APRIL 2021 PARTNER NEWSLETTER

WHAT’S NEW

HomeBinder Launching Enhanced Home Valuation Tool

Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) on the market today calculate a property’s value at a specific point in time based upon comparable properties in the neighborhood. These AVM’s do not know or reflect any updates/investments have been made on the property or within the home.  

HomeBinder is enhancing our home valuation tool by enabling homeowners to better predict their home value and equity based upon planned home improvement projects or investments made on the property or within the home. A “What If?” scenario not only helps homeowners understand how best to maximize home value, it also provides opportunities for homeowners to re-engage with businesses that they trust.

Sample “What If” Scenario

This exciting enhancement is launching this quarter.  To learn more, please contact sales@homebinder.com.

Upcoming Webinar: HomeBinder and Home Inspector Pro, “Integrations That Work” 

We are excited to be co-hosting this webinar with Home Inspector Pro, one of our premier integration partners in the home inspection market, on Sunday, April 11, 2021, 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PM PDT.  We will be covering the integration between Home Inspector Pro Office and HomeBinder and the numerous opportunities for inspectors to grow their business, create lasting relationships with agents, and continue to market themselves long after the inspection is over.  

The link to add the webinar to your calendar is below.  If you cannot join the webinar live, you can watch the recording at a later date.  

Click Here to Join

Add to Calendar    Add to Google Calendar    Add to Yahoo Calendar

HOMEBINDER TIPS/BEST PRACTICES 

Don’t Miss Out on More Five Star Reviews!

Since launching our Review widget we have helped our partners receive and add thousands of additional five star reviews to their review platform of choice!  

The optimal time for your client to review your service is immediately upon receipt of their HomeBinder. The ratings and reviews from HomeBinder can be linked to your review system of choice (ex. Google, Facebook, Social Survey, etc.), creating an ancillary “net” to catch and publish additional positive reviews. Only four and five star reviews will automatically post to your review platform, any lower ratings will come to you for review. 

For information on how to add your review profile to your account, contact support@homebinder.com.  

IN THE NEWS

HOMEBINDER ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH CELEBRITY HOME LOANS!

How Do You Leverage the CFPB to Retain Homebuyers?

First-time buyers currently represent nearly a third of the homeownership market. As the market is evolving, so are borrower expectations, necessitating a fresh look at consumer engagement and the resources that are available to help meet current needs.

No one can argue that today’s homebuyer market is shifting.  Limited housing inventory, record low interest rates, and the pandemic impact on forbearance, foreclosure and bankruptcy, have all contributed to a change in servicer portfolio composition. Spurred on by super low interest rates, many borrowers have refinanced to a different servicer, or have a new servicer due to a home purchase. First-time buyers currently represent nearly a third of the homeownership market and will be interacting with a mortgage servicer for the very first time. Additionally, the overall face of homebuyers is changing as a rising percentage of millennial buyers have entered the homebuying market and now comprise a greater segment of homeownership, closing in on Gen Xers.  

As the market is evolving, so are borrower expectations, necessitating a fresh look at consumer engagement and the resources that are available to help meet current needs.  In this environment, do not overlook how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can contribute to the endeavor.  This is an opportune moment to gain a better understanding of what the CFPB communicates to homebuyers, as well as identify how using this educational guidance can help improve lender credibility within respective borrower communities.

Mortgage servicers, striving to embrace new and changing borrower profiles, can access extensive content, corresponding industry weblinks, and basic mortgage tools that are available on the CFPB website. This information can be incorporated directly or indirectly into borrower communications, added to borrower and servicer educational materials, integrated into servicing scripts, or made a part of borrower self-serve mechanisms. Concerned about directing your borrowers to the same site that houses the infamous CFPB complaint portal? Consider that it is better to have homeowners understand the role of the CFPB through a collaborative and educational lens, as opposed to having them reach out under duress.  

The Mortgages section of the CFPB website offers answers to a myriad of questions, from what is an escrow account, to what if I can’t pay my mortgage.  At a high level, the core areas designed to assist homeowners include:

  • Basics of a mortgage
  • Key mortgage terms
  • Common issues for borrowers
  • Understanding borrower interests
  • How-to guides

A variety of resources are available under these categories, many of which are extremely helpful for difficult to explain scenarios, such as forced-placed insurance, handling property damage, reverse mortgages, monthly payment calculations, removing private mortgage insurance, and not to be overlooked… pandemic relief options.  These topics correlate to inquiries that would normally come into a servicing call center, so servicers can actually save time and money when they leverage CFPB web content and resources.  

Considering a more open and direct link to the CFPB may necessitate a bit of a paradigm shift in your organizational approach to borrower engagement. However, as the mortgage industry grapples with the next phase of the pandemic, amidst a wave of technological innovation and an evolving homeowner profile, ensuring borrower retention is becoming even more difficult. 

