Zillow Group Inc. has taken a full plunge into the mortgage market with the acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, a national lender headquartered in Overland Park, Kan.
The terms of the transaction were not made public, although Zillow
stated that Philip Kneibert, president of Mortgage Lenders of America, will continue to lead the company in the position of general manager and will report to Greg Schwartz, president of media and marketplaces at Zillow Group. Mortgage Lenders of America employs 300 people and will continue to operate out of Kansas.
Zillow has been moving into the homebuying market through its Zillow Offers program
. However, that program has been limited to the Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta markets. The Seattle-based company framed the purchase of Mortgage Lenders of America as its next step in its corporate evolution.
“Now that we are buying and selling homes through Zillow Offers, we believe that having our own mortgage origination service as an option for consumers will allow us to streamline the process for people who buy a Zillow-owned home,” said Schwartz. “Over time, we expect the work we do in conjunction with this new line of business will help us expand our offerings to our partners – including real estate brokers with existing in-house mortgage operations and third-party lenders who co-market with Premier Agents.”