This article was featured in our December 2014 issue of BUILDER Magazine.
Four months ago, TRI Pointe secured Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company’s five distinct home building companies—making it a top 10 builder. Last week, the Irvine, Calif.,-based firm added mortgage and title services to help it compete with the other Goliaths at the top of the BUILDER 100.
Last week, TRI Pointe launched TRI Pointe Solutions, made up of TRI Pointe Connect and TRI Pointe Assurance, a suite of home buyer services that will provide end-to-end support throughout the closing process.
“It will generate results in 2015 and beyond,” says Doug Bauer, TRI Pointe’s CEO. “It’s part of the overall strategic plan of growing the TRI Pointe group and its family of home builders.”
TRI Pointe Connect, formed as a joint venture with imortgage, will provide mortgage-related services. TRI Pointe Assurance, a wholly owned TRI Pointe company, will act as a title agency for First American Title Insurance Company. Bauer expects these services to help TRI Pointe grow income, while also offering consumers a seamless buying and closing process.
“An important part of our strategy in putting these companies together was to grow our ancillary income,” Bauer says. “We’re pretty excited about getting out and announcing it.”
TRI Pointe Connect will be launched across all TRI Pointe brands by mid-2015, but will start with Quadrant Homes in the Puget Sound market. Quadrant has already established a preferred lender relationship with imortgage, which offers a broad product line including underwriting and closing services. While mortgage services could potentially add builders with harder-to-qualify borrowers, Bauer didn’t specifically mention that as an advantage.
“The venture with imortage allows us to offer myriad products and be able to offer both the underwriting and products that best suit our homebuyer,” Bauer says. “That is really important to ultimately keeping a sale and ultimately closing it.”
TRI Pointe Assurance will first launch with Trendmaker Homes in Houston, providing title services and will expand to several other markets in the near future. TRI Pointe Assurance will benefit TRI Pointe home buyers and stockholders by streamlining the closing process.
“Being able to control that process, we know what our backlog is, which is very an important to a home builder,” Bauer says.