Real Estate

Rocket’s New Loyalty Program Furthers Fintech Strategy

After initial focus on mortgages, Rocket Rewards will be expanded to provide discounts on other “ecosystem” offerings including personal loans and solar panels.

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The nation’s biggest mortgage lender is taking another step toward turning its stable of brands into a fintech platform, with the launch of a loyalty program to help Rocket Cos. achieve CEO Jay Farner’s goal of unlocking “the lifetime value of the client” by cross marketing other products and services.

For now, the Rocket Rewards loyalty program is aimed at generating more business for Rocket’s home lending subsidiary, Rocket Mortgage. Prospective homebuyers can earn reward points by reading educational articles, watching videos, or using a mortgage calculator to save up to $10,000 on their closing costs when financing their home purchase through Rocket Mortgage.

While providing home loans through Rocket Mortgage is Rocket’s biggest business, it also helps consumers line up real estate services, personal loans, used cars and rooftop solar systems through subsidiaries Rocket Homes, Rocket Loans, Rocket Auto and Rocket Solar.

In coming months the Rocket Rewards program will be expanded to provide additional ways to earn and redeem points with other companies under the Rocket umbrella, said Jenn Steeves-Kiss, chief experience officer with Rocket Central, the centralized hub for the Rocket Cos. fintech platform.

Jennifer Steeves-Kiss

“What’s most exciting to me is that we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible with a powerful rewards program inside the Rocket ecosystem – whether that is finding innovative ways to provide discounts toward personal loans, free premium Rocket Money subscriptions or even money off the installation of solar panels,” said Steeves-Kiss, in a statement Tuesday.

With rising interest rates putting an end to the highly profitable mortgage refinancing boom, Rocket has been scrambling this year to reposition itself as a fintech platform. At the heart of the strategy was last year’s $1.27 billion acquisition of Truebill, a personal finance app that tracks spending and helps users budget and build up their credit score.

Rocket rebranded Truebill as Rocket Money in August and connected the personal finance to the rest of the Rocket platform, allowing Rocket to market mortgages and other services to users.

Jay Farner

“The relationships we build and the insights we get through Rocket Money enable Rocket Companies to create bespoke experiences for our clients – ensuring we are offering the right products at the right time,” Farner said at the time.

For the time being, Rocket Rewards is confined to Rocket Mortgage, where users can earn points by reading articles like, “Own A Home In 2022 With Down Payment Assistance,” or “Buying A House With Bad Credit: A Guide To Your Home Loan Options.”

After reading an article, users are asked to take a three-question quiz to earn 500 Rocket Rewards points, good for a $5 credit against their closing costs on a Rocket Mortgage. Just signing up for a free Rocket account or completing their first rewards activity earns users a 7,500-point welcome bonus, for a $75 credit on closing costs.

For Rocket users who aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on a home purchase, Rocket Rewards is essentially a lead incubation program, upping the odds that when they are ready to buy, they’ll go with Rocket Mortgage.

“We know not every client is ready to get a mortgage with us at this moment but, by banking rewards that can build over time, we are delivering a value-add no other lender in our space can match,” Farner said in announcing Rocket Rewards.

While Rocket Cos. can offer a wide range of services under a single umbrella, the concept of cross marketing other products to mortgage borrowers is catching on with other lenders.

Blend Labs provides a software platform and marketplace to banks and mortgage lenders that ties together components such as income verification, approval, home insurance, title and closing.

Haven Servicing Inc., a startup that announced an $8 million Series A funding round Tuesday, says it can help mortgage servicers make money cross-selling products like home equity loans, solar panels and insurance.

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Email Matt Carter

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