SitusAMC acquires ComplianceEase in latest mortgage tech M&A deal


Real estate services and technology firm SitusAMC just acquired the parent company of compliance technology provider ComplianceEase, the latest in a series of mergers and acquisitions that are shaking up the mortgage tech space in the last year.

ComplianceEase will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of SitusAMC with no planned changes to existing staff or operations, SitusAMC said in a news release on Tuesday.

John Vong, a founder of ComplianceEase, will stay on as chairman, and CEO Michael Jackson will also remain.

ComplianceEase, founded in 2001, is the mortgage industry’s largest provider of compliance software for mortgage originators, secondary market players and regulators. The firm says it has processed audits for over 90 million loans in the last two decades. Its product suite includes mortgage compliance systems, auditing technology, and a portal to verify state and federal licenses and registrations.

“This acquisition is an important step in our goal of bringing greater automation and transparency to the residential market,” said SitusAMC CEO Michael Franco in a statement. “The combination of the ComplianceEase product set and our existing technologies enhances our position as a leading technology provider for the mortgage industry. Clients that fully participate in our ecosystem of solutions will ultimately be able to reduce secondary market trading diligence from days to minutes.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SitusAMC has embarked on something of an acquisitions spree in the past year, picking up analytics company Baseline Analytics and fintech firm Alan King and Company.

With the acquisition of ComplianceEase, SitusAMC says it’s beefing up its resi tech products, which now includes systems of record on custodial and warehouse space (emBTRUST and ProMerit); product, pricing and eligibility for loan conduits (Rate Lock System); document classification and data extraction (Acuity); document management (DocAcuity); and loan accounting (sbo.net).

SitusAMC is competing in the same space as highly capitalized rivals Black Knight Financial Services, and Intercontinental Exchange. The latter just closed on an $11 billion deal to acquire Ellie Mae, a leading provider of cloud-based services for the mortgage finance industry.

New York-based Berkery Noyes served as exclusive financial advisor to ComplianceEase.



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Opendoor launches… a brokerage? – HousingWire


The line between traditional iBuyer and brokerage is getting ever-so-blurry for venture-backed startup Opendoor.

The company, armed with $4.3 billion in debt and equity funding, is looking to bring aboard real estate agents in Phoenix, Arizona, to support its “Home Reserve” iBuying platform, according to Inman, which spotted a jobs posting Friday morning.

A spokesperson for Opendoor told HousingWire that the company is looking to staff its Home Reserve platform with independent contract agents, not salaried agents. The firm is testing two different models with agents in Phoenix, the spokesperson said.

Home Reserve, launched in May, enables Opendoor to list sellers’ homes while purchasing and reserving their next home with all-cash offers. Under such a model, traditional agents hired by Opendoor will be listing and selling the home.

Opendoor’s agent play comes as iBuyers integrate elements of traditional brokerages, and traditional brokerages begin to incorporate components of iBuying, all in the quest to have a hand in every stage of the real estate transaction.

In its pitch to Phoenix-area agents on the job listing, Opendoor touts a steady feed of deals to help them bank commissions.

“Hanging your license with Opendoor Brokerage as an independent contractor means you are eligible for a consistent, steady stream of highly motivated seller & buyer clients,” the job post reads. “You will be able to service more buyers and sellers every year by being able to offer products no other brokerage can.”

While Opendoor is hiring a yet-to-be-determined number of 1099 agents, it already has an in-house staff to sell scores of homes across the U.S. In 2018, the firm acquired Los Angeles-based discount brokerage Open Listings for an undisclosed sum.

In June, Opendoor competitor Offerpad announced that it would allow users to list their homes with Offerpad’s own agents, in addition to using concierge services.

Meanwhile, Zillow Group quietly became a corporate broker in New York and Arizona. However, Zillow says it doesn’t plan to fashion itself into an iBuying platform with a brokerage arm. In August 2018, the company said it was not looking to cut brokers out of the transaction and would not be using its license to operate as a “traditional brokerage.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Open Listings was Dallas-based; it was based out of Los Angeles.



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