Google Mortgage MarketPlace: It’s Coming…

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.

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June 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM Sarahm said...

Hi Eric--

Sarah here from Just wanted to clarify that we do actually have a rating system in place within the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. Borrowers who have received a loan quote from a lender and have then contacted them are strongly encouraged to rate that lender so that the entire Zillow Mortgage Marketplace community can benefit.

Ratings are based on quality of information and service provided after contact has been made. A ratings scale of 1 to 5 indicates how likely a borrower is to recommend a lender with 5 “very likely” and 1 “very unlikely.” The borrower is also able to leave specific feedback on the lender, who in turn can respond directly for the entire community to see.

As you noted in the post, since we launched just over two months ago we’ve seen significant participation by both borrowers and lenders. We continue to get additional ratings into the system every day, which as you note is a great resource for future borrowers who are thinking about working with these lenders. Happy to walk you through the feature in more detail if you’re interested—email me at sarahm at Zillow dot com.


June 9, 2008 at 11:35 AM Eric Ames said...

Sarah, I've since fixed the post. When I was looking at your site before I didn't see the rating system. I think it is great that you have this feature, and I would recommend that you advertise it more. When I read through your overview of the program I didn't see anything about it at first glance. After looking at it again I saw mention of it, but it was not very prominent and I had to go to an interior "how it works for the borrower" page to see it. I think you should put it on the main overview page, as at least in my book this is a major feature.

Anyway I appreciate the response and I wish you the best of luck with your program, it is certainly a great idea.

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