I could start and end this post at, ” Just STOP taking money for referrals…unless you are providing an equivolent equivalent value.” But this practice is such a hold over from the olden days, that many will say WA??? As in what the heck are you guys smokin’ in WA?

The added “equivolent equivalent value” has to be TO THE CONSUMER by the way, and not to YOU!

‘frinstance: Had a 3 plus hour meeting with some people yesterday.

Them: How can we get referrals from you?

Me: Be on top of your game and the best source of your service for my client. And that changes from time to time and client to client.

Them: Maybe you could get an insurance license?

Me: Why?

Them: So we can legally pay you for referrals.

Me: (after going to bathroom to puke up my lunch) You repay me by giving the clients I referred to you PRIMO attention to their needs. Do the first one or two for free to give me a chance to evaluate your services and talent level.

Them: Scratching their heads, but willing to learn the new way of life I have introduced.

I don’t expect all agents to “get” this. Agents paying referral fees is as old, if not older, than the mls itself. But at least scratch your head and be willing to learn “the new way of life” and society’s elevated stance on this matter.

You refer to someone:

1) Because your client needs that service. They more and more DO NOT and can choose their own.

2) Research and give them a few GOOD and valued options that you have taken the time to investigate. DO NOT STOP AT THE FIRST AGENT WILLING TO PAY YOU A REFERRAL FEE…Yes, sad but true, the way it “was”.

3) Do not simply send them to any office in your Company’s list of other offices. If the BEST agent for them is at RE/MAX and you work at Coldwell Banker, as example, then refer them to the RE/MAX Agent. OR, give them the agent with your Company plus two others and let them choose.

Agents ask me all the time why I am or am not willing to pay or not pay or receive referral fees. Most times I don’t and sometimes I do.

1) I am willing to pay them to Galen, I think, because is a valued service that the client has already utilized. Jury’s still a little out on that one.

2) I take a “referral fee” when the client is here and buying there, as I am the one who meets with the client at this end to do the paperwork. So I am “sharing the commission” with the referred to agent on the Coast or wherever, as the client is here in my office going over the offer. Technically a “referral fee”, but actually a fee for “added equivolent equivalent value”.

We are mostly talking about legal, agent to agent referrals here. But quid pro quo, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine good old boy networks are so old fashioned and yesterday’s news. As I said, I don’t expect you to “get” this to the degree that I do. I don’t expect you to go puke up your lunch, like I do when the offer comes around.

But at least start to scratch your head and say WA?? Cause Seattle has it ALL OVER most of the country when it comes to using new technologies to change the world. Your client uses the internet. They can find their own referral. “The times they are a changin'” and you don’t want to “endorse your epitaph” with underhanded, yet legal, practices. AT BEST at least say to your client “can I get you a referral who will pay me 25% of the commission you are paying them?” At MINIMUM please apply full disclosure to the practice.

Thank you.

For those who never heard this song, it’s worth a listen and I still remember every word from when it came out back when I was an impressionable youth and goes with the “endorse your epitaph” line in the post.

It’s always been one of my Favorite Songs. Mr. Business Man by Ray Stevens. Maybe Dustin will turn it into a YouTube insert for me. For now, here’s the link:

So many favorite lines in there. “Do you qualify to be alive, or is the limit of your senses so as only to survive?!?” Love that song.