USE Credit Union Opts for CU Realty’s HomeAdvantage™ Program, Cites Robust Features to Enhance Members’ Experience
Scottsdale, Ariz. Oct. 21, 2015 – USE Credit Union (USECU) in San Diego, Calif., has begun offering members the CU Realty Services HomeAdvantage real estate program. HomeAdvantage makes it easy for buyers to locate and compare available houses, research schools and communities, find experienced real estate agents and save money at closing. Further, members registered for the program receive notices when a home in a given area goes on the market.
According to Donald Coleman, USE Credit Union’s Vice President of Real Estate Experience, HomeAdvantage’s variety of features attracted the credit union’s attention. Initially, the $811 million Credit Union had created its own real estate network, but decided this didn’t meet the service level members needed and expected.
“We’re committed to helping members become homeowners, so we wanted to refer them to agents we know and trust,” he said. “When we tried to set up our own program, we didn’t have the software to search MLS listings and research neighborhoods. And we were missing the reporting necessary to help identify and nurture members who are interested in buying a home.”
In the first three months of offering the program, 12 percent of USECU’s members targeted for the service registered with HomeAdvantage. Of those, 19 percent requested a referral to an agent and 21 percent of those referrals closed a mortgage loan with the Credit Union.
Coleman says the service is a hit with members. “The savings on closing costs really gets members’ attention,” he said. “But they especially enjoy being able to research properties in the comfort of their own homes, and at their own pace, whenever they want to.”
Along with online search tools and a network of agents who understand credit unions’ “members first” philosophy, HomeAdvantage provides reports to the credit union when a member registers for the service and at various points throughout the home-buying process. When members use one of the real estate agents in the HomeAdvantage program to buy or sell their homes, they receive a Cash Reward averaging, about $1,500 per transaction.
The 2014 survey by the National Association of Realtors, found that nearly half of all home buyers turn to the Internet when they begin to search for homes and CU Realty’s President/CEO, Mike Corn, says this statistic is worth noting.
“Buyers and sellers need information on homes, prices, types of mortgages and other aspects of navigating the real estate process, and it’s a good fit for credit unions to be ready to help them,” Corn said. “Offering assistance from the beginning of the buying process positions the credit union as a trusted advisor, making it more likely the member will turn to it for a home loan.”
Coleman says providing real estate education and advice is important to USECU. “For us, it’s always about our members,” he said. “Our number-one goal is to provide value-added services, and we have had nothing but positive comments about the quality of the agents in the HomeAdvantage network.”
CU Realty Services partners with hundreds of credit unions and mortgage CUSOs in 22 states. To learn how credit unions are becoming members’ first point of contact™, visit www.curealty.com.
About USE Credit Union
USE Credit Union (USECU) is San Diego County’s fifth largest credit union with over $811 million in assets. Founded in 1936 to serve the California State Division of Highways, USECU is a not-for-profit financial institution that serves nearly 43,000 members and their families, many of whom are students, faculty or staff at one of California’s many colleges and universities, including UC San Diego, San Diego State University, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. USECU also has a decades-long relationship with many of California’s leading state agencies, including Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, and others, serving thousands of employees from those agencies as well. More information is available at www.usecu.org. Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.
About CU Realty Services, LLC
CU Realty Services provides real estate services to credit unions across the nation, helping them increase their purchase mortgage business. Launched in 2001, the CUSO has worked with more than 100 credit unions and thousands of their members. CU Realty’s range of web-based tools helps homebuyers find homes, research neighborhoods, calculate costs, connect to experienced real estate agents, and earn a Cash Reward. By offering this program to members, credit unions are able to achieve significant increases in their purchase mortgage business.