At HomeBinder, we believe retaining client relationships under these circumstances is best realized by putting the homeowner in the driver’s seat.  This is not the customer-centric proposition of the past decade, but a genuine, proven “Client for Life” methodology that we have incorporated into our centralized management platform. HomeBinder creates valued relationships with the professionals that interact with homebuyers, from realtors to lenders to home inspectors to insurance providers.  We leverage this collaboration and education to deliver homeowners a valuable support system that extends throughout the homeownership lifecycle, not solely the life of the loan. 

Sound different? It is…. Connect with us today to find out more about this revolutionary approach to homeowner engagement and retention. Visit us at www.homebinder.com, or contact us directly at 800.377.6915.  HomeBinder ● Expected by Homeowners ● Driven by Lenders

HomeBinder Announces Partnership with Celebrity Home Loans

Enables Celebrity Home Loans to easily deliver HomeBinder’s home management platform and enhance their “client for life” experience

Burlington, MA – April 8, 2021 – HomeBinder, a leading home management platform provider that reduces the complexity of home ownership and maximizes home value, announces an exciting new partnership with Celebrity Home Loans, whereby Celebrity will be rolling out the HomeBinder service to their borrowers. 

For businesses serving residential homeowners that want to deliver added value to their clients,  HomeBinder is a platform that improves peace of mind for homeowners and assists them in maintaining and increasing the value of their largest asset throughout the ownership of the home.

The partnership will enable Celebrity Home Loan lenders to automatically provide a HomeBinder to their clients with all of the mortgage closing documentation; lenders who offer HomeBinder as a digital closing gift to their clients find that it increases client retention post-close and leads to new and increased referrals. 

According to David Robnett, Chairman and CEO of Celebrity Homes LLC, “Celebrity immediately recognized that HomeBinder enables our borrowers to enhance their lives through financial education and literacy, thereby enhancing our ‘client for life’ experience. As an innovative and technology-forward business, we have implemented multiple fintech platforms to deliver a streamlined experience through closing, but what happens post-close?”  

Robnett  goes on to say “We see an immediate and highly complementary fit with HomeBinder to educate today’s homeowner, remain top of mind with our clients, and enhance our relationships with real estate agents. HomeBinder’s new API integration with Encompass enables us to implement their service within hours and days vs. weeks and months.  We are eager to launch this Spring.” 

This announcement comes on the heels of HomeBinder getting approved on March 26, 2021 as an official API integration partner of ICE Mortgage Technologies Encompass platform.

About HomeBinder

HomeBinder is a home management platform that reduces the complexity of home management and enables businesses serving residential homeowners to improve client retention, build trusted relationships and generate referrals. HomeBinder is available exclusively through businesses across the residential ecosystem including lenders, inspectors, real estate professionals, insurers, property managers and home service providers. HomeBinder was founded in 2012, currently serves all fifty States and Canada, and is based in Burlington, MA. For more information, visit www.homebinder.com.

Media Contact:
Contact: Peter Paglia
Email: Send Email
Phone (978) 618-0835
www.homebinder.com

Top 5 Predictions for Centralized Homeownership in 2021

As we exit 2020 (likely eagerly for most) and think about the coming year, we at HomeBinder are thinking about the ways that homeownership is evolving in centralized ways for both the benefit of the homeowner and the businesses that serve them.

The core theme of HomeBinder is CENTRALIZE as displayed front and center on our website.  Our belief is that centralizing home information, actions, and people brings improved ability for homeowners to manage (and ultimately sell) their home.  Further, it brings a greater connection between the homeowner and the businesses that support their ownership.

We are not alone in this effort.  Many tech enabled businesses are also rowing in this direction.  The reasons are twofold.  First, we have a generation of homebuyers and owners that expect things to be much simpler than they are today to get things done whether it is finding a plumber, getting insurance, refinancing a loan or replacing a product (e.g. air or water filter) in their home.  Centralizing information supports these efforts.  Second, the advancement of technology and connectivity (mobile tech, AI, payment systems, API availability, image processing) are allowing that to happen in ways that previously would have taken people an extensive amount of time.

Here are five ways in which we’ll see more of this centralization take place in 2021:

