For those in the Real Estate Indusry but not a Realtor, how do you choose one?

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Spirit

I have a question that has been on my mind the past couple of days.  This is geared to those professionals who aid us Real Estate Agents in closing out deals (Lenders, Title Co reps, Inspectors, etc). 

I have a great team in my Real Estate corner.  I am very loyal to my Title Company and my preferred Lender.  I take every opportunity to promote their business because the service they provide to me are incredible.  I've referred many a client to my partners much to their delight.  I do it because I know the deal will get done.  If it does not, it was not due to their failings. 

As I said, this is just a question.  I would ask those that I know in the fields, but I don't want to look like I am trying to "squeeze" them for clients.  I know that they work with many, many Realtors everyday, or they would not be successful.  So the question is:

If somebody (friend, family, acquaintances) asked you to refer a Realtor contact to them, how would you select a Realtor.  Going on step farther, if you were wanting to sell your home, how would you select your Realtor? 

Comments (20)

Debbie Johnson
REMERICA United Realty - Novi, MI
Novi, MI Real Estate Professional

Good morning Chad,

Although I am a Realtor, I wanted to comment.  I have worked with various lenders over the years.  When I find a lender that I am willing to refer my clients to, it's because they do an awesome job.  When I refer to them, I let them know that I would like referrals, as well.  I understand that they have relationships with other Realtors, so I am not expecting all of their business.  So that might answer how some lenders choose the Realtors they refer to.

Sep 02, 2007 10:32 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
I have never received a referral from any of the service providers. Infact I had a buyer who got a mortgage from a person I referred, the buyer gave my name to her friend and also the name of the loan officer to get pre qualified. The mortgage officer got her prequalified and then gave the buyer prospects name to another agent in our office. The buyer was confused to say the least.
Sep 02, 2007 10:45 PM
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

Deb-  Thanks Deb, an awsome job done is why I refer to my lender.  I know when the time comes personally, which lender I would call. 

Gita-  I have never received a referral from a service provider either, nore expect to.  I would hope the Loan Officer gave the prospects name to another agent in error! 

Sep 03, 2007 03:06 AM
. .
no thanks - Harlem, MT

Chad - When I became a REALTOR, I had so many loan officers want to take me out to lunch and work with me. For me it came down to their personality, knowledge, professionalism, and what they really have to offer my clients. I HAVE TO know that they are going to work for my clients' best interests, not line their pockets with money and take advantage of my clients (or anyone for that matter). I chose my escrow officer because she is experienced, professional, and she has my back when we need to get something done. I know I can trust her to go the extra mile.

Sep 04, 2007 04:13 AM
Bruce Bourgault, Vice President, Mpro
Central Pacific Homeloans - Honolulu, HI
Hi Chad -- I work with 7 Realtors and I refer my clients to whom ever I think will do the best job for them.  David Kucic is one of my Realtors and he gets all of my Veteran referrals.  Aloha
Sep 04, 2007 04:23 AM
David Fox
The Real Estate Tech Desk - Crofton, MD
Real Estate Technology Specialist

Chad,  This was very difficult for me.  I own an IT/Marketing company that ONLY services the real estate industry...thus I work with 300+ agents.  When word got out that my parents were splitting up, and were going to sell their home (in a very nice area - Their house was around $850k)  I had clients asking me day and night if they could help, or coming straight out and asking when they could go meet with my parents (when I had never mentioned anything other than my parents were splitting....alot of agents were acting like animals (probably why alot of people have a bad taste about Realtors!)  trying to get the sale.   All along I knew who I wanted to list my parents house & who I wanted to have help my mom find a new home.  It was a team of agents with Re/Max in Gambrills, MD (TEAM SURLIS)  they are a large group of Realtors--A Father, Son, 2 Daughters, 3 Assistants, 3 Buyers agents, and now they have the 2 daughters-husbands working with the group.  They had been my 2nd client who took me under their wing, and gave me many referrals!  In my mind, they were a very loyal, professional, genuine group of Realtors, that is why I trusted them with my parents house, I knew it was going to be very emotional and stressful for my mom, and I wanted her to have the best working for her.  One of their buyers agents worked with my mother to find a new house....To tell you how picky my mother is, lets put it this way...she is moving out of a house that was custom built to their every need that is less than 2 years old,  the real estate market is extremely competitive (2 years ago)  and $400,000 doesn't buy necessarily alot in the Baltimore/Washington metro area.  It took 2 months to really find a property that fit her best--and they were with her all the way!


