Tonight Zillow launched their “Mortgage Marketplace”.
Borrowers (and potential borrowers) be they looking to purchase real estate, refinance an existing loan or take out a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) can submit an anonymous request to multiple lenders by filling out a simple form.
I emphasize anonymous because if you’ve ever done any sort of “e loan” request for a mortgage quote, you know how relentless some of these folks can be. Trust me, I know. Your phone is likely to ring for months after you close of your loan.
Not so with Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace.
Zillow’s system does not take your name, phone number, email or Social Security Number. Lenders get your request and respond with a detailed loan quote based on information you provide. You then log into Zillow and review the loan quote — which includes rate, APR, terms and cost. Then YOU decide if you want to contact the lender. For home equity loans, you can read this article.
My first thought was how does a lender make a reasonable quote without a credit score? Simply enough, the potential borrower estimates a FICO score. I they don’t know, Zillow provides a credit score estimating tool.
I got a “sneak peak” of both the borrowers and the lenders side of the system this morning. Trust me, it’s anonymous. And it’s powerful.
Aside from the anonymous nature of the system, I thought one of the best features was that the lenders can see the other lenders quotes. This would seem to lead to a natural competition that would directly benefit the borrower.
This is information transparency at its best.
I can’t understand why any lender wouldn’t jump all over this. The one-time fee is $25 (to cover a background check / confirmation process). After that, the Mortgage Marketplace awaits you. Less than 25 minutes after launch, there were 41 user submitted quote requests. If you already have a mortgage to pay, you should visit Zanda Wealth Mortgage Brokers homepage and get some help from them.
And if you are in the market for a mortgage or a HELOC, it costs you absolutely nothing (other than 5 minutes of your time) to get multiple quotes from multiple lenders all competing to get you the best mortgage product — and they can’t hassle you. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain — multiple lenders, transparent information, anonymous quotes, complete control, contact who you want to, and don’t contact who you don’t.
Zillow hit a home run with this one.
More from Rich Barton, Zillow Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Drew Meyers from Zil says
Thanks for your glowing review Jay — I'm glad you like the product as much as I (and many others at Zillow) do!
Genuine Chris Johnso says
Jay, You know I dig you.
Here's the deal.
Would brian brady spend time fishing through quotes? Would Dan Green? No. What you're going to be getitng is rookie loan officers that are not really well qualified to serve customers. I wouldn't like to be in a 'race to the bottom' situation with other MBs, it would waste MY time.
So, consumers are going to compare loan officers without knowing what the percentages are. Without knowing if the LO closes on time (or has to delay everything).
I'm a Zillow Fan, but this kind of 'give me a quote,' deal is going to give you mediocre originators who think they can do it cheaper, customers with an antagonistic attitude…
where is the mechanism to price for delays? To offer superior service?
There's a lot to love about the model (background checks, for instance), but there's a lot Zillow is going to have to do. When Bankers are bored, you win.
Gregory Bain says
Jay, if any organization has done more to hurt our profession than the NAR, it's Zillow. While I trust you share this information with everyone because it is "news", it hurts that you would endorse anything this group brings to the table.
While I always respect and appreciate your posts, I just have got to ask – "What were you thinking?".
Would a Jew write about and endorse the Third Reich development of the V2? We are not politicans, so we don't need to get in bed with the enemy.
David Gibbons says
There's no need for any lender to "fish through quotes." We've worked hard to build in features that keep LO's productive. There's a multi-dimensional search system that allows you to quickly find quotes that fit your criteria. These filters can be saved and re-used. And you can have new loan requests come directly to your inbox whenever new borrowers submit requests that match your criteria. So, no-one's gonna' be wasting any time fishing. Obviously your time is far better spent quoting borrowers than trying to get asked to quote.
