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"Top-agent Tips And Tricks!"

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Ken Deshaies Photo
4/1/05 Interview with Ken Deshaies

SnowHome Properties
PO Box 37
Dillon, CO 80435

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Deshaies' Market

  1. Two out of three properties in Deshaies' resort market outside Denver are owned by non-residents as vacation homes.
  2. Much of his initial marketing is done by phone and email; the Internet was a great benefit to the way he does business.
Marketing Priorities

  1. His highest priority has long been on the Internet and email, he has relied on his web site for 10 years.
  2. Print advertising is expensive compared to email, which is essentially free, and to the more modest costs for building a web site; Deshaies gets better returns on his advertising dollars by focusing on the Internet.
  3. Some amount of print advertising is necessary, in part to satisfy sellers who want to see something tangible; also, putting your web site in every piece of print advertising is important to drive traffic to the site.
A Website Network

  1. Deshaies has a primary site but also several secondary sites, and he owns 40 to 50 domain names, which all point to the primary site.
  2. Each of his sites is designed a little differently; e.g., the primary site does not require registration for someone to view properties; other sites do require registration, as a measure of whether people would register or not.
  3. Some people will register and others will not; the registration sites carry a link back to his primary site as a safety net not to lose them as prospects.
  4. The registration process does help to qualify leads; people who give valid information tend to be serious consumers.
  5. Another aspect of the website network is links to other relevant sites,such as national aggregators and local real estate-related service sites; links back help drive traffic to your site and improve search engine ranking.
  6. Secondary domain names such as are intended to capture searchers who may try typing a familiar name into a browser, the secondary domains take people to
The Summit Social Club

  1. Deshaies got the idea to apply the concept of an email communication tool for reaching and staying in touch with a group; free resources to set up an Internet group include and
  2. Deshaies created an email community for "all his past, present and future clients" that he positioned as a place for people who live in or regularly visit Summit County to communicate; anyone except rival agents can join.
  3. Setup of a group through a service like Yahoo! takes less than an hour; you have the ability to invite people whose email addresses you have to participate; Deshaies recommends sending an email announcement first saying that an invitation will follow; then send the invitation with the option to click and join.
  4. An advantage of an email group is that people do not have to remember to go to your web site; every time anyone sends out a message, everyone gets it, so people are continually reminded of you.
  5. Stimulate communication by encouraging people to post questions in order to get broad response, "Do you know a good plumber?"
  6. Deshaies does not allow blatant advertising on the listserve, including his own listings; however, every time he posts a message, his signature identifies what he does and how to reach him.
  7. To connect the Summit Social Club to his business, Deshaies organizes periodic events for members to meet and network; for example, he arranges discounted meals with restaurants and announces a place for the club to congregate at free outdoor concerts; such visibility also attracts new members.
Using Email to Maximum Advantage

  1. Many clients find Deshaies online; email is critical because about 30% of his clients come from outside the Denver area, even from other countries; email is the primary means of communication and an important transition from the Internet to face-to-face.
  2. His first reply to an email inquiry offers to mail information; some of it could be sent by email, but Deshaies likes to get a complete address from people; enclosures such as his book cannot be easily emailed.
  3. Sending people a relocation packet before they come to Summit County prepares them for their first visit.
Network of Authors

  1. Deshaies' How to Make Your Realtor Get You the Best Deal, a book explaining why a home buyer should work with a single buyer agent, is written on the basis of Colorado law.
  2. To expand the market for the book, Deshaies started a network of agents, one per state, to rewrite the chapter on real estate law and then republish the book for that state; 35 states are already covered.
  3. All of the co-authors can share with each other via a listserve forum similar to the Summit Social Club; they communicate on such matters as marketing ideas for using the book.
  4. Contrary to the accepted principle that advertising must be short and quick, people read the 140-page book, a long advertisement that they absorb; it wins readers to be loyal buyer clients; for information on the book, see
Favorite Spots on the Web

  1. is a place to get people to bid on doing a project for you.
  2. Apple's iTunes is a wonderful music resource for iPod users.
  3. Travelocity and TravelersAdvantage are among useful travel sites.
Thinking Outside the Box

Deshaies does not discount the value of marketing strategies used by most real estate top-producers; however, he prefers to look for alternative ways to do some things that are more in keeping with his personal style.

Contact Information for Ken Deshaies:

(v) 888-353-SNOW (7669)
(f) 866-782-6059

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:
Resources for email groups:
Yahoo! Groups


Travel sites: