Virginia Credit Union (VACU) is a state-chartered credit union that has served the central Virginia community for over 100 years. “At the end of the day,” says Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Mitchell Jones, “our job is just to help our members live successful financial lives.”
Prior to implementing Blend, origination workflows were manual with lots of emails and phone calls. When looking for a partner that could bring all of that together, the ability to quickly and continually react to changing conditions were high priorities. They also had to make sure their solution would serve their members just as well.
VACU went live with Blend in 2020. As a result of the pandemic, mortgage rates had dropped significantly and volume increased dramatically. VACU’s team was able to serve many more members thanks to the new digital platform. “They were able to do more with less,” said Jones.
“Consequently, we were able to help our members take advantage of those low rates. And a huge part of that is because they were able to go online, complete the application and on top of that, Blend was able to also handle asset and income [verification].”
As a result of implementing Blend, turn times and pull-through rates are much better. The credit union ascribes much of the success to having a simple and effective online portal for members to interact with. In addition to a great member experience, leaders at VACU were impressed by the scalability of the platform. “I think overall we’ve seen a lot of scalability,” said Jones. “Again, we can do more with less and Blend is the catalyst of the whole thing. Blend has allowed us to take our members’ information very quickly, turn it around and get their qualifications out, partner with their realtor partners, and give them that information as fast as they can find a property.”
Leveraging productivity-enhancing tools
One of the most effective tools that VACU has used is the Loan Officer Toolkit (LOTK). “The Loan Officer Toolkit is a game changer for us,” said Jones. “With the limited inventory, we have to be able to act fast to get these pre-qualification and conditional approvals out to our members.”
In addition to the speed LOTK offers, loan officers love the ability to educate borrowers on the different scenarios using the built-in comparison tool. Jones added that it is not just helpful for improving the borrower relationship. “It also helps our realtor partners feel like we’re giving them everything they can to ensure they win those bids.”
Building on a successful partnership
The ultimate goal for the credit union is always to enhance member experience. “What we were looking for in a new partner was a way to streamline our processes and give us the ability to scale,” said Jones. “We needed to find not only just a point of sale solution but something that could help engage with our members and our borrowers from the beginning, all the way through to the end.”
In Blend, VACU found a partner and that partnership has continued to grow. “Blend has a consistent workflow that our members will get more familiar with over time, allowing us to bring forward the product offerings that they may or may not know that they need at that given time.” Looking ahead, VACU is building on the success with mortgage to implement Blend across the organization to create a single, integrated, and seamless delivery channel for all of their products while providing members with an intuitive and familiar experience.