Mortgage Opportunities During Life’s Big Moments
They are the times in life that you never forget – landing that first job, getting married, having a baby, entering retirement. And more often than not, these “big moment” events come alongside big financial decisions, such as taking on a mortgage. For credit unions, this creates big opportunities.
Your credit union is a “people” business – building relationships and engaging members is key to its success. So when it comes to knowing what’s going on in the lives of the buying public – such as if they are looking to buy a home – your credit union can be one-up on the competition. This is good news when it comes to growing your purchase-mortgage volumes.
Supported by research
A study by Forrester Research in 2011 looked at what drives adult financial purchases, findings that still hold true today: A purchase mortgage is the leading financial product most affected by life events, while moving and getting married are top drivers for those looking to take out a home loan.
The importance of internet was another primary finding by the Forrester survey … one that has continued to grow in significance. The study found 41 percent of respondents used the web to research financial products. That means credit union should be strong and active online. Today, the National Association of REALTORS® reports 43 percent of all homebuyers go online as their first step when buying a home, with 92 percent using the internet in some manner during their home-buying process.
Establish online presence
No doubt the Internet plays a major role in your efforts to grow purchase mortgage volumes among members that are experiencing significant life events. Whether it’s a newly married couple looking to build a family, a young adult getting started in his career, a family relocating from out of town or an individual planning her retirement, a mortgage loans may well be in their immediate future. Whether they purchase an existing home, build a new one or want to downsize, many will turn to the internet for useful information to help … and your credit union should be part of their process.
Start by strengthening your online presence by promoting your mortgage program prominently on the website’s homepage. Think mobile too, as more people access the web via smartphones and tablets. Look beyond just the mortgage – members will need information on homes for sale, neighborhoods, realtor referrals, mortgage calculators – be their “go to” resource. Add these elements to your website, along with competitive mortgage options, and then promote them using a variety of credit union communication channels. Consider partnerships with companies that can help power up your online presence with real estate-related features and benefits.
Prepare the front line
Some of your best resources to help identify members experiencing big moment events are your front-line employees. Consider them your eyes and ears of your credit union – they know your members, interact with them often and likely sense what’s going on in their lives.
Provide your staff with training to help them not only recognize when members might be having a life event, but to effectively engage them when they do. If a member is opening a youth savings account, is there a new baby in the family? Or if a member deposits a large sum into their checking account, are they preparing to make a big purchase, such as new home? Develop a process to collect and share this valuable information gleaned from your tellers and other member-facing staff.
Everyone encounters life’s “big moments” – your credit union members are no different. As their trusted financial partner, you are in a position to provide the new or additional financial services needed when these moments happen. Getting to know your members and engaging them in person or online can be the difference between ho-hum and big-deal mortgage success.
Mike Corn is CEO for CU Realty Services. He can be reached at 800-203-9014 or email@example.com.