How to Find and Farm Your Perfect Area
Publish Date: 7/28/2019
Every real estate agent has to farm. It goes with the job. Although it's not always easy, it can be fun as we will find out later in this article. Farming is the process of gaining business and getting your name out in a specially defined area. In order to farm you have to do certain things. First, you need to choose an area. Next, learn the area like the back of your hand, and third decide how you are going to get your name out into the area and learn some of the top farming techniques.
Choosing your farming area
Choosing your farming area seems simple, but it can prove to be a difficult task. First off you want an area that is close to your home, has had the highest turnover and will net you the most commission. You need to take the number of homes you have in your farm area, and figure out how much it will cost to farm it. Also, you will need to figure out the average home price by taking the prices of the homes sold in your area over the past 2 to 3 years and divide them by however many homes there are. That will give you the average sales price. To find the average commission you would then take that average home price and times it by 3%. This will give you the average commission. Next, you need to calculate the average turnover rate by dividing how many homes are in your farm area by how many have sold. Lastly, multiply the number of homes sold by the commission. This will tell you your potential commission for the area. Do this with at least 3 different areas. You can then make a spreadsheet with all of your information in it to calculate which areas are your best bet for farming. You may have an area that has a higher commission total, but a much higher turn over rate in a different area. You also may have an area that sounds great on paper, but hs seriously has taken a turn for the worse in the past year. You would then need to decide whether to make more money on the sales price or make more money on the higher rate of turn over. You definitely don't want to put your money into an area that is recently becoming less attractive to buyers. Start with an area of about 500 homes. This is a good start and you can always increase it in the future. The average home buyer moves about every 13 years, with younger, first-time homeowners moving more often.
Become a neighborhood specialist
The first thing you need to do to farm an area is to become a neighborhood specialist. If you live in this area getting to know the area will be much easier. You already know where the best neighborhood restaurants or the best coffee shops are. You know where the kids go to sign up for the local little league sports, you know about the neighborhood pool, and where the area parks are. You know the area public and private school and can offer the school information reports to your clients. After all, one of the biggest things young couples are looking at is the school and how good it is. The school district is required by law to give this information out to the public. It is normally on their website, but why tell your clients to look on the website, when you can easily have this information out and ready for them, after all, you are the neighborhood specialist.
When home in the area comes on the market you should be the first one to view it. Take measurements of all the bedrooms and living rooms. Make notes on the home, especially if it is in a neighborhood that has 200 homes that are all one of 10 different floorplans. Start a database, that way when you go to your next listing appointment in that area you know all the information on that floorplan and you can tell the homeowner, this home has big bedrooms with an 18x14 master bedroom that will help it sell quicker. And you can tell them before they've even shown you around. Now that shows you are a neighborhood specialist.
Dominate your farm area and get your name known
Most agents just send out a few postcards and wait for someone to call. They do call eventually, but only about 1 to 5% of them. This still makes postcards a good idea and needs to be done as it is a tried and true way of getting business. But how do you get the other 99% of the people in your farm area? First off you need to know your potential clients even before you meet them. You need to cold call your farm area. Real Cloud prospecting software makes that possible. It not only will give you a listing of a certain area, your farm area. But it will also give you full owner information including their phone number, social media information so you can now market to them there.
Create an online presence. Start your own website and make sure it reflects you and your personality. Include an IDX search of the MLS on your site so people can search in your area without being bugged. After all, who wants to be bugged by the salesgirl the second you walk into a clothing store or even a furniture store. Make sure you have contact information on your site so they can get ahold of you when they are ready to talk to you. Social media is the new hit way of getting your name out to clients. Get yourself on facebook and post pictures of your newest home listing, or some funny joke about real estate, homes, or even kids. Start a neighborhood site on Facebook if there isn't one already. This will give you the ultimate presence. You can also start or join a neighborhood site on Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a neighborhood social media site getting neighbors in a certain area together. Making an Instagram page is almost as good as Facebook as you can put up pictures and videos of your latest listing and have it go out to mass people at once. You can even start a video blog on YouTube. Interview neighborhood experts, do tours of your neighborhood or preview local listings. Then share on YouTube or some other social media site. Make sure you take an ample amount of time on each program daily and that you share your contact information on each post.
Of course, do postcards, but include market research flyers as well. Sending a market report to every door in your area will do a lot of good. Most people get the postcards and they put it to the side barely looking at it. But the market report people examine because they want to know what their homes are worth and what the homes in their area are selling for. Not always because they are selling, but just because that is information that they like to know. They like to know how much they have currently made on their biggest investment, their home. Send out emails according to your email list. This is another type of information you can get from your Real Cloud program. Send the people on your email lists emails about their current area, new business' in your area, things of importance, things that are funny, relevant, and informative.
There are also some of the more ingenious ways of marketing that only the top agents do. One is to hold classes for possible buyers and sellers. Hold a class for sellers trying to sell their homes on their own. Yes, you may lose out of some business if they sell their own homes. However most of them will not be able to sell their home on their own, and you will be the first person they call. Hold a BBQ once a month, or a block party for the residents in the neighborhood. Give outdoor prizes. Whatever you can do within your budget will help immensely. You can even attend HOA meetings to get yourself in front of possible sellers, and it wouldn't hurt you to know a little more about your farm area. You can even send out email newsletters to your farm area telling them about what happened at the meeting. Join the Chamber of Commerce and get to know other professionals in your neighborhood. Join a Gym and talk to the other people in the gym while you're working out, and then get their contact information. The more people you meet the better off you are! Even sponsor a neighborhood sports team. It would be a great advertisement to have a banner with your name on the wall of the gym or your name on the back of the jerseys of your local little league team. Even get a booth at a local farmers market, or go to a local meet up. Meetup.com is a countrywide website that allows people to get together that share all kinds of interests. You can join a hiking group if that is what you are interested in and meet new people that way. Another thing you can do to meet more people is to check your local calendar of events. Every time there is something on the calendar, a meeting, a get-together, or anything else, show up. It is a great way to meet people in the area.
There are many more ways you can get your name out into your farming area, this is just a start. One of your best friends in finding people, knowing them, and knowing their homes is the RealCloud software. This will give you information like phone number, social media information and anything else you may need to know about your possible client or their home.