Digital or In-Person Home Buyer Education?

May 17,2017

Homebuying Seminar

If your credit union is completely focused on educating members online, you might want to reevaluate that position. A recent survey by Fannie Mae called “Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education Qualitative Research: Lower-Income First-Time Homebuyers” revealed members have two very distinct viewpoints about their homeowner education.  The survey, conducted by Fannie Mae, included four market environments Dallas, Memphis, Cleveland, and Knoxville with in-depth personal interviews with 54 consumers.

Homebuyers interviewed indicated a strong preference for learning in-person versus online education because they value personal interaction, customization, and a hands-on approach to learning, rather than a more traditional passive style.

  • Borrowers claimed they were looking for more of a coach and consultant to guide them through their specific home buying purchase and not a generalized and abstract learning experience.
  • Borrowers want to engage fully and ask questions in real time and learn from questions asked by others that they may not think to ask themselves.
  • Borrowers feel the language and terminology is challenging and would like to have a personal explanation of key vocabulary and concepts.
  • They prefer to build relationships and ask for more opportunities for personal contact and connections.

Online education such as webinars, videos, and downloadable content still have a place within educating members about home purchases though, but obviously shouldn’t be the only way you educate members. Some borrowers stated digital education was their preferred educational platform.

  • Online learning provides flexibility for borrowers. They mentioned that they are busy and prefer to be more efficient with their time and favorable reviews are guiding borrowers to specific classes.
  • Online learning should be interactive and entertaining, varied in format and content and ideally integrating opportunities for real-time interaction with teachers and/or other students.
  • Those who preferred online activities suggested it incorporate social media elements and/or be like games with different simulated scenarios/situations.

This data also validates the case that the digital mortgage is taking off and providing great value to consumers, but there is still great value found within a personal conversation and service experience as well.

by CU Members

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