Technology

Mortgage calculator helps Realtors route business to lender of choice

PlanwiseConnect browser plug-in touted as weapon against rivals' portal ads

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A San Francisco-based startup says a mortgage calculator it built to help homebuyers gauge the affordability of listings can now be used by real estate brokers to boost originations by their in-house and preferred lenders, and to protect their agents from losing clients to rivals who advertise on search portals like Zillow and Trulia. For $99 per year, agents can brand Planwise's mortgage calculator and provide the tool to homebuyers via a browser plug-in that works on Chrome and Firefox. When homebuyers who have installed the "PlanwiseConnect" plug-in visit Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Yahoo Homes, realtor.ca and The Real Estate Book, it pulls in home prices from the property detail pages on those websites. The browser plug-in also overlays their agent's contact info on the property detail pages of those websites -- a clever way for agents to bring their brand to some of real estate's most popular real estate sites. Planwise founder and CEO Vincent Turner said the company ...