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Credit Union Members Reap Benefits from In-House Real Estate Services

Credit Union Members Reap Benefits from In-House Real Estate Services By Gina Ragusa
Published May 2, 2011
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In an effort to save members’ time and money, credit unions are adding a full service real estate program to their smorgasbord of offerings. From start to finish members can turn to their credit union to initialize buying and selling transactions then walk over to the mortgage department to pursue financing. Beginning this week Texas Dow Employees Credit Union locations will offer real estate services through Birdsong Realty. In a statement from Edward Speed, CEO of TDECU, “Over the last 18 years, Ed Birdsong and his team have built Birdsong Real Estate into the single largest local real estate firm in Lake Jackson, commanding an impressive 25% of the market of single-family residential real estate transactions.” The $1.6 billion Texas credit union may be seeing additional business as members take advantage of Birdsong’s market footprint power.

One Realtor’s Perspective

According to Tennessee Realtor Hunter Nash, working with a credit union is a win-win venture. “One of the biggest advantages is that credit unions are one of the few lenders who will help borrowers actively pursue FHA lending. Credit unions are strong and like to see their members achieve their dream of home ownership.” Nash explains that he recently partnered with Family Advantage Federal Credit Union and since then has become a fan. “People don’t know the true benefits of becoming a member. In fact many people don’t realize that they are eligible for membership, but we want to change that through marketing efforts this summer.” In line with the credit union philosophy, Nash has discounted his rates for sellers and works closely with buyers to secure a home. “Buyers don’t have to pay a penny for my services, plus once we’ve found their property, they can immediately start working with the credit union to pursue a mortgage.” Nash recalls a recent member sale where he worked with a young couple that entered the buying process with a credit union pre-approval that worked to their advantage. “We went through 200 listings and a dozen showings. They finally found a home worth $190,000. They ended up paying $140,000 and because the seller felt confident thanks to their credit union pre-approval, paid their closing costs.” “The whole reason I teamed up with a credit union is because it helps with the mortgage side.” He says that a real estate transaction is worthless if the buyer can’t secure financing and working with a credit union really helps.

Credit Unions Across the Country Are Adding Real Estate Services

Kirtland Federal Credit Union (New Mexico) also added an organized realtor program this year through CU Realty. Dan Sandweiss, VP/Marketing says that the credit union has offered real estate services for years, but recently re-vamped the program. “We have used these services over the past several years, but last year we stopped to re-group and get a better understanding of our needs and our ability to support such a program. We started again this year, collaborating with CU Realty. We felt it would benefit our members to offer a ‘turnkey’ program through which they can buy, sell and finance homes.” Sandweiss says that the program offers well-rounded benefits for members. “Members and prospects can meet all of their home buying and selling needs at KFCU.” Broken down, Sandweiss lists the direct benefits:
  • Education on the ins-and-outs of real estate
  • A direct connection to qualified realtors
  • Earning thousands in rebates for using CU Realty Realtors
  • Access to loan officers with great expertise in financing homes
  • Loans meeting any purchase need at low rates with low fees
  • Local loan servicing

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