Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business Marketing

12 Things I Wish I Knew About Marketing…

photo credit

….When I Started In Business

The slap on the back of the head caused me to pause my woe-is-me tirade. And good thing because what he said next changed the course of my business success forever.

The Slap, as I now refer to it, came at a time when I had my brick-and-mortar shop for about a year and I was looking at the grim reality that it may be going under.

I was meeting with the owner of my building, telling him why the lease payment would be late again and how tough things were… folks just weren’t coming in like they used to. In the blink of an eye, the right arm of this squat and portly man lashed out and smacked me on the back of the head.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“You may be giving away diamonds, Mark. But, if no one knows about it then all you’ve got at the end of the day are more diamonds.”

I Saw the Lesson…

The Slap made the words ring around inside my noggin for a bit and I saw the lesson…

Success and marketing are forever intertwined.

That lesson affected me pretty deeply and led me to learn a few things about marketing since then.

For my first post here at agentgenius I thought I’d take note of a few of the more important lessons I’ve learned since then… and what I wish I had known long ago that would have made things easier.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

1. Marketing Is Not Rocket Science

Folks tend to avoid that which they find difficult which is why they make themselves “busy.” But, marketing isn’t a difficult beast. It’s really a science as much as it is an art. Which means, you can apply basic fundamentals to a step-by-step process and get results without having to be a “jenius.”

2. You May Be Giving Away Diamonds, But If No One Knows…

Sure, you may give presidential-level service or know more about real estate than your entire office combined, but if folks don’t know these things… you don’t have a business.

Business is when a transaction occurs, and the only way to generate transactions is through marketing.

3. What’s The Next Action?

The purpose of marketing is not to make a sale, it’s to get the prospect to take the next action. Sometimes that next action is a sale, other times it’s simply to take another step towards the sale.

4. Relationships Are Key

Your market is looking to make human connections. This isn’t limited to the web 2.0 social media space, this is in relation to everything. Folks want to connect with people and they’re attracted to personalities.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The more of your personality you show, the more people will gravitate to you. Extra bonus: you’ll attract folks that are more enjoyable to work with, too.

5. “Whatchu Talkin’ About, Willis?”

One thing experts tend to do is immerse themselves in the language of their expertise. Problem is, the public doesn’t know the language of “expertise.” And no one likes to feel like the stupid person in a conversation.

Speak to prospects in a language they can understand and not only will they trust you more, they’ll more easily see the value of your service.

6. Speak As An Authority

When in a discussion, speak as if you are right. If you hesitate or show uncertainty you lose your position, authority status and ability to persuade people to take action.

7. Fail As Fast As Possible

Marketing is not a pass/fail, win-lose activity. True marketing success is when you have a scorecard of 55% successes and are able to use those to dominate your market.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Oftentimes, the best marketing comes from a string of “failures” because, if you were paying attention to those failures, you learned a heck of a lot. So, fail as fast as possible so you can win more often.

8. Be Willing To Adapt

What you thought was right will often turn out to be incorrect. That’s okay so long as you take the new insight, adapt, and apply.

9. Yes, You’re Worth Whatever You Charge… & Probably Much More

You are a professional real estate agent with a head full of facts and insights that average folks just don’t know. Couple that with the fact that we live in an information economy and what you know becomes priceless. Chances are you’re currently undercharging for what you know and can do.

10. Leverage Your Untapped Resources

Make full use of the resources at your disposal. Moneys is just one of them but you also have time, energy, and imagination.

11. Don’t Waste Time And Energy Scavenging

This may come off a bit like mystic mojo, but the more you look for freebies or cheap and cut-rate solutions the more you’re going to attract cheap prospects. We all know how much “fun” those people are to work with.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

12. The Magic Bullet Is A Myth

Next time someone attempts to peddle you the all-in-one or push-button solution have them give you a nickel instead. You’ll be better off.

