by Aly Yale - Freelance Writer & Senior Contributing Forbes Writer
Buying a home has a lot of moving parts. There’s the scrimping and the saving, the prepping your credit, the house hunting, and of course, the complicated mortgage process. It can be a lot to handle — even for experienced homebuyers. That’s where Lower comes in.
The two-year-old start-up company has just expanded from simple mortgage lender to full-on homebuying ecosystem — and it’s poised to change the game. As Lower’s CEO Dan Snyder puts it, the company is “bundling” the homebuying process. Rather than going to a million different vendors — a Realtor, a lender, a bank, an insurance agent, and more — Lower’s customers get a much more streamlined approach. “There are so many one-feature companies out there,” Snyder says. “One monitors your credit, one operates your savings account, another helps you find a Realtor, while another issues your mortgage loan. Our goal is to bundle these homebuying services in a digital way.” Even better? Lower comes with personalized advice, too. (Yes, it’s really personalized. No bots allowed here!)
As Snyder puts it: “Not everything is solved by technology. We’ve found the human touch to be incredibly helpful when placed properly in the journey.” Here’s how it looks: At the outset, the Lower team works with each customer to learn about their goals, financial picture, and motivations. They then pinpoint where in the homebuying process they are — or at least where they need to be, based on their finances. Lower’s app-based solutions take over from there.
“It’s based around advice, not sales,” Snyder says. “We want to lower the barrier to homeownership, and we’re just taking a new approach.”
For example, the advice looks at the following: Are they a good candidate for a mortgage? Lower’s trained-from-the-ground-up loan officers can get them started. Is it time to start the house hunt? Lower’s network of personally vetted real estate agents can help them traverse the competitive market. Do they lack the savings for a down payment? Lower’s HomeFund is there to help them save up (and even reward them — dollar-for-dollar — for it).
Lower’s job doesn’t stop when the closing papers are signed, though. First, they’ll continue to service the loan the entire time the buyer’s in the house. It’s a big pivot from how most mortgage lenders do it (i.e., sell the loan to another company just months or even days after closing).
They can also help customers insure their home — not to mention everything inside it — through Lower Insurance, the company’s very own insurance arm. It’s just another way the company bridges the gaps and helps deliver a more holistic, all-encompassing homebuying solution.
“We’ve got the whole ecosystem,” Snyder says. “And it’s all convenient, mobile-based, and advice-driven.”
Apparently, that ecosystem is working — at least if Lower’s past customers have anything to say about it. The company currently has over 10,000 five-star reviews across Zillow and LendingTree. “People rarely leave reviews for businesses unless something really blows them away,” Snyder says. “We must be doing something right.”