Changing The Game when The Game Changes

A group of credit unions has a new way of looking at mortgage lending. This novel approach plays directly to what members want: a home.


Abrupt. That’s probably the best and most concise definition of how mortgage markets change. One-day members are refinancing home loans with abandon. The next day rates move, refinancing stops, lending slows to a crawl. Savvy lenders anticipate these about-faces with game plans that move them swiftly into purchase-money lending. Terribly creative lenders go further afield, positioning their lending programs in entirely new ways.

In what possible way, you might be wondering, could mortgage lending be changed so that members take notice even when rates are rising? By not leading with mortgage loans, that’s how. A group of credit unions is doing exactly that, emphasizing the home-buying/selling event rather than their mortgage programs. This game-changer, while unexpected by members, plays directly to what members want: a home. Then it offers them what they need to buy their home: a mortgage. Furthermore, by helping members with their home buying/selling transactions, these credit unions are increasing their purchase-money mortgage loans.

That’s the reason Prime Alliance Solutions, Inc., and Prudential Northwest Realty, LLC, formed Prime Alliance Real Estate Services, LLC, last August. The goal is a credit union-style real estate experience: get to know the member, take time to learn their housing hopes and needs, match them with the Real Estate Agent best-suited to their situation, monitor their housing transaction through closing, and then see them happily move into their new home.

The psychology behind this innovative program is simple; offer members personal assistance from an organization they trust concerning a transaction few understand. A majority of Credit Union Members will engage in a real estate transaction only a couple times in their lives. By having a couple real estate transactions spaced out over the course of a lifetime, the process remains foreign. Meaning that, between purchases or sales, the specific processes and intricacies are forgotten, not to mention that the documents and requirements have undoubtedly changed. Yet, as foreign as this process becomes, real estate transactions still represent a major financial and emotional experience.

Enlisting the help of a ‘qualified’ Real Estate Agent makes this enormous process much simpler. However, finding a ‘qualified’ Real Estate Agent could present another hurdle your members will encounter. A real estate transaction combines the efforts of numerous individuals from potentially numerous different organizations; all trying to get to collectively make your transaction successful.

The Real Estate Services Program compliments credit union mortgage lending so perfectly. Members buying a home need a mortgage. Most members that are selling homes become buyers who need a mortgage. Many credit unions have refined their mortgage lending experience, removing the guesswork and stress from the financial transaction members dread most. In addition to providing members with a high-degree of comfort, it’s helped these credit unions build a solid reputation within the Real Estate community as lenders that exceed expectations.

As the Real Estate Services Program surges into its second year with a full head of steam, trends are developing. “Best home purchase I’ve ever been through, ” and, “this was a stress free experience that didn’t cost me anything, plus I received a rebate after closing,” are just a few comments from our satisfied members. Remarkably, members are beginning to think about their credit union as an organization that can help them with their home buying and/or selling transactions. As the mortgage game continues to shift, members are beginning to enter the Real Estate Services Program directly rather than entering the program through the mortgage department. This resounding member appreciation that floods in our door daily serves as a constant reminder of just how quickly this year old Program is emerging as a cornerstone in our purchase mortgage lending operation.



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, please contact our Callahan Media team at or 1-800-446-7453.


July 26, 2004


  • Service, Service, Service - it's that simple and the credit unions have always made it their priority to provide members with the's to their best interet to do so...and don't have to spend the members money on advertising it on TV...its a great idea!