When you’re the largest home mortgage lender in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time before you branch out. That’s been the case for Rocket Mortgage, which is pushing north into the Canadian mortgage market.
Rocket recently announced that it would start doing business north of the border in August, opening another operation called Rocket Mortgage Canada. The move will be made possible with a rebranding effort set to take place at Windsor-based Edison Financial—another Rocket Companies subsidiary.
Both companies expect the rebrand, which will happen on August 8, to help Rocket Mortgage “revolutionize” the Canadian mortgage lending industry, emphasizing “harnessing technology to simplify the home loan process.”
“In America, Rocket Mortgage is synonymous with industry-leading, proprietary technology that creates an unmatched client experience,” said Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage in the U.S., in a press release. “We’ve spent the last 37 years defining and redefining the way mortgages should be done in the U.S.—and now we have the opportunity through this rebrand to share everything we’ve learned with our neighbors to the north.”
According to Walters, Rocket’s approach to mitigating the complexities of getting a home can provide a needed service and improve the product offering in the Canadian market.
Edison Financial, a digital mortgage broker launched by Rocket Companies, has been serving clients in Canada since March 2020. The mortgage brokerage has access to thousands of loan products from more than 50 lenders, working closely with banks and lenders to match clients with the best product for their financial needs.
“Our mission when we launched over two years ago was to use technology to improve the mortgage experience in Canada, making life easier for homebuyers and homeowners,” said Hash Aboulhosn, president of Rocket Mortgage in Canada, in a press release. “I’m excited for what’s to come as we continue to positively impact the way Canadians view getting a home loan.”
Since its launch two years ago, the Windsor-based company has grown from four team members to 140, accruing $1 billion (CAD) in annualized submitted volume.
In a recent interview with RISMedia, Walters said the move into the Canadian market was predicated on results found in a marketing survey that showed that aided and unaided brand awareness was high over the border.
Admittedly, Walters acknowledges that Canada’s market differs from the American home loan marketplace that Rocket has excelled in over the years. With a mortgage market dominated by seven banks and no GSEs like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, he says the expansion is primarily due to Rocket’s ability and desire to improve the mortgage product offering and process for Canadian homebuyers.
“When I got into this business, you largely had to walk into a bank office,” Walters says. “It was intimidating. It was scary, especially when you think about a world where you talk about historically underserved communities.
“The ‘why’ is that for the people getting financing either to buy or refinance a home, is it a better transaction for them now than it was a year ago or two or three, and did we contribute to that?” he continues. “I think demonstratively the answer is yes.”
In addition to the name change, Rocket also announced plans to become a direct lender in Canada later this year. The name change will not affect clients currently in the mortgage process.
After becoming a lender in Canada, Rocket Mortgage will continue offering options from other lender partners alongside its products—connecting homebuyers with the best solution for their circumstances.