“First Point of Contact” marketing model for credit unions is the driving factor behind the CUSO’s 18 percent rise in mortgage closings and 21 percent increase in member savings
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 10, 2016—For the fifth year in a row, CU Realty Services saw continued growth as its turn-key real estate services program, HomeAdvantage,TM expanded into more credit unions in new markets, helping them close more loans and save more money for members.
In 2015, CU Realty—the largest real estate CUSO in the U.S.—achieved success in a variety of ways:
- 9 new credit unions partnered with CU Realty to implement HomeAdvantage.
- 5 new markets were added as the CUSO expanded its geographic reach into San Diego; Vancouver, Wash.; Melbourne, Fla.; San Francisco; and Charlottesville, Va.
- $4.3MM+ in savings were Cash Rewardd to members through the HomeAdvantage program—a 21 percent increase over 2014.
- 23,000+ members signed up to use HomeAdvantage—a 17 percent increase over 2014.
- 8,500+ referrals of members to agents were processed through HomeAdvantage—a 10 percent increase over 2014.
- Nearly 3,000 closings were reported through HomeAdvantage—an 18 percent increase over 2014.
These metrics confirm a shift in how credit unions are approaching their purchase mortgage business,” said Mike Corn, president and CEO of CU Realty Services. “Research shows that buyers are not interested in shopping for the best rates and service. To become the First Point of ContactTM and win more loans, credit unions must instead have conversations with their home-buying members about other topics that are important to them, including finding a home, home values and agent referrals. It’s exciting to see so many credit unions are achieving this through HomeAdvantage.”
Last year, CU Realty expanded the geographical reach of its HomeAdvantage program to serve five new markets, implementing the service with nine new credit union partners, including:
- Consumers Credit Union in Gurnee, Ill. (80,000 members/$900 million in assets)
- Space Coast Credit Union in Melbourne, Fla. (330,000 members/$3.5 billion in assets)
- Schools Financial Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif. (124,000 members/$1.5 billion in assets)
- TwinStar Credit Union in Lacey, Wash. (115,000 members/$1 billion in assets)
- Star One Credit Union in Sunnyvale, Calif. (95,000 members/$7.8 billion in assets)
- USE Credit Union in San Diego (43,000 members/$830 million in assets)
- UVA Community Credit Union, Charlottesville, Va. (66,000 members/$742 million in assets).
These new credit unions join a roster of hundreds more across the U.S. that currently offer HomeAdvantage. The online program offers access to real estate tools and support that buyers and sellers seek in the early phases of the home-buying lifecycle. This includes property listings, recent sales, neighborhood demographics and a network of reputable real estate agents. Last year, more than 23,000 credit union members registered to use the service, completing a short questionnaire to share information about their future purchase, including their timeline and pre-qualification status. These member profiles, as well as other transactional data, are available to the credit union via the HomeAdvantage reporting center.
When members use a real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network, they qualify to earn a Cash Reward at closing that equals 20 percent of the agents commission. In 2015, credit union members earned more than $4.3MM in Cash Rewards this way, averaging $1,506 per transaction. The top five credit unions with the largest payouts saw member savings of almost $1.5 million:
2. Baxter Credit Union (Vernon Hills, Ill.) — $363,799
3. Northwest Credit Union Association (Herndon, Va.) — $318,957
4. Wright-Patt Credit Union (Beavercreek, Ohio) — $225,880
5. Tower Credit Union (Laurel, Md.) — $214,548
CU Realty’s HomeAdvantage program empowers credit unions to identify and engage more of its home-buying members, nurturing them through their entire real estate transaction, not just financing. More importantly, the program helps members make informed home buying and selling decisions while saving them time and money.
About CU Realty Services, LLC
CU Realty Services provides real estate services to credit unions across the nation, helping them increase their purchase mortgage business. Launched in 2001, the CUSO has worked with more than 100 credit unions and thousands of their members. CU Realty’s range of web-based tools helps home buyers find homes, research neighborhoods, calculate costs, connect to experienced real estate agents, and earn a Cash Reward. By offering this program to members, credit unions are able to achieve significant increases in their purchase mortgage business.
CU Realty Services partners with hundreds of credit unions and mortgage CUSO’s in 24 states. To learn how credit unions are becoming members First Point of Contact™, visit www.curealty.com.