The only reason another business will go to any effort to send you clients is if there is a benefit to them in doing so. They are only interested in what’s in it for them. If a settlement agent came to you and asked you to refer people to them, you would immediately be wondering what the upside of doing so will be to you. You will rightly expect something in return.
“Seek first to understand. Then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey
If you barrel into a real estate agency expecting them to refer loans to you right away, you are going to get a negative response. You need to introduce yourself, get to know all your local agents, how their businesses work and even more importantly, the challenges they are facing. An approach of trying to get an instant referral relationship with a real estate agent is unlikely to pay off. They are much more likely to work with a Broker they have gotten to know over time — and more importantly, a Broker who has taken the time to get to know them and the challenges they face – and can see you are not just another new guy that might not be around six months from now.
Just like you, they don’t want to refer their clients to anyone they don’t completely trust will make them look good.
So, the first thing you need to do is understand their business so you can help them with it. Try and find out everything you can about their business before you meet them. While it is a good starting point to say that real estate agents want to sell more homes, if you dig deeper and learn about their specific real estate agency you will have a better chance of tailoring your service to match how theirs’ works. The better they think you understand their business the more likely they will want to work with you compared to other Brokers, while it will also help you fit in with them properly.
As an example, one real estate agent I spoke with told me they were planning on holding seminars for their clients and trying to move them into property investment. They needed someone who was happy to help out by speaking as well. It sealed the deal for us that I was able to say I could give a copy of my book to each audience member cobranded to his real estate agency.