The Zillow Mortgage Marketplace will launch on both AOL sites in 2012, and Zillow will also power mortgage calculators and provide real-time mortgage rates on the sites, the companies said.
"AOL Real Estate has many thousands of users who are either homeowners or interested in buying a home, so we’re excited to be able to offer them important financial tools and personalized loan quotes from Zillow Mortgage Marketplace," said Jay Kirsch, vice president and general manager of AOL Marketplace, in a statement.
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said the non-exclusive partnership agreement will provide Zillow’s network of lenders with "a new, cost-effective customer acquisition channel to connect with home shoppers."
Consumers browsing listings at AOL Real Estate already have the option of obtaining estimated monthly payments and prequalifying with MetLife Home Loans using Move Inc.’s PreQualPlus decision and pricing engine.
Move Inc. — the operator of Zillow rival Realtor.com — syndicates property listings to AOL Real Estate through its ListHub subsidiary, and AOL Real Estate also employs Move’s "Find" search engine technology for property searches.
At Realtor.com, consumers are offered the option of prequalifying with MetLife Home Loans, and real estate brokerages that offer mortgage products through affiliated companies can also advertise them on "Showcase" listing detail pages.
Zillow Mortgage Marketplace employs a "pay per click" system, charging participating lenders a fee when consumers click on their links for more information about a loan quote. AOL will receive a share of the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace revenue generated by visitors to its sites.
Consumers can use the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace to comparison shop by reviewing loan quotes from multiple lenders. According to Zillow, consumers submitted nearly 3.9 million requests for loan quotes to the marketplace during the first nine months of 2011, receiving an average 18 quotes per request.
Zillow spokeswoman Cynthia Nowak said "hundreds of sites," including technology-based brokerage Redfin, use Zillow’s mortgage rate statistics, calculators or widgets. The partnership marks the first time Zillow Mortgage Marketplace will power the full "mortgage shopping experience" for another site or portal, she said.
Although Zillow provides for-sale listings to Yahoo Real Estate and sells ads to real estate agents and brokers that appear on both sites, for example, the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is not available there.
Move launched its own home loan site, MortgageMatch.com, in December, partnering with Houston-based correspondent lender Cornerstone Mortgage Co. to allow consumers to prequalify and apply for loans.
Move said at the time that it planned to incorporate MortgageMatch.com tools into Realtor.com to help homebuyers focus on homes for which they were most likely to qualify for loans.
But Move announced in July that it was looking for a new lending partner. Although users could still browse the site for advice and news on mortgage lending, they could no longer apply for loans. Today, visitors to MortgageMatch.com are instructed to contact Cornerstone if they have a loan application in process. No other content is available on the site.
On Oct. 12, MetLife Inc. announced that it was exploring the sale of its mortgage lending business, launched in 2008 by MetLife Bank, citing the "uncertain marketplace and regulatory environment." Move and other companies that have agreements with MetLife Home Loans would presumably have the right to continue their relationships with a new owner.