The real estate market has seen its fair share of volatility over the years. How can we forget the height of the housing crisis in 2008 and 2009?
With historic interest rates at an all-time low and a strong demand for housing, credit unions are well positioned, and on the fast track for increased mortgage lending in 2016 and into 2017. According to the NCUA’s first quarter report, credit unions grew mortgage lending a “healthy 10.4% to $327.9 billion” in the first three months alone.
So, what makes 2016 the year for mortgage lending? Perhaps we should be asking, what is the key to credit unions’ success in an area so prone to ups and downs?
It’s all about using an integrated marketing program to connect and communicate with members. Let’s remember that at the basis of every department — indirect, direct, mortgage, or consumer — is a credit union member with wants and needs that must be met. Credit unions must ensure they are doing enough to stay relevant with members, both prospective and current. Offering the right mix of products and services is significant.
In regards to mortgage lending, the use of timely and intelligent communication is the difference to greater efficiency, improved member engagement, and increased loan growth.
Moving From ‘Directly Asking’ To Positive Member Communications
In today’s competitive marketplace, incorporating marketing automation offers personalized messaging targeted to more members, with the opportunity to increase the rate of acceptance. When it comes to increasing pull-through of TBD or pre-approved prospects, timely marketing alleviates the need for a loan officer to call a member or respond to 75-80 calls a day inquiring a loan status, as with the case for Credit Union of America ($702.3M, Wichita, KS).
The conversation needed to go from “what we directly ask from the member, to positive communication informing each member, listing, and selling agent of what was going on,” according to Glenda Burkett, CUA’s vice president of marketing.
“Our members were accustomed to going online to check for the status [of their loan],” adds Ernest J. Warren, the Kansas credit union’s real estate lending manager. “But the message was never clear.”
To deliver a clear message, effectively connect with members, and improve pull-through of applications, CUA turned to Intuvo.
The More The Member Knows, The Better Loan Pull-Through
Confusion and doubt became a thing of the past with Intuvo’s personalized messaging delivered at the right time to members. Instead of one-off emails or a call here and there from a loan officer, CUA members receive timely, automated communications they can take comfort in. They can glance at every step of the process with easy-to-follow check marks. There’s beneficial dialogue among all parties.
“Members have been able to relay confidence in the process knowing that their application is moving forward,” Warren says.
Prior to Intuvo, CUA experienced a 31% pull-through, and now with a little extra momentum, has seen a 52% pull-through in just three months. Loans are going from zero to 60, call volume has been reduced by half to 30-35 calls a day, and the credit union is experiencing greater staff efficiencies.
Over the past six months, CUA‘s contact with its 60,000-plus members and real estate partners has been well articulated. Applications are moving forward faster and easier.
“Many times when you are working with a third-party vendor, you really have to explain your business,” Burkett says. “But Intuvo knows the business. They can guide us through an idea we’re not sure about from start to finish.”
Learn more about INTUVO at www.cudirect.com/intuvo.