Real Estate Services and Word of Mouth Spark Purchase Mortgages at IBM Southeast Employees’ FCU

CU Realty Service’s HomeAdvantage™ program adds value to membership

Scottsdale, Ariz. (Sept. 12, 2014) – In May, Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM Southeast Employees’ Federal Credit Union (IBM SE FCU) launched CU Realty Services’ HomeAdvantage Program, and it’s receiving favorable reviews from members, according to Mark Skinner, Senior Director of Real Estate Lending.

“We’ve already seen a lot of members sign up,” Skinner said. “They are really showing an interest. And because people are telling their friends and coworkers how pleased they are with the program, registrations are accelerating.”

After a soft-launch in May, the $866-million IBM SE FCU has registered almost 200 members for HomeAdvantage – 96 in just the first two weeks of August. And of those, 79 want to buy houses. Further, 74 of those were not yet pre-qualified, making them good mortgage loan prospects for the Credit Union.

HomeAdvantage gives members access to online property listings, allows them to research schools and neighborhoods, and connects them with knowledgeable, approved Realtors – right from the credit union’s website.

“Offering buyers help to begin their home search attracts members to the credit union’s website and opens the door to talk about financing options,” said Mike Corn, President/CEO of CU Realty Services. “That not only means higher purchase mortgage volumes and membership growth, but it also leads to a stronger, more enduring relationship with the member.”

Along with online tools and connecting with experienced Realtors, Corn says HomeAdvantage allows members who use a network agent to save up to 20 percent on real estate commissions when they buy or sell a home – an average of $1,545 per buyer.

And that, combined with HomeAdvantage’s other benefits, is getting members to talk about the program, says Skinner. “Members’ word-of-mouth endorsements are fostering growth,” he said. “They’re telling their coworkers and friends, so we’re starting to see new faces join the Credit Union. We’re also receiving referrals from the real estate agents.”

Previously, IBM SE FCU had worked with another Realtor program which offered members discounted commissions but did not provide the comprehensive real estate services supplied with HomeAdvantage.

“Since we have branches in more than one state, we needed the widespread service that CU Realty provides,” said Skinner. “We have been impressed with the caliber of real estate agents in the network. They are experienced and knowledgeable – and they understand the credit union philosophy so they know how to work with us.”

Currently, CU Realty Services works with credit unions and mortgage CUSOs throughout the country, with a presence 22 states. 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 hundreds of 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 tina@curealty.com, or visit www.curealty.com or www.mycuhomeadvantage.com.