Google has officially launched the newest addition to its suite of Google Compare products: mortgages.
Google Compare for Mortgages was announced earlier this year, and is now being made available in California with more states to follow, the Mountain View, Calif. tech giant said today.
Google already launched a similar product in the U.K., and the firm made mention of the mortgage product for the U.S. in May. Google added a mortgage calculator to its organic search earlier this year.
A Google spokesman said the firm would be making no further comment on its new product.
According to Google, nearly one-in-two borrowers still don’t shop around for their mortgage.
“Google Compare for mortgages provides a seamless, intuitive experience that connects lenders with borrowers online,” the firm said in an AdWords blog announcing the launch. “Whether you’re a national lender or one local to California, people searching for mortgages on their smartphone or desktop computer can now find you, along with a real-time, apples-to-apples comparison of rate quotes from other lenders – all in as little as a minute.”
Google said borrowers can also see ratings, read reviews and enter relevant information – such as loan amount, estimated credit score or home value – to receive rate quotes. Shoppers can then visit the website to apply directly online or over the phone through one of its partner’s agents or loan officers.
Partners in Google Compare for Mortgages include Zillow and LendingTree. Participation in Google Compare is based on a flexible cost-per-lead model, the firm said.
Google Compare for car insurance was introduced in California in March. Google announced in May its Google Compare for insurance is expanding into Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania, as well as adding ratings and insurance agent support.
Google’s online comparison tool has a relatively simple portal, including a list of major carriers that have signed on as partners.
Before the launch of the insurance comparison tool amid reports of the new product circulating since the beginning of the year several experts publicly fretted over the disruption it could cause.
W.R. Berkley Corp. CEO William R. Berkley said at a management seminar in late January that in certain respects, Google has the capacity to change auto insurance. Berkley said Google’s competitive advantage can’t be denied “because they invested this enormous sum of money in actively building a rule-road map of America.”
Other experts have said Google Compare’s potential impact on auto insurance is far overblown, and that what Google is doing has been done for at least 10 to 20 years via comparison sites like Progressive Direct, GEICO and Esurance.