Real Estate Technology, Mortgage and Lending
PRnewswire | July 28, 2023
Rhino, which pioneered security deposit insurance in 2017 and services a six-million-home partner network, today announced that Omega Realty Group is using the new Rhino+ platform to manage security deposits for renters.
Rhino+ is the rental industry's first digital deposit platform that simplifies and modernizes the security deposit process, making renting easier, transparent and affordable.
"Rhino has been a trusted partner for over three years, helping protect our thousands of rental units with security deposit insurance. With Rhino+, we now offer our renters the choice to use cash or insurance as part of their move-in experience," said John Ashley, Omega Realty Group. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Rhino and delivering a digital experience to our residents, allowing them to move in seamlessly while protecting our assets."
Leasing teams typically deal with physical deposit checks that must be brought to the bank and held in an escrow account. Property owners often have to track these payments in software platforms coded in the 80s that can't always be used on personal computers. Cash sits in escrow, inaccessible until the end of the lease. The process is required for every unit, taking up to 20 hours per month.
"Rhino+ alleviates the headache of the traditional security process by giving owners and renters choices," said Ben Lantos, Rhino's CEO and co-founder. "Renters can transact digitally, which is their preferred method, and property owners save significant time on administrative tasks."
For owners, Rhino+ effortlessly automates every step of the deposit journey, from viewing and managing security deposits, insurance policies, claims, properties and renters, all in a single platform. The solution streamlines operations, reduces complexity and improves efficiency.
Rhino currently works with one-third of the Top 100 property owners in the U.S. Learn more at sayrhino.com.
Rhino was founded to give renters everywhere greater financial freedom to plan and enjoy their lives. In 2017, Rhino pioneered security deposit insurance, replacing cash deposits with smart, affordable insurance so renters can maintain control of their cash. Instead of a large upfront cash security deposit, renters pay Rhino a small fee, and Rhino insures the property owner for damages that might occur and lost rent. In 2022, Rhino launched an end-to-end deposit management and compliance platform, transforming how security deposits are administered.
In addition, Rhino today also offers Renters Insurance, giving renters a simple and affordable way to purchase contents and liability insurance, which property owners often also require at move-in. Rhino is offered in over two million homes with a six million home partner network, and we have saved renters over $1 billion in cash.
Real Estate Technology, Mortgage and Lending
PRnewswire | July 21, 2023
FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, announced today that its home equity origination platform—FirstClose Equity— is now integrated with Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology®, part of ICE, a global data, technology and market infrastructure company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity.
Through the new integration, Encompass users can seamlessly originate home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans (HELs) within their LOS and complete the application through closing process in as few as 10 days versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days. Encompass will continue to be the system of record because all data is secured through the LOS and stored there. Each call to action initiates a data map and an audit trail to Encompass.
FirstClose's one-of-a-kind home equity solution reduces operational touchpoints to elevate the overall customer experience for borrowers. The solution also enables lenders to automate data collection, verification, and continue to order settlement services through FirstClose's existing order management module.
"Home equity lending has become a go-to option for millions of homeowners and is expected to be a significant growth opportunity for the foreseeable future," said Tedd Smith, Chief Executive Officer at FirstClose. "Our integration with ICE Mortgage's platform will give Encompass users a simple, efficient way to either enter this market or to differentiate themselves by significantly improving the customer experience that they are offering."
The end-to-end platform was built modularly so lenders can implement one, two or all modules based on the approach that's right for their organization.
Point of Sale (POS): A private-label borrower-facing point-of-sale solution with a unique borrower experience – single sign on, workflow, and customized branding including domain that gives consumers instant online feedback on their home valuation, available home equity, loan options and delivers credit decisions in minutes. (Borrower eligibility is determined by the credit score and CLTV.)
Borrower Portal: A borrower portal that lets consumers provide consents, upload needed documents, interact with originators, select loan terms, and draw amounts. In parallel, the portal's backend is iframed into Encompass, so loan originators never leave their LOS and are rewarded with a consistent process and streamlined functionality including title decisioning via the lenders' business rules and a credit decision that leverages EPPS and Encompass' Dynamic Data Management (DDM) to deliver findings in minutes.
Order Management: Automated workflows, including triggers enable the ordering of settlement services such as flood, title, valuation and more.
