Redfin is latest real estate company taking a deeper mortgage dive

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Redfin is tapping fintech Notarize to offer digital closing capabilities to borrowers through its lending and title and settlement units, Redfin Mortgage and Title Forward.

Redfin is the latest example of real estate companies diving deeper into the mortgage industry, but also joins more tech-focused mortgage companies in their push toward digitizing the process. The coordinated effort across Redfin's real estate, title and mortgage units is another example of how companies that control a significant portion of the homebuying process can more easily implement digital innovations. In September, Lennar completed its first e-closing using Notarize technology across its homebuilding, mortgage and title divisions.

In a play to leverage its customer base, Redfin is improving the borrower experience, which has been an industrywide focus, to offer consumers more capabilities. Companies like Redfin that control more pieces of the homebuying puzzle have been able to make use of resources in ways that competitors only controlling one part haven't been able to.

While a major lender like Quicken Loans has its own title company, other players like Mid America Mortgage identify the lagging technology efforts from title agents as a pain point in offering digital closing capabilities, according to Mid America President and CEO Jeff Bode.

"Redfin is using technology to improve the entire homebuying process from initial home search, to mortgage application and approval, to purchasing and now closing on a home purchase," said Jason Bateman, head of Redfin Mortgage, in a press release.

With help from Notarize, Redfin completed its first digital home closing on Nov. 2, for a Texas homebuyer.

Like Redfin, real estate companies Remax and Keller Williams also capitalized on their customer base to offer mortgage capabilities to consumers through their own respective lending units, Motto Mortgage and Keller Mortgage.

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