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Ask The Expert: More Thoughts On When Referrals Don’t Materialize

In a previous column, I answered a question posed by Rachel from Missouri. I have some additional thoughts.

[caption id="attachment_9654" align="alignright" width="150"] Dave Hershman[/caption]

As a reminder, here's Rachel's question: "I have had several meetings with real estate agents, and they all promised me business, but they never refer anyone. I am following up with them diligently by email and by phone. Do you know what could be the problem?"

In my previous column, I wrote about how to set up the meeting. The next questions are:

  • What was the purpose of the meeting?
  • Was it all about them doing business with you or did you set it up using another strategy?
  • Again, what are other strategies?

It could be as simple as wanting to get advice from them or you inquiring as to how you can help them do more business or meet their current challenges. That is a topic that agents will be more interested in because it is not entirely focused upon what you want. Instead, it is focused upon what they want.

So what might you say in the meeting to ensure a better chance at getting a positive response to these promises? Let's start with what not to say. Do not start with: "Are you willing to fire the loan officer you use now and start using me?"

This is a process which starts with building a relationship. You should have gone into the meeting with research you have done online either via their website, Google, LinkedIn, etc... or even checking with contacts that know them. During the process, there are relationship questions to ask. These might include:

  • "I see you went to _______ college--how did you wind up living in ____ area?
  • "I noticed that you worked for _____ before you got into real estate--what made you decide to make the move?"

From there you can work in business questions that will build trust, such as:

  • You are a leader in the real estate market (flattery always helps), why do you think you have become so successful?
  • Where do the majority of your leads come from?
  • What are the biggest challenges you face right now?

As they answer these questions, there will be opportunities that will open. For example, there may be opportunities to partner with them on marketing projects. The key is to find what they need and then propose a solution, not the other way around.

Relationship, trust and then put yourself in position. This is all about positioning–from the way you start the process, to the way you develop a relationship and the way you can add value to their lives. If you are just looking for a referral, you will be waiting a long, long time.

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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