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"Great Marketing Tools for Little or Nothing"

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Jim Kimmons Photo
7/3/09 Interview with Jim Kimmons

New York Times at
P.O. Box 2080
Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557

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Criteria for Evaluating Tech Tools
  1. In today’s economy especially, Kimmons looks for tools and services that allow him to do his job better, faster, easier and at lower cost.
  2. He applies such tools to two main areas: (1) management/customer service, and (2) marketing.
  3. In the management/customer service area, a good tool enhances speed, ease and accuracy; it must help him in some way to serve his customer better; satisfied customers keep the referrals coming in.
  4. For marketing, a tool needs to produce measurable results—marketing needs to make the phone ring.

A Great Tool for Mobility
  1. One good example of a valuable tool is YouMail, a free service that takes cell phone messages; all Kimmons’ phone messages go through his cell phone service because he wraps his regular phone to his cell when he is out; if he is on his regular phone, or if he does not pick up in three rings, the call automatically goes to his cell phone.
  2. YouMail allows different greetings for different people—there are thousands of greetings to choose from, or you can record your own; the result is that clients feel special; if a first name is in the caller ID, YouMail can be set to use the name in the greeting.
  3. To create special messages for individuals, you must import your contacts (a quick task) and then record messages for them.
  4. An added, paid service from YouMail is text transcription and transmission of messages.

Kimmons' Favorite
  1. also offers a basic free service plus paid add-ons; Jott allows an agent to use a cell phone to do record keeping and text transcription as well as messaging; it recently added voice mail service.
  2. Kimmons calls Jott to leave himself notes that are emailed to his computer; appointments can be entered onto his Google calendar or other free tasking services such as Remember the Milk and Toodledo.

Tools for Lead Generation
  1. If not already the most effective tools in this area, blogging, and social and business networking soon will be.
  2. Kimmons is so convinced of this that a year ago he abandoned his traditional web site, which had built a lot of search-engine clout, for a WordPress blog platform; he gets a lot of traffic without spending the time some people think is necessary.
  3. Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin automatically receive his blog posts; although he has not logged-in in a long while, Kimmons has 200 Twitter followers who get the first part of his posts and can then go and check them.
  4. Blogging allows you to interact with other professionals and the public; a simple format avoids getting into page design—the emphasis is on writing content.
  5. Kimmons directs his technical writing to Linkedin, more of a professional network; he has a Twitter account that gets posts from his Taos real estate site; another Twitter account gets his posts from

Success with Blogs

Strategy for Focused Leads
  1. The fastest way to get focused leads to a new web site is using pay per click (PPC); to avoid spending too much money, Kimmons limits his PPC budget to 10% or less of his commissions.
  2. A helpful resource on PPC is the earlier Real Estate Radio interview [Oct. 2008] with Howie Jacobson, author of Adwords for Dummies.
  3. Work hard on the ads and landing pages where people come via PPC; both Google and Yahoo! decide where your ad will appear on the basis of a quality score they assign as well as on your PPD bid.
  4. Part of your ad score takes into account click-through ratio; the better that is, Google will move your ad up and charge you less because Google wants its users to have a good online experience.

Advice on Drip E-mail
  1. The biggest mistakes agents make in following up with drip email is making messages, too long and too pushy, and sending useless, canned information.
  2. Concentrate on sending just three or four focused email messages; in the first, explaining the limited quantity and nature of the sequence can cut the opt-out rate by half; Kimmons tells that he will send three messages to point to specific areas of his web site to help the prospect learn about the area and the real estate market and to see statistics.
  3. In the last email, he identifies it as “last in this series,” thanks the prospect and says that the name will be moved to a list to receive quarterly, statistical reports of market activities.

Efficiency Tools
  1. is a free site for keeping track of expenses; although designed for employees to record expenses for reimbursement, the site can be a tool for categorizing business related accounts and recording receipts; ties into Xpenser so that accounting entries can be made on the run.
  2. is a free resource that expedites posting documents to your web site; Word documents, Excel files and PDFs uploaded to Docstoc can be linked to your web site, or the code can be imbeded.
  3. will automatically place your virtual tour videos on a number of designated sites (such as Youtube, Goolge, Yahoo!) with a single upload; it also provides a link where you and your clients can view graphed stats of activity to the videos.
  4. is a source for legal music for video background at low cost.
Contact Information for Jim Kimmons:

(v) 575-613-4573
(f) 866-802-3702

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:
Tasking services:
Social networking sites: