Letter: Mortgage Growth Timing Is Now
Kudos to Callahan & Associates for acknowledging credit unions’ first-quarter record 8% U.S. mortgage market share and challenging the industry to increase that share even more, as outlined in the page 3 article in the Aug. 15 issue, “Leaders Call for a Push For More CU Market Share.” Indeed, with fewer lenders now offering mortgages and near-record low interest rates for consumers, it’s optimal timing for credit unions to launch or grow housing finance programs.
Like those cited in the article, I agree that today’s credit unions should more actively pursue mortgages and also believe in the benefits of working with CUSOs and other third parties to help get credit union programs off the ground. Whether they assist with underwriting, add expertise to supplement staff abilities or provide innovative marketing methods, support from credit union CUSO partners can the fill gaps in mortgage programs.
One way we’ve seen credit unions successfully enhance their mortgage business is by developing relationships with their local real estate agents. When buying or selling a home, most consumers contact a real estate agent early on for recommendations for other related services, such as lenders or insurance providers. Credit unions that have built relationships with Realtors can greatly benefit from these recommendations.
I’m sure there are others with ideas to share that can help the industry grow its mortgage market share, as the current home lending environment offers a good opportunity to meet consumers’ financing needs. And with others still pulling back on mortgages, no one is better positioned to do that than credit unions.
Chief Operating Officer
CU Realty Services LLC