Fathom Buys Mortgage Lender Cornerstone First Financial


Known primarily as a real estate brokerage, Fathom got into the mortgage business last year with the acquisition of Encompass Lending Group.

End-to-end real estate platform Fathom Holdings Inc. is expanding its presence in the mortgage business with the acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based Cornerstone First Financial.

Fathom, which provides real estate brokerage, mortgage, title and insurance services, got into the mortgage business last April with the $26.75 million acquisition of E4:9 Holdings and its three operating subsidiaries, Encompass Lending Group, Dagley Insurance Agency and Real Results.

At the time, Fathom Holdings CEO Josh Harley said that while many real estate brokerages enter into joint ventures with mortgage lenders, Fathom chose to acquire a mortgage company in order to better integrate Fathom’s technology and lead flow for a higher attach rate. The decision also helped ensure better control over the quality of clients’ experiences and that Fathom Realty agents want to refer their customers to Fathom’s mortgage company.

Fathom’s Encompass Lending Group subsidiary has acquired Cornerstone, which is licensed to do business in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Josh Harley

“When we acquired Encompass Lending in April 2021, I stated that I believed the acquisition could help us attract additional successful mortgage teams and smaller lending operations to our company,” Harley said in a statement. “I am pleased to prove that statement true through this acquisition of Cornerstone First Financial.”

Mark Livingstone

Cornerstone founder Mark Livingstone said a “seamless transition” to Encompass Lending “demonstrates the shared servant-leadership ideals that form the basis of Fathom’s wonderful culture.”

Since going public in July 2020, Fathom has been on a buying spree, initially focusing on companies that could expand its capabilities and services, including title insurance provider Verus Title, home search and customer relationship management (CRM) company Naberly Solutions and market data and technology platform LiveBy.

Since raising close to $33 million in another public stock offering in November, Fathom has been looking to accelerate growth by acquiring smaller real estate brokerages.

Last week, Fathom announced the acquisition of Utah-based iPro Realty Network, whose 435 agents were involved last year in more than 2,900 transactions totaling $1.25 billion. It was the third such deal in eight months, following the acquisitions of two Idaho-based companies last year, 350-agent Epic Realty LLC in June, and 50-agent Woodhouse Group Real Estate in November.

While Fathom was a real estate brokerage before getting into mortgage lending, some mortgage lenders are trying to drum up more business with homebuyers by getting into the real estate brokerage business. Top mortgage lenders like Rocket Cos., loanDepot and Better have all branched out into real estate brokerage and title insurance in order to provide end-to-end services to homebuyers.

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