With the first quarter now recorded in the history books, the summer months are quickly approaching. Much like the population beginning to exchange their bulky winter clothing for lighter summer attire, one Oklahoma credit union has been changing its mortgage program to focus on purchase money lending. WEOKIE Credit Union shed its refinance attire earlier than most, anticipating the climactic change that now accounts for more than 50% of its mortgage business on a monthly basis.
"We've gotten a great number of comments on how much easier our mortgage process is, as compared to every other lender," commented Doyle Province, Vice President of mortgage lending at the $405 million WEOKIE Credit Union. "It's always a pleasure to hear from our members that they appreciate our service. In some ways, it's even better to hear those same type of comments from others that influence a member's choice of mortgage lender," he continued.
In the most recent four-month period, WEOKIE Credit Union has far exceeded the Prime Alliance client-based purchase money business average, and in some instances by more than ten percentage points. With purchase money lending successes in January '04 through April '04 of 57%, 50%, 46%, and 49%, respectively. Since implementing Prime Alliance's mortgage lending solution in November 2003, the credit union has come to be known as the mortgage lender in the community that provides the best overall home financing experience. "Even the biggest lenders don't come close as their on-line solutions provide just enough information to get the customer to contact them directly. WEOKIE Credit Union provides a loan decision, an approval letter, and disclosures at the time of application," continued Province. "Members know their loan will close on time," he added.
Member word-of-mouth is often the most powerful and effective advertising an organization can employ. In mortgage lending, though, many individuals and organizations have the opportunity to influence a member's choice of lending. The new process that impresses WEOKIE's members has financial planners, CPAs, title companies, and Realtors in the area all taking notice too. "We've cultivated these relationships carefully," explained Province, "attending the Board of Realtors meetings, contacting mortgage bankers, and attending other meetings helps us spread the word about our capabilities. We follow up these relationship-building activities with solid results. Consequently, WEOKIE's purchase-money lending business will continue to grow in the months and years to come," concluded Province.
As warmer weather settles in, members will be looking to change out of their current homes as they opt for something new. Rates, although slightly higher than they have been recently, remain at historical lows. It's also becoming clearer that service matters to everyone involved in the homeownership event, just ask Doyle Province.