Assuming you’ll get a referral is a big mistake

by 15 Nov 2016

Part III: I gave a lead to a real estate agent I am trying to get some business from. He closed the deal, but never sent me any business. He is friendly on the phone, but says he does not have anything for me. I can't understand what I did wrong here. Any ideas?

--Todd from New Mexico

Last week, we talked about using these leads to leverage a new relationship and choosing the right agent or other referral source. This week, we will end this series with a discussion of the business "deal" part of the equation. What do we mean by that? Too many times loan officers "assume" that if they give a referral out, they will get at least one back and have a shot at the agent's business in the long run. Making an assumption is a big mistake. You need to outline the expectations in this regard and make sure the agent understands and agrees. This conversation is much more specific than an assumption.

Next, you must hold the agent's feet to the fire. This requires diligent follow-up. Don't expect the agent to think of you on their own. You must follow up on a regular basis, both to receive a referral but, also to make sure you are integrating yourself into the agent's business. For example, uncover other areas where you can help the agent. There are certainly ways to help them increase their business beyond referring a prospect. Perhaps you can help them with an open house or other similar activity.

Success is not an accident and if you take the steps to refer a prospect to the right agent, outline the deal and follow-up diligently by adding additional value, you are much more likely to succeed in this endeavor.

--Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].