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Auto Finance: Digital is transforming car buying

first_imgCredit unions play DEFENSE when they wait for members to fill out an online loan application, come into the branch, or for the dealer to send indirect auto loans. Often, they think that because they have low rates and local service, that members will automatically think of them for their next loan. But members gravitate to convenience. Defensive strategies will lead to a few field goals with minimal touchdowns, making for a difficult post-game review as members gravitate to convenient digital solutions.Playing OFFENSE is when you use technology, data, marketing, analytics and AI to develop strategies to attract members into your auto lending funnel early in the car buying process.Virtually every auto-vertical competitor plays offense including dealers, large banks, and internet marketers like Lending Tree. With the consumer shift to “everything digital”, credit unions must develop offensive strategies to “get in the game” early in members’ car buying process, else they’ll fall further and further behind, becoming irrelevant to members’ auto financing needs.Now we begin to understand the reason credit union auto lending market share is only 18.7% when credit union members represent 37% of the US population. And over 60% of that 18.7%, represents indirect/dealer-generated loans with minimal member engagement. PUT SIMPLY, CREDIT UNIONS HAVE BEEN LATE TO THE DIGITAL GAME WITH OFFENSIVE STRATEGIES, RELYING ON DEE-FENCE ALONE!It’s time for a “digital” wakeup call to credit unions. Have we forgotten a main tenet of our mission, people helping people and improving the financial well-being of members?  Credit unions are the only ones with such an altruistic “helping hand” mission and perspective in the auto-vertical. Dealers, banks, and internet marketers, with their digital strategies, are costing members thousands more on every vehicle purchase via vehicle pricing, protection products, and financing, simply because they are the first to offer their services to your members.  What can a credit union do to increase auto loan volume and accomplish a key mission, while also saving members money AND generating more revenue and member engagement?The answer is in developing OFFENSIVE STRATEGIES using technology, data, marketing, analytics and AI that attract members EARLY in the car buying process that get them into the credit union auto lending funnel.These 3 easy steps will guarantee that your offense and defense deliver more auto loans:First, credit unions must realize and accept the fact that vehicle buying, and therefore financing, starts online from a member’s phone, desktop, or tablet and can happen 24/7/365. Car buying is more digital than ever with members spending 12-14 hours online before buying a car. As soon as a member visits a dealership website or car research site, cookies are tracking their search and collecting data, which your competitors use to target them for a loan. Car research sites have an average of 20 cookies each, and it doesn’t take long for members to start seeing ads and “instant decision” auto financing offers from competitors.The second step is understanding that technology now provides credit unions with digital solutions that provide all the vehicle research, buying and financing tools directly on their website, getting members into your auto lending funnel EARLY in the process. Here, members can spend that 12-14 hours, engaging with your loan officers, loan application, and protection product details, funneling members through your pipeline to loan closing.  The third step is consulting with solution partners that specialize in the auto-vertical to gain an understanding of how technology has simplified a credit union’s Digital Car Buying Solution and how attracting members EARLY in the car buying process is key to success. You no longer need to provide tools for members simply by posting links to external sites on your website.  YOU CAN be that resource for members and attract their attention before they visit other sites. Your auto-vertical partner can bring your credit union the technology, marketing, data, analytics, and AI to compete and WIN against dealers, big banks, and internet marketers. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ed Bourgeois Ed Bourgeois is a founder and CEO of Auto Link, a CU-Centric Technology and Marketing Solution that helps CU’s stay relevant, compete and win in the competitive auto vertical … Web: https://bookmoreautoloans.com Detailslast_img read more

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Does Green Building Have to Cost More?

first_imgHaving written about green building for more than twenty years now, I’ve encountered lots of misperceptions. One of those is that green building always has to cost a lot more than conventional building. There are plenty of examples where it does cost more (sometimes significantly more), but it doesn’t have to, and green choices can even reduce costs in some cases. Let me explain.When someone is considering building a green home, my first, number-one recommendation is to keep the size down. Since 1950, the average house size in the U.S. has more than doubled, while family size has dropped by 25% — so we’re providing 2.8 times more area per person than we were back then. If you think you need a 3,000 square-foot house, consider whether 2,500 would suffice, or even less. There are some really great homes being built at 1,400 to 1,500 square feet — homes where every square foot is optimally used and there aren’t rooms, like formal dining rooms, that sit empty most of the time.Often, because we’re conditioned to think that bigger is better or because we’re told by a real estate agent that a house has to be large to keep its value, we build the largest home possible. By stretching budgets to maximize square footage, we’re then often forced to skimp on quality and performance. If, instead, we downsize the house, we can improve its quality (durability, detailing, energy efficiency, green features), and we might even be able to reduce the overall costs.With green building, there may be some other ways to lower costs that don’t require reducing the house size. At the development scale, if we design an onsite infiltration system for stormwater (rather than building a stormwater retention pond or installing storm sewers) that could both reduce costs and make the project greener. With larger facilities, it’s sometimes possible to save millions of dollars with such changes — paying for all of the additional green features.Where we build can also influence cost. By clustering houses in a development, we can reduce the total amount of pavement, the length of utility lines, and other associated infrastructure costs. By putting a house fairly close to the access road, we both save costs and reduce the impacts of that additional pavement and material usage.Relative to materials, there are some important ways to use materials more efficiently and save money. With “advanced framing,” studs and rafters (or roof trusses) can be installed 24 inches on-center, rather than the standard 16 inches, reducing the amount of wood used in construction. By carefully planning overall building dimensions and ceiling heights, one can optimize material use and reduce cut-off waste.And it’s sometimes possible to have a structural material serve as a finished surface, obviating the need for an additional layer. This can be done when structural floor slabs are made into finished floors (often by pigmenting and/or polishing the concrete), or when a masonry block is used that has a decorative face, eliminating the need for another wall finish.When it comes to energy, building a green, energy-efficient house usually does increase costs. But we can significantly reduce that extra cost — occasionally even eliminate it — by practicing “integrated energy design.” If we spend more money on the building envelope (more insulation, tighter construction detailing, and better windows) so that we dramatically reduce the heating and cooling loads, we can often save money on the heating and cooling equipment. With a really tight, energy-efficient house, for example, we might be able to eliminate the $10,000 to $15,000 distributed heating system in favor of one or two simple, through-the-wall-vented, high-efficiency gas space heaters, or even a few strips of electric resistance heat.If, along with that really well-insulated envelope, we carefully select east- and west-facing window glazings that block most of the solar gain and provide natural shading from appropriately planted trees, we might even be able to eliminate central air conditioning.These savings on mechanical equipment can cover a lot of the added cost of the improved building envelope. In rare cases, these savings in heating and cooling equipment (if we eliminate a really expensive system, such as a ground-source heat pump, for example), we can pay for all of the envelope improvements and even reduce the total project cost.I invite you to share your comments on this blog.To keep up with my latest articles and musings, you can sign up for my Twitter feedsED’s NOTE:Strangely enough I published a short blog topic with almost the exact same title about a month ago. In it, I linked to several green home articles here on GBA that profile high quality, energy efficient, and affordable homes. Give it a peek!–DMlast_img read more

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first_imgCourt records say a suspect accused of killing his grandmother in rural Castana, Iowa will use an insanity defense.Monona County District Court records say 21-year-old Eliot Stowe has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.He’s accused of fatally beating 66-year-old Cheryl Stowe at the home they shared near Castana.Her body was found June 27th about a mile and a half from the home.Eliot Stowe’s attorney filed notice of the defense last week as required by Iowa law.His trial is scheduled to begin February 12th.last_img