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way to evaluate business options is to issue a request for proposal
and then examine the different options either with a consultant
or alone. The exercise of due diligence becomes more crucial if
a credit union seeks a true partner.
Getting behind the data of the proposal and looking at the business
partner first hand is required. Who runs the organization? What
is their background? How did they "learn the business?"
What is the firm's financial picture? Who are their key partners?
How is their technology managed? What is their strategic planning
process and direction?
to learn about the organization is crucial. A team of credit union
managers should be involved because the impact of any true partnership
will be felt across the organization. Evaluating the fit and culture
of a prospective partner is a judgement that cannot be reduced to
spread sheets and product descriptions.
should be used when choosing any kind of partner, including a real
estate partner. As a credit union, you may ask yourself, why do
I need a real estate partner? What should I look for in a real estate
partner? What kinds of questions should ask prospective partners?
What are the benefits for my credit union and members?
One reason why
credit unions should choose real estate partners is because of money-the
rebate their members receive from the partner. This is a big attraction
when people are looking to buy or sell homes and can make the difference
between your mortgage department getting the mortgage or having
the client go elsewhere. A real estate partnership can embrace the
goals of your credit union mortgage department by supporting the
member and encouraging the pre-qualification that their credit union
mortgage counselors are ready and willing to do. The right real
estate partnership is a benefit to the members and supports the
production goals of the mortgage department.
should ask potential real estate partners:
are two-way. Both parties should work toward creating a relationship
that will help them reach their goals. Be prepared for the partner
to ask questions of the credit union and set parameters on the relationship
also. The partner should be clear about the directions he or she
hopes the two organizations can go together.
The way in which
these relationships are developed and the commitments expected must
be explicit. Credit unions often sign up for a service with high
involvement, but after the newness wears off, settle into a "users"
role not devoting the energy and time agreed to up front. To avoid
these kind of difficulties, be sure to ask the right questions so
your partner will know exactly what is expected of them and you'll
know exactly what is expected of you.
article is a paid advertisement by Smart Move and should not be
read as an endorsement by Callahan & Associates/CreditUnions.com.
This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.
If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-446-7453.
August 7, 2000
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