FinLocker – which has more than 40,000 registered consumers and is led by former Fannie Mae executive Henry Cason – is focused on helping the consumer get to a place of financial readiness for home buying. Clients of FinLocker include loan officers, mortgage lenders, servicers, banks and credit unions.
The platform also offers mortgage and financial education, credit score monitoring, credit report access, and tools to improve credit, pay down debt, save for a down payment and track progress toward mortgage eligibility.
Homegeunius – a wholly owned subsidiary of Radian Group – personalizes home search using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning hoping to transform real estate transactions.
Through this strategic investment, clients of FinLocker will have the benefit of Radian’s integrated Homogeneous’ suite of technology around real estate search. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Typically, consumers go through a bifurcated process of getting ready financially and then look for a home or vice versa, said Brian Vieaux, president and chief operating officer at FinLocker in an interview with HousingWire.
“This strategic partnership in the way our technologies will be integrated will combine the entire process. As I’m searching for properties on the Homegenius platform, I’ll have more confidence in my ability to afford a home because inside the FinLocker platform, my financial readiness will already have been assessed by the technology.”
Radian and Homegenius “relentlessly seek to make homeownership more easily achievable and to help our business partners accomplish that goal more efficiently. FinLocker also does both of those things,” said Radian’s CEO Rick Thornberry. “As we continue to help redefine the homebuying process, we are delighted to invest in innovative companies such as FinLocker which are leading the way.”
Both companies have been in talks for more than a year and recognized pent-up demand to purchase a home from a pool of prospective first-time homebuyers, Vieaux noted.
“This pool may not be ready to use the search feature by itself just because there’s a lack of inventory (…) Even with inventory where it’s at, people are still mentally and and wanting to actually prepare for buying and our financial fitness tools that are centered around homeownership are another way to engage consumers despite the inventory problem,” said Vieaux.
In a tough market of lack of inventory, high interest rates and elevated housing prices, it has become increasingly important that a loan officer is able to get up the funnel earlier in a consumers’ journey towards homeownership.
“A toolkit like FinLocker with the Homegenius technology is empowering individual loan officers to have the ability to reach, assist and nurture,” added Vieaux.