By Bob Goldberg
One of the valuable benefits of membership in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) became even more valuable in May. During NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings, members of the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union (REALTORS® FCU) voted overwhelmingly in favor of a merger with Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU).
A Grand Slam for Brokers and Their Agents
This merger is great news for brokers, their agents and the industry because it takes REALTORS® FCU to a whole new level. When REALTORS® FCU was established in 2008, the goal was to become a $500 million institution. Now, thanks to the merger with Northwest FCU—after less than four years—we have considerably exceeded that goal and are part of a $2+ billion institution. What’s more, this partnership allows us to deliver products and services faster and better to meet the needs of our members.
NAR Past President (2002) Martin Edwards, CCIM, who serves as chairman of the REALTOR® FCU board, was instrumental in successfully crafting this merger. He calls this move “a grand slam” for NAR members and the industry. Over the past three years, REALTORS® FCU became the fastest growing credit union in America, and now we’ve surpassed even more of our original milestones with the stroke of a pen.
A Big Boost in Benefits
With the merger, NAR members can realize the best of all worlds—a credit union that understands their unique financial needs plus the benefits of NWFCU’s 65-year history of strength and stability.
Specifically, this merger will provide expanded financial and banking resources that can be taken advantage of immediately following the completion of the merger (target date is 8/01/2012), including:
• Brick and mortar branches. You will continue to have virtual 24/7 access to accounts and services. In addition, members of REALTOR® FCU can now stop in and do business in any of NWFCU’s seven branch locations or the 4,600+ locations within the Credit Union Family shared branch network. Visit www.nwfcu.org/locations for a list of locations.
• Business account products. You will be able to move your brokerage’s bank accounts to REALTORS® FCU and choose from a selection of checking and savings options.
• Business loans. Brokers will be able to use REALTORS® FCU for business loans. Use these resources to refinance your building, expand your office or open a line of credit. (Part of a local or state association or board? Loans are available to these organizations as well.)
• Plus, you will have access to a full suite of consumer and mortgage loan offerings, including student loans, vehicle loans, first mortgage loans and home equity loans.
These new additions complement the continuing strengths of REALTORS® FCU, including unparalleled online banking, responsive customer service, and all the accounts and other services designed with REALTORS® in mind since the inception of REALTORS® FCU.
Maintaining the REALTORS® FCU Brand
Officially, through our partnership with NWFCU, REALTORS® FCU will become a division of NWFCU, and one of NWFCU’s nine voting board members will be a representative from our credit union. A seat on the board will ensure that REALTORS® Federal Credit Union and its REALTOR® members have a strong voice within Northwest Federal Credit Union. In addition, REALTORS® FCU will set up a REALTOR®-centric advisory committee inside the new organization. That committee will guide the board in developing and directing products that are REALTOR®-specific, and will include in its membership brokers as well as agents and Association representatives. As always, the goal is to create the best financial products and services designed with the REALTOR® in mind, and that will not change.
In addition, the merger agreement protects the REALTOR® Brand so our industry credit union is assured of retaining its identity.
Join REALTORS® FCU Today
I encourage broker members as well as their agents to join the REALTORS® FCU. These expanded offerings will have direct benefits for your business—as well as your personal finances.
As a reminder, membership in REALTORS® FCU is open to all NAR members and their families, as well as NAR’s institutes, societies, councils and staff, State and Local REALTOR® Association staff and their families.
For complete information on the wide range of REALTOR®-specific financial products and services now available to you through REALTORS® FCU, and to join, visit https://www.realtorsfcu.org/.