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Real estate franchise giant RE/MAX Holdings’ Motto Mortgage subsidiary has made Entrepreneur Magazine‘s 2024 Franchise 500 list for a fifth consecutive year, despite challenging conditions for mortgage lenders.

Entrepreneur‘s Franchise 500 rankings evaluate franchise opportunities based on 150 data points organized in five “pillars” — costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. Entrepreneur evaluated 1,389 participating franchise systems to compile the 2024 Franchise 500, analyzing documents for the year ending July 31, 2023.

“Motto Mortgage does the heavy lifting for franchisees by simplifying the franchise model and relying on leading-edge technology,” Entrepreneur said of the company’s inclusion on the list. “Additionally, the Motto Mortgage network is designed for compliance, tailored to complement businesses, deliver to customers, and build careers.”

Launched in 2016, Motto Mortgage doesn’t make loans but is a technology, compliance, training and marketing solution for mortgage brokers who work with wholesale lenders. The company’s “mortgage brokerage-in-a-box” is available to RE/MAX affiliates or any real estate broker or entrepreneur. RE/MAX also provides third-party loan processing services to mortgage brokers through another subsidiary, wemlo, which it acquired in 2020.

Ward Morrison

“What makes the Motto brand unique is that each office is independently owned and operated by mortgage professionals who understand the nuances of their local markets, but also have the support of an established brand that provides the tools needed to best serve their customers,” Motto Franchising LLC President and CEO Ward Morrison said in a statement.

Motto says franchise owners and loan originators “are provided comprehensive support and ongoing education, an ecosystem of technology tools that create a smoother loan and customer experience, guidance on compliance, recruiting assistance, and connections with a variety of wholesale lenders with loan options that cater to various homebuyer needs.”

Motto Mortgage Franchise 500 rank 2020-2024

Following first being named to the Franchise 500 list in 2020, achieving its highest ranking of 147th best franchise opportunity in 2021, Motto Mortgage has seen its rank slip each year.

Rising mortgage rates have created difficult conditions for lenders, who have seen demand for refinancing nearly evaporate and purchase loan originations dwindle as homebuyers cope with elevated prices and listing shortages in many markets.

After being ranked 306 on the 2022 Franchise 500 list and 403 in 2023, Motto Mortgage dropped to 487 this year but was named first of three entrants in the “Miscellaneous Financial Services” category.

Motto Mortgage’s corporate headquarters in Denver was also singled out by Scotsman Guide for inclusion in the publication’s inaugural list of Top Workplaces 2024. Motto Mortgage and wemlo had six openings posted on the RE/MAX job board as of Monday.

Motto Mortgage office growth, 2018-2023

Source: Inman analysis of RE/MAX earnings reports.

Motto Mortgage had 242 offices as of Sept. 30, 2023, up 15 percent from a year ago, RE/MAX said in its most recent quarterly earnings report.

While Motto Mortgage open office count and wemlo loan processing volume increased year over year, “market conditions muted the pace of Motto franchise sales,” the company said. RE/MAX sold 22 Motto Mortgage franchise licenses during the first nine months of 2023, down 33 percent from the same point in 2022.

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