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Finance taking tech route in crowded field

By Konrad Putzier

Trying to grow in the increasingly competitive mortgage brokerage business, Eastern Union is relying on unconventional methods.

The company is launching an online platform to better match lenders and borrowers, CEO Ira Zlotowitz told Real Estate Weekly.

The move comes mere weeks after Eastern Union announced it would cap its fees at $250,000 for single deals.

IRA ZLOTOWITZ
IRA ZLOTOWITZ

Taken together, the steps are meant to set the company apart from its peers in an industry that isn’t exactly known for either cutting-edge technology or low fees.

The new platform “will give our brokers a competitive advantage,” explained Zlotowitz, primarily by allowing them to connect with more bankers more quickly.

Lender Portal, as the program is called, will allow lenders to review information on potential mortgage deals — including quotes, rates and documents — online. In effect, it will save time by eliminating the need to email information back and forth, Zlotowitz explained.

In May, Eastern Union announced it would cap its fees at $250,000 for a single deal and at $1 million annually for each client, regardless of the number of deals closed.

“At this number, the broker has the ability to earn enough money to handle the expanded workload; this is a fair number,” Zlotowitz said then.

The portal and new fee structure are reminiscent of Urban Compass, a residential brokerage startup that made headlines last year through its broker app and by paying its brokers fixed salaries, although it has since switched to a commission model.

Zlotowitz said he is confident the combination of technology and lower fees will help Eastern Union rapidly expand its business.

He explained that the company’s deal volume is already at $1.5 billion for 2014 and could rise to as much as $4 billion, well ahead of the $1.8 billion recorded in 2013. For 2015, he bullishly predicted Eastern Union will arrange $10 billion in loans. займ онлайн без отказа

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