Rocket Companies on Tuesday launched a loyalty program to attract potential homebuyers into its ecosystem amid one of the most challenging mortgage markets in decades.
Rocket Rewards will distribute points toward financial transactions across the Rocket Platform, such as using the company’s mortgage calculator, reading educational articles or watching informative videos. In the first phase of the program, customers can use points to get discounts on their closing costs when purchase a home through the subsidiary Rocket Mortgage.
To start, customers will receive a 7,500-point welcome bonus on their first reward activity – or $75 in savings on closing costs.
“We know not every client is ready to get a mortgage with us at this moment, but, by banking rewards that can build over time, we are delivering a value-add no other lender in our space can match,” Jay Farner, vice chairman and CEO of Rocket Companies, said in a statement.
Surging mortgage rates above 7% have greatly reduced the public’s appetite for purchase and refi loans. At Rocket, mortgage originations declined to $34.5 billion in the second quarter from $53.8 billion in the first quarter. Further declines are expected to be disclosed on Thursday when the company reports its third-quarter earnings.
Jenn Steeves-Kiss, chief experience officer for Rocket Central, the company’s fintech hub, said the first phase of the reward program is for customers to gain knowledge about the homebuying process, with Rocket “just scratching the surface of what’s possible” with Rocket Rewards.
However, the company is studying what is possible in the future, “whether that is finding innovative ways to provide discounts toward personal loans, free premium Rocket Money subscriptions or even money off the installation of solar panels,” he said in a statement.
Based on a sponsored survey, the company claims that 88% of clients said they would value a Rocket-affiliated rewards program by maintaining a long-term relationship with the brand.
Rocket has launched initiatives to attract homebuyers in a more competitive landscape. In September, the company announced a program dubbed the “Inflation Buster,” which reduces homebuyers’ monthly mortgage payments by one full percentage point for the first year of their loan.
Rocket Mortgage covers the difference in mortgage payments in the first 12 months through a special escrow account. For Rocket Pro TPO, its wholesale arm, home sellers or real estate agents will fund the program.