Forging lasting relationships with real estate agents

by Dave Hershman30 May 2017
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

I get this question or insinuation more often than you would think. Believe it or not – real estate agents are people just like you. I speak from experience – because I was a top-producing loan officer for a real estate-owned firm and sat in a real estate office. Fifteen years later, I managed production for a large organization that had over 100 loan officers in real estate offices. Thus, I have known thousands of real estate agents.

The reason a loan officer typically does not like dealing with realtors is two-fold. First, they don’t develop a close enough relationship. Let me ask you a question. If your brother or spouse were an agent would you deal with them? Or would the profession somehow poison them? Yes, there are agents you would not want to do business with. Just as there are loan officers you wouldn't want to do business with. But the leaders are professionals and hard-working people just like you. And you want to do business with the leaders.

Secondly, we don’t deliver enough value to their profession. When we become a partner, we will not be put in a position to have to “kiss up.” Instead, you will work hand-in-hand with these agents. Let me ask you – is your vision of working with agents or calling upon them and begging for business? Or is it partnering with them to help them improve their business? I am sure you can see the difference and why the second approach would attract the quality agents we are seeking. Next week we will talk more about developing personal relationships with agents.  

--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].