Farming is one of the most powerful tactics you can use to target a specific geographic area and become the dominant real estate agent within that area. While it’s easy to master the basics of farming, many fall short by making common farming mistakes. Proper farming will help you generate more leads and establish yourself as the go-to real estate agent in your farm.
DO explore the market
Work areas where you live, that you are familiar with and that you like, or a price range you would like to be in. Before choosing one of these areas make sure there’s not a dominant agent already in the area. Pick areas that have a turnover rate of at least 6%. Choose between 1,500-2,500 homes to begin with and consider your budget simultaneously.
DON’T only farm at a specific time of year
Remember farming is a long-term commitment…and consistency in connecting with the people in your farm is key. Homeowners need to hear from you, see you and receive information from you on a regular basis, not just the holidays. We recommend using direct mail postcards or customized magazines. Postcards are great to start with, but they do not offer a lot of space to add value. If your budget allows for it, consider creating your own customized magazine to deliver the most value. Your role as the go-to agent in an area is to be the most knowledgeable person about the area. Include articles about what is happening with the values in the neighborhood, how many are currently on the market for sale, what new initiatives can possibly be affecting their home values. What are the specific issues these homeowners want to know about and how can you bring them the answers and give them the inside scoop about their community?
DO create a neighborhood website
Even if you have already established a Facebook group for the area you’re farming—which you should—you should still have a neighborhood website (or a dedicated page on your website). The website should include market data and information about the area you’re farming. Having a refined, professional website will help you establish yourself as an expert in your farm.
DON’T only focus on the sellers
It’s important to give buyers the same consideration as you give sellers. Failing to connect with buyers is one of the most common farming mistakes. When you connect with buyers you establish credibility when you’re marketing to sellers due to your past achievements.
DO combine physical and digital marketing pieces
Using Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of digital marketing is effective, but it’s also important to send out physical marketing pieces to your farm. It takes much less effort for your audience to mentally process physical marketing materials that they can hold in their hands. Hence, people are much more likely to remember brands from direct mail ads rather than digital ads. If you already send out a custom community magazine to help with leads, referrals, and repeat business, you can also integrate postcards in between mailings to help with your farming efforts.
DO include multiple forms of contact information
On both physical and digital marketing materials, you should make sure to include your phone number, email address, and website information. Some of your audience is more likely to contact you online through a message or email. Others are more likely to pick up the phone and call you for more information. You want to make yourself accessible to your entire audience, not just a few.
Whether you’ve already begun farming or you’d like to start farming a new area, avoid the common mistakes mentioned above and focus instead on what is proven to work.