As to performance, our reputation system reports on the LO's service service. LO's that don't close in time will simply earn a poor reputation. Remember that no such system existed prior to Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
You're entitled to your extreme views on Zillow and the NAR but the 250 thousand agents that promote their seller's listings on Zillow for free would probably disagree with you. Your Nazi analogy is beyond ridiculous. Contact me if you'd like to talk this through [davidg AT z]
The Phoenix Real Est says
@Chris – You know I dig you too…. See David's comment. Having seen the lender side of the system, I know that the tools are in place to prevent the need to fish. Curiously, Dan Green's very name was mentioned on the call I was on. (I don't know if he is participating in Mortgage Marketplace or not). But I suspect neither he nor Brian would turn away at a well qualified borrower that they had a good product for. You named two of the best lenders on the planet, but even if they chose not to participate, I have a feeling there will be many excellent ones that do (and some losers too). I think the reputation system (that I didn't mention in my post) will help vet the participating lenders.
@Gregory – sorry, but I don't share your fear of Zillow. Never have, never will. And to be perfectly honest, I don't understand that attitude toward Zillow (and believe me, I've seen it from many – see this post)
I've been crystal clear on my view of Zillow. (see here for one example) They are a marketing tool, and a pretty darn good one at that.
Companies like Zillow aren't going away. One can either chose to use them to their advantage, vilify them, or ignore them. Personally, I chose to take advantage of them.
I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on why you feel Zillow is damaging our profession. I really would like to understand why people feel this way. Maybe I'm missing something because I just don't get it.
Gregory Bain says
Jay, I don’t fear them. I loathe them. They are the money changers in my holy house. A pool of vipers that dislike my profession and appear bent on destroying it. You need only visit their “discussion” board once to see the hate they have posted and endorsed to know that their agenda is not to help us but, to bury us.
As for their new endeavor into the mortgage field, it is just a spin off of the Lending Tree. And, they are just another sham operation that shares much of the blame for today’s mortgage crisis. Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo have nothing to fear from such shady operations.
Fear? I don’t think so. A more important enemy to us is the NAR.
David, we don't need to talk. All lies have an element of truth. The 250 thousand agent you stated that post their listings to your site are not doing it voluntarily. They are forced to belong to the NAR and share the information with the likes of Z. We have been sold out by the organization we created.
Santa Barbara Real E says
I have my doubts about this with the changing world of lending. The loan contingency has stepped up once again in a real estate transaction as the big item. Any savy seller and their agent is going to look hard at the loan before accepting an offer. If this then originates online, the first gut reacation is a red flag. Just like working with a good realtor, there are good and bad lenders…you don't just choos via rates. And that is what wil happen. The star system from 1-5 with 5 being good does not stand taller than the actual rate. Money unfortunately talks in this culture.
Louis Cammarosano says
Consumers love our Agent Evaluator product, which is similar to Zillow's offering except that Zillow's offering is for mortgage brokers and is free.
WOW – seems like a hot topic!!! I like it as it's new and an attempt to help out consumers – one more tool is always good. I'm not to sure how long it's going to be a hit in the mortgage industry. It might end up being a lot of work for nothing…but only time will tell.
It'll be interesting to see how well this new venture goes. It's a little hard to give quotes based on information provided by consumers and not real credit facts.
Dallas Mortgage says
You get what you pay for.
Might work for some new loan officers. But I suspect that a whole lot of lieing will be going on….. so the consumer will lose in the end.
Mortgage Lender Lead says
it is interesting…
LO's bid their best rate which is what is being done now at lending tree, LeadBull, CoreLeads and other sites.
Until they see your credit score, # of debt accounts, how long you've had them, etc..they will still bait and switch…
anonymous sounds good but the others first comers will still make hay. Borrowers don't want to have to log-in each hour and see 10 to 20 quotes..
With the others may only see 4 quotes.
myrtle beach condos says
zillow is just getting too smart. but LOs are difficult to deal with and useually they can’t guarantee a rate until a property type is decided on
[email protected] Software says
I recently bought a home and used the zillow marketplace to compare interest rates day-to-day so I could decide when to lock in the rate. That may not be it's intended purpose, but it worked so well. Thanks!
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That's the great article! I just pass 'n read it, two thumbs up! 😉