The key to developing relationships

by 14 Feb 2017
Part II: Rates have increased so much in the past month that I am concerned as to how it will hurt my business. For the past three years, my book of business has been close to 80% refinances and I purchase refinance leads and get referrals from previous customers. How do I break in to the purchase market quickly? 

--Kip from Buffalo

In the past two weeks, we have spoken about meeting real estate agents and starting the process of differentiation. This week we will move deeper into the differentiation process. Most loan officers start from the same place: promising great service and asking for the business. The problem is that the agents have heard this line time and time again. How many loan officers are going to approach an agent and claim they don't return phone calls all that well? So how do you look different? First, start by getting the issue of service out of the way. You do that by having testimonials from clients, other agents and vendors. You saying that you will do things right carries almost no weight. But when others say it, then it is more believable. In today's world with Linked-in, Zillow, Yelp and other sites, it is easier than ever to obtain the social proof you need.

From there, instead of begging for business, show an interest in their business. Ask about their business model, their challenges and what they are doing to overcome these challenges. The more interest you show in them, the more likely you will be able to go deeper to develop a relationship. And this process is all about developing a relationship, which is the basis for developing trust. You don't accomplish this by talking about yourself and badgering them for business. Of course, eventually you will need to ask, but wouldn't it be better to ask from a position of trust and with the knowledge that you are filling a need? For example, helping them get a prospect off the fence. Even better, what if you had a system that would help them find prospects? How much easier would that make it for you to talk to agents? If you are interested in such a system, I have a recommendation. Just email me. 

--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]