Friday, October 20, 2006

Idea: Find a Real Estate blogger

Ever wondered who's talking about your industry online? The bloggers over at Pittsburgh Homes Daily did and they went in search of an answer.

Here's their list of 500 real estate blogs to watch. Thanks for including me, guys. And thanks for giving us this handy directory.

For another interesting directory, check out the blogroll on Lenderama.com.

See you in Chicago for the Mortgage Bankers Association's 93rd Annual Convention and Expo.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

REAL Trends: has a new blog

Steve Murray's thoughts on the real estate industry are now being presented in a new blog over at the REAL Trends site. This is the real estate sales side of the business, with most recent posts being devoted to home sales and multi-listing services, but it can be a useful window on that side of the business for anyone interested in forming stronger ties with their Realtor partners.

Check out the blog at http://www.realtrendsblog.com/wp/

And while you're there, check out the publication itself. Very informative.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

eLynx: Buys up SwiftView

Big news today on the electronic mortgage front. Cincinnati-based eLynx has acquired Swiftview, a competing firm. eLynx tapped the vast resources of parent firm American Capital Strategies Ltd., (NASDAQ: ACAS), a firm that already owns 180 companies in a range of industries, to close the deal.

"This acquisition is a decisive move to strengthen our position and deliver even greater value to our customers and partners," said eLynx President and CEO Phil Huff. "The eLynx and SwiftView organizations are highly complementary to one another. These synergies will enable us to rapidly advance e-business innovation and set the standard across financial services and a broad range of industries. We share a unified vision to help enterprises deliver a higher quality of service to their customers while gaining dramatic cost and cycle time advantages."

Together the companies serve more than 500 customers in the financial services and insurance industries, including 17 of the top 20 lenders. eLynx alone will handle over 10 million financial transactions involving consumers, lenders and settlement agents by year's end.

It's not yet clear whether eLynx will absorb Portland, Oregon-based Swiftview. eLynx already has an R&D facility located in Portland. According to the release, the firm will maintain operations in both Cincinnati and Portland. For now, it appears that SwiftView president Steve Bachelder will be staying aboard. He was quoted in the release:

"We are extremely pleased to join forces with eLynx at a time when financial services enterprises are looking to paperless processes to improve the efficiency of their businesses," Bachelder said. "We have great respect for the accomplishments of eLynx and are very excited about the impact our combined capabilities will have on the rapid shift towards paperless transactions. The combined companies' resources and services will mean we can serve all our customers even better, while accelerating their efficiency with the best and most widely used paperless tools in the industry."

Lenders are eager to move into all-electronic mortgages as it will reduce their costs and shorten their cycle times. Few lenders have made the move yet, however, despite the fact that the GSEs have stated they were in the market to invest in electronic notes for some time. The announcement earlier this year by the Mortgage Bankers Association that it would endorse MERS as a repository for electronic notes was expected to move the industry forward.