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Christopher Hussain, CEO and Founder

I am excited for the kick off of our Fireside Chat series, where you get to know the people behind the scenes of RealKey. Many of you already know me, Christopher Hussain. I have shared with you my personal experiences as the top mortgage loan originator (MLO) in the country for back-to-back years, and how the mortgage industry’s many inefficiencies led me to create RealKey.

Without question, the success of RealKey is because of team effort, and I am fortunate to work with some of the industry’s leading talent, like my esteemed colleague Rob Reid, Head of Sales Operations and Strategic Partnerships. Rob has over 30 years business development experience in software, specifically in the real estate and mortgage industry. After working for some of the country’s largest organizations, he decided to join a startup – RealKey. Find out what Rob’s most memorable professional achievements are, lessons learned, why he left the corporate world, and how he believes RealKey is transforming the mortgage industry. 

We’re rare beer fans/collectors here at RealKey, so open a nice beer, join us, and get to know the people behind the scenes.

RealKey, an innovative provider of digital mortgage technology, today announced the strategic appointment of Rob Reid, who joins the company as Head of Sales Operations and Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Reid will lead the company’s sales and business development efforts, helping build the RealKey brand within the mortgage industry and beyond. 

“I am thrilled to have Rob join RealKey’s leadership team. He has a proven track record of implementing forward-thinking strategies and successfully building brand awareness that results in significant growth,” said Christopher Hussain, Founder and CEO of RealKey. “Choosing to be part of our transformational efforts is validation of the market need for the digital platform we are delivering and the potential for RealKey to shake up the status quo. He joins a team of leaders from many industries who are helping us make our mark in the industry.”

Before joining RealKey, Reid held leadership positions that span a number of notable organizations, including zipLogix, Equifax and Threewide/ListHub. He brings over three decades of business development experience in the software industry, and as RealKey’s Head of Sales Operations and Strategic Partnerships, he oversees the strategic growth and expansion of RealKey.

Reid joins an elite group of leaders on the RealKey executive team, who bring mortgages and lending, real estate sales, software design and development, and brand marketing experience from companies like TurboTax, Intuit, Oracle, ZipLogix, and Esurance/AllState. Founder and CEO Hussain was also the top mortgage originator in the U.S. for two consecutive years prior to starting RealKey.

“Joining RealKey is an opportunity to get in on the ground-floor of a company that will bring much-needed change to the mortgage industry,” said Reid. “We are digitally transforming the mortgage industry with an innovative platform that enables intelligent document collection and centralized communications for all parties involved, bringing significant improvements to how mortgages are processed and underwritten. I’m excited to be building this company and contributing to our future success.”

“Having Rob on-board will be key to our efforts to transform the lending process and deliver cutting-edge technology solutions that improve the experience for everyone involved,” said Alan Tifford, Head of Experience Design Strategy for RealKey. “We are on the threshold of huge growth as we build the RealKey brand and deliver best-in-class products and experiences to our customers, and Rob’s contributions to our efforts will be invaluable.”

Christopher Hussain, CEO and Founder

Rob Reid, Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships

 

We are excited to announce that RealKey has graduated from the Flagstar Mortgage Tech Accelerator, the first and only U.S. accelerator dedicated to mortgage technology. The accelerator was an intensive three-month virtual program designed by Flagstar Bank, the sixth largest mortgage lender in the country. We were selected to participate because we have a clear understanding of the industry, and are addressing a pain point for Flagstar, their broker channel, and the rest of the industry.

During the accelerator, RealKey was in good company with fellow participants Stavvy and Home Lending Pal. In fact, each of our organizations was recognized for creating technology that will disrupt and transform all areas of the mortgage business — from mortgage origination, processing, marketing, and servicing to compliance, sales, underwriting, credit, and quality assessment. 

On graduation day, we were joined by approximately 70 Flagstar mentors, including members of the C-Suite and other top executives. The day’s events provided an informative platform to demonstrate how companies can leverage the latest technology to improve efficiencies and provide tech-enabled products to their customers.

Without a doubt, the accelerator gave us an opportunity to forge new relationships that will enable us to bring about transformative changes to the mortgage industry and improve the customer experience. However, as many in the mortgage and banking industries know, for potential vendors, there’s a heavy lift to formalize a relationship. 

For example, while a bank may want to do business with a vendor, establishing that partnership is not always an option for the bank. Why? There are several reasons, with bank regulations being one of the key holding points, as well as the expense and time that go into vendor management and certification. While mortgage lending companies like Quicken Loans and United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), and some of the the bigger banks like Chase and Wells Fargo, have more resources to adapt to an increasingly tech-dominated environment, growing banks like Flagstar are increasingly leveraging tech accelerator programs to find those companies — like RealKey — that can solve their problems. And at the end of the day, this is a beneficial situation for everyone. 

At RealKey, we are working to prioritize Flagstar’s needs because they took the time and initiative through this accelerator to get to know us, and make working together a win-win. Being first, they get priority. Their showing us behind the scenes is definitely a factor now in prioritizing features and programming of their loan programs, overlays, and forms associated with the bank. We know their pain points, and can address their needs through features built for the TPOs (Third Party Originators) they work with. Eventually, we can integrate directly. For Flagstar, they have an early first mover advantage over banks and lenders that connect later and cannot be prioritized the same.

Through the accelerator, we have come to realize that there is a great advantage to aligning ourselves with small to mid-sized banks. For instance, with a bank like Flagstar, the sixth largest mortgage lender in the US, they have extremely stringent – even brutal –  requirements to become a vendor. The accelerator program identified that, as well as great uses for future capital, which will benefit RealKey, Flagstar, and the industry as a whole. The advantage for us is that we can work with Flagstar early to have everything in place in advance, shortening the time to implement. And for Flagstar, they get the advantage of identifying before their competitors leading-edge technology that will help them to compete and thrive.

The Flagstar Mortgage Tech Accelerator validated that we bring specific value to companies like Flagstar, their broker partners, and the rest of the industry, as evidenced by the below feedback and praise we received from Flagstar’s leadership: 

  • As a former top mortgage loan originator; Christopher and his team know firsthand the pain points from the production side and solutions to solve with technology, not the other way around.
  • While others in the space are focusing on the top of the funnel, RealKey is solving the problems that occur once everything goes through the funnel — from the multiple parties that create complexities in the mortgage process to inefficient systems for data collection, validation, and communication.
  • RealKey is a cloud-based, paperless solution that streamlines the processing experience by automating document collection, verification, and review, and keeps all parties seamlessly connected through a centralized chat, replacing disconnected communication tools like email, text and phone.

Our graduation from the Flagstar Mortgage Tech Accelerator reinforced the importance of innovating and discovering those areas of great opportunity. For us, that means collaborating with companies that have a similar mindset, and leveraging technology to solve for current and emerging challenges.

With the RealKey Digital Mortgage Platform, we are changing how the mortgage industry operates, shortening the loan processing cycle by up to 50%. We are setting a new standard for more efficient mortgage processing by automating documentation collection and review by underwriters and processors, and streamlining communications through a centralized chat for all collaborators in the mortgage process.

Want to learn more about RealKey? Click here to schedule a demo.