There is no magic bullet in marketing. The real money is made through the continuous implementation of basic fundamentals. No rocket-science degree required (I’m proof of that!)

What lessons have you learned about marketing your business that you’d like to add?

Written By

Mark Eckenrode is a Certified Master of Guerrilla Marketing raised on comic books, punk rock, and Pepsi. He's also the chief marketing trainer at HomeStomper where AgentGenius readers can learn unconventional methods for winning with social media.



  1. Mack

    September 12, 2008 at 10:19 am

    WOW Mark. What a load of information in a first post. As you stated in # 5, our clients could care less if we have an ABR, CRS, SRES, GRI, CRP, or any other designation. What they really want to know is if you can solve their problem, get their home sold or help them find the the home of their dreams. I also liked # 11. For those that do not want to invest in their business they are welcome to all the discount prospects.

    Maybe you just virtually slapped some people in the back of the head!

  2. Bob

    September 12, 2008 at 10:34 am

    7. Fail As Fast As Possible

    Marketing is not a pass/fail, win-lose activity. True marketing success is when you have a scorecard of 55% successes and are able to use those to dominate your market.

    Oftentimes, the best marketing comes from a string of “failures” because, if you were paying attention to those failures, you learned a heck of a lot. So, fail as fast as possible so you can win more often.
    8. Be Willing To Adapt

    What you thought was right will often turn out to be incorrect. That’s okay so long as you take the new insight, adapt, and apply.

    Along the same lines – “Be attached to the outcome, not the method”

    Marketing, no matter how creative, doesn’t work the same way across the board.

  3. St George Rentals

    September 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    This is a good list that I am going to continue to come back and look at. I am a big proponent for marketing. You could wish to give away money but if no one knows then what are you going to do?

    Excellent information.

  4. ines

    September 12, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    What awesome insight into the marketing world, especially for those of us that are learning as we go. I have to tell you that ever since I got into real estate and started “marketing” ourselves I realized that maybe I should have studied marketing instead of architecture because I like it that much. It’s amazing what I’ve learned from “failing” and you are right…..failing as quick as possible would make the process so much easier.

    What I really like about blogging and marketing is the fact that I can put myself out there for our audience – no facades, our straight-forward personality to attract like-minded clients – blogging is an amazing marketing tool.

  5. Justin in Hawaii

    September 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I think you should bold #4, Relationships are Key. As I’m learning marketing, I’m finding that relationships are everything!

  6. Mark Eckenrode | HomeStomper

    September 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    glad y’all are digging it.

    @justin: yeah, #4 is pretty darn important. think about if all your competitors stole your best marketing ideas, targeted the same areas, even broke into your office and stole your client list… the one thing that they can never steal is your personality and the relationships built around it.

  7. Brad Nix

    September 12, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    My favorite part about Mark’s ability to deliver good advice on marketing is that he continues to add value in the secondary comments/follow-up conversations…see Comment #6 for what I’m talking about. His comment to add to the conversation is as good as the post itself!

  8. Matthew Rathbun

    September 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm


    This is a great summary of the foundation for marketing. I am not sure I agree with all the commenters interpretations, but I know that getting the consumer to know that I am better prepared than the average agent is a combination of things. Reading an agents blog, seeing proof that the agent has greater industry education than that a pre-license course, showing our ability to be professional in the quality of the marketing are all good…. using whatever technique we can to show that we care is even more important.

    I am especially fond of #12. I am SO tired of getting spam mail with “coaches” that promise if I spend $300 and two days with their course; I’ll be rich forever.

  9. Jay Thompson

    September 13, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Well there is a post jam-packed with golden nuggets… nicely done!

    The purpose of marketing is not to make a sale

    I think a lot of folks get lost in this one. Too many feel like they’ve failed if they don’t close a sale with every marketing effort. Often it’s a multi-step process with the actual sale many steps down the road.

