In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage interest rates have dropped significantly.
More homeowners are refinancing, and since they are mostly staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re increasingly looking to the internet to conduct their transactions.
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A spokesperson for Better.com, a New York-based digital mortgage startup, tells Crunchbase News the company has seen a 200 percent increase in demand since March 1. It has funded $1 billion in loans in March alone, according to Tanya Hayre, head of PR at Better.com.
Eighty percent of the startup’s business during that time was from people looking to refinance, Hayre said. However, the company did see a 26 percent increase in purchases as well in March compared to February, she added.
All that new business is leading to an increased need for hiring.
An internal memo to employees from Better.com’s CEO and co-founder Vishal Garg reveals that the mortgage lending startup has “a current need to hire approximately 150 new colleagues per month in sales and mortgage operations” to meet its “growing” customer demand.
For 2020 as a whole, it’s looking to hire about 1,000 people, he added, “as more and more homeowners come online for their needs.”
As part of that anticipated continued demand, the company has launched an aggressive hiring push targeted at laid-off hospitality workers in the NYC area; Charlotte, North Carolina; or Orange County, California. To that end, Better.com has created a dedicated landing page for prospective workers.
Garg wrote: “The hard-working people of the hospitality industry will bring a continued high level of service and customer first-ethos to our sales and ops teams as we grow. Working in hospitality requires a customer-centric mindset and an ability to be level-headed and calm under pressure. These attributes are very valuable and transferable to our sales and ops teams and college degrees are not required. All new joiners will take part in our virtual onboarding program through Better University and we’ll make every effort for them to feel at home, productive and able to do their best work here.”
Last August, Better.com announced the closure of a $160 million Series C that valued the company at “north of $600 million. The funding brought the company’s total raised to $254 million since its 2016 inception. Activant Capital, China-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ally Financial, Citi, AGNC, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and American Express (Amex) Ventures joined existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook, and Kleiner Perkins in putting money into the Series C.
At that time, Better.com said it had “grown” by at least three times over the past year, and by a multiple of ten over the last three years. It also said then it funded $375 million in mortgages a month.
Illustration: Dom Guzman