press releases

Focus on Delivering Localized Mortgage Loan Options

United Feature: Finding Members the Best Mortgage Options

United Federal Credit Union has helped members finance their homes for more than 70 years. Having grown to service six states across the country, United’s mortgage team is dedicated to delivering local expertise to individuals and families during the home buying process.

Just like our members themselves, mortgage financing needs are unique. By putting members first and providing individualized service, United’s mortgage experts closed more than 930 mortgage loans in Q1 of 2022. Our mortgage team has an experienced and localized approach to finding the right loan for all members.

How does the credit union keep the member experience positive? Andrew Clarkson, United’s Vice President of National Mortgage Production says it starts with support within United itself.

“No matter which region, our team feels the support from top-down with United’s culture of clear communication and extreme ownership that help drive our vision and mission,” said Clarkson. “We have an excellent team with the ability to offer so much in terms of support including: top-notch operations, dynamic marketing department, well thought out business development and clear strategy. Having this type of support while offering the full services of a national credit union makes United a clear winner in the industry.”

Clarkson gives a deeper look into how United’s national mortgage team continually delivers the best services and results for members in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio.

How do you keep a large, multi-state team aligned on targets and help them stay energized, while also keeping our members needs first?

Being a member-focused mortgage team allows us to be in alignment across the country in many ways. First, United’s team is made up of great listeners—by listening to the needs of members and employees, we’ve put many improvements in place. Continuous Improvement is a really important goal for every team. I’ve never been with a team that’s so agile with the ability to institute change that matters!

Another important piece to having alignment across the company is clear communication. At United, we embrace the ability to “pick up the phone” and communicate with one another. We are not an organization that gets lost in layers of management and processes. While developing worthwhile policies and processes can propel a company forward, we still choose to not lose sight of the ever-important personal communication.

While United has grown large regions outside of our headquarters of Michigan, the mortgage team is equipped with the consistent communication, support and encouragement to be able to win business.

Does your team have a motto or philosophy that it strives for with each Member or teammate interaction?

At United, we work as a team throughout every business channel by removing all silos. We have learned the more we work together, the better we can drive results and serve the membership. We exist because of the membership and it’s a good reminder when we make our most complex or simple business decisions.

Recently, we had a great social media piece requested in North Carolina, and that same piece really benefitted and spoke to the growth that was also occurring in Michigan and Nevada. Breaking down barriers and removing silos has been a great step forward in the growth of United. We plan to continue to leverage that style of communication and leadership to propel United even further.

What sets the United mortgage team apart from others you have worked with in the past?

The experience and diversity of thought is incredible at United. With our best ideas originating from many sources within the organization, the ability to listen is golden. Being a listening organization has really set this team apart to deliver exceptional service and products to the membership. I have also seen a well-run Operations Department filled with exceptional people who love what they do.

The Credit Union difference has really become the United difference in enhancing the lives of employees and members. We are all about working hard, doing the right thing and enjoying life. The Senior Leadership Team has done an incredible job to cascade the profound culture that exists at United. In this market, we must embrace change and move forward—United has been setup for success in this area.

With branches in six states, the needs of members vary greatly. How is United’s mortgage team setup to provide the best experience for our members in each location?

In each market, we have local leaders in the Director of Mortgage Production role that lead the charge of the United’s vision. Focusing on these local markets full of members and business partners gives us the opportunity of growth within our National Strategy. United has grown these markets for the purpose and benefit of enhancing the member experience—whether that’s the best service, products or programs.

The Directors of Mortgage Production truly set the tone for their market and it’s wonderful that we have local experts to drive our cause. We listen and fulfill the needs of each market while ensuring we are in alignment company-wide.

There are many people working as part of the mortgage team from Mortgage Advisors to Mortgage Operations and Underwriters. How does this organizational structure create a member-centric culture within the credit union?

I’ve said it before that we have an amazing team. Not only do we have an experienced mortgage production team full of Mortgage Advisors, Mortgage Lending Assistants, Managers of Mortgage Production and Directors of Mortgage Production, but we are also poised with a robust Mortgage Operations team that fulfills the needs of our membership and member-facing team.

Having Mortgage Production and Operations working in harmony directly affects the membership in a positive way. We greatly value feedback and always request the insights of the membership to confirm we are in alignment and serving with purpose.

Because of the pandemic, many people have changed the way they bank and are opting to do more online instead of in-person. How does United work with members on mortgage loans both in-person and online?

United went all-in on technology prior to the pandemic which allowed us to be in position to seamlessly serve all of our members remotely. We use Blend for our mortgage member-facing online application system that intuitively requests items, collects information and keeps the process moving forward.

With today’s mortgage climate, top-notch technology is just an expectation from most borrowers and it’s nice to be a credit union that understands. Not only did we understand, but United was a front-runner in that category. We’ve relied on innovation and getting in front of trends and needs. We also see a great value in being able to offer in-person services and will continue to lead in that category as well with our complete branch network in all of our markets we serve.