, enabling the country's 109 million renters to finally earn points on their largest monthly expense with no fees. By offering the Bilt Rewards program to tenants across Douglas Elliman's rental portfolio including new development projects, residents can now earn points with every on-time rent payment. Additionally, Douglas Elliman residents will be among the first to receive an invitation for the Bilt Mastercard, the first credit card that allows users to pay their rent with no fee. With the card, Douglas Elliman residents can earn 1x points on every dollar of rent, 2x points on travel purchases, 3x points on dining, and 1x points on all other non-rent purchases, allowing them to maximize rewards potential, all with no annual fee. Through Bilt, renters can redeem points for travel across over 100 major airlines and hotels, fitness classes at the country's top boutique studios, and can even use points towards rent credits or a future down payment on a home. When paying rent through the Bilt Rewards app, members can also have their rent payments reported to the credit bureaus at no cost, which can help build credit history for millions of young renters. New Valley Ventures continues to invest in promising, next-generation technologies in order to propel the real estate industry into the future and further benefit the agent, renter and buyer experience. In doing so, New Valley Ventures utilizes its deep industry knowledge through Douglas Elliman to advise on meaningful digital development, tech solutions and financial software. ABOUT VECTOR GROUP Vector Group is a holding company for Liggett Group LLC, Vector Tobacco Inc., New Valley LLC and Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC. ABOUT DOUGLAS ELLIMAN Established in 1911, Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and one of the largest independent residential real estate brokerages in the United States. With approximately 7,000 agents, the company operates approximately 100 offices in New York City, Long Island, The Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Texas. Moreover, Douglas Elliman has a strategic global alliance with London-based Knight Frank Residential for business in the worldwide luxury markets spanning 61 countries and six continents. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services including Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, Douglas Elliman Property Management and Douglas Elliman Commercial. ABOUT BILT REWARDS Launched by Kairos HQ in June 2021, Bilt Rewards is the first-ever loyalty program that allows renters to earn points on rent with no fees and builds a path towards homeownership. Through a partnership with the nation's largest real estate owners including Avalon Bay Communities, Equity Residential, Related, Starwood Capital Group and more, Bilt Rewards enables renters in more than two million units across the country to earn points just by paying rent. Bilt Rewards boasts one of the highest value rewards programs on the market today, including one-to-one point transfers to 9 loyalty programs allowing travel across over 100 major airlines and hotel partners; fitness classes at the country's top boutique studios including SoulCycle, Rumble and Y7; limited-edition and exclusive collections of art and home decor through the Bilt Collection, and the ability to use Bilt points for rent credits or towards a future downpayment. Bilt has also partnered with Mastercard to create the Bilt Mastercard - the first and only credit card that can be used to pay rent with no fees.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

To improve the global real estate strategy, Alter Domus chooses Yardi

prnewswire | November 17, 2020

Anita Lyse, Head of Real Estate for Alter Domus, said: "As we continue to see globalization of real estate as an asset class, investment structures are becoming more complex and administered in more jurisdictions, whose local needs and compliance requirements diverge. Data quality is critical for effective asset servicing and administration across borders. We are pleased to partner with Yardi to enable our Integrated Global Real Estate Solution, as this will further strengthen our ability to provide top quality services with speed, accuracy, and transparency. Combining this with our cloud portal solution, CorPro, gives us a unique technology environment that further enhances our operational processes and enables near real-time access to high-quality, detailed portfolio information to our clients and their investors." "We are very pleased to partner with Alter Domus on a global basis," said Neal Gemassmer, vice president of international for Yardi. "We are looking forward to working with a company that with a customer-oriented mindset places the highest importance on the quality of service and the personalized attention that each client receives." About Alter Domus Many leading international private equity firms, real estate houses, and private debt managers choose Alter Domus as their partner for growth. Solely dedicated to alternative strategies, their established network of 2,500 employees provide fund administration, corporate services, depositary services, transfer pricing, domiciliation, management company services, loan administration, agency services, trade settlement and CLO manager services across more than 40 offices and desks globally.

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