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CONTACT: Margaret Blankers, MJB Public Relations Group
New CU Realty Services eBook Urges: “Be Members’
Offering help and resources from start of home-buying process boosts purchase mortgages
Real Estate Advocate.”
August 26, 2015 – Through its HomeAdvantage™ program, CU Realty Services is offering a new eBook: Engaging Home Buyers through Real Estate Advocacy. The eBook describes gaps in consumers’ knowledge about real estate transactions and mortgages, and gives tips to launch an effective advocacy program that closes those gaps and earns members’ mortgage business.
The timing is right for the eBook. While buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lifetimes, many aren’t prepared to make good decisions because they don’t understand mortgage terms or how the process works, according to studies by the National Association of REALTORS and others.
“What’s happening is that buyers aren’t receiving a lot of guidance so they don’t make informed decisions – yet, they are still signing on the dotted line,” said Mike Corn, President/ CEO of CU Realty Services. “For example, many people don’t understand fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, so they may end up with an adjustable loan even when rates are very low. Or they confuse pre-approved and pre-qualified. If no one helps them learn about credit and how to clean it up, it’s a bitter disappointment when they get turned down after months of house-hunting.”
Corn says only 7 percent of buyers even talk to a lender when they first start to look. “By the time your member is ready to take out a loan, he’s probably working with an agent who recommends a lender – one who may be more interested in earning the mortgage than delivering what’s best for the buyer.
The answer, according to CU Realty Services’ Marketing Director Tandy Vincent, is for credit unions to be positioned at the start of the buying process – before members select an agent or a loan.
“In the typical home buying lifecycle, buyers find a real estate agent in the second phase, when their home search gets serious. They don’t think about the mortgage until much later,” Vincent said. “Credit unions can disrupt the buying cycle by engaging members at the start of the process. Then they can become trusted partners for information and education on all aspects of buying a home.”
But, Vincent says, that requires adjusting one’s thinking. “The first question credit unions should ask is, ‘How would you like members to think about your credit union when they start looking for a home?’ You can be a lender, who simply helps them get a loan; or an advocate, who supports them with valuable tools, resources and knowledge from start to finish. This puts credit unions in position to win the member’s mortgage.”
Vincent says CU Realty Services recommends offering home-buying seminars or webinars; tips and articles about buying, selling and general homeownership; online access to search property listings; a network of preferred real estate agents; and even financial benefits, like a Cash Reward or other credits.
“Give them a reason to start with you, and then stay for financing,” she said.
Available as a free download, the eBook, Engaging Home Buyers through Real Estate Advocacy covers three key topics:
- What it means to be your members’ real estate advocate
- Why members need an advocate
- How to develop and implement a successful advocacy program
Corn says becoming members’ real estate advocate includes providing the education and support they need for the journey – from thinking about buying a house to financing the home of their dreams. “When credit unions advocate for their members from the very beginning, they can help members make smart decisions and earn their mortgage loan – a win-win.”
CU Realty Services’ HomeAdvantage™ program is a turnkey real estate service that empowers credit unions to connect with their members early in the home buying or selling process by helping them to search, buy, sell and save. To learn more, visit www.curealty.com.
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 homebuyers 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 CUSOs in 22 states. To learn how credit unions are becoming members’ first point of contact™, visit www.curealty.com
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