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YES- I DO Get a Kickback When You Use My Lender, Attorney and Inspector

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

I occasionally have clients who don't have or have not committed to an inspector, attorney or mortgage company. They often ask me for a referral, which I happily give. I recommend good, experienced, local industry professionals who serve the clients well. 

Upon occasion, the clients go their own route, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it is fine, and I make the acquaintence of a new lawyer, inspector, or lender. 

Sometimes it is a disaster.

Instead of using a local attorney who specializes in real estate, the client elects to use their 2nd cousin the litigator, or the free attorney they get gratis through their job or union. 

Or, instead of using a local direct lender whose office they can walk into, they elect to use an Internet lender or mortgage broker 3 counties away who promise them a too good to be true rate. 

Or, instead of a home inspector with professional affiliations like ASHI who owns a digital camera and will use it in the reports, they go with the guy whose website is more interested in selling franchises of his "brand." 

Smart, huh?

When I ask people why they didn't choose to use the professionals I recommend, some have actually wondered aloud why I was so enthused about them. They say it was almost like there was something in it for me, like maybe a kickback.

Something in it for me.  A kickback. 

Well, as a matter of fact, there is something in it for me. I do get a kickback. There- I said it. 

The biggest problem with using hacks you find on the Internet as opposed to tried and true, trusted referrals, is that they don't work together with me. They don't return calls. They don't solve problems aggressively. They don't get proactive. And that is fertile breeding ground for a crisis that costs you money. And in real estate, there are no cheap problems. 

When you forgo using that union attorney, Internet lender or shady inspector and use a local professional I refer here's what's in it for me:

  • We both get our calls returned promptly
  • You'll get straight, superior advocacy, 
  • Problems will get solved faster and better 
  • As a matter of fact, there won't be any 11th hour issues that come up due to lender or attorney indifference,  and no challenges or problems will be allowed to fester, since we'll all work together on your behalf. 
  • I'll have a teammate whose collaboration benefits you, and the transactions goes forward smoothly, competently, and with the fewest headaches possible.

A good transaction where your interests are served. That's my kickback. That's what's in it for me.  

Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

I get the same reaction.  I like Richard's line above and do think I'll have to use that along with your list of what you get.  There are only 2 home inspectors in our area that I trust.  Over the last 4 years, each of the other local inspectors has either missed something huge or scared the buyer to death over seemingly minor (low cost) items. 

Jun 04, 2010 02:38 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Maureen, #59 points out to #53 an important fact -- lots of people cruise here. I am in an email exchange with someone who is just trying to sell a house in another part of the country and wrote to ask my opinion on something. 180,000+ is public, plus the fact that virtually every post ends up on google.

Last fall a lady who is in her 50s who was buying a home with me said "hey, you and your peeps just rock". We don't hear that much these days, do we? During  a very difficult buy -- estate sale, house in a historic district, valuations almost impossible -- she realized that the "team" of realtor/assistant/lender/lender assistant/attorney/paralegal was getting her deal done. She closed on the home of her dreams under very difficult circumstances. Never would have happened without my "peeps"!

Jun 04, 2010 03:10 PM
Julissa Jumper

Wow!! YOu have put my feelings in words! I have always felt that I do get a payback, just not in the form the client may expect.

Whenever I refer a service provider I explain that I do not receive any monetary value from the referral but I get something more  valuable. Then I explain whatthat referral means to their transaction, and then they get it.


Love the post!! The title MADE me read it!!

Jun 04, 2010 03:24 PM
Lori Cain
Own Tulsa - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

Awesome post - could not agree more. After a few recent hairy transactions, I am getting much more protective of my Seller if I don't have personal experience with the Buyer's Lender.

And in response to the consumer's comment (#52) - yes, we do advertise and promote our services on the internet. And should I be fortunate enough for a consumer to contact me as a result of my advertising or blogging, I would welcome an interview. I would expect to back up my ability to represent a home buyer or seller with production documentation, testimonials and more. As sales people, we are constantly asking for your business and are prepared to prove our worth and track record.  The same simply can't be said for predatory Lenders on the internet who are no where to be found when problems arise - that's why we encourage our clients to do business locally.

