Good morning Joseph,
From a realtor's standpoint, I am constantly referring clients to various lenders which I have dealt with. Ultimately, it is the client's choice whether or not to work with a lender or lenders I have suggested to them. On occassion, lenders will come to me and ask if I would be interested in working with their client(s). I never ask for anything in return from a lender because of a referral. It is part and parcel of what I do. And yes, it is highly illegal to seek compensation for referrals from a lender and conversely. Relationships are what drive any business and especially in the area of real estate and lending, whether one is working with lenders, home inspectors, wood eating/destroying specialists, title companies and so forth. And more importantly, the customer is who we need to focus on and satisfy providing we follow code of ethics and the laws which govern our professions.
Wishing you all the best in your endeavors, Joseph.
Coldwell Banker River Valley Realtors