Closing: An option to support hybrid closings and recordings that are compliant with state regulations and lender guidelines.
"Our best-of-breed technology dramatically accelerates decision-making and connects lenders to a broad network of preferred providers with one contract, one bill and one support team," said Craig Austin, Executive Vice President at FirstClose. "Lenders currently originating home equity products can onboard in as fast as 30 days; while new entrants can onboard in as fast as 60 days enabling lenders to pivot and capitalize on the current market which is a bright spot for our industry."
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.
About ICE Mortgage Technology
ICE Mortgage Technology® is part of ICE, a global data, technology and market infrastructure company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. Backed by ICE's global resources, we offer a truly differentiated digital platform that provides straight-through processing for a more comprehensive end-to-end workflow than any other provider in the market. We reach almost every mortgage in the U.S. by combining the native automation of Encompass® with the e-collaboration and e-recording capabilities of Simplifile®, along with the national electronic registry for nearly 90% of the U.S. mortgage market in MERS®. Ultimately, our technology enables people across the industry to focus on personal connections when they need it most, and support borrowers for a better journey of homeownership.
About Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. We provide financial technology and data services across major asset classes that offer our customers access to mission-critical workflow tools that increase transparency and operational efficiencies. We operate exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, and clearing houses that help people invest, raise capital and manage risk across multiple asset classes. Our comprehensive fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide information, analytics and platforms that help our customers capitalize on opportunities and operate more efficiently. At ICE Mortgage Technology, we are transforming and digitizing the U.S. residential mortgage process, from consumer engagement through loan registration. Together, we transform, streamline and automate industries to connect our customers to opportunity.
Home and Design
PRnewsiwre | August 10, 2023
Weidner Apartment Homes, a real estate investment and property management company, recently joined the Anchorage Affordable Housing and Land Trust (AAHLT) to aid the organization in its mission to expand and preserve year-round housing rental opportunities that are affordable to low and very low-income households.
In March 2023, Dean Weidner, Weidner's Chairman and Founder, matched the Rasmuson Foundation's $250,000 donation to AAHLT to provide initial working capital for the Trust to begin operations. One of the first projects undertaken by the Trust is a renovation project that will convert The Lake House, a downtown hotel in Anchorage, AK, into a 45-unit multifamily property for low and very low-income citizens. The Lake House is an older, well-maintained hotel purchased by the AAHLT in 2023 using ARPA funds granted by the Municipality of Anchorage.
"Dean Weidner invests in these projects because he believes we all have a responsibility to be involved in our communities and give back however we can. As a housing provider, we are connected to those who are unhoused, and it's a natural issue for us to gravitate towards and bring some focused expertise to the process." Said Greg Cerbana, Weidner's VP. of Government Affairs.
Weidner has been a multifamily rental housing provider in Anchorage since 1981 and owns 5,696 units across six cities in Alaska. Through the company's long-standing relationships with various Alaska-based housing providers, they have partnered with several nonprofits to significantly improve the region's housing instability issues.
"Since Weidner is a market-rate housing provider, our investments in various affordable housing projects allows us to fund a different need of the area's housing market. Every sector in the industry needs to be healthy for it to thrive, and our recent involvement with AAHLT enables us to support the industry outside of our primary line of work." Said Cerbana.
"Anchorage is uniquely positioned to find workable solutions for the challenges associated with homelessness. The city has a history of cooperation between its businesses, nonprofits, and public sectors. I encourage everyone to come together and prioritize fulfilling the needs of the most vulnerable in our society." Said Weidner.
As of August 2023, Weidner has committed over $10 million to fund solutions for homelessness in Anchorage. Weidner is excited to expand its efforts to support the full continuum of Anchorage's housing market by joining the AAHLT to provide much-needed housing for low and very low-income citizens.
About Weidner Apartment Homes
Founded by W. Dean Weidner in 1977, Weidner Apartment Homes is a multi-faceted real estate investment, and management company recognized industry-wide as an efficient provider of quality rental homes and a creative developer of new housing. The vision of the Weidner Company is to distinguish ourselves as the apartment industry leader in each of our markets, which includes Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Canada. We can only achieve that vision by having the best apartment managers, leasing consultants, maintenance managers, and service technicians in the business.