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Quicken_Cover_Rocket_MortgageAnother Sunday afternoon, another open house. As you set out the guest book and pull the cookies out of the oven, you wonder (once again), if this is a waste of your valuable time. Is it really worth spending the next several hours babysitting a stream of nosy neighbors, looky-loos and unqualified dreamers? To prove your point, in walks a young couple, wide-eyed, tentative…and ready to do an about-face. After taking one quick look around, they’ve decided this place is way out of their price range. In fact, from the overwhelmed look on their faces, they may have even decided that homeownership itself is out of their price range.

Just one more futile open house? Not this time. This time, you have a secret weapon right on your smartphone or tablet that can turn those dreamers into homebuyers—in just minutes. This time, you have Rocket Mortgage.

Sending the Mortgage Process into the Stratosphere
Introduced this past November, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is shaking up the mortgage industry by offering an end-to-end online product that can have borrowers approved for a mortgage in as little as eight minutes—not pre-approval, but actual approval, complete with rate lock.

In development by the 500-plus members of the QL Labs technology team for more than three years, Rocket Mortgage is designed to be a game changer, empowering real estate professionals and consumers by putting control of the mortgage process into their own hands. By simply accessing on a desktop computer or mobile device, would-be homebuyers can answer a few questions and receive loan approval and rate lock in as little as eight minutes. For real estate agents, Rocket Mortgage presents a powerful tool with which they can help get potential buyers into homes more quickly.

For Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage is a natural progression in its mission to transform the home loan business. “We changed the mortgage industry when we created the first 50-state online retail lending platform that has since helped millions of Americans achieve their home-financing goals, while experiencing the best client service in the nation,” said Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson in a release issued when the product launched on Nov. 24, 2015. “Today, we took another monumental leap forward with the launch of Rocket Mortgage, which brings simplicity and clarity to the home-loan process like never before, while delivering solutions at unimaginable speed.”

“About 17 years ago, Quicken Loans demolished the traditional brick-and-mortar lending model,” explains Quicken Loans VP of Business Development Derek Latka. “Over the years, the evolution toward self-service products has been growing. We knew there was a strong market for clients to engage in the mortgage process and take more of a driver’s seat position.”

“For us, it’s really about Rocket Mortgage changing the way people get a mortgage—to take something that is typically thought of as being confusing, complicated and slow, and flip it on its head,” says Regis Hadiaris, Rocket Mortgage Product Lead. “We want the mortgage process to be fast and simple and smart—that’s the idea we’ve had all along.”

“This is not just important to Quicken Loans, this is important to the entire mortgage industry,” adds Quicken Loans CIO Linglong He. “Everyone is leveraging technology to move the business forward, but we are the No. 1 online lender and the No. 2 retail lender overall. People look up to us and always want to know, ‘what are you doing next?’”

According to Latka, Rocket Mortgage is powered to perform several hundred thousand calculations within seconds and analyze the various home loan options for clients based on their income, assets and credit information—data which Rocket Mortgage can import into its system. “The client can come up with dozens of different options, choosing which terms, interest rates and monthly payments work best for them,” says Latka. “Rocket Mortgage puts that power into the hands of clients.”

Latka depicts an open house scenario. “Think about an open house on a Sunday,” he suggests. “You’ve got a listing agent on-site and there are buyers coming through the door who are passionate about the property, but not yet preapproved. Usually, you’d have to call Quicken Loans that night or wait until Monday morning to talk to a traditional lender. With Rocket Mortgage, the agent will be empowered to sit down with their iPad and the buyer, and get an approval within minutes. The system is pulling credit, income and asset documentation. This is not just a theoretical approval based on assumptions—this is an actual, approved mortgage on a Sunday afternoon. This tool will be empowering to the agent community, allowing them to transact at a faster pace. Everything is real-time and everything is immediate—it’s user-friendly and flexible.”

A Change Consumers Are Ready for
It’s no secret. Getting a mortgage has historically been the bane of the home-buying process. Fraught with confusion, complication and documentation, the home loan process is more than ready for this long-overdue makeover.

According to Hadiaris, Rocket Mortgage is designed to eliminate many of the pain points typically associated with applying for a mortgage. “If you think of the traditional mortgage process, the client talks to a mortgage banker, and then the burden of proof is on the client who has to produce a pile of documentation,” he explains. “We said, let’s make all that go away. You don’t have to provide your W2s and bank statements anymore. We’ve created a better solution that has better ways to access the documents needed.”