ActiveRain Tutorials: Mortgage Rates Widget For Your Blog & Website ~New Tool To Help Consumers Exclusively from SmartHippo

Mortgage Rates Widget For Your Blog & Website ~New Tool To Help Consumers Exclusively from SmartHippo

As many of you are aware, I recently started a new job as community manager for a company called SmartHippo.  This company is focused on helping the consumer make the most informed decision when getting a mortgage by providing a free advice section where you can ask questions and receive responses from mortgage professionals.  The other great feature that SmartHippo offers to consumers is the ability to write reviews of a lender they used.  Consumers can write all about the good, the bad, & indifferent of the lender they used to help others understand how reliable, how pleasant and everything else about their transaction before making one of the biggest decisions of their life.

Since joining the team, one of my focuses was to create tools that will assist real estate agents with the process of getting a mortgage for their clients.  One way we have been able to achieve this goal is by the design of our newest release, the SmartHippo Mortgage Rates Widget.  This widget gives consumers an easy way to compare the rates of multiple lenders in their area.  They can simply enter a loan amount, a home value, and their zip code and instantly compare mortgage rates in their area.

How does it work?  The widget searches the rates database that SmartHippo has created of unbiased rates of lenders who share their information on the network.  Buyers can then simply see the list of rates, read lender reviews, and make an educated decision on who to get their loan through. 

Why would a real estate agent want to use this widget?  In the real estate industry agents are always hesitant to recommend any other businesses because if something goes wrong the client will inevitably come back and say "you recommended this person and now it all went wrong!" When you give the consumer a third party option where they can get the information on multiple sources with reviews from actual consumers who have used the company and expressed their opinions about the service they received.

So what does this look like? Take a look and tell me your thoughts:

How do you get the widget installed on your blog or website?  It is actually really easy to do. Simply visit the Mortgage Rates Widget page on SmartHippo, and grab the code needed to install this widget.  The steps are really easy to do and this widget can be installed in less than 2 minutes time. Here is a simple video on how to install:


I hope this new widget is a benefit to you and you consumers!  Let me know what you think of it!


I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


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Comment balloon 17 commentsJeremy Blanton • March 03 2010 09:39PM


What a great little tool, Jeremy!!  I haven't seen anything like it before, and I'm sure it will be a big hit with consumers. It pays to shop around!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) over 10 years ago

Very cool Jer, looks like you're keeping busy wearing many hats!!  Nice widget. May need to refi~   :-)

Mortgage Rate Results for Fairfield, CA

  • 30-year fixed, Refinance
  • for a property value of $400,000
  • with a mortgage balance of $200,000
  • with EXCELLENT credit

Monthly payment


Closing costs

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Hehe Brad, I am a man of many hats these days :)  You have no idea.

Sonja- It most definitely pays to shop around.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 10 years ago

Interesting.  I ran my zip code and saw that none of our local banks came up.  In this area, they are some of the best and most competitive resources.

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 10 years ago

Hmm. Looks like a cool widget. But I wonder how smart a hippo actually is. Has anyone ever checked their little hippo IQ? lol

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 10 years ago

Janna- if your local banks are not showing up in the list, it is probably because they have not yet registered on the page & sending a feed of the rates to the page.  Feel free to have them contact us to get them set up!

Lisa- they are actually pretty smart & travel in herds to look out for each other. Just like the community on our site. :)

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 10 years ago

Jeremy:  As a lender, these so-called handy little gadgets make me very nervous.  With lending being what it is these days, I believe that something so elementary in info gathering cannot possibly spew out an accurate bit of info for consumers.  In actuality. many times when a customer has seen this "rate" quote, it undermines the "reality" of what a live mortgage officer has to relate to them.  In essence, these tools can make my job much harder and make my credibility harder to establish ... and protect in this challenging market.  Quoting rates is so much more than plugging in a few numbers ... and these widgets give me chills.  I can understand why consumers would LOVE them ... but not me.

Just my opinion ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 10 years ago

@ Gene, I can definitly see your point. I feel the same way about Zestimate...

I can see the value from a real estate agent's perspective. I have one of those on my site.

@Jeremy, the only thing is that you migt want to remove the "get this widget" wording. Most agents know that if they want the same widget they can click on the link pointing to the widget's designer and find it on their site. This type of wording makes us look so cheap...


Posted by Catherine Chaudemanche - Edison & Central NJ, Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven (Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ) over 10 years ago

The widget is a good idea, but publishing feedback from the public just, IMO, invites mischief and that can be very unfair and harmful to lender/members. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Jeremy, I think the widget idea is cool, but according to 3 of my trusted lenders, they say that true rates cannot be quoted until the lender has the borrower's credit score.  Without that, borrowers are just getting meaningless quotes and go to Lender A over Lender B because his online quote is lower.  It could be much higher after the lender discovers the borrower's credit score/status, and the borrower could end up paying more in fees, etc.  I think lenders are going to be hesitant to get involved in this because so much more goes into a rate quote.  Nice idea, but I think it needs fleshing out!

Posted by Melissa Brown over 10 years ago

Jeremy, I think my concern as a mortgage broker has already been adequately voiced above. I went on the SmartHippo website. How can one of the top rated lenders be Countrywide? They aren't even in business any more?

Posted by Phil Caulfield, I Get The Loans Done That The Big Banks Don't! (Cardinal Financial Company, Limited Partnership) over 10 years ago

Thanks everyone for the feedback.  You are correct, these rates and costs are just estimates.  We all know that there are several factors that go into getting a mortgage online.  This tool is designed to make it easier for a consumer to compare things quickly & easily on various lenders.  While this does not take into consideration those factors, it does give you an even comparison from each establishment.

Lenn- I agree, things could get malicious over there if people start attacking others.  Luckily just like here at AR, we have moderators in place to help control this type of thing.

Melissa- One of the options on the actual page to help customize your search more, is to choose what type of credit score you have.  The other main thing is that while the Mortgage rates is a part of our site, the biggest part is to give consumers the ability to ask mortgage questions & write/get lender reviews.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 10 years ago

Hey Jeremy!  I actually didn't know you joined the SmartHippo team.  You're so busy one can't keep up!  Sounds like you're doing what you love and staying busy so that's great and thanks for sharing...once I get my website up and running I'll be looking for things like this to add.


Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) over 10 years ago

Jeremy-  I am going to follow the stream of comments here before I place one on my website....   Sounds a little controversial right now.....   BUT, I am very interested to see what happens with it all.  Keep me posted, as I think you are on to something good.

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 10 years ago
Jeremy- thanks no need to view the video it was exptrememly easy, in fact before I commented I put it on my blog page thanks great tool
Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) over 10 years ago

I just checked it out Jeremy and it looks like a great tool. Best of luck with your new business.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago

Cool widget Jeremy - how's it going at Smart Hippo?

Posted by Betsy Schuman Dodek, (Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate) about 10 years ago