CU Realty Services Continues to Penetrate California Market; Adds Five New Credit Union Partners this Year
HomeAdvantage program will help CUs in Northern and Southern California exploit the hottest markets in the U.S.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., September 14, 2016—
Credit unions in California are sitting in the middle of a red-hot real estate market. In fact, half of the nation’s trendsetting markets are located in the Golden State
. CUs wanting to take advantage of the boom—and close more purchase mortgages—have turned to an innovative program that identifies members who may purchase a home, keeps them engaged and creates an opportunity for the CU to earn the member’s mortgage business. The program, called HomeAdvantage,™ is changing how CUs do purchase mortgages.
HomeAdvantage, a turnkey real estate program from CU Realty Services—the No. 1 real estate CUSO in the U.S.— allows credit unions to deliver the one-stop, home-buying experience today’s consumers want. When credit union members enroll in the program, they are able to search for homes using the program’s online property listings, research neighborhoods, get connected to an experienced real estate agent and earn a Cash Reward at closing.
The service allows credit unions to connect with members at the beginning of their home search—before they talk to a lender—and to stay engaged with the member until they are ready for a mortgage. The results are compelling: when members use an agent in the HomeAdvantage program to buy a new home, 80 percent of those loans stay with the credit union.
“HomeAdvantage gives credit unions a huge advantage, allowing them to help their members through their entire real estate transaction, from finding a home to financing it,” says Tandy Vincent, director of marketing at CU Realty Services. “When members become aware that their credit union offers this kind of, ‘easy button' for real estate, the credit union becomes their first stop and that’s critical to earning their business.”
As a result, CU Realty has seen explosive growth in California. During the first half of 2016, five CUs in the state signed up with HomeAdvantage:
- Kinecta Federal Credit Union (Los Angeles) - 286,000 members, $3.93B in assets
- SAFE Credit Union (Sacramento) - 194,000 members, $2.4B assets
- San Mateo Credit Union (Redwood City) - 82,000 members, $850M assets
- Yolo Federal Credit Union (Woodland) - 16,000 members, $250M assets
- CUSO Mortgage (Anaheim) - 800,000 members
“We looked a long time for the right program to offer our members because we wanted to provide them with a comprehensive buying experience; one that was as seamless as possible,” said Jason Sasena, Kinecta’s SVP of residential mortgage lending. “Buying a house is complicated when you factor in financing, finding a real estate agent and searching for the right home. The HomeAdvantage program encapsulates the process and makes buying or selling a lot easier.”
A total of 20 California-based credit unions and mortgage CUSOs are now using HomeAdvantage. Sacramento-based Schools Financial Credit Union rolled out the program in 2015 and experienced big wins right away.
“The program is particularly helpful for first-time home buyers. There’s a lot of personal attention. Loan officers and real estate agents help coach our members through the entire home process, from beginning to end,” said David Menker, Schools’ vice president of real estate lending. “I wasn’t expecting to have so much success in such a short amount of time. It’s very encouraging for us.”
While members report the one-on-one service they receive as the biggest benefit, they also appreciate the financial rewards. Members who use a real estate agent from the HomeAdvantage network earn a Cash Reward at closing, equal to 20 percent of the agent’s commission. From September 2015 through August 2016, credit union members using the HomeAdvantage program in California earned more than $700,000 in Cash Rewards.
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.
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