How is a joint venture partnership different from other partnerships?
Pat McKee: Unlike other partnerships, a joint venture is an extension of your own team. When you’ve got multiple preferred lenders all of a sudden, they’re not preferred anymore. There’s no consistent customer experience, and you lose the benefits you get from having a single partner. When you’ve formed a joint venture, both entities have an equal vested interest in its success.
Our joint venture, Vision Lending Services, started with several McKee Homes employees who had been working locally with CMG Financial employees. We’d trusted them as our mortgage lender for about 10 years—almost since the day we started our business. It was amazing to see how quickly everybody got on board with the joint venture…and how quickly we started converting customers to Vision Lending Services.
What factors should you consider before forming a joint venture partnership?
PM: If you’re working with multiple “preferred lenders,” consider which lender has the most to offer you and your customers. Are you seeking more loan products? More accessible loan officers? More advanced technology? More extensive regional coverage? Identify your organization’s needs and choose the lender who best fits those needs.
It’s better to get everything you need from a single partner than to deliver an inconsistent customer experience from multiple lenders.
How has your joint venture partnership improved your business?
PM: Everyone in our industry has faced incredible pressures over the past year. We didn’t plan for this kind of volume, but through our joint venture partnership, we were prepared to manage customer expectations and provide a better experience, more so than if we were working with multiple preferred lenders.
Partnering with a company that has similar values is very important. Competitive rates and products don’t matter as much as working toward the same goal.
If you were pitching a new joint venture partnership to your internal team, what would you say?
PM: On the surface of where we want to go with a joint venture is the fact that we want to improve our capture rates and grow our business.
A joint venture partnership should serve specific needs. If I were sourcing a new joint venture partner, I would look for partners that enhance our existing organization by offering something we don’t or elevating something we offer to the next level. A true partner will integrate with our organization to provide better service and more control than working with an outside lender.
Where do you want to see your business go this year?
PM: We’re a fairly large regional builder in our area now, but we have plans to expand our coverage and double our business over the next five years. Our joint venture, Vison Lending Services, is a strategic part of that initiative. By offering more products to appeal to more homebuyers, and delivering a consistent customer experience, we are establishing brand recognition to help achieve this growth and reach more markets.
To see the full interview, visit www.cmgfi.com/jv-partners/mckeehomes-chat.
Chris George is the CEO of CMG Financial. For more information, please visit cmgfi.com/jv-partners.