Referral sources need to know they can help you

Often we don’t indicate to our referral sources how important their referrals are, and we don’t tell them how to help us. And that’s a big mistake

Referral sources need to know they can help you

Part III: I have read several of your answers about referrals. It seems like everyone is trying to sell me a referral based system. I realize that I need to get more referrals, but I don't know where to start. Can you give me some direction?

--Denise from New Jersey

Last week we established the fact that our biggest issue is that we don't indicate to our referral sources how important their referrals are to us, and we don't tell them how to help us. Loan officers assume that you are in the residential finance business, if someone they know is looking to finance a home, they would seek you out for help. I would like to be confident about this assumption, but in reality many of us have not even gone this far with our key contacts. If you have not, you need to start at this point. But you need to go further. For example, if someone you know well is thinking about purchasing a house, do they know that you can refer a real estate agent to them? This is probably even more important than getting a loan referral because it can be leveraged.

How about if someone moves out of state? Does your contact realize that you would like to know about anyone relocating to your area? Many would remove these "out-of-state" contacts from their database, yet in the context of providing these referrals, these contacts could be as valuable as ever. Referrals you can give to a real estate agent are significant. Thus, it is not just about asking for referrals. It is about asking for help and teaching everyone you know how to help you. And the loan process is a great place to start training your customers to refer prospects to you. More on this topic next week.

--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].