HomeAdvantage’s innovative LOS integration helps Star One create an “Engine of Retention” for their purchase mortgage business.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ, July 23, 2019—Star One Credit Union of Sunnyvale, CA implemented HomeAdvantage® from CU Realty Services in 2015 as a way to grow its purchase mortgage business among its base of more than 107,000 members. In 2017, to build on initial success with the program, the credit union began actively looking for more efficient ways to nurture loan applicants and keep them in their pipeline through closing.
Enter a technology integration option that has proved to be a game changer for Star One: HomeAdvantage Accelerate.
HomeAdvantage includes a number of features to help credit unions attract and engage members interested in buying and selling homes. One of the most important is the program’s network of certified agents from which members can choose and use an agent to buy or sell their homes and qualify to earn cash-back bonuses at closing called HomeAdvantage Cash Rewards. Because these agents understand the products offered and are trained to keep the credit union’s financing top-of-mind for buyers, credit unions using the program are experiencing average pull-through rates of 82 percent.
Accelerate is an integration between HomeAdvantage and a credit union’s loan origination system (LOS), creating a streamlined way to register mortgage applicants into the program at the time of application. This connection introduces the program to prospective borrowers and expedites their opportunity to save money at closing by working with a certified agent. It also kickstarts HomeAdvantage nurturing protocols that put the credit union’s brand first.
Since 2015, Star One has utilized the turnkey marketing platform to generate over 1,000 new home buyer leads and 96 additional closed loans. Part of that success is attributed to the addition of Accelerate in late 2017—in the year following, Star One increased its purchase mortgage closings through HomeAdvantage by 30 percent.
An “Engine of Retention”
The objective of the Accelerate integration is to quickly introduce HomeAdvantage to mortgage applicants who may not have otherwise known of the program’s benefits and connect them with a HomeAdvantage agent as soon as possible.
HomeAdvantage agents help lock in home-buyer engagement as buyers approach the financing finish line. In fact, Star One has maintained an average 83% pull-through rate using the program. “We generate a strong number of leads with HomeAdvantage, but what is more important to me is how many leads we do not lose,” says Victoria Tabler, senior real estate lending manager for Star One Credit Union.
In 2018, 207 Star One mortgage applicants opted to enroll in HomeAdvantage at the time of application. “HomeAdvantage is essentially an engine of retention, because it’s working to nurture those 207 members and connect them with agents who work with our best interests in mind versus being steered by outside agents toward other lenders,” says Tabler.
According to Tabler, their success is a testament to the finely-tuned HomeAdvantage agent relationships—something no other credit union real estate platform on the market can offer. “It’s all about retaining those applications currently in our pipeline, and Accelerate quickly introduces applicants to agents trained in Star One products and benefits who guide them through the process,” says Tabler.
Efficiency Makes the Difference
When Star One first turned on Accelerate, the integration was easy to implement and maintain, according to Tabler. “We now ask our members if they want to be registered into the program at first contact, with an opt-in question on the mortgage application.” Star One transfers those applicants daily into HomeAdvantage via an FTP transmission—this means members looking at mortgage options get enrolled into the program and introduced to its benefits almost immediately.
Once a member is enrolled, a nurturing cadence begins which includes outreach from the HomeAdvantage Member Concierge team and automated email nurturing campaigns. Because this phase has been automated, this enables loan officers to focus their time on active applicants while HomeAdvantage nurtures the rest.
“It works so well for us, because the transfer happens automatically, and we don’t have to utilize front-line staff to introduce the program,” says Tabler.
“HomeAdvantage is designed to be easy to implement and use, regardless of the size of a credit union or its internal resources bandwidth,” says Tina Powers, chief operating officer of CU Realty Services. “In just four short years, Star One has been working to maximize HomeAdvantage’s full potential, especially in terms of using our technology integrations. We are very excited to see the ongoing results of their commitment to our platform. I’m confident that their year-over-year mortgage volume is going to keep growing and more Star One members will find the homes of their dreams!”
About CU Realty Services, LLC
CU Realty Services provides real estate services to credit unions across the nation, helping them provide value to members and increase purchase mortgage business. Launched in 2001, the CUSO has worked with more than 100 credit unions and thousands of their members in 25 states. CU Realty’s HomeAdvantage turnkey marketing platform features tools such as a web-based search portal to help home buyers find homes and research neighborhoods, affordability calculators, connections to experienced real estate agents, and the ability to earn Cash Rewards at closing. To learn how credit unions are becoming members’ first point of contact when buying and selling homes, visit www.curealty.com.
About Star One Credit Union
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Star One Credit Union was founded in to serve employees, retirees and families of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Today, it is one of Silicon Valley’s largest member-owned financial institutions. Star One currently has more than 107,000 members and over $8.6 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.starone.org/.