The 2,700-member Vermont VA Federal Credit Union has turned a more or less permanent evergreen tree in its lobby into a mortgage marketing vehicle.
The tree had been first introduced into the lobby of the $21 million CU as a Christmas tree but then became a vehicle for celebrating other holidays such as Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Memorial Day.
To promote its mortgage program, which it offers through a relationship with CU Members Mortgage, the credit union in White River Mountain, Vt., hung wooden houses from the tree to prompt member questions.
CEO Sandi White said the effort has drawn significant attention and applications from members.
“Because of this tree we have had more activity with our mortgage products then we’ve ever had,” White said. “So we’ve certainly gotten their attention with this tree, as it leads members to ask about our lending products at the teller window. This inquiry presents the opportunity for the member to apply for a home loan, which is great for both parties. Now, because of the tree, our members are tuned in to knowing that we do all types of lending.”