If you are a real estate agent looking to build and maintain a successful real estate business, you will need to master the skill of geographical farming. This strategy will allow you to build your brand awareness and centralize large portions of your real estate listings and sales in a specific area.
Success will depend on your ability to be patient and diligently work in a specific region. To get started with real estate farming, there are some basic methods you should follow to get the best ROI on your efforts. Use these five tips to get started the right way:
1. Choose The Right Location
The best location for geographical farming is an area you are familiar with. For example, the area you live, work or frequent often. It can be doubly productive to pick a place that you would like to live in.
Whichever location you choose to start in, there must be at least a 6% turnover rate. After you have chosen the area you want to target, select 250-500 homes within that area to market out to. The exact number of homes you pick should be correlated with the marketing budget that you have available. You can expand to larger numbers when or if the area you have chosen area becomes saturated, your budget increases, and you are satisfied with your brand awareness and return on investment.
At this point, you may have an area in mind, but are unsure of how to get the actual names and addresses of hundreds of homes. So, how can you get access to this information?
Online tools such as Offrs can assist in selecting your target area and proving data for your area as well, such as names, addresses, and contact information. Offrs calculates the total number of properties, turnover rate, and geographical location, which makes it easier than ever to find the right area for you.
Furthermore, Offrs implements predictive analytics and their proprietary algorithm to determine who is most likely to sell their home within the next 12 months.
This is all great, but, how can you see the statistics for your area?
You can check out some basic statistics and information on the areas you are considering farming using the Offrs Marketing Planner. This software allows you to input your zip code and your desired gross commission income (GCI) for the year. Hit search, and boom. All of the information you need to know about your area is there, such as average home value, expect total listings, market share, difficulty rate, and competition. This information about your area can give you a realistic overview of the current market and what your marketing strategy will need to include, and can ultimately help determine if you can win that area as an agent (and did I mention it's totally free).
Take a look below at what the Offrs Marketing Planner outputted for Sarasota, FL zip 3423 with the desired GCI of 100,000.
A chart generated by Offrs Marketing Planner shows stats of inputted zip code 34236.
2. Create An Expense Plan For Real Estate Farming
You will have to set your budget and decide exactly how much you can dedicate to this new marketing endeavor. This may play a part in how many homes you choose to target initially because ideally, you will want to make sure that you have contact with each house at least twice a month.
To calculate your return on investment for your farming efforts, you will need to consider costs for your marketing (such as online ads, mailers, emails, etc.). Consider this against your expected return through new business. This should give you a good idea of how much you will want to invest in your geographical farming budget for the year to come.
The Offrs Marketing Planner can also help with outputting a general idea of the cost per month for your campaigns. And it is all centralized around your personal zip and your goal GCI.
3. Commit To Your Strategy
Farming is a long-term strategy, and you have to play the long game. This means you have to stay committed and consistent with all of your marketing techniques.
Do not give up if you do not hear back from your target area in the first couple of months. There will most likely be a ton of advertisements and marketing thrown in their face from other agents. But as long as you continue to market to them and "out-run" your competition, you will be the one they call when it's time to sell.
This is how to be successful at farming, by staying consistent. Consistency is hard, but it will be the difference between an unsuccessful and successful farming strategy.
4. Stay Connected
A great reason to choose a farming location where you live or work is that you know the people there. It is essential to make friends with the people in your geographical farm.
A crucial part of all business is meeting new faces and remembering names. People remember people who remember them.
A tip for staying connected is whenever you meet someone new and put their contact in your phone, be sure to make a note about when, where, and how you met this person. That way you can always refer back to the notes to make interactions more personal. This may seem ingenuine at first, but it is a great trick to help you stay in touch. After all, you hopefully will meet lots of people and simply will forget details.
Spend time in your farm and get to know the people there. Attending, hosting, or sponsoring events in your chosen location is an excellent investment to make!
5. Knowledge Is Power
Know the homes in your farm. Use every opportunity available to get to know the homes in your area inside and out. For example, an open house, garage sale, or door knocking. Get to know new homeowners. Develop relationships early on, and you will earn their trust and business almost every time.
Make sure that you are the expert when it comes to the market and the homes on the market in your particular area. Stay current on the values in your area and the issues that can affect them.
Keeping up to date with the real estate market and community will be vital. Information is valuable. However, this does not mean you have to know everything to get started. We just encourage agents to take every opportunity they have to learn.
Overall, our number one piece of advice is: Stick to your plan. You can change your plan but make sure you always have one. Inconsistent effort produces inconsistent results. If you want a healthy return on your investment in real estate farming, you need to follow through on your marketing efforts and stay on top of all the information you can get.
By committing to this cause and focusing your efforts, you can maximize your success in geographical real estate farming. This not only helps bring a notable return but helps to grow your brand and advance your career and success within the real estate industry.