Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Launches: FREE MORTGAGE LEADS

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow


We've been hinting at it for a few weeks, but tonight I'm pleased to announce that Zillow Mortgage Marketplace has launched. Here's the 411:

How it works:

1. Borrowers fill out a form for free, entering their financial information but NOT their personal info. No name, email, phone # or Social Security #.

2. Borrower's loan request gets posted into the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace anonymously.

3. Lenders access free leads, choosing which loan request they want to respond to.

4. The borrower then decides which lender they want to reach out to, and contacts the lender via email or phone. In addition, borrowers can leave feedback on lenders (like ebay's rating system), so lenders with great customer service can shine.


Benefits to lenders:

1. FREE LEADS. FREE LEADS. FREE LEADS. Did I mention free leads?

2.  Lenders only need to communicate by email or phone with borrowers that reach out to them. No more chasing down leads that don't want to be pursued.


What's the catch?

1. Lenders allow themselves to be rated by borrowers.

2. Lenders have to enter their SS# and credit card info and pay a $25 application fee. We then use a 3rd party to run a background check and vet them as legit lenders.

3. In the spirit of an open and transparent marketplace, the lender's quote to the borrower is available for all to see. Everything is out in the open. 


Benefit to borrowers:

1. Borrower remains anonymous and doesn't have to offer up their phone # until THEY decide that THEY want to reach out to the lender.

2. Borrower can receive an unlimited number of quotes.


Benefit to ZillowWe make $ on advertising.


Check it out


Update on RE.net coverage:

  • Todd Carpenter's review on Lenderama. He writes: "In the long term, I think the package is great for both consumers and for honest and ethical loan originators. Really, it couldn’t be any better timed either. Consumers are suspicious of the entire mortgage industry. Originators are struggling to find new business without spending a ton of marketing doe. If Zillow can drive in enough early traffic, I think it’ll be a winner for everyone involved."
  • Jay Thompson's review on Phoenix Real Estate Blog:"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."
  • Rhonda Porter on Rain City Guide: "I’ll still stick to my guns and say that referrals from the people you trust and respect are the best way to select a Mortgage Professional…however for those of you that have a need to shop rates on line, Zillow’s mortgage tool could be the ticket."
  • Joel Burslem on Future of Real Estate Marketing
  • I can't keep up on the coverage, so I defer to my friend Drew Meyers who is keeping tabs on all of this.

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Alan Robinson
wow that sounds like a promising venture 
Apr 03, 2008 08:22 AM #27
Interesting, I might get this set up for a couple on LOs here in the office.
Apr 03, 2008 08:47 AM #28
Richard Lecinski
Long Realty Company - Oro Valley, AZ
That is really a great idea. Good luck and hope works our very well.
Apr 03, 2008 09:13 AM #29
Jessica Horton Jessica Horton Realty
Jessica Horton - Jessica Horton & Associates - Griffin, GA
Jessica Horton: I'm not #1... You Are!

I hope you guys (and gals) are up for some work.  You've got a hard job ahead...to turn around being known for the Zestimate thingies.  When it comes to driving the consumer to the site for this service...you guys really branded that well and created the buzz for it.  No doubt. 

You may have overdone it.  Big ship to turn around....

Sounds like a very expensive proposition to bring in the kind of awareness needed.  However, you definitely have the team to do it. 

So, when will you begin selling leads to agents to see how low listing agents will go and how much of a kick-back buyers will get from their agent?  Seems like the next step...

I'm not upset or angry about this possibility.   I think about 15% of the population picks off lowest price.  5% picks off highest price.  The other 80% are willing to pay a fair price when value is perceived.  I have no problems demonstrating value.   

Apr 03, 2008 09:58 AM #30
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA
Jessica - No question that it will be a big challenge to get consumers to start thinking of Zillow for mortgages rather than just for home valuations. It took Amazon a long time to get consumers to stop thinking of them just as online bookseller.
Apr 03, 2008 10:02 AM #31

Wow spence, this is an awesome project and I am betting that it works.  Is a national ad campaign for TV in the works for this specific product?  Let the people of North Carolina know about it.  Dude, I am a mortgage broker so I am used to having my credit checked, thats just the way it works on the wholesale side man.  What is another inquiry if you pay your bills on time? hehehe :)  I think if you do it right this really could serve as a good and more accurate alternative to BBB.  BBB only gets negative info, people can check on a broker here because if I understand it right your rating goes up if you do a good job not just a rating if you do bad.  Am I right on that?

