Citigroup leverages Zillow to grow online mortgage lending

Creates digital marketing alliance

Citigroup (C) is putting greater emphasis on its mortgage business by expanding its digital presence online through a new marketing alliance with Zillow (Z).

This moves comes during a time in the market when lenders are adjusting their business to adapt to the new regulations, low rates and home prices. 

Last August, Wells Fargo (WFC), which employs more than 7,000 mortgage consultants and has readily adjusted to offer more mortgage options, announced it had relaxed some of its credit standards for high-priced home loans in order to combat the industry–wide plummet in mortgage volume.

Now, Citigroup has entered into a digital marketing alliance with Zillow, agreeing to increase its presence on Zillow, Zillow Mortgages and StreetEasy, New York City’s real estate app and website owned by Zillow.

Under the alliance, Citi has increased its advertising program for mortgages on StreetEasy, including multiple ad placements, sponsorship of content and visibility for approved pre-certified buildings. Additionally, the Citi brand will be amplified, in terms of advertising, on Zillow’s desktop and mobile experiences.

Online mortgage are gaining prominence in the mortgage industry, especially with the influx of millennials looking to become first-time homebuyers.

Lenders’ main demographic, millennials, are used to finding all their resources online, spending an average of 35 hours per week on digital media, nearly twice as much as non millennials, a report from Cultural Outreach Solutions.  

“Today, the vast majority of potential homebuyers begin their property searches online,” said CD Davies, head of Citis Mortgage business globally. “We are stepping up our digital presence in the real estate space to ensure we are a leading mortgage provider in the markets we serve. Zillow offers us the opportunity to reach homebuyers and engage the real estate community in an easily accessible and productive way.”

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