Getting real estate agents to work with you

by Dave Hershman05 Jul 2017
Part II: Hello David, I have been a follower of yours for many years. It appears that your previous origination experience has been mostly with realtor-owned or realtor-controlled business arrangements with their primary lender of choice. While maybe not illegal, these "business relationships" certainly represent "captive" business and a loan officer trying to crack into this controlled purchase market is often met with indifference or worse treatment trying to solicit purchase business from these entities. I know your response will be to not contact these entities for purchase business. Loan officers used to the "refi" market cannot really compete for this business. We need better ideas from you and your peers to really help LO's develop purchase business without having to resort to pay-offs or other questionable practices or tactics to get a five-minute meeting with a successful agent or RE broker. Your response will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

--Vince from PA

Last week I spoke about how "inside" loan officers often complain about their agents not being loyal. The question that follows is, how can you get agents that are not working with the inside loan officer to work with you? First, you need to do your research. Find out which agents are loyal to the inside loan officer and, for the ones that are not – what relationships do they have? If someone working with an outside loan officer has a strong relationship, breaking in can be just as hard. And if they don't have a relationship, it does not mean you want to do business with them. They could be unproductive or difficult to service. The research step is essential – and many times it will uncover that listing agents are often not serviced by inside loan officers.

Secondly, what do you bring to the table? One advantage you have is that you can limit your relationships to a few agents. An inside loan officer has many agents to service and little time to fulfil their requests. Even if they have a lead to refer to the office, this can become problematic because giving a lead to one agent can cause problems with the others.

Because you can limit your relationships, you can focus on helping these agents increase their business. For example, attending open houses and doing co-marketing. If a loan officer is serving 50 agents, they don't have the time to give each agent detailed attention. Just pre-qualifying prospects can be overwhelming, especially when many of them are far from qualified. This narrow focus can also help develop a deeper relationship with your agents. Next week we will return to the issue of listing agents inside an office.  

--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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