Now when I went to purchase my first house, there was no way I could afford to live in MD (at least to start out) so I decided on the Raleigh/Durham area of NC.  It was a booming real estate market (purchased summer/fall of '06) -actually it still is a good market.  I had some family in the area, but was still moving to the area blindly.  I was slowly expanding my business to the Raleigh/Durham area, and met an agent down here that was a mostly a buyers agent, seemed nice, seemed like he knew what he was doing, but I didn't really research him that well.   The transaction was a nightmare as the agent wasn't really that good, and didn't know alot! (his Assoc. Brokers designation fooled me)   but  if it wasn't for the SELLERS agent (who is a top producing agent in this area, and now a client of mine)  and for my mortgage broker (I had a client of mine in MD who is an excellent Mortgage broker, do the financing, because she was licensed in NC)  The deal would never I know this is getting off topic.  BUT the reason why I chose this agent is because I didn't want to have a client in MD choose an agent for me for a referral.  I have had way too many clients ask to give a referral, and I didn't want to offend anyone, so I did it on my own.

You are really walking on eggshells when it comes to this, because you don't want to offend anyone.

Just wanted to share my 2 stories with you!

Sep 04, 2007 09:20 AM
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
Are you serving your clients to the maximum if you use a "preferred title company" or "peferred lander"?
 i recommend several reliable lenders to my clients and let them choose the one they are most comfortable with and who offers them finacing options that best suit their needs.  I prefer recommending reliable title companies near the home they are purchasing.  I always have them make the decision on lender and title company.
Sep 04, 2007 09:27 AM
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

Thanks Dave!  Didn't mean to put you in an uncomfortable situation, but appreciate your answer.  I hope my post did not come across as looking for referrals. I do not market to or expect anything in return from those that hep me be get the deals done.  I send them thank you cards and birthday cards, but really just because I like them, not for business.  Sure its all business related, but I don't expect anything out of it. 

I think this post may have been the result of a Holiday weekend and a chance to play on the PC and clean the office (free time).  I refer out a select number of people as a Realtor, other people that support me deal with alot of Realtors. 

Sep 04, 2007 09:44 AM
David Fox
The Real Estate Tech Desk - Crofton, MD
Real Estate Technology Specialist


no no no, you didn't put me in an uncofortable situation!  What I meant was, at the time of me choosing Realtors for all those situations were uncomfortable...

I have learned to take care of my bread & butter clients, and they will take care of you!

Sep 04, 2007 09:55 AM
Mehmet Met Dilsiz
FND Photography / M2 Real Estate Solutions - Midvale, UT

My very first one, was a referral.  I asked around and one of my friends referred me to her agent that she liked because the agent was helpful and very people oriented.  This was in Seattle...

When we moved to Utah, a family friend knew an agent and we just trusted them and use her services.  But prior to that I was researching agents online and I contacted few with the most information on their site.  I felt like if they take the time to put all the info on their website, they deserve my business.

But now, my wife and brother-in-law are agents, so by default I have to use my wife  :) 

Sep 27, 2007 08:47 AM
Scot Rife
A Major U.S. Bank - Springboro, OH

Hey Chad. love some of the previous comments! You have a great discussing going.

Although I'm in the industry and not a Realtor, when I went to sell my investment property and primary residence, I did not hesitate to list with a Realtor. The idea of FSBO never crossed my mind. I knew most buyers would have an agent that would require a 3% commission. So, why pay 3% for no service when I can pay 6% for full service? I believe both properties sold for more because I had a professional agent marketing them. When post inspection issues came up, I probably would have caused the deal to fall apart on my primary residence because I was frustrated with the repairs needed on my home, but my Realtor kept it together.

