Helping Credit Unions Become the Shepherds of the Home Buying Process

Some credit unions looking to shepherd members toward a better purchasing experience and establish themselves as a trusted brand for dwelling procurement needs have been teaming up with NestReady, which develops platforms to unite all parties in the homebuying process.

NestReady offers full, end-to-end solutions for every aspect of the homebuying experience including a component that can be integrated into a credit union’s mortgage lending process. NestReady’s machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered technologies provide actionable insights and automation while enabling credit union loan originators to act when members are prepared to make their homebuying decisions.

Benefits for credit unions, according to the Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based firm, include earlier relationship building with homebuyers, detailed member insights, better targeting, higher conversion volumes and substantial savings on mortgage brokers’ referral fees.

Marcos Carvalho, chief revenue officer for NestReady, pointed out that the race is on in the real estate industry to see who will become the trusted brand for every homebuying need. “With Zillow, Quicken Loans, loanDepot, Opendoor, KW, RE/MAX, Bank of America and many others spending millions of dollars in building their own end-to-end experience, it’s imperative for credit unions to get ahead of the game and provide the streamlined digital experience their members are looking for.”

In June, the Livonia, Mich.-based CUSO CU Solutions Group developed a partnership with NestReady, which provides CUSG with exclusive credit union industry rights to NestReady’s solutions. As part of the agreement, CUSG is also investing in the company, and will expand and enhance the delivery of NestReady solutions to credit unions. CUSG, a provider of technology, marketing, HR performance and strategic advisory solutions to more than 3,400 clients nationwide, will leverage its existing product suite and client base to coordinate marketing and sales of NestReady solutions.

Dave Adams, president/CEO of CUSG, said at the time of the announcement, “In today’s changing market, credit unions are always looking for new and valuable resources to help their members. Our partnership with NestReady will enable credit unions to offer members Zillow-like home pricing services while making credit unions more likely to secure the mortgage loans associated with these decisions.”

Timmy Bohlman, COO/chief technology officer of technology solutions for CUSG, said, “In today’s mobile-driven world, consumers are often bombarded with home search and mortgage options from fintech and competing mortgage originators. Credit unions have always worked diligently to connect all the dots to create a seamless, end-to-end homebuying solution to compete with the Zillows and Rocket Mortgages of the world.”

Bohlman added, “From finding a home, connecting with real estate agents and credit union lending officers, and completing the loan process, NestReady’s homebuying journey deepens the relationship between members and credit unions, and offers insights to help cater to a member’s needs. With the next generation of homebuyers moving into a mobile and remote environment, NestReady’s capabilities are crucial in maintaining the member connection and expected exemplary service the credit union space offers.”

Carvalho pointed out a mortgage only constitutes 5% of the homebuying journey. “Therefore, while a digital mortgage process simplifies the application and approval for consumers and credit unions, NestReady believes that true empowerment comes from supporting the member through the whole homebuying journey.”

He said 85% of homebuyers start their journey on a mortgage lender’s website. “It’s every credit union member’s dream to get the best rate and service from their primary financial institution.” Carvalho noted full visibility along the buyer’s journey is only possible when the digital tools that cover the other 95% of the journey are offered.

“Today’s homebuyers live in the convenience economy and want to have the same Netflix, Uber and Airbnb experience with their credit unions,” Carvalho said. “That’s what NestReady can do through its plug-and-play white-label platforms.”

The cloud-based NestReady was born from the lessons of two previous ventures: Navut, a set of online tools combining millions of local data points to help people moving to a new city discover neighborhoods that suit their needs; and Placester, an all-in-one marketing platform for real estate professionals.

“Our co-founders realized that homebuyers face significant challenges when it comes to building relationships with financial institutions. Home search tools were better than ever, yet finding a mortgage lender remained a fragmented and inconvenient process,” Carvalho said. He added financial institutions were also struggling to create the high-quality online experiences consumers have come to expect.

NestReady bridges gaps between consumers, financial institutions and real estate professionals, enabling credit unions to offer a personalized home search process. A stack of digital white-label platforms enables credit unions to own the end-to-end homebuying experience and become the trusted brand for all homebuying needs. “Credit unions can support their members from the dream phase to refinance and stay top-of-mind during every life event related to real estate,” Carvalho said.

NestReady products include NestFinder, a website integration offering lenders a platform that guides clients through every step of the homebuying experience. The proprietary real estate technology tracks, collects and analyzes data related to the user’s homebuying behavior, providing lenders with invaluable insight into their personal preferences and intents.

Carvalho said, “The NestReady NestFinder is designed to maintain the look and feel of a lender’s website and serves as an extension of the client’s mortgage shopping experience. In order to enhance the lender’s mortgage lead conversion and retention potential, the NestReady NestFinder also integrates various call-to-action components, increasing the lender’s brand impressions. The lender has full control over the selection of the services.”

Other products include:

  • NestFinder for LOs, which allows loan officers to build loyalty with homebuyers regardless of the channel used. The platform also enables lenders to promote their brand as the main source of financing on any property for sale. Carvalho noted this product contains all the features that NestReady’s NestFinder offers. Each loan officer’s personal platform displays only their own contact information to ensure a consistent and personalized customer experience. NestReady also provides an analytics insights engine for monitoring customers’ behavior on the platform.
  • NestEngage, which engages current clients and provides them with valuable content related to their current homes, allowing lenders to build stronger relationships with their clients and increase retention. It includes a responsive page with a unique URL created for each property address the lender has financed in the past combined with personalized marketing campaigns.

A couple of credit unions have already enlisted NestReady’s help.

The $1.6 million, Medford, Ore.-based Rogue Credit Union was looking to improve its mortgage process by offering more value through the real estate transaction, according to Chief Lending and Strategy Officer Chad Heese. “NestReady fit our strategy by offering a platform to help homebuyers find their home and return funds to the member at close of escrow.”

Heese added, “The broader strategy is to have increased control over the mortgage experience. By using NestReady, we can push sales to our realtor partners. Assuming we can drive enough volume, we can influence the realtor to ensure our members are receiving an exceptional experience.”

With the platform still in its implementation phase, Heese explained, “We anticipate growing our loan volume by offering the homebuyer cash back.” Rogue will allow the deposit of those funds into its high yield ownership account (currently paying 4%). “The ownership account does not allow for deposits from the member directly.”

Heese added certain activities allow for the deposit of funds. For example, Visa cash back rewards can go directly to the member’s ownership account.

The $272 million, O’Fallon, Mo.-based West Community Credit Union also selected NestReady. With 26,000 members and eight locations throughout the greater St. Louis area, as well as in Columbia, Mo., West Community strives to offer the most advanced technology available. After attending an event at Six Thirty, a global fintech fund and accelerator in St. Louis, the credit union’s president/CEO, Jason Peach, according to a statement, knew he had seen a solution to greatly enhance West Community’s mortgage lending process.

Peach explained, “Our credit union strives to be very early adopters of technology that will enhance our members’ experience. NestReady’s platform offers a transparent environment for potential homebuyers as they search for their dream house.”

The West Community CEO added, “Enhancing our digital user experience was paramount, and now we are going to be able to provide a single platform that streamlines the more challenging aspects of the homebuying process. The partnership, the technology and the concept behind the NestReady offering will transform our homebuying process for the better.”