Primed now for Houston expansion following its merger bid on the $80 million Bluebonnet CU, the $1.6 billion Texas Dow Employees Credit Union disclosed Thursday it is already making early listing and contract gains on its CUSO-linked purchase of a realty firm.
In outlining its broadened reach into mortgages, real estate and insurance, TDECU said it is relying on the CUSO framework and new management “firepower” to increase earnings as it provides new member services in untapped markets.
Apart from finalizing its proposed and long-awaited bid to gain entry into Houston through the Bluebonnet merger, TDECU said it also expects the transaction will dovetail nicely into its purchase two months ago of Birdsong Real Estate in TDECU’s hometown of Lake Jackson.
In its first week since the deal closed May 4, Birdsong, since renamed TDECU Real Estate LLC, has “already signed up just over $1 million in new listings, signed contracts for just under $1 million in new sales and closed our first sale in the second day of operation,” said Tim Belton, the CU’s director of diversified services.
In outlining plans for the CUSO, Ed Speed, president/CEO of 139,000-member TDECU, said the subsidiary can assist members “with selling or buying a home, providing the mortgage, the policy and the insurance” as in “one-stop shopping.”
As it moves toward central Houston, TDECU will start providing real estate member benefits in the suburbs of Pearland and Victoria, Belton said, adding that TDECU also expects to be offering its real estate package to other CUs,
“While banks and many credit unions are relying on fees, TDECU is going the path of acquiring or building CUSOs that bring added value to increase earnings, not charge fees or raising rates,” Speed said of his credit union’s overall strategy.
And he added, “even though we are over 110% loan to shares, we can’t gamble our future on interest income and keep hitting members with fees.”