  1. Increased Home Device Adoption – Devices for the home (Google Home, Amazon Echo, Facebook Portal, Apple HomePod) have already been adopted by millions of homeowners and today people are getting devices bundled in with other items they may be purchasing for their home such as security systems.  Although there are concerns of data privacy, most homeowners are accepting the tradeoff of their concerns for the convenience of having something that is more and more connected to the lights, heating system, information, and shopping for their home.
  2. Home Insurance Evolution – There are a number of companies such as Young Alfred and Branch that are transforming the way people find and purchase home insurance by using cutting edge user experiences, selling direct, bundling, and data feeds.  A myriad of home IoT devices that are promoted by insurance carriers such as water shut-off devices bring unified protection.  And finally, conversations are happening about how the telematics for the car (Progressive Snapshot, Drive Safe and Save) can be brought in a similar way to the pricing of insurance policies for the home (though don’t expect this anytime in the next several years).
  3. Faster Home Loan Borrowing Experiences – The dominant player in the mortgage space, Quicken has elevated the bar in the last couple of years with RocketMortgage.  They have been able to put an extraordinary amount of technology into the loan application process making it seamless and ‘magical’ for the consumer.  The broader market is turning to companies like SimpleNexus and Blend to bring cutting edge mobile tech to the mortgage processing process.  This is achieved by centralizing loan data and documents in a way that benefits both the borrower and the loan officer creating less work and a faster close time.
  4. Home Management – There are more and more tools and services available to help manage a home.  In 2020 Setter was acquired by Thumbtack and companies such as Super or House Happy continue to advance the outsourcing of home management and centralizing information into a platform to help make ownership a bit easier.  HomeBinder is in this category as well, as we see the need for a common place for all home information, regardless of origin to get recorded for current and future use.  Bringing all aspects of ownership under a single hood gives value and peace of mind to homeowners and imprinting of businesses to homes and specific projects and maintenance that they may be associated.
  5. Improvements in Home Valuation Tools – Ever since Zillow launched its Zestimate® tool in 2006, it remains one of the more publicly known Automated Valuation Models (AVMs).  Despite national accuracy hovering around 8% (that’s off by $40K on $500K house) it continues to draw the attention of homeowners, sellers and buyers alike.  What is missing here is both more data and better “in-home” data as often comparable (“comp”) data tells only a piece of the value of a home.  Merging datasets are beginning to come together to better inform buyers, lenders, insurers, retailers, and marketers. 

We’ve seen a lot of these trends happen in other markets where information comes together to benefit consumers and businesses alike.  Automotive, healthcare, financial products, and commodities.  The residential housing market is definitely behind, but in terms of size is as formidable as all of the above given the sum total of residential housing in the US is north of $34 trillion dollars and so a lot is at stake.  Of course, it won’t all happen in 2021 as it is a big ship to turn, but the foundational elements are there to chart a course where all of homeownership is at your fingertips in a centralized way.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

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Jack Huntress
CEO and Founder, HomeBinder

NOVEMBER 2020 PARTNER NEWSLETTER

What’s New at HomeBinder

HomeBinder has Integrated with Housecall Pro, a Leading Provider of Field Service Management Software Used by Over 60,000 Home Service Professionals
We are pleased to announce that HomeBinder and Housecall Pro are partnering to help home service professionals better engage with homeowners and automatically update maintenance activity within HomeBinder for homeowner clients.   

Housecall Pro services many industries within the home service pro market including HVAC, garage door, plumbing, electrical, pest control, and more.  Businesses in these industries leverage the Housecall Pro platform to automate scheduling, estimates, dispatching, and invoicing.  The partnership with HomeBinder enables these businesses to further differentiate their service and deliver even greater value to clients that have HomeBinder by automatically updating the binder to reflect the maintenance completed on the property.

For more information contact support@homebinder.com.     

Real Estate Agents Are Now Solely Added to HomeBinder Through Our Business Partners
In an effort to help our partners build stronger and lasting relationships with the real estate agents with whom you work, we are pleased to announce that effective immediately individual real estate agents will be added to HomeBinder only through one of our business partner subscribers.   

Agents previously had the option to subscribe to HomeBinder directly, however based on our surveys we have found that agents and business partners prefer to have HomeBinder created and delivered solely through business partners. Partners can co-brand their agents on the binders that they gift to clients in order to help both the business partner and agent deliver ongoing value to homeowners.  

Please contact support@homebinder.com if you have any questions.   

HOMEBINDER TIPS/BEST PRACTICES
homeRepairsSay Thank You to the Real Estate Agent that Referred You!  
One of the elements of the HomeBinder value proposition for our business partners is the increased number of referrals received by the real estate agents who are co-branded on binders.  As a way to say “Thank You” to the agent, our partners have the ability to provide agents with their own personal HomeBinder.  We have found that agents greatly appreciate this, not only for their personal use, but to help them better articulate the value proposition of HomeBinder for new clients.  

For instructions on how to create a personal binder for your agent contact support@homebinder.com

handHomeHomeBinder is Generating Thousands of Five Star Reviews for our Partners
The best time to receive a review is immediately after a job is complete. We have found that  99% of homeowner reviews through HomeBinder have been five star!  Four and five star reviews are automatically published onto the partners’ preferred review site, thus making this complementary to your review system currently in place.
For questions on setting up the review system, contact support@homebinder.com.      

HOMEBINDER NEWS
Repair Pricer Announces the Resolv System That Allows Real Estate Agents to Interact with Reports in Real Time

Repair Pricer, a strategic partner of HomeBinder that generates accurate repair estimates from property inspection reports, has added key functionality that enables real estate agents to make changes, republish reports on the fly, and easily share these reports.  

Repair Pricer reports are used by property inspectors and real estate agents to add value to the property inspection and save time and frustration during the negotiating cycle of a property purchase.  HomeBinder partners with Repair Pricer to offer these reports to property inspectors and real estate agents for the homeowner.   

For more information on the Resolv system, schedule a demo by clicking this link https://meetings.hubspot.com/christian298

For more information on adding Repair Pricer to your HomeBinder subscription, contact sales@homebinder.com.     

Look out for more HomeBinder news in our next newsletter.