SPIRE Credit Union Makes Real Estate Services a Top Priority and Fills Purchase Mortgage Pipeline

HomeAdvantage from CU Realty Services is the foundational component of SPIRE Credit Union’s new comprehensive real estate program

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 11, 2017—Twin Cities’, Minnesota-based SPIRE Credit Union set a goal in 2017 to expand their existing mortgage program into a full-service real estate solution. The $907 million credit union saw an opportunity to fully serve its home buying and selling members by adding in-house loan servicing and pairing that with HomeAdvantage®, a turnkey real estate program from CU Realty Services—the largest real estate CUSO in the U.S.

The HomeAdvantage program offers members a one-stop home buying experience and allows SPIRE to identify and support members who are considering a purchase decision but have not yet fully committed to the process. Members visit the HomeAdvantage site to search for homes, set up property alerts, and connect with qualified, local real estate agents. Members who buy or sell their home using an agent in the program qualify to earn Cash Rewards at closing, an average of $1,550 in savings per transaction.

SPIRE is rolling out their new plan in phases—offering the HomeAdvantage program now and transitioning to loan servicing later. The CU has already seen benefits. Within just five months of starting the program, HomeAdvantage helped SPIRE Credit Union:

 

  • Identify more than 590 members who are considering buying or selling
  • Engage with 282 prospective buyers not yet pre-qualified for a loan (124 describe themselves as buyers purchasing in 6 months or less)
  • Close 10 mortgages
“The success we’ve seen so far has been awesome,” said Robin Grimes, assistant vice president at SPIRE. “I’m feeling really excited about HomeAdvantage and its success. With my experience at other credit unions, and also with HomeAdvantage, I know that creating this kind of turnkey program in-house would be too difficult.”
SPIRE’s strategy is smart. Launching the HomeAdvantage program first—a step that is attracting more business into their mortgage pipeline—provides time for the mortgage team to adjust to higher volumes before taking on the servicing aspects. SPIRE predicts that the full program will be operating by the end of 2017.

Looking at the bigger picture, SPIRE expects that making real estate services a top priority will pay off with a lift in member loyalty and peace of mind. “We’ve been originating loans and selling them off,” said Grimes. “But we’ve found that our members just really want to do business with SPIRE and are disappointed when they find out their mortgage will get sold.”

According to Grimes, HomeAdvantage, as the foundational component of the much larger goal, is paving the way to success. “It’s super exciting to launch with HomeAdvantage at the start of our process, instead of waiting until the end. One of our core missions is to improve our members’ financial well-being and this partnership with HomeAdvantage helps us do that.”

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 mortgage CUSOs nationwide to offer its turnkey real estate program, HomeAdvantage. Through the program, credit union members can search for homes, research neighborhoods, calculate costs of homeownership, connect to experienced real estate agents, and earn HomeAdvantage Cash Rewards. By offering this program to members, credit unions are able to attract, identify and engage more home buyers, and consequently close more loans. To learn more, visit www.curealty.com.

About SPIRE Credit Union

SPIRE Credit Union has been serving Minnesota and Wisconsin residents since 1934, and is a full-service financial institution committed to providing products and services for both personal and business members. SPIRE has 16 branches across the metro and throughout northern Minnesota. To learn more, visit www.myspire.com.

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"We have been exceptionally pleased with the partnership with CU Realty. Participating in the program has assisted us with mortgage lead generation, and the relationships built with the CU Realty agents have proved to be invaluable, bringing awareness about the program to our members through the CU Realty events. Our members love the program and have saved over $46,000 in cash rewards since its inception."

Ron Collier
President & CEO
Indiana Members Credit Union
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