Community Wealth Partners is an organization which partners with nonprofit organizations and foundation to create and implement strategies that engage stakeholders, improve organizations and create lasting change. Through a previously awarded grant, NeighborWorks Waco staff had the opportunity to work employ Coleen Curry, a consultant from Community Wealth Partners. Our goal was to expand our lending efforts into a thriving line of business. In accordance with the Sustainable Business Initiative, we expect our lending services to generate revenues which could increase the sustainability of the organization and subsidize other programs and services our community might need. Our partnership with Coleen was fantastic, and we are sad that it is wrapping up. Throughout our time working together, she met with many members of our team, board, and community to assist the organization in developing a dynamic strategy that results in NeighborWorks Waco having a successful, lucrative, and thriving line of business through lending.
Coleen identified several reasons why our strategy could work, including the respect and trust with which our brand name is seen, our large existing customer base, a deeply experienced staff and board, expertise, and technological capabilities. According to some rough numbers, our organization has grown its sustainability ration from 74% in fiscal year 2017 to more than 95% in fiscal year 2019. A profitable lending arm would take us over the 100% mark, meaning that NeighborWorks Waco would be generating revenue that outpaced our expenses and allowing for our operation room to grow and meet client needs well into the future!
Having a large pipeline of ready or near-ready buyers will be one key factor to the success of our lending initiative. We are hoping for a minimum of 50-60 loans annually, and we recognize this will require a significant number of customers desiring to use our services. Due to NeighborWorks Waco’s customized support throughout the homeownership process and our high level of flexibility with alternative credit assessments, we are able to offer a unique product that we believe can compete in the local market and beyond. Though we will initially begin in the greater Waco area and McLennan county, NeighborWorks Waco has opportunity in seven surrounding counties, comprised of more than 805,000 residents. There is a large opportunity for NeighborWorks Waco to establish a reputable lending practice and grow that effort over the following years. We believe this effort is the next step to achieving a 100% sustainability rating. Establishing relationships with local realtors is imperative to our success, and we look forward to honoring our clients with trustworthy and exceptional customer service

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