The Construction Lending Podcast by Land Gorilla

Building the Future:

ACUMA on Credit Unions, Tech, and Construction Lending


ACUMA, the American Credit Union Mortgage Association and Land Gorilla
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Episode 22 | The Construction Lending Podcast

Peter Benjamin, President of ACUMA, joins this episode’s discussion on credit unions and their role in the mortgage industry, tackling hot topics like liquidity concerns, employee morale, and the ever-evolving landscape of purchase business. Peter shares insights into the challenges and opportunities facing credit unions, emphasizing the importance of modernization and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. Also discussed are the opportunities in construction and renovation lending, exploring how these products can help credit unions remain competitive and better serve their members.

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Questions Answered

  • What barriers do credit unions face in implementing new technologies, and how can they overcome these challenges?
  • What are the benefits of credit unions offering construction and renovation loan products, and what steps should they take to implement these programs successfully?
  • What role can credit unions play in addressing the affordable housing crisis?
  • What predictions can be made about the future trends in the construction and mortgage market and how should credit unions prepare?

Episode Recap

Understanding Credit Unions’ Internal Climate and Business Growth Strategies
Credit unions, known for their member-focused philosophy, continually seek ways to improve the work environment for their employees and grow their business offerings. Peter Benjamin, President of ACUMA, highlighted that maintaining high morale among employees is crucial for productivity and member satisfaction. He suggested that credit unions could boost morale through transparent communication, providing opportunities for professional growth, and adopting technology that simplifies tasks for employees, making their work more efficient and rewarding.

The Need for Modernization and Technological Adoption
A significant issue discussed in the episode is the need for credit unions to modernize and adopt new technologies to stay competitive amidst traditional banks and an ever-growing number of non-bank mortgage lenders. Regarding the perception of credit unions lagging in technology, is this a reality or merely a stereotype?

Embracing Construction and Green Loan Products
Credit unions, particularly in major metropolitan areas facing land constraints, are looking to expand into construction and renovation loan programs to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of their members. Peter emphasized the strategic importance of credit unions offering these products. Construction loans help credit unions tap into a significant market share. He estimated that institutions could see construction loans comprising up to 20% of their volume. This potential makes it a lucrative area for credit unions aiming for growth.

The Role of Green Energy in Mortgage Lending
Parallel to the construction loan discussion was the rising interest in green energy initiatives. Credit unions are becoming increasingly aware of the demand for energy-efficient mortgage products, such as loans for adding solar panels or energy-efficient renovation loans. These green initiatives are not only eco-friendly but also cater to a growing segment of consumers interested in reducing their environmental footprint.

The Importance of Affordable Housing
There is a crucial role credit unions play in addressing the affordable housing crisis. With a member-centric approach, credit unions are well-positioned to offer solutions that meet the needs of diverse communities. Peter sees significant opportunities in construction and renovation loans, emphasizing their role in providing affordable housing options. By offering tailored mortgage products and leveraging their deep understanding of member needs, credit unions can contribute significantly to alleviating the housing crisis.

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