Zillow recently made headlines with their new mortgage marketplace, but Google is quietly testing a mortgage marketplace of their own in the U.K. Whether or not that means that Google will bring the marketplace to the U.S. is unclear, but in all likelihood if things go well in the U.K., we can probably expect to see it hear too.
After seeing the success that Zillow has had with their tool--over 28,000 loan requests in the first two months, according to Zillow-- I can’t see why Google wouldn’t also be successful. Google’s viewer base is more than 50 times larger than Zillow’s and they have a lot more money to throw into designing a great tool for users.
What does a Google Mortgage Marketplace mean? Well, it likely means even more competition among lenders, which means lower rates for borrowers. The main questions will probably revolve around service. Sure it’s great if someone quotes me a loan, that’s lower than another lender, but how can I know that they are going to actually close it? Is this lender someone who is going to pull the old promise the world trick only to hand over something completely different at the closing table?
These are questions that Google is going to have to answer if they hope to have success with their new tool. What I would love to see is the ability for users to rate lenders (it doesn't appear that Google's UK mortgage marketplace has this ability). Much like they have with their shopping site. That way users could compare not only quotes, but also past service records, which offers a much better solution for borrowers. Zillow offers a rating system as part of their mortgage marketplace, and if Google wants to take this thing to the next level they would be wise to add one too, maybe even with some additional features to what Zillow offers. In the end, Google’s name and size alone should allow them to control this marketplace, and I foresee them doing just that.