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CU Realty focuses on first contact education
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (2/2/12)--CU Realty Services has hired Margaret J. Blankers Public Relations Group to educate credit unions on the benefits of serving as the first point of contact for members buying or selling a home.

"Being involved in the process from the beginning both strengthens member relationships and creates a new channel for credit unions to grow their mortgage loan portfolios," said Mike Corn, CU Realty CEO.

"It's well-documented that better than 80% of homebuyers stay with the first Realtor they meet, often asking that agent for help finding a loan. By providing the tools for credit unions to participate in the process before an agent is chosen, they become valuable partners," Corn said.

CU Realty said its real estate program connects members with a network of pre-screened realtors who have received training on credit union philosophy. The agents are trained to assist members with researching neighborhoods and homes, and then guide them back to the credit union for financing.

Typically, credit unions only become involved when a member needs a mortgage, Corn said. Positioning themselves as the first point of contact is a new approach for credit unions, and Corn said he believes improving communication on that process can help credit unions grow their mortgage business.

"Many of the challenges in growing mortgage volumes are because credit unions and agents traditionally work in silos," he said. "They represent different companies, have different tracks with buyers and little opportunity to collaborate. But growth isn't going to happen organically; credit unions are going to have to take proactive steps. "

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