How do I pick an agent? Because I am in the "biz" and dependant on referrals form agents, I listed with the agent that I had closed the most loans for. When I have pre-approved buyer without a Realtor, I send them to my top referral sources.

To respond to a previous comment.... Why have a preferred lender? Because sometimes you need preferred service. Need a pre-approval done on a Sunday? Have a buyer that needs a lot of extra work to get approved? A lender will bend over backwards for a reliable referral source. Actually, they become more than a referral source, but a business partner. I believe loyalty to a preferred lender creates a win/win partnership for agent and lender. Ultimately the partnership creates a better experience for the home buyer.

Oct 01, 2007 12:59 PM
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

Mehmet-  Thanks for your insite.   

Thanks Scot-  Look forward to seeing more of your insite in the future on ActiveRain and WELCOME!  I also agree with your "previous Comment" comment.  I only refer a company its not my decision to select the company.  That is the consumers choice.  I do like the benifit of calling a Banker or a Title Rep on a Sunday afternoon and asking "What do you think of this.........................." 


Oct 02, 2007 04:28 AM
Scot Rife
A Major U.S. Bank - Springboro, OH

Chad, I agree. And I think we just spoke last Sunday about some creative marketing ideas. We'll save that for another blog post :)

Oct 02, 2007 09:13 AM
Shellee Ashmore
The Inner Iris Photography - Spring, TX
I would imgine that for most people and everyone i know, one likes to use a Realtor some one they know and trust recommends. Word of mouth is very powerful in this business!
Oct 25, 2007 03:35 AM
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
I'm an agent, so I was very interested in what others said about this. I have several people on my extended team (lenders and attorney) who have used me for their personal transactions. They both told me that they saw how hard I worked for my clients, and they wanted that same level of service. It was a great compliment!
Nov 02, 2007 11:34 AM
Sal Poliandro - Helping People Win
RE/MAX Properties - Ridgewood, NJ
Broker Associate

Most people I know usually use realtors that they know.  Whether through friends or family the realtors that most people decide to use are usually referred to them by people they know. 

Nov 02, 2007 02:00 PM
Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
Hi Chad, I like the team approach to selling Real Estate. I would look for a team because I feel there is a better organized sales effort with a team, and less chance of all of hem having a bad day..
Nov 03, 2007 06:22 AM
Scot Rife
A Major U.S. Bank - Springboro, OH

Hey Chad, When's the next blog post?


Nov 23, 2007 07:55 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Good question. I do have a list of Realtors that I would refer, but I would not provide the name of only one, either to someone else or to myself.

The last time I sold a home, I simply sent an email to 33 agents that I knew, and they knew me. It simply said, "Why should I list my property with you?" and provided them with the address so they could look up the public records. It was amazing that 27 of them didn't respond. I guess they were insulted that I wouldn't just give my listing to them. Well, their response tells you exactly why I wouldn't just give my listing to them.

Nov 29, 2008 11:41 AM
Greg Hancock
Prudential One Realtors - Dayton, OH

As a professional Realtor, I get asked that question all the time online and over the phone and even in person from a lot of different types of clients about lenders and other real estate pro's.

First, it's an E-world. Nearly 90% of buyers start online, looking for homes, and a Realtor after the fact. Local knowledge counts for a lot, but also does that Realtor advocate for their clients, where are their testimonies, and are there any past clients the Realtor is happy to use as a reference? Is the Realtor familiar with the type of real estate and the transactions that are on the table?

Shouldn't these be the same questions we should ask of lenders and other real estate professionals?

I would ask the realtor if they research the properties of interest for the client, how does the realtor protect the client's interests once under contract? How does a lender look out for your mutual client, does the lender follow up with them pro-actively? Give them guidance about improving or maintaining their current credit status throughout to closing?

I also wholeheartedly agree with response time comments too. A real estate agent that response within an hour demonstrates they take your business seriously.  I get a lot of call from clients that originally reached out to another realtor and didn't hear back for days. We return all calls, inquiries and emails within one hour, usually within 20 minutes, and the clients are always very pleasantly surprised.

I expect the same from, and only work with lenders that are pro-active as I am with clients.

Very interesting thread, great posts all.


Nov 04, 2011 04:55 AM