We all know that Google, the largest search engine, is always looking for more things they can do to take over the world. Just when we think they have surpassed themselves already, they surprise us with something else.
Google has officially launched their newest product service: mortgages. In the words of Dax Craig, Valen Analytics President and CEO, this is a game changer. Google mentioned on their site that “purchasing a house is a huge financial decision – so in regards to getting a mortgage, people would like a simple way to understand and compare several options on the web.”
The new service may not come as a surprise, as Google did mention earlier this year that the program was in the works. For a long while, the company has set its eyes on entering the mortgage market with its Compare brand.
Although the idea is new, Google already released a service similar to this in the United Kingdom, where they released information about the product becoming available in the U.S. around May.
For now, Google’s Compare for Mortgages will be available to use for those who live in California. Google’s official licensed mortgage broker will also be based in California. The service will allow possible buyers to check and compare various mortgages from lenders so they can find the best deal for them. There will be more states added in the future.
Google’s Compare tool for mortgages will be free for everyone and give people the ability to view over 300 mortgages from over 75 lenders in the state of California. Although the tool will be free, it’s not necessarily a public service for consumers. A statement on the Google Adwords website stated, “Participation in the Google Compare tool is based on a flexible model they call cost-per-lead (CPL).
Nevertheless, paying for leads doesn’t necessarily affect rankings. Google incorporated a mortgage calculator to its organic search earlier in the year. A spokesman for Google did mention that nearly 50% of borrowers didn’t seem to be shopping around for mortgages. Google stated in an AdWords blog that their new mortgage product will provide users with a seamless, intuitive experience that couples lenders with borrowers on the web.
Google also said no matter if you are a national lender or a local California lender, those looking for mortgages on their PC or Smartphone will be able to locate you. They stated the searches are completed in real time and will show a side-by-side comparison of rate quotes from other lenders. All that in as little as sixty seconds.
Borrowers can also view ratings, as well as submit relevant information (like home value, loan amount, or estimated credit) to retrieve rate quotes. Shoppers can take a look at the website afterward to apply online or via the phone.
Both home seekers and homeowners that use the service will find that it’s user-friendly. Those who visit the Google Compare for Mortgages portal will get guided through the basic steps, including pricing of homes, submitting their zip code and down payment. Then they will supply you a lender based on your custom preferences.
There will be several partners joining Google Compare for Mortgages, including Lending Tree and Zillow. Zillow will be there to assist in powering Google with data on lender rates, ratings, and reviews. Users will also be able to enter how much money they would like to borrow, enter their current credit score, or add how much the value of their home is. You will be taken to relevant results based on what you entered with quoted rates that match what you want. Lending Tree will be there to help push data to the service.
Google Compare is based a flexible cost-per-lead model. There is also a sub-branch of the new product called Google Compare for car insurance that was first talked about in March in California. Two months after that, Google said that the Google Compare for Insurance will soon be expanding in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. They also plan to add ratings with it and insurance agent support for those who need it.
Google already has an online comparison tool with a relatively simple portal. It includes a list of big carriers that have already signed on as partners. They also released a similar product that targeted the auto insurance market. William Berkley, CEO of W.R. Berkley Corporation mentioned at a management seminar towards the end of January that Google has the capability to change auto insurance. He added that Google has a competitive edge in the game. Experts believe that Google Compares’ potential influence in regards to auto insurance is overblown. We’ll just have to wait and see.