Not every real estate agent practices farming. And, in many cases, that’s because farming doesn’t get immediate results.
But while some people consider this a downside, the truth is that farming is so powerful because it takes a while to get going.
Think of it like a pinwheel. Sure, it might move slowly at first. But, once it starts, it’ll keep moving freely and effectively.
Keep reading for some effective farming strategies that will help you grow your business exponentially in the long term.
Choose the right farm.
If you’re serious about becoming the go-to REALTOR® in your community, you need to set yourself up for success. A big part of that is picking the right place to farm.
Think about actual farmers. They don’t plant their crops in rocky, clay soil that doesn’t grow anything but weeds.
You should be the same way with your geographic farming. When you’re choosing a geo-farm, there are three things you’ll want to consider.
- Competition. Is there another agent who’s already farming this community? If so, you might want to pick another neighborhood. (Remember: farming takes time, and you don’t want other REALTORS® to have a head start.)
- Size. Real estate is a numbers game. With cold, direct mail outreach, you should expect to convert about 2 percent of people you’re marketing to. Make sure your farm consists of at least 250 households.
- Turnover rate. How often are homes actually sold in the area you’re targeting? Your turnover rate is the total homes sold each year divided by the total homes in your geo-farm. If the turnover rate is less than 5 percent annually, you might not see much of a return.
Be willing to play the long game.
If you’re used to working with people in your sphere of influence, farming might seem like a cold way to go about growing your list. The way to turn those total strangers into satisfied customers is through consistent contact.
You can do this through a 12×12 marketing plan. Let’s say you’re sending postcards (which is one of the most popular farming strategies).
The first time someone receives a postcard from you, it might not make much of an impression—and that’s okay. Farming isn’t about getting the deal right away. Instead, it’s about the cumulative effect of regular outreach.
By sending one postcard a month over a 12-month period, you’re continually reminding your recipients of your business. While they might not remember you right away, it’ll be hard to forget you when they’ve heard from you 12 times in as many months.
The two things to send your farm.
Regardless of where you’re farming, you’re most likely not the only agent in the area—which means you need to find ways to be memorable. In addition to reaching out consistently every month, you need to provide high-quality content that resonates with the people in your farm.
The best way to do this is to focus on content that is either entertaining or educational.
Since you’re looking to brand yourself as a community resource, you could send a postcard with a calendar of local events. It’s also a great idea to offer seasonal content.
- May – give spring cleaning tips.
- July – summer vacation ideas
- September – fall home maintenance projects
- December – S.M.A.R.T. goal planning for the new year
Another thing you can do is offer a comparative market analysis. List the prices of properties that have sold recently in the neighborhood, and mention that now is a great time to sell. Be sure to include a call to action, like:
“Want to know what your home is worth? Call me at xxx-xxxx for a free, no-obligation estimate!”
The people in your farm already get so much of what they consider junk mail. Avoid being lumped in with all that ineffective marketing by sending something that is actually relevant. Vary up your messaging with fresh content every month, and you’ll be sure to stay top of mind.
Leverage your wins.
One of the best things about farming is that, once you get your first listing, your efforts will skyrocket. Here’s why:
Farming is all about building mindshare. We know that 70 percent of consumers use the first brand they think of. That’s why it’s so important for you to have top-of-mind awareness. When someone in your farm thinks of real estate, they should think of you.
A 12×12 plan is key to creating this kind of awareness, but it doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve got a listing, you can send a postcard with the heading “Just Listed.” Then, when you’ve sold that property, send another that says “Just Sold.”
Did your farming outreach get you a second listing? Plan an open house, and send another postcard to advertise that. You’ve just gone from 12 postcards in a year to 15, and you’ve got solid, organic reasons for every single outreach you’ve made.
This isn’t even getting into transactions you’ll get from your sphere of influence, or referrals and repeat business from previous clients. Those transactions can also figure into your farming outreach. And, when you close more deals from your farm, you can leverage those new relationships into more referrals.
The bottom line
Whichever farming method you’re using, the principles are the same. You need:
- Consistent outreach (1–2 times a month)
- Valuable/relevant messaging (Entertaining or educational)
- Visible branding that keeps you top of mind
When you have all these things in place, you’ll see your business grow exponentially in your community.
P.S. If you’re ReminderMedia customer looking for an effective direct mail solution for your farm, you can now send Print on Demand Postcards. We have dozens of designs, affordable rates, and farming lists available for purchase. Click here to learn more.