The best offense is a good defense in real estate marketing

Real Estate Technology

Marketing is not about finding new customers.


When it comes to real estate marketing, the best offense is a good defense. I can hear some of you say the common phrase is the reverse, but wait, let me explain.

First of all, real estate is not a commodity that changes hands often. Agents typically have a small number of clients, and handle an even smaller number of transactions every year. Their business depends heavily on managing these transactions well, and get referrals from them, until the original client returns for repeat business (maybe several years out).

Their key to successful real estate marketing is obviously to make each client outrageously happy during a transaction to ensure he/she returns the next time, and to refer friends and family, hence, the phrase:

“The best offense is a good defense”

I know many agents who focus and invest heavily on finding cold leads through online/traditional advertising or knocking on doors. While it may work for some people, I personally haven’t seen it worth the investments in both time and money – and I have worked with thousands of agents in the last 15 years or so – just due to the nature of the business.

And it’s going to be much tougher to hold on to your existing client base and expect their loyalty when facing the accelerated attack from the technology giants going after your buyers and sellers with new business models. Don’t believe me? Just ask the industry veterans or area experts who might have dominated their neighborhoods in the past.

Fortunately it is still true that agents don’t need to have a large number of transactions each year to ensure a consistent level of income, as home prices have gone up substantially (or mortgage amounts if you are a lender).

“Marketing is not about finding new customers. It is about building a lasting brand that is meaningful and valuable to your existing clients, so much that they will share their great experience with friends and family.”

Many agents already have the expertise and know their craft well enough. They just need to learn to build and expand their brand – and focus on a great defense strategy to hold on to their clients and get even more referrals.

Comments (13)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Welcome to ActiveRain!

I do agree that staying in touch with clients (and providing exceptional service) are key to obtaining future business.

In my area though, an agent needs to do 20+ deals a year minimum to have even a modest income. 

Feb 22, 2018 03:24 AM
Henry Pham
Milpitas, CA
Chief Agent Advocate

Thanks for the welcome Kat. I've heard about AR for so long and finally made it here.

20 deals a year would mean approximately 100 in your existing client database, assuming each client comes back every 5 years or so, excluding new referrals and client defections.

The current low inventory presents a little challenge for everyone to keep up with these numbers, but they are not out of reach. I think it's more unrealistic to think in terms of tens of thousands website or ad leads and try to go after them.

If we can define "exceptional service" from the client's view and have a way to turn that into referrals it would be much easier and more satisfying.


Feb 22, 2018 11:44 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Hi Henry Pham, Welcome to Active Rain and congrats on your first blog post. This is a great place to meeet and interact with awesome porfessionals.

Feb 22, 2018 12:20 PM
Henry Pham
Milpitas, CA
Chief Agent Advocate

Thanks Sybil. I really appreciate it.


Feb 22, 2018 01:12 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Most agents are generalists would flit all over the map hoping to find someone to work with !!!

Feb 22, 2018 01:41 PM
Henry Pham
Milpitas, CA
Chief Agent Advocate

Your point is well taken.

I used to shoot pool in high school, and watched some friends who kept racking up high scores game after game. After a while I noticed it wasn't just their ability to make every shot, but to have the cue ball end up in the right area for the next shot, and to think 2 or 3 shots ahead.

We can approach this business the same way and don't just try to close the deal in front of us, but to use it to get to the next one and the next one...

How is the relo business? It's such a great niche and focus.


Feb 22, 2018 05:18 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Henry Pham welcome to ActiveRain and congratulations on successfully posting you first blog on this site.

Feb 22, 2018 07:29 PM
Henry Pham
Milpitas, CA
Chief Agent Advocate

Thanks George!

Feb 22, 2018 09:28 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Welcome to active rain. Good luck in achieving your goals on active rain 

Feb 24, 2018 02:51 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Henry,
Welcome to ActiveRain.  We love sharing our experience and learning from each other. 

Feb 26, 2018 01:48 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Good point Henry, it is important to continue to recruit our existing clients as well as marketing to new ones.

Apr 24, 2018 10:21 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.
All the best of success to you.

Apr 24, 2018 10:21 PM
Henry Pham
Milpitas, CA
Chief Agent Advocate

Thanks Bob. It's amazing I've met many pros like you here on AR.

Apr 29, 2018 02:14 PM