April 1, 2015 – CU Realty Services continues to see the need for turnkey real estate solutions in the credit union community, as evidenced by its growing client list. The real estate services CUSO implemented 19 new credit unions in 2013 and an additional 19 in 2014, including IBM Southeast Federal Credit Union in Boca Raton, Fla.; Patelco Credit Union in Pleasanton, Calif.; and Wings Financial Credit Union in Apple Valley, Minn.
“Competition is increasing for home buyers’ mindshare, and credit unions are finding it important to get in front of home-buying members sooner if they want to earn their mortgage business,” said Mike Corn, President/CEO of CU Realty Services. “The best way to do that is to expand beyond the role of just a lender and provide members with the support they need to make informed decisions before they begin the search process.”
CU Realty’s HomeAdvantage™ program enables credit unions to make that shift. The registration-based program empowers credit unions with the tools and resources they need to attract and engage home buying members early, and close more loans. Features include online property listings, a network of experienced Realtors, and a Cash Reward at closing.
“The goal is to earn that buyer’s First Point of Contact,” said Corn. “Whoever gets to the buyer first, earns a very influential role in the choices that buyer makes – especially in lending. And our program helps credit unions get there.”
The concept is paying off. According to Barry Stricklin, SVP of Lending at Tower Federal Credit Union, “When a member uses HomeAdvantage to purchase a home, we capture that purchase mortgage transaction 70 percent of the time. I don't have any other channels that even come close to that success rate.”
Credit unions are not the only beneficiary of HomeAdvantage. When members use a preferred Realtor in the HomeAdvantage network to buy or sell their homes, they earn a Cash Reward that can be applied to closing costs or taken as cash. The average Cash Reward is $1,500 per transaction.
In 2014, CU Realty put a collective $3.5 million back in members’ pockets via this Cash Reward representing a 26 percent increase over Cash Rewards given in 2013. “The Cash Reward isn’t the only reason why members use the program, but it’s certainly a big financial benefit,” says Corn. “We have many partners who have helped save hundreds of thousands of their members’ dollars.”
The top five credit unions’ Cash Reward totals for 2014 include the following:
- Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union (Washington, D.C.): $400,069
- Northwest Federal Credit Union (Herndon, Va.): $340,549
- Wright-Patt Credit Union (Fairborn, Ohio): $238,799
- Baxter Credit Union (Vernon Hills, Ill.): $213,225
- Partners Federal Credit Union (Burbank, Calif.): $193,250
Since the CUSO’s founding in 2001, CU Realty has paid $12,181,874.20 in Cash Rewards to credit union members. 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. For more information, call Tina Powers, (800) 203-9014 ext. 104, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or visit www.curealty.com