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Real estate industry deals and partnerships: January 2018


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While real estate agents chase leads and close deals on houses, there’s another level of deal-making that takes place within the real estate industry: mergers, acquisitions, integrations and partnerships.

We’ll be recapping each month’s noteworthy deals here. Check back for updates.

Cadre partners with Goldman Sachs

In what is said to be the beginning of an ongoing strategic partnership, online investment marketplace Cadre announced that it has closed $250 million in commitments from global investment banking company Goldman Sachs’ private wealth clients, a move that will enable Goldman Sachs’ private clients to easily invest in Cadre’s broad-based portfolio of commercial real estate assets. Beyond giving Goldman Sachs’ private wealth clients access to its portfolio of commercial real estate assets, Cadre CEO and co-founder Ryan Williams revealed in interviews with TechCrunch and Business Insider that the partnership will enable them to expand their platform to include assets like farmland, private equity investments and even credit.

Pacific Union launched in SoCal

San Francisco-based luxury independent brokerage Pacific Union International formally introduced its brand into Southern California and announced that Nick Segal, co-founder of Los Angeles boutique Partners Trust, will be named president of Pacific Union L.A. Over the past 14 months, Pacific Union has been making a series of market share grabs in SoCal through acquisitions, including merging with L.A. indie firms John Aaroe Group and Partners Trust, and upping its investment in Gibson International, another L.A. firm, to a majority stake in December. This week, the three companies will all be re-branded as Pacific Union International.

LoanDepot partners with homebuilder

Retail mortgage originator and nonbank consumer lender loanDepot announced the creation of AVH Mortgage, a joint venture partnership with homebuilding and community development company AV Homes. LoanDepot’s mello, the $80 million fully-digital end-to-end mortgage loan application process unveiled last year, will power this partnership, and with it “AV Homes customers will enjoy a one-stop shopping experience with their lender and their builder.” AVH Mortgage will operate out of Scottsdale, Arizona, and offer a centralized and integrated team of licensed loan consultants solely supporting AV Homes communities. AV Homes homebuyers’ mortgage experience will be the same as any other buyer using the mello platform, which includes access to licensed, on-site loan officers.

Hawaii Life announces merger

Luxury real estate brokerage Hawaii Life merged with top-tier Honolulu boutique Choi International, which will now be known as the Choi Group with Hawaii Life, effective immediately. For Hawaii Life principal broker and CEO Matt Beall, Choi International’s decision to join forces with his brokerage — after approaches from a number of others over the years — is “a huge acknowledgement of who we are and what we’ve achieved.” Choi International has been Honolulu’s luxury market leader for the past 30 years, specializing in the most expensive properties in the Oahu market. In a strong year, the firm books an annual sales volume of around $225 million.

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VHT Studios makes acquisition

Rosemont, Illinois-based VHT Studios, a 20-year-old provider of professional real estate photography, virtual staging and visual marketing services, announced its acquisition of Circlepix’s real estate photography business, a deal that brings together the country’s two largest real estate photographer networks in North America. The Circlepix photography business acquisition, which does not include its PIXmarketing and PIXsocial divisions, is the second photography business acquisition in the past two years for VHT Studios, after it snatched up New York’s Gotham Photo Company in 2015.

Black Knight partners with Citibank

Black Knight, Inc. announced it will be implementing its suite of mortgage origination solutions in the U.S. The agreement was signed with Citigroup Inc. subsidiary Citibank, and includes the implantation of the LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS), which supports wholesale, retail and consumer-direct lending channels by assisting lenders with electronically capturing, processing, underwriting and closing loans.

IDX acquires Agent Marketing

IDX, the Oregon-based real estate technology firm that manages $2 trillion in multiple listing service (MLS) data, has acquired California-based tech company Agent Marketing in a $6 million deal. For IDX, the acquisition is intended to turn its MLS platform into a “one-stop shop for all things real estate,” IDX CEO Chad Barczak told Inman News on Tuesday. IDX will add 17 employees and begin to deploy services such as print signage creation, single-property websites, full-blown marketing packages and mobile marketing to its portfolio of offerings.

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