Zillow targets first-time homebuyers in latest national TV ad

Portal claims mortgage preapproval tool adds value to leads

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Zillow's latest national TV ad, "What If," targets first-time homebuyers by highlighting a new tool that allows consumers to secure a mortgage preapproval letter in minutes. The ad begins airing today and will run through the fall and winter on network and cable stations, including CNN, HGTV and Travel. The 15-second ad features a young couple searching for a home and getting preapproved on Zillow using their mobile devices. The couple use Zillow's new preapproval tool, which the portal rolled out on desktop in March and iOS in August. By inputting info about their income, monthly debt and credit score into the tool, homebuyers get an estimate for the loan amount they may qualify for. If they're interested in continuing, they then enter their name, email address and phone number, and the tool pulls their credit report. If they meet the lender's standards, buyers receive an online preapproval letter in minutes that they can save, print or email. Zillow says preap...