PorchPass is the first fintech app designed for land buyers, land sellers, and dealerships in the manufactured housing space. Braustin Homes created PorchPass as a cash-backed solution to streamline the new home construction process, giving buyers the power and speed of a cash close in today’s hyper-competitive housing market.
The new fintech platform is available in Texas, which accounts for approximately 20% of the national manufactured home dealership market. PorchPass was initially open to Braustin customers and is now offered to select dealerships in a pilot program.
Braustin Homes launched the nation’s first virtual mobile home dealership in 2017 out of Geekdom, a San Antonio startup community. In its first year, the startup sold 34 homes from a common-area desk in Geekdom’s co-working space.
By 2020, Braustin had launched virtual showrooms that look like a traditional dealership but with virtual sales. They also launched a Braustin Docs app that allowed their home buyers to complete a purchase using only their cellphone.
Braustin Homes has an unprecedented percentage of buyers who never meet a sales representative in person — 70%. Culmatively, Braustin Homes has sold over 600 homes and is on track to sell over 250 homes in 2023 alone.
While the Braustin Docs app addressed the need for a streamlined home-buying experience — something co-founder and CEO Alberto Piña discovered the U.S. homebuilding industry struggles with — one critical piece was missing.
These same buyers often struggled with financing a manufactured home’s land and home package.
“Our goal in starting Braustin Homes was to help bring more affordable housing options to buyers,” Piña said. We can’t do that alone, but with this new fintech app, we can bring the industry along.”
Almost one-third of all mobile home customers who have already been approved for a home mortgage also need a land home construction loan. These often-complicated loans, with high rates and fees, can take up to 140 days to clear, which puts potential homeowners at risk of losing their dream property, given the competitive real estate market.
“Our fintech app allows us to scale nationally,” said Piña. “This industry is broken, which drove us to launch our company. We intend to fix this so more families can buy an affordable home.”
PorchPass also levels the playing field for buyers. Financing in the manufactured home space is “nowhere nearly as competitive as in the traditional home mortgage industry,” Piña explained. “Our fintech app lets our buyers get competitive financing rates to buy their homes. This puts them on par with traditional home mortgage shoppers.”
PorchPass has secured the financial backing to streamline the process, giving prospective homeowners the same leverage as cash. Braustin home buyers can now pay the land seller in 14 days versus the more typical 140 days to close on a manufactured home purchase. With less friction and delays, buyers often can save up to $15,000 or more in construction loan bank fees, according to Piña.
“Fintech harnesses the power of technology to make something old school simpler and more accessible for more people,” said Rackspace Technology co-founder Pat Condon, who serves on the Braustin Homes board of directors. “PorchPass’s fintech platform streamlines the traditional process for obtaining a construction loan, utilizing desktop appraisals, online applications, and other virtual tools that help buyers skip many of the expensive, time-consuming steps that put their land acquisition at risk.”
Braustin Homes has taken the financing for the home construction process (which entails buying land, supplies, and construction supplies with cash) and turned it “into a mortgage-ready process,” Piña said. “Doing that helps our clients get mortgage financing down to rates in the 5% range. This helps prospective buyers looking for homes in the $250,000 range. No one else provides this solution in the $20 billion factory-built home market.”
Three different entities in the manufactured home space — financing, land, and home construction — should ideally work together for a seamless customer experience. Still, they rarely, if ever, do. “We’re building a national brand,” Piña said. “With PorchPass, we’re much more scalable as we help improve the customer experience across the entire industry.”
Braustin has already signed its first home dealer clients to use the PorchPass platform. The company is focused on the large Texas market, with plans to expand the company’s footprint.
“Our end goal is to get the consumer experience for manufactured home buyers on par with the experience of a million-dollar home buyer,” Piña said.
The featured image shows a tablet displaying the Braustin Homes website home page, courtesy photo.