The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 29

A Built-In Market

One of the biggest advantages credit
unions have is that members already
trust their credit union more than an
unknown mortgage lending company or
big bank. That means marketing isn't a
heavy cost, as credit unions can draw on
the name recognition and members they
already have.

"We market through our website and our
branches with brochures and standup
boards and just by talking with members," says Patrick Zarifian, senior vice
president and chief lending officer at
California Credit Union. "With our
account-opening system, we'll ask members if they know we do mortgages and
whether they are interested."
Since merging with North Island Credit
Union in 2017, San Diego-based California Credit Union is putting more
emphasis on mortgage lending, with
an increase in production from $285
million in mortgages in 2018 to $507
million last year, Zarifian says. They also
have dedicated loan officers who establish relationships with real estate agents,
who in turn market to members.
Alliant, in the mortgage business for
more than 20 years, is in the process of
testing a new marketing tool related to
home loans. "We have a program we are
testing that will notify us if a member's
property is listed," Anderson says. "Then,
we could reach out to our members with
the opportunity to use our services."
Some credit unions also make use of
rewards programs. The Alliant Home

Rewards program pairs prospective
homebuyers with a local real estate
agent and a mortgage loan officer to act
as guides in the buying and selling of
their current home. The program will
give homebuyers a cash rebate of up
to $6,500 when they buy or sell, and up
to $13,000 if they buy and sell through
the program.

Seize the Day

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, this
year's economic forecast was robust, and
there was opportunity for credit unions
to increase their footprint in the home
finance market. The Mortgage Bankers
Association's 2020 Commercial Real
Estate Finance Outlook Survey predicted
that overall mortgage and lending would
increase in 2020, buoyed by low interest
rates, strong property markets and rising
property values. While the impact the
coronavirus will have on the market is

''

Buying a home should be an
exciting time in your life, not a
fearful, anxious time. We want
our members to relax and sleep
well at night, knowing we've got
their backs.

''

- BRANDY PHILLIPS, VICE PRESIDENT OF MORTGAGE LENDING,
TEXAS DOW EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION
THE NAFCU JOURNAL  MAY-JUNE 2020

unclear, several credit unions had prepared to take advantage.
"We've been building our mortgage
portfolio for more than 20 years, but
we're being a little more deliberate [this]
year because we want to continue to
grow," Phillips says. "We want to focus
on awareness, because many people still
don't think of credit unions for a mortgage. We want to let them know, not only
do we do them, but we're really good at
both meeting a buyer's traditional mortgage lending needs and helping those
with customized needs, like Lisa Trusty."
For example, Phillips says that, for
mortgage loans, TDECU has documents
out to title in 18 days or less 50 percent
of the time, something the credit union
highlights. "Our people and our processes differentiate us," she says.
Despite notable forward movement, the
fact remains that credit unions account
for less than 10 percent of U.S. first
mortgage originations. That leaves plenty
of room for growth. Credit unions have
not taken advantage of their trustworthy
reputations coming out of the Great
Recession of 2008 as they could have,
Anderson says. But it's not too late.
"Most mortgage companies were in it for
the money and didn't care what happened if the customer couldn't make the
payments, whereas credit unions came
29



The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020

The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover1
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover2
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 1
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 2
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 3
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 4
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 5
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 6
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 7
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 8
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 9
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 10
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 11
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 12
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 13
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 14
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 15
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 16
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 17
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 18
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 19
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 20
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 21
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 22
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 23
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 24
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 25
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 26
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 27
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 28
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 29
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 30
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 31
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 32
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 33
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 34
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 35
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 36
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 37
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 38
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 39
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 40
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 41
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 42
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 43
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 44
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover3
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover4
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