The always-zesty folks over at Zillow
, who provide the well-known Zestimates of housing values, are making a move into mortgage origination. Or, perhaps, into lead generation for originators. We can't really tell which.
But we do know that, so far, they're playing coy with both realtors and broker bloggers on the subject, building some momentum for an announcement company spokesperson Sarah Mann confirmed to us will be coming soon.
The latest come-hither
teaser appeared on Zillow's blog last night
, courtesy of Jorrit Van der Meulen, VP of partner relations at the company. (We're assuming it's his job to run this new mortgage idea at the big Z).
The company wants to sign up originators/lenders completely free -- for what, we don't exactly know yet -- but we do know that the thrilla-known-as-Zilla will charge $25 to have a third party verify professional status and licensing before letting anyone through the gates. So they're serious about keeping the riff-raff on the outside.
We also know that Zillow will offer approved lenders access to consumers that use the site to research their next home purchase. It's the "how" part of this formula that's the deeply held secret.
"While we’re not sharing more details right now, we can say that we’ve built our product around Zillow’s model of openness and transparency that is increasingly important in today’s home lending environment," Van der Meulen said.
Anything interesting in orgination is newsworthy these days. And, just for the record, we're expecting something earth-shattering
here, given the build-up. If it's just another "consumers looking for loans can locate your contact information from within Zillow's results pages" sort of thing, we'll be severely disappointed.
But something tells us Zillow's got something up their sleeve, so stay tuned.