LAS VEGAS — Randy Smith, co-founder of CUinsight.com, urged credit unions to expand and personalize their use of social media to improve and better market their mortgage lending and move past merely listing interest rates on different loans on their websites.
“People don't particularly care or relate to interest rates,” Smith said. “They don't really understand different loan types. They care about stories, both yours and theirs.”
Smith spoke to executives attending the American Credit Union Mortgage Association's annual meeting this week in Las Vegas.
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Smith urged credit unions to make sure as many of their staff as possible use social media and that they share content about the credit union and, when appropriate, its members.
He recounted the story of a credit union executive who had come to know a member through social media. The member who, it turned out, was one of the executive's neighbors.
The member had finally purchased a second-hand truck he had needed for his business for some time. He hadn't financed it through the credit union and didn't know much about the loan, focusing instead on the fact that the monthly payment had come in under his monthly budget.
But because he had come to know the credit union executive, he had shared his loan documents with her and she was able to tell him he was paying a very high rate for the loan and that the credit union could do better and lower his payments even further.
The member wasn't focused on rates or types of loan, Smith pointed out. He was focused on the truck and what he needed it to do. It was the trust built through social media that gave the credit union the opportunity to finance the vehicle.
What social media allows credit unions to do is build communities and relationships that, in turn, provide the platforms and networks for the delivery of products and services its members need, he said.