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As real estate professionals, we should be aware that retail lenders (your local banking locations) are the trusted financial advisors to many of our clients. Further, when those clients consider buying a home, they may begin the process by reaching out to their banker. What does that mean for you? Retail lenders have an expansive base of buyers that could take your real estate business to the next level. Simply communicating and building relationships with loan officers in your neighborhood—or in the areas you want to work in on a consistent basis—and asking to be included among the real estate professionals they recommend to their clients, has shown to produce deals each year.

What if you met with two new retail lenders every month? That’s 24 new lender relationships a year. If you received only one referral from each lender a year, that’s 24 new deals a year. Would that make a difference in your business? If it was only half of that, would it be worth it? For many agents, I think it might.

The conversation with these retail lenders is simple. First, begin by inquiring about how many loan applications the loan officer receives in any given month. Then, ask how many loans they closed last year. For almost all lenders, there’s a big gap between those two numbers. Often, more than half of their loans don’t progress beyond the application stage because as real estate professionals, we’re trained to direct clients to use our specific lenders. What if you could promise the lender that if they bring you a client that they’ve pre-approved, you’ll make all reasonable efforts to keep the loan with them? Of course, nobody would ever recommend that you do anything but live up to your fiduciary responsibility; however, if it was a good fit with the lender that brought you the lead, you wouldn’t intentionally work to move the client to someone else. You might even say that if they aren’t the right lender for that client because of some specific need, you’ll try to bring them another client.

Beyond the basic idea of retail lenders being a trusted advisor with a database of potential clients—who might benefit from partnering with a real estate professional for their next real estate transaction—you might consider finding loan officers that are in a similar place in their career path. That means that new agents should look to partner with loan officers that are on the newer side, while more experienced agents should look to loan officers who match their level of experience. Instead of spending money every month with a lead provider, why not try building a relationship with someone who keeps you on the list of real estate professionals they recommend when they need some help? While it seems like a simple concept, what if it works?

Phallan_Tamera_60x60With almost 25 years in corporate training and support, Tamera Phallan—a real estate professional with Team Parodi at Realty Associates—has been helping agents grow their business in the financial services and real estate markets locally and nationally. Her passion for sharing information, techniques and the success of her clients keeps her motivated to do more and continue to grow. Phallan recently joined Workman Success Systems as a team coach. Contact her at For more information, please visit

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