Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Oct 12, 2017 - Local market factors, including a low inventory of homes in a high-demand area, presented significant hurdles for the mortgage department at Merrimack Valley Credit Union. Because of the limited pool of home loan applicants and the fierce competition for their mortgage business, the CU sought a solution that would be a differential force in their tight market.
According to Peter J. Matthews Jr., president and CEO at Merrimack Valley, a new real estate network was at the top of the priority list. “Building relationships with real estate agents is essential for any CU if it hopes to lift mortgage closings.”
With a goal to connect with more agents and provide improved member services, the $600 million credit union implemented HomeAdvantageⓇ—a turnkey real estate program from CU Realty Services, the largest real estate CUSO in the U.S. “We saw HomeAdvantage as the perfect solution because it offered new tools to support and energize the good work our mortgage marketing team was already doing. Plus, it offered Cash Rewards to our members.”
The HomeAdvantage network of fully vetted real estate agents was very attractive. “We now have access to real estate agents and relationships we never had before. It takes resources and a certain expertise to find and properly vet these agents. The HomeAdvantage team did this for us.”
HomeAdvantage delivers an established and proven real estate agent network that requires very little intervention from the CU. In fact, agents now reach out to Merrimack Valley. “One thing that surprised us was that real estate agents WANT to be part of our program, and we now we have a waiting list of agents who want to work with us!”
But that’s not all. The program is a comprehensive marketing tool that is helping Merrimack Valley attract, identify and then engage with members who are likely to purchase or sell a home in the future. The nurturing component of HomeAdvantage is key to converting more purchase mortgages.
Within just five months of starting the program, more than 500 Merrimack Valley members registered to use the program. More than half of those were identified as buyers who were not yet prequalified!
The program is building a pipeline of buyers. “In the past, we were writing quite a few mortgages. But, now, with HomeAdvantage, we are confident that we are doing all we possibly can do. We’ve seen more closings because HomeAdvantage helps us attract home buyers early in their journey, before anyone else gets to them.”
The HomeAdvantage program gives members the one-stop, online home buying and selling experience that they want. They visit the HomeAdvantage site to search for homes, set up property alerts and connect with qualified, local real estate agents. “HomeAdvantage is a comprehensive program that allows our members to buy or sell on their own timeline using an online service, which is very important to any home buyer. When members find out that the services we offer are not offered by anyone else, they get excited.”
Members who buy or sell their home using an agent in the program qualify to earn Cash Rewards at closing, an average of $1,450 in savings per transaction. “The best feature, though, is the Cash Rewards. One young couple enrolled in HomeAdvantage, worked with one of the HomeAdvantage agents, closed in less than 40 days and got about $1,000 back. The process was seamless, and they are ywhiv so happy!”
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 Merrimack Valley Credit Union
Merrimack Valley Credit Union is a $600 million asset not-for-profit community credit union serving anyone who lives, works or worships in the Merrimack Valley region. MVCU offers a wide range of services to meet the financial needs of its members and has branch locations in Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen and North Andover, Mass., and Plaistow and Seabrook, N.H. To learn more about Merrimack Valley Credit Union, please visit www.mvcu.com.
CU Realty Services