Consumer confidence is the highest it has been in seven years, reports USA Today in a piece published October 29. According to the director of economic indicators for the Conference Board, the nonprofit that monitors consumer confidence, consumers are feeling better about the short-term outlook for the economy, the labor market, and their future earnings all good signs for spending.
Although spring is the traditional hunting season for housing, this pickup in confidence combined with sustained low rates for the U.S. Treasury 10-year note means consumers will be ready to spot good deals. So how can credit unions position themselves to make gains in mortgage market share? By turning real estate agents into credit union advocates.
That’s what this week on CreditUnions.com is dedicated to.
A real estate agent’s backing can be a powerful thing. And although creating and maintaining relationships with agents can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be. The first step lies in building awareness and becoming a go-to lender. For example, Ent FCU has tied awareness efforts into agent education. The Colorado credit union sponsors real estate agent continuing education classes, which puts it in front of dozens of local agents and gives Ent the opportunity to demonstrate how it can help them improve their business. Learn more in Grab The Attention Of Your Local Real Estate Agents.
When Wells Fargo began dissolving partnerships with real estate agencies on Long Island,NY, Bethpage Federal Credit Union stepped in to fill vacant desks. Its strategy of posting loan officers in approximately a dozen real estate offices with plans to double that number soon has helped it shift its portfolio from predominately refis to 50-50 purchases and refis, according to Michelle Dean, senior vice president of lending and investment services. Read more today.
Florida-based Space Coast Credit Union leaves nothing to chance when it comes to mortgage leads. It knows finding the right home is a complex undertaking for consumers that requires many pieces of information to make a good decision. Yet all too often, buyers overlook two trustworthy sources for assistance: their neighborhood financial institution and the insights of other shoppers. That’s why SCCU has spent more than a year aggregating real estate agent ratings, which along with reviews for all its products and services it hosts on a subsection of its homepage. The effort has helped the credit union post a 24.1% annual increase in fixed-rate first mortgages as a percentage of total assets. See what practices might work for you in The One-Stop Home-Buying Shop.
Finally, and back by popular demand 4 States; 4 Realtor Associations; 4 Questions (part 2). Last year, four real estate agents representing state realtor associations from across the country offered their input on the lay of the land and how credit unions could capture more market share. Here, four agents from Vermont, Iowa, Rhode Island, and North Carolina states that rank among the top 10 for highest credit union mortgage market share provide more tips and predictions for 2015.