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Ask The Expert: How Do I Compete with Big Banks for Real Estate Agent Attention

Jacob from Austin writes: "Several of my real estate agents have started to get leads from larger banks and credit unions. While they don’t like the service they receive from these organizations, they are obligated to use them for these leads and are referring other customers back as well. How do I compete with this model?" 

HershmanDave: This is an issue we are seeing across the nation. Not only banks referring leads, but also larger mortgage companies follow this model as well. If an agent gets a lead from a bank or mortgage company, they are obligated to continue the financing with that source. There is no arguing that fact.

That does not mean that they are obligated to refer their other business. On the other hand, they are getting value from that source and therefore there will be a certain amount of loyalty. So, the question is, how can you deliver an equivalent amount of value? Perhaps you don’t have the same ability to generate leads, but that does not mean that you can’t help that agent generate business.

Two important points to remember here:

  • These lead sources may result in a smaller commission split, so the business you generate could become theoretically more valuable.
  • You have heard the adage: “Give a man a fish, they will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and they will eat for the rest of their lives.” In this case you can also top the value delivered by the source. In most cases you won’t be able to match the big companies’ ability to generate leads. However, top producers in the real estate industry are not reliant upon purchasing leads. Top producers generate referrals, which are more profitable. They are easier to convert and generate more revenue.

What if you could become a mentor to your agents, teaching them how to generate referrals? If you were an expert on this topic, agents would be coming to you, instead of you trying to sell them. Wouldn’t that put you in a better position?

The next question is: how do you become an expert in generating referrals? Not only do you need to learn, but you need to practice the techniques you learn. Top producers get their business by referral, they don’t purchase leads. Thus, if you help agents become top producers, you will gain a reputation as a mentor, instead of a salesperson.

Where do these referrals come from? They come from the agents’ spheres. Are you an expert in marketing your own sphere for referrals? You can’t teach others what you cannot do yourself. Realizing the size of your sphere and delivering value to your sphere is the key. As a matter of fact, the larger your sphere and the more value you deliver to your sphere, the more likely you will produce referrals for your partners–real estate agents, financial planners, insurance agents and more.

And the best news? Using your sphere is inexpensive and requires the least amount of energy to implement! Our Business Building for Success course has a complete segment on sphere marketing if you are not an expert. 

Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School – the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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