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BCU: "HomeAdvantage™ Has Strengthened Our Relationship With Our Members Tenfold"
Bob Pondelicek, Director of Mortgage Sales at BCU, discusses how HomeAdvantage helps the $1.8 billion credit union strengthen member relationships through real estate advocacy...and earn more of its members' purchase mortgage business in the process.
Shift to a purchase money market
For Illinois-based BCU, the market shift from refis to purchase money has become a focal point. "One of the trends that we're really keeping a close eye on is the purchase money business," according to Bob Pondelicek, BCU's Director of Mortgage Sales. "We've seen the market transition quite a bit from refinance business over to purchase money business and so we've been keeping a close eye on the number of first time home buyers and new buyers coming into the market."
Strengthening member relationships
"HomeAdvantage has strengthened our relationship with our members tenfold," Pondelicek states. "Our members really feel comfortable working with somebody that we're recommending. A lot of times members have to go out on their own and find their own real estate agent, so that can be a challenge in itself. When members come to us, they already are trusting us as their financial institution. And now they're coming to us as well for a real estate agent relationship."
Providing value to members
"It's important to have a program like this," Pondelicek stresses. "There's true value. We've seen tons of members come back not only to buy a home, but to sell a home, and do that multiple times. So members really do see the value."
Partnering with real estate agents
"The CU Realty agents are really a key piece of the program. They really understand the relationship with the credit union," continues Pondelicek. "The agents know that when we're sending them a member to take really good care of them. They are absolutely part of the team. So it's not segmented where they're the agent and we're the credit union. I really feel that the program has been set up in a way that the agents believe they are not just part of the CU Realty program, but also part of the credit union."
The HomeAdvantage member rebate
For BCU's members, the HomeAdvantage rebate has proven to be a tremendous value and attraction. "The rebate to the member is paramount. That money can go a long way," notes Pondelicek. "Members can certainly use that money toward new window coverings, new carpet, maybe some new furniture. It's really important. When you put it into exact dollars of what a member is going to save and how much that means to them, it means a ton to these our members. And first-time homebuyers are really excited about that rebate!"
"There are a lot of other programs out there, but none in my opinion really compete with the HomeAdvantage program," says Pondelicek. "HomeAdvantage addresses what the buyer and the seller want to know and provides our members with those tools. It really helps raise the bar to the next level when you're talking about purchase business."
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