In our more than 35 years of serving credit unions, we’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about what does and doesn’t work in reaching members about home loans.
We’ve seen some credit unions never market and their programs don’t ever go anywhere. And, we’ve seen programs sky rocket because they are doing everything right to reach their members to let them know what they have to offer.
Whether you are a seasoned team of marketing veterans pushing your brand or a department of one, here are the top ways you can reach your members about home loans.
Your website is your number one medium to talk to the public about your brand. The best way to bring in more mortgage leads is to offer a direct link to your mortgage application from your homepage. If your members are clicking more than twice to get to an application page, then you need to rethink your website.
Social media – be a thought leader
Along with your website, your social media pages are the medium for you to be a part of the online conversation among members and your community. Participate in the conversation by continuously mentioning you offer home loans. Consider a weekly post about home loans or some sort of content that promotes homeownership.
Ask clients for referrals
At the end of every transaction, you should be following up with your member and asking them to refer business to you. You should also be contacting the realtor and asking to work with them again. You’ve established a relationship with them; ask them to introduce you to others.
Talk to your network of friends
While you don’t want to over sell yourself to your friends and network, you can certainly offer your assistance if they have questions or need help on buying or selling their home. A simple mention of what you do and who you work for can be enough to allow them the opportunity to work with someone they know and trust.
Join local organizations
Community organizations are a great place to build relationships and find referrals. Depending on your community you may have several opportunities to join organizations that could lead to possible referral business. The key is making sure people know about how you can assist them.
Reach out to those who are “For Sale By Owner”
Many individuals look at the marketplace and realize how quickly homes are selling and think they can do the same. They may need some assistance in the sale or the purchase of their new home and you may be hitting them up just when they need the help the most.
Advertise to the community
While advertising can be pricey, finding the right medium and the right audience can be very profitable. For example, we hear from several credit unions that they are advertising their home loan business in local home magazines. This can be a lower cost option, yet still effective with its very targeted audience.
Mail to your neighbors
If you are a homeowner yourself, you may want to market to your surrounding neighborhood to let them know you can provide for their needs. People like to support their neighbors, just make sure they know what you do and how to reach you. It may mean a drop of flyers door to door as you take your evening walk, or it could mean posting your information on a neighborhood website. Either way, making yourself known and available is very helpful.
Attend or sponsor community events
Depending on the size of the community you serve, you may have a variety of community events where you can reach out to your community to serve them. We’ve seen credit unions support everything from realtor events to homebuyer seminars to local chamber of commerce meetings to festivals. There is no event that credit unions haven’t participated and depending on your area you may have to pick and choose what you feel will be the most effective to participate in and try them out.
Education is a pretty broad way to reach members or prospects, but it’s your way of becoming a thought leader in all things home loan. There are so many ways to educate your members. Consider homebuyer seminars, newsletter articles, email campaigns, social media posts, home loan hour at the branch, etc. No matter the format you choose, sharing information about financing a home will only help you position yourself in front of the community you serve.
Follow-up with pre-qual
Pre-qualifications can sometimes go unfulfilled, it could be because the member wasn’t really serious about buying or it could be that they went somewhere else for the financing. If a member is shopping around, you’ll want to follow-up with the member while they shop so you can begin the transaction off right with great communication.
These are just a few of the ways we’ve seen credit unions market to their members and communities. Share with us your additional ideas and help build credit union home lending success.