    Folks want to connect with people and they’re attracted to personalities
    Bingo. That’s why it is *so* important to display that personality in blogging (and elsewhere). People can be repulsed by personality too — and that is OK! I’d rather have someone read my blog and think, “That guy will never be my agent” than to find that out after working to together for weeks. No agent is the right agent for everyone.

  10. Daniel Bates

    September 13, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Awesome article! I think my best marketing advice is to have a long range view. Always keeping your eye on the immediate future gives you choppy results at best. Plan for the long haul and you’ll be more satisfied with the successes and less disappointed with the failures. I have a thousand “great ideas” every day. I don’t go acting on every one though. I plan them out and roll them around in my head and on paper and when I’ve developed it enough I act.

  11. Steve Simon

    September 14, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Your number 1 is not always true. Accurate records and trackbacks to different marketing efforts, and a thoughtful fiscal ROI analysis are ket components of a good overall marketing strategy.
    You yourself, Mark, forcefully wrote in this website about different landing pages and approaches that change depending upon initial selections of a visitor, the record keeping associated with that and the creation of multiple doorways to get optimal result certainly would be considered “Rocket Science”

    Your number 4 is questionable…

    Number 7 is just wrong; many marketing studies have shown the third time a mailer or marketing effort was initiated was when it proved to be worthy… buyer resistance and other factors come into play.

    Nine and Twelve are almost diametrically opposed.

    To me your list sounds like someone put it together much too quickly.

    The purchase of a house or property is not an action that works like selling an eBook to web surfer.
    Using phrases like “Call to action” tells me someone has taken too many “Magic Bean” seminars themselves.
    Just my thoughts 🙂

  12. Mark Eckenrode | HomeStomper

    September 15, 2008 at 10:04 am

    @jay: good point. personality disqualifies prospects as much as it qualifies them. it’s when folks try to walk the middle road and “play it safe” that they never really attract the “right” people for them… and i’m sure more than a few of us know how frustrating that can be.

    @daniel: yeah, that’s a great addition to the list, “long range thinking.” heck, it’s the first step in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People… so, is your marketing in line with your long term goals? thanks for that addition.

    @steve: interesting. well, it’s defintiely obvious you don’t like me or what i have to say however you still seem attracted to my personality 🙂 i’m sure i’ll receive more of your criticisms in the future, i just hope they end up being constructive.

  13. Chris Butterworth

    September 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Good list, Mark.

    #4 is tops in real estate marketing – people buy from people. period. the end. You may have billboards all over town, and use every web2.0 gadget available, but if some schlub agent with no marketing budget and no technology knocks on the prospect’s door, he’s got a better chance of getting their business than you do. (provided he doesn’t drool on himself & turn the prospect off!)

    I would add Consistency as a corollary to #s 12 and 7. Marketing is unlike running an ad – rather than getting a quick hit, it takes time to develop a brand/message. Switching from one plan to the next to the next too quickly is like chasing rainbows looking for the pot of gold.

  14. Mark Eckenrode

    September 18, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    @chris: yup, consistency is a factor in everything.

    did you know that Marlboro used to be a woman’s cigarette? that’s who they marketed too but they were about #20 or so in the industry as far as sales went. they revamped and came up with the whole rugged cowboy bit (talk about a 180) but it took them years before they even began to climb the sales charts from #20.

  15. Paula Henry

    October 1, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Silly me – I don’t know where I was in September, but wanted to stop and say welcome to AG! This type of info is what makes your blog one of my favorites!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.




Business Marketing

Google and Meta have dominated the US's ad revenue since 2014, but in 2022, that started to fade. Will it continue?

Business Marketing

Google adds a redesign quietly to its search engine, adding filters that will change what we know about SEO Marketing.

Business Marketing

Airtable presents the drawbacks of your current marketing strategy and what changes need to be made to make it work efficiently.

Business Marketing

As a small business owner or non-tech-savvy person dipping into marketing, getting free models is a dream. This tool makes it possible.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.