What does it take to be a successful mortgage lender? Pose this
question to ten lenders and you are bound to get ten, or twelve,
different answers. Some will say service is king. Others will agree,
but add that price is important. Another theory will argue it's
all about product. Then there is the thought that it takes size
and scale to thrive in this terribly competitive business.
My mortgage team and I were treated to an evening out by
our title company, their way of saying thanks for making their business
easier during last summer's tsunami of a refinance wave, said
Tonya Coon, Vice President of Real Estate of MidWest Financial Credit
Union in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During the evening, one of our
members toasted the credit union, thanking us for how easily we
handled his mortgage, and for saving his family and him a tremendous
amount of money. This particular member appreciated the way we handled
his mortgage so much, that he returned for his auto loan a few months
later, added Coon. Member testimonials this powerful demonstrate
that service is the key ingredient to being a successful credit
union mortgage lender.
We approved loans, mortgage loans, in as little as five minutes
during the crest of the refinance wave, said Daniel Milbrandt,
Senior Vice President of Blackhawk Credit Union in Janesville, Wisconsin.
The other lenders in town were taking much longer, in fact,
upwards of several weeks to a month. Word about the
high level of service we provide, and how simple we've made home
financing is spreading throughout our community. Accordingly, a
good percentage of our members think of their credit union first
when they need a mortgage loan continued Milbrandt.
When you ask Coon and Milbrandt what it takes to be successful,
they'll tell you that size has nothing to do with it. MidWest Financial
has lent over $81 million for first mortgage loans this year. Their
credit union size: $145 million. Blackhawk's story is similar, $76
million in first mortgage loans through the first six months of
this year. Their asset size: $248 million. These two credit
unions are proving something we've thought for quite some time,
claims Joe Brancucci, President and CEO of Prime Alliance Solutions,
Inc. A passion for helping members realize their dreams of
homeownership is what really matters. When we measure success by
the number of members served, Blackhawk and MidWest Financial are
two of our best, concluded Brancucci.
Milbrandt and Coon agree that passion drives each of them and their
credit unions to provide members with the best possible mortgage
lending experience. A favorite member comment heard amongst the
staff at MidWest Financial is, That's all there is to it,
I'm approved? Coon adds, At first it was hard for us
to believe too. Yet the news is spreading among our members and
through the Realtor community that MidWest Financial provides a
level of service unequalled in our area, and our competition are
the largest banks in Michigan.
So, who's really right? No one's really wrong, although these two
Midwestern credit unions prove service is king, and that size may
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