Australian portal operator REA Group has announced that its mortgage brokerage business will operate under one brand.
In 2017 REA Group paid some A$67 million for a stake in brokerage business Smartline going on to acquire the remaining shares in the company two years later for a further A$16 million. The firm then doubled down on its investment in mortgage brokerage with a deal for national mortgage brokerage Mortgage Choice for a reported A$244 million earlier this year.
After conducting extensive market research, REA Group has now decided that its mortgage brokerage business will be integrated under the Mortgage Choice brand. There will also be an integration in the back end of the business where the company predicts that by the end of 2022 some 900 brokers will use the proprietory 'Broker Platform' developed by Mortgage Choice.
Commenting on the change, REA Group CFO, Janelle Hopkins said:
“For almost 30 years, Mortgage Choice has been a nationally recognised and trusted brand among consumers, synonymous with financial services,”
“Uniting all our brokers under the Mortgage Choice brand will support REA’s ambition to create Australia’s leading franchise broking business.
“While our approach is to retain the Mortgage Choice name, we will leverage the best of the Smartline and Mortgage Choice networks to strongly position more than 900 brokers for sustained success under the combined business.
“We see significant opportunities to link REA’s digital capabilities, property insights, and highly engaged audience with our broker network, positioning Mortgage Choice as the leading proposition in market for anyone considering joining a franchise network.”
REA Group is far from the only property portal operating company to lean into mortgages and mortgage brokerage. In July, Zoopla's parent company signed a deal to acquire British online mortgage brokerage Mojo and in August Brazilian PropTech giant QunitoAndar acquired local mortgage specialist ATTA.