Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional companies participating in Google AdWords Comparison Ads.
A new advertising service from Google allows consumers to compare multiple offers from mortgage lenders that are generated automatically when prospective borrowers enter information about the loan they are seeking along with their credit rating.
Unlike some similar services, Google’s AdWords Comparison Ads for mortgage allows consumers to refine their criteria and request loan quotes anonymously.
Google launched Comparison Ads for mortgage in Beta test mode in October. Google’s moves to make for-sale listings more available to the search engine’s users — and rumors that it is interested in acquiring real estate search service Trulia — have generated considerable interest in recent months (see story).
Google moved Comparison Ads for mortgage out of the Beta test phase today, allowing vendors to announce their roles in the project.
Loan pricing engines plug information submitted by prospective borrowers into individual lenders’ underwriting criteria and pricing.
Mortech’s pricing engine, for example, is one of several approved for use on Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace and LendingTree.com.
Mortech President Don Kracl said one way Google’s Comparison Ads differ from Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace is that consumers using Zillow’s service get "a dozen, two dozen, or 100 quotes" from lenders.
Google’s Comparison Ads, he said, allow potential borrowers to submit their loan criteria and credit rating in order to see rates and fees offered by lenders that are "pretty accurate — (but) not exactly accurate."
Users can then click on a particular lender or lenders they are interested in obtaining more information from and request an actual loan quote anonymously, he said.
Kracl said 15 to 20 lenders in 15 states are currently participating in Google Comparison Ads for mortgage, with additional lenders being added as Google is convinced they will manage leads and work well with consumers.
"I’ve been told there are 30 licenses pending, and that they should be in excess of 40 states in the next month or so," Kracl said. …CONTINUED