 I am signing up in the morning.  I should give you 25 bucks just for thinking of this Idea.  Hope to see you on CNBC or Fox Biz someday.


Apr 03, 2008 01:35 PM #32
Trevor Jules
2 Blue Chip Professionals, LLC - Ellicott City, MD
I'm signed up and did some quotes today...free leads
Apr 03, 2008 02:06 PM #33
Justin Williams
Independent - Virginia Beach, VA
Loan Officer
I signed up and started noticing people were doing a lot of teaser rates out there, is there going to be any type of control/verification on this? like for instance where the lenders upload the GFE quote??
Apr 03, 2008 02:26 PM #34
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
This will be interesting to watch and see how this new feature unfolds and evolves. There is always a new tool available.
Apr 03, 2008 02:33 PM #35
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Interesting project.  I have to admit that your post brought Lending Tree to mind for me too.  A question...regarding the HouseValues comparison....What safeguards are in place to prevent buyers from giving bogus information and wasting a lot of time for lenders.  How are the leads vetted to ensure they are real?
Apr 03, 2008 03:28 PM #36
Tom Davis
Harrington ERA,DE Homes For Sale, $$ Save $$ Buy Today ! - Dover, DE
FREE Delaware Homes Search!, $$ Save $$ - Find Homes! Delaware Realtor

Going to Forward this to the team lender...thanks :)

Tom Davis - DE Realtor

Apr 03, 2008 04:54 PM #37
Debbie - Loan Officer
Well how much information do you get from with the borrower to proved a real accuate quote?  Ie., FICO, income amount/type, down payment, mortgage history ....??   Then I might be interested.  Agree with fear to release ssn.
Apr 04, 2008 03:45 AM #38
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Hmmm...sounds interesting. Can't wait to see how it works out.
Apr 04, 2008 09:40 AM #39
Brian Brady


I think you guys have to stop pitching this as "free leads"- this is a marketplace, a Bourse, an  exchange 

Apr 05, 2008 04:48 AM #40
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Spencer....  I hope I didn't sound too harsh or rude....  but even a rating system could be misused and abused. And I agree with Brian's statement, who beat me to the punchline, which is why I came back here.  You are pitching this as "free leads"... even though $25 a person is extremely cheap... I think a low price will bring more loan officers with $25 to this site... no matter what kind of back ground or credit check you do.... you could look squeaky clean and still be bad at what you do...  still lie... still bait and switch...  it doesn't stop everyone.

jeff belonger
Apr 05, 2008 07:51 AM #41
Konnie Mac McCarthy
MacNificent Properties, LLC - Cobb Island, MD
Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!"
Apr 07, 2008 12:19 PM #43
Dominic Zendejas
KASE Real Estate - Mission Viejo, CA

Sounds very interesting. Guess i will sign up and see how it works

Aug 08, 2008 06:21 AM #44
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Spencer, did not get to read entire blog. Is this just mortgage leads?  I need South Carolina Mtg leads, as I am a new loan officer with Amerisave, and can only do SC mtgs right now. Do you also have real estate leads NC/SC (buyers, sellers)?  Please let me know, thanking you in advance, Ginger Moore


Jun 29, 2009 02:29 AM #45
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Hey Ginger- Sara from Zillow here.  The Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is a little different than the typical site you just buy leads from. 

Here, the person needing financing fills out a form with everything you would need to know to produce a quote except their personel information.  Then lenders publically respond to loans requests with quotes.  Then the person who entered the information decides who they would like to reach out to potentially work together. 

Right now it only costs you $25 to sign up (this money is used to pay a third party to verify you), once approved, you can quote as many times for as many loans as you would like and can legally handle.  You can even set up alerts to let you know when there is a loan request that meets your criteria. 

Here is a short video on the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, detailing the process I just described.

You can get started here.

Jun 29, 2009 12:20 PM #46
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Thanks Sara,  So what do you have for us Realtors?  Do you have leads for realtors as well?  I would be interested in these.  The mortgage company I was with, (amerisave mtg.) could no longer have recruits that were not within a 60 mile radius of the Durham area ; so therefore i am not an active loan officer right now, but I am an active realtor.  I am also looking for part time loan officer position near charlotte/gastonia nc, if anyone knows of one.  thanks so much!


e-mail: realtorginger@yahoo.com       704 865 4290

Aug 03, 2009 06:51 AM #47
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