Can you make a living on ‘inside’ lending?

by 21 Jun 2016
I am considering going with a lender that is owned by a real estate company. They would put me in one of their real estate offices and I would serve those agents. My concern is that the office is pretty small and I would not be able to make a living off their production. Do you have any advice?

--Thomas from Chicago

That is a question I get from loan officers and from "inside" lenders from time-to-time. My short answer is: yes, you can make a living from within any size office. Obviously, I need to expand upon this point. Let's start with this issue. So many times loan officers move into a real estate office and forget about their present production. That is a big mistake. Yes, it will take additional resources from your time and energy banks to service the office, but to ignore your previous book of business would be akin to saying goodbye to everything you have done up until this point. Your focus would be to build upon your present business, not to replace it.

Another reason you don't want to ignore your present book is that you can help the new real estate office grow its business by leveraging yours. If you want to be successful breaking into the new office, you need to help the office increase its production. This will include everything from recruiting, to helping each agent become better at what they do. If you have a big sphere of influence that you market using a CRM, perhaps you can teach the agents to grow theirs the way you have grown your own. Here is an example of leveraging your database – what about sending a list of the office listings to your database on a monthly basis?

There are other aspects of the "too small an office" issue that you need to consider and you also need to consider the question of whether you want to sell in this type of team atmosphere. We will cover these in new next few parts of this series.

--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].