Jun 04, 2010 03:29 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

OK - I always considered myself to be straight down the middle...but I gues by this definition  I have been taking kickbacks all along.

Jun 04, 2010 04:57 PM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I always worry about people thinking I am getting something from the people I recommend. I love this tack.  For sure I am.  The pleasure of knowing that you are taken care of.

Jun 04, 2010 05:20 PM
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

I don't get kickbacks, but I expain they have done good prompt work for me in the past so I recommend them.

Jun 04, 2010 05:48 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It does make it easier to work with a team with which you have a good working relationship.  People know each other and trust each other and work well together.

Jun 04, 2010 06:01 PM
Allen Shipman
Shipman Partners - Austin, TX

Less stress for my clients, less work for me, better service for everyone.  I don't call it a "kick back", I call it doing my job.  Cheers to everyone out there doing great work for their clients.  Thanks for the great post Philip.

Jun 04, 2010 06:32 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

In many cases with the large brokerage fimrs in this area, there is a kickback to the broker if the client uses their lender or title company, and it is quite substantial.  There is a form the client must sign saying there is a relationship between the broker and the companies they recommend, but only recently did I learn that the amount can be over $1,000. 

Jun 05, 2010 02:41 AM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I agree with the consumer comment that we are all on the internet hoping people contact us, and I've closed several through AR. However, I see your point about the other side and not using recommendations. I'm sure a consumer wouldn't find me on the internet if their mortgage person or friend gave them a referral, but when referrals aren't given, the consumer must do what they can to find someone.

Jun 05, 2010 03:57 AM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Your title scared me at first but your last line explained it all - thanks for the post - I agree with you.

Jun 05, 2010 04:03 AM
J. Philip Faranda
Howard Hanna Rand Realty - Yorktown Heights, NY
Associate Broker / Office Manager

Pat, I'm a smaller independent. I don't have those kinds of relationships, although I have been approached about starting my own title firm. 

Donna, I have met many of my current sphere of influence through past clients. You are right, in the vacuum of information, they have to look for themselves. I always see an irony in different standards for the real estate broker and how they choose other professionals. 

Jun 05, 2010 04:07 AM
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

I completely agree.  My satisfaction comes in a closed transaction.  It's not a kickback, it's just my paycheck that I am after.

Jun 05, 2010 05:41 AM
Sandy Kaduce
SKG Marketing - Mukilteo, WA

I was gonna say, the only "kickback" is the commission we will recieve when the transaction closes.  I think most of us prefer working with people who we know can get our clients to that point.

Jun 05, 2010 06:45 AM
Ryan Cha
RC Edwards Realty Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - Dallas, TX

Interesting topic.  Smart to get something when you refer them business.  My "preferred" lender refers me business all of the time because she knows that I'll take good care of her clients, and the deal will close.  It's the exact same reason why I send her business.  Having good relationships makes things move along much smoother.....same with the inspectors I recommend and title companies.  I've never had any complaints about my recommendations.  It's good business practice.

Catchy title! Congrats on the featured posting.

Jun 05, 2010 06:55 AM
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

Yes yes yes. My "kickback" is getting a pain free commission check.

Congratulations on back to back features too.

Jun 05, 2010 09:30 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I got a KICK out of your post.....thank you

Jun 06, 2010 03:57 AM
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I am totally with you on this. I have a client (supposed to be) closing on Tuesday. He is using an internet lender. I did all but beg him to use one of 'my guys' when we signed the contract. I got an email over the weekend that they can't work on the closing package until they get a signed copy of the contract. HUH? Six weeks into escrow and 5.9 weeks after I sent you a copy of the signed contract you are asking for that NOW???

Jun 06, 2010 04:32 AM
Glen Fisher
National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC - Oaklyn, NJ

Two key issues will cause the home buyer to look elsewhere for services:

1.  Mistrust

2.  Penny-pincher

Both are difficult to overcome.



Jun 10, 2010 12:00 AM