Developing relationships with referral partners

by Dave Hershman06 Jun 2017
Part II. I have almost ten years of experience as a loan officer. Almost all of my business has come through refinances. My branch manager is concerned that I do not do enough purchase money business and suggests that I work with more real estate agents. Because of a personal dislike for people in the real estate profession, I really do not want to do as he suggests. Kissing-up for business just isn't my thing. How would I focus my marketing to obtain more purchase money business without going through real estate sale people?

--Judy from Portland

Last week we asked the important question: If your brother or sister were a real estate agent, would you deal with them? The insinuation here is that you need to develop a closer relationship with agents and get to know them. Not necessarily as close as a brother or sister. On the other hand, successful loan officers will tell you that many agents they deal with for a long time become good friends. The question we will address today is: do you get there?

First of all, you do not get there in a week or two. Those trainers that give you things to say to get the agent to give you a deal are giving you sales tips, not relationship tips. You develop a relationship not only by doing business with an agent, but by taking an interest in them. This interest will range from business to personal. For example, from a professional standpoint, you should be interested in their goals and challenges and how you can help them meet their goals and challenges. On the personal side, what are their interests? If you both root fervently for the local sports team, perhaps you can attend a game together. If you both are very active in your church or temple, this may be the basis for deeper conversations. Of course, if you have kids near the same age, this opens up a huge avenue for developing a relationship.

Two points come from this analysis. One, this is exactly why I espouse targeting those you have something in common with, rather than trying to find something in common after you meet them. Secondly, don't get the impression that every agent you deal with needs to become a best friend. The levels of relationships are different for each agent. For example, some you may keep track of their birthday within your CRM and your CRM will send a birthday email and also remind you to call them. Others, you may be attending or even planning their birthday parties.  

--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].

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