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ESPNs Berman to speak at CO-OP THINK conference.

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/23/12)--ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman will speak at the THINK 12 Conference.

THINK 12, produced annually by CO-OP Financial Services, will take place April 29- May 2.

This year, for the first time, the THINK conference will be held on the East Coast.

The featured speakers at THINK 12 will be focusing on the topics of cult brand, reinvention and creativity as means of addressing credit union industry issues.

Berman will be tackling cult brand, drawing on the corporate success of the ESPN cable television network.

Real estate channel can up mortgage volume

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (3/23/12)--CU Realty Service LLS , a credit union service organization has released a white paper: "A Credit Union's Guide to Increasing Purchase Mortgage Share Through Real Estate Services."

"With home prices and interest rates at extremely low levels, credit unions are well-positioned to capitalize on these conditions," said CU Realty Services Chief Executive Officer Mike Corn. "Yet, they continue to struggle to capture their share of the purchase mortgage market."

The paper highlights the challenges that members, credit unions and real estate agents face during the real estate transactions. Among the challenges credit unions face:
  • The credit union is not the buyer's first point of contact in the mortgage transaction;
  • The credit union does not have strong relationships with real estate agents;
  • The credit union does not have a real estate marketing channel;
  • Members don't think of the credit union as a place that offers mortgage services;
  • Members pre-qualified by the credit union often end up going to other lenders;
  • The credit union has limited means of saving money for a member on a transaction; and
  • The member chooses a lender before the credit union is aware of the need.
The paper highlights the concept of "first point of contact" within the real estate transaction. An overwhelming number of home buyers and sellers rely on their first point of contact, typically a real estate agent, for everything related to the transaction, and including securing the financing.

This works against credit unions, because agents tend to direct clients to their preferred lenders, according to the paper. One way to overcome this disadvantage is to create a network of real estate agents who understand and service member needs while protecting credit unions' mortgage interests. Doing so, credit unions can increase their mortgage volume by up to 40%, according to CU Realty Services.

CUAnswers teams with Fulvew to provide marketing videos

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (3/23/12)--CU*Answers, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based credit union service organization, has partnered with Fulvew Productions to provide a series of videos.

Credit unions can incorporate the series, which includes nine videos, into their marketing efforts at a fraction of the cost if they were to be developed independently, CU*Answers said. The videos can be customized to include a credit union's logo, Web address, or professional voice.

Multiple credit unions already use these videos for initiatives, such as linking to a credit union's website, internal lobby monitors, television advertising and YouTube, CU*Answers said.

Each video may be branded by Fulvew Productions to a specific credit union.

The video series is designed to help credit unions better connect with their members and to be even more recognized within their communities, CU*Answers said.

In another partnership, CU*Answers will offer MoneyDeskTop's personal financial management tool. Credit union members can access the tool when using the It's Me 247 Online Banking system. Users will see a "MoneyDesktop," which will provide a direct link to the MoneyDesktop website.