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Innovation is a funny thing. Sometimes it introduces an idea that’s never existed before. More often, though, it’s a creative extension of elements already in use. The genius is in combining the elements in some revolutionary, game-changing way.

When everything comes together, the result makes perfect sense. And that’s what we’re hearing when we tell people about Motto Mortgage: It makes perfect sense.

A Better Way
Motto Mortgage, announced in October, connects a real estate brokerage franchise to a separate mortgage brokerage franchise. Together, the two offer clients a seamless, transparent process of finding a house and securing financing for it. Motto is the only company of its kind in the country.

Motto puts a new twist on a familiar concept. Many large real estate brokerages, especially regional giants, have long enjoyed the benefits of having affiliated mortgage services in close proximity.

Most smaller real estate firms, however, have been unable to tap in, given the regulatory environment of recent years and the departure of major lenders from MSAs and joint ventures. Sheer complexity, along with the necessary investment of time and money, has made the idea unfeasible for most small- and medium-sized firms.

That’s where Motto Mortgage comes in—a CFPB-compliant franchise solution and “mortgage brokerage in a box” system that simplifies the process and pre-addresses concerns of setup, licensing, branding and more. Motto removes the barriers of entry—offering efficiency to brokers and transparency to borrowers.

Motto has a unique advantage in that its franchisor, Motto Franchising, LLC, is powered by RE/MAX, LLC and leverages the infrastructure that built, services and supports the massive U.S. footprint of over 3,600 RE/MAX offices. The architects of Motto’s organizational structure include RE/MAX Co-Founder Dave Liniger—who first disrupted the real estate industry 40 years ago—myself, and a group of individuals with decades of collective knowledge in the space.

Leading the brand is Motto President Ward Morrison, a longtime RE/MAX officer with a deep, nearly 20-year background in real estate, franchising and lending. Ward, a former mortgage broker himself, says the primary aim at Motto is to serve the best interests of the client—because everything follows from there.

“First and foremost, Motto is good for consumers. They want simplicity, convenience and choice—and Motto delivers all three,” Ward says. “Coordination between the real estate brokerage and the mortgage brokerage creates a much better customer experience, which means far greater potential for repeat business and referrals down the road.”

Value Proposition
Real estate agents at a brokerage connected to a Motto franchise can help their buyers get pre-qualified easily. In turn, Motto loan originators access a wide range of wholesale loan products and present the best options. The buyers benefit and the value proposition grows.

For their part, the franchisees, who in most cases will hold both real estate and mortgage broker licenses, benefit by being able to expand their business, deliver more services and enjoy the competitive edge of an enhanced recruiting message.

Ultimately, the Motto Mortgage concept offers advantages to all parties involved in the process. When that happens, you know you have an innovation that changes the game—and makes perfect sense while doing so.

Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC.

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