Real estate agent co-marketing compliance

Concerned about Co-Marketing Compliance?

Agent co-marketing agreements between mortgage companies and real estate brokerages are a hot topic. Recently the CPFB brought down the hammer on Zillow for alleged violation of anti-kickback and deceptive practices governed by Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act. RESPA prohibits lenders and real estate firms from paying or receiving fees, kickbacks or any other “thing of value” in exchange for referral business. In the context of joint advertising, each side must pay their fair share.

Much the same as a traditional print ad, it is often thought that online co-marketing has a better chance of avoiding these mortgage co-marketing compliance issues. But light of the CFPB’s recent 2-year investigation of Zillow, that’s not the case. Zillow’s co-marketing program allows real estate agents and mortgage lenders to advertise together on Zillow websites, but Zillow is struggling to distribute costs equitably among each part. You can learn more about Zillow’s co-marketing compliance problems here.

In today’s real estate landscape, where lenders and agents are constantly refining and re-examining their relationships to keep up with changing consumer tastes and preferences, how can mortgage professionals move forward with their lead generation efforts without being saddled with compliance issues?

What do I need to know about RatePlug’s co-marketing compliance?

RatePlug is the leading real estate agent co-marketing and mortgage marketing platform. It is the only MLS integrated technology co-marketing platform that connects agents, home buyers, and loan originators. Because the technology provides realtors and their connected mortgage lenders with technology that empowers home buying, RatePlug creates and maintains the connection necessary for LOs to position themselves above the average originator in the market.

With RatePlug’s RESPA compliant co-marketing platform, lenders can help their best agents with co-marketing programs and closings, showcasing their rates on their open house flyers directly on the MLS—and in doing so, remain fully compliant. RatePlug even includes a property flyer system for even more agent support.

Unlike Zillow, RatePlug stores all mortgage-related communications for 10 years past the date that the communication was made available to the consumer, above the minimum regulatory requirement.

RatePlug also has enlisted the services of K&L Gates and Mayer Brown, the nation’s leading compliance experts, to validate RatePlug’s adherence to all regulatory guidelines and requirements.

RatePlug’s co-marketing technology continues to grow its market footprint across the Country, supporting over 700,000 agents in over 60 of the largest MLS organizations. Our list of participating banks, credit unions and lending companies now exceeds 800 entities. Each of these lending companies has evaluated and approved RatePlug as compliant.