Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a major surprise, given that the company already signaled its intentions to launch this product earlier this year.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t just a public service for consumers. This is a commercial product and as Google notes, “participation in Google Compare is based on a flexible cost-per-lead (CPL) model.” The company says that payment doesn’t factor into the ranking or eligibility to participate, though.
Google is launching this product under its ‘Compare’ brand, which already includes an auto insurance comparison tool. It’s worth noting that Google already offered a similar mortgage service in the UK.
To power this tool, Google partnered with Zillow and LendingTree. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed, but it looks like Google will pull data from lenders on Zillow’s mortgage marketplace, for example, instead of working with lenders directly.
“This partnership allows us the unique opportunity to help borrowers by providing them with the industry’s most accurate, real-time information about home loans and mortgage lenders while simultaneously offering Zillow Group’s lenders increased reach for their businesses,” said Erin Lantz, Zillow Group’s vice president of mortgages in today’s announcement.
The actual user experience while shopping for mortgages is pretty simple (and similar to the process of looking for auto insurance on the same service). Google Compare will walk you through the basic steps (ZIP code, price of home, down payment, etc.) and then ask you for how long you plan to live in the house (to see if you want a 30-year mortgage or would be okay with an adjustable rate). At the end of the process, it will give you a recommended lender based on your preferences, together with a full breakdown of all the fees associated with the loan.
After that, though, it’s up to you to contact the lender, though you can also request a callback right from Google’s site (using an anonymous number, so your contact info isn’t shared with the lender).