Ask the Expert

This agent in California is trying everything to get more business, and nothing is working

Ask the Expert

Dear Dave, I am a struggling loan agent. Since May, my business has slowed down tremendously. I am really worried about my bills and my family. I have been trying to get new business by driving to open houses on the weekends and talking to agents. Also, I am a real estate agent and I have been mailing letters to "for sale by owners," so that I can get business out of them. In addition to mailings, I am using Zillow for leads and I am also working with three other services and I have been putting up flyers and business cards in local businesses. Please help me with some advice to get new business. —California Loan Officer

My first inclination is, you are failing because you are doing too much. I know that does not sound right to someone who is struggling, because you are taught that sales is a numbers game—make more contacts and get more sales. But that does not really work. You need to try fewer activities and tools and go deeper with each one. That is what my book “More Income with Less Stress, Maximum Synergy Marketing” is all about. What do I mean?

  • You need to decide between home loans and real estate. You can’t excel at both. Why would a realtor recommend a loan officer who will compete with them? How can you become an expert at both? You can’t. The first inclination is ‘I can make more income if I do both jobs’ but that strategy actually hurts your long-term success.
  • You are doing mailings, open houses, letters, flyers to businesses, purchasing leads and I would suspect more. You need to do few things and make sure the things you do work together so that 1 + 1 equals three instead of 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 equaling two.

And you never mentioned the most important element: your sphere. Referrals from your sphere are free and much better quality than purchased leads. Through your sphere you can meet as many agents, financial planners and business owners as you need. Did I say these intros cost nothing? Well, it is worth repeating. Next week we will talk about your sphere a bit more.  —Dave

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 directly at [email protected].