Rules for CORE Agents #14: Happy Clients Are Better Than Any Marketing Program Ever Invented

Real estate agents are always coming up with creative places to put their faces.  It used to be that you’d see real estate agent faces just in the pages of newspapers and magazines, but now you see them on park benches, billboards, shopping carts – really, anywhere there’s a flat surface and someone willing to sell you space on that flat surface for an “affordable” (i.e., very, very large) monthly fee.

That’s all fine, I guess. Brand marketing is important.  I’m not so sure that a face and a slogan like “Let me bring you home” on a shopping cart is a great use of your money, but it probably doesn’t hurt.

But don’t kid yourself.  Brand marketing is an expensive and inefficient way to build your business.  It takes a lot of money and time to build that brand presence, and even then you’re not really likely to generate direct leads from it.  The best you can hope for is that you establish some degree of name recognition in your market.

Here’s a better way: create really happy clients.  Happy clients are the best marketing you could ever have.  Happy clients become referral sources.  They become testimonials and references that help you secure new listings.

And, of course, they create word of mouth. People buy a house, invite their friends and family over to see it, and people ALWAYS ask them about how they found it.  They want to hear the story, and that story is generally going to include the buyers’ impressions of the experience they had buying the house.  If they’re happy, they’re going to tell everyone.  And, of course, if they’re NOT happy, they’re going to tell everyone.  Either way, the word is going to get out.

Now, multiply that experience by everyone who buys or sells a house with you, and THAT, my friends, is a marketing program: happy clients running around the county talking about how great you are.  No amount of money can buy that.

Indeed, in the internet age, happy clients are more important than ever, because instead of just sharing their experiences with their friends and family, they’re actually writing stuff on the internet and sharing it with anyone who Googles your name.  The scary part is that the unhappy clients are even more motivated to find some online review site to talk about how much they hate you.

Bottom line: create happy clients. Instead of writing checks to create a brand presence, put your back into giving great client service experiences to the people who buy and sell with you.  It’s hard, it takes a lot of work, it requires a lot of dedication.  But it’s the best marketing you could ever do for yourself.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.