Referral Fees and "Kick Backs"
If I have client who is looking to purchase a home in Vancouver, I will do some work in trying to find my client a REALTOR® that I think that they may fit with in Vancouver. I will look up some REALTORS®, ask some questions, look at their production level, talk about the neigbourhoods they are active in - that kind of thing. I will do some work for my client to help them connect with a REALTOR® in Vancouver and then usually, that REALTOR® pays me a referral fee. Almost a "thank-you" but its a gratuity in the business and a professional courtesy. Where I will not accept a referral fee, is if I have a client who is looking for a mortgage broker or a property inspector or a professional service here that offers a "kick-back"....I won't take it. That is not in my business model.
I know a lot of really great and fantastic REALTORS® that do receive referral fees from these businesses and are okay with that, and I'm not here to condemn that. I'm not here to say they are wrong, it's their individual decision.....this just happens to be mine. If I'm referring a client to a mortgage broker or another professional, it's because I think it is in their best interest....period. Not because I got a free habachi, or a free barbeque, or some kind of point system where I get a free trip to Mexico for a certain number of people I refer, it is just not my thing.
I never ever, ever want to have a client think in the back of their mind, even for a second, that they may have been referred to another individual because I was getting something out if it. The only exception on referral fees for me is when I'm referring somebody to another real estate agent in another location. Other than that, I don't take any.
Disclaimer: REALTOR® is a trademark owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.