How to Start a Real Estate Farm to Find Better Leads
Leads are everything.
More leads mean more clients. When you meet a lead, you have a chance to convert them into someone who wants to hire you.
That’s why agents always want new ways to find more leads.
Real estate agents have many tools and methods to find leads and convert them into clients.
One method is called real estate farming.
What makes real estate farming stand out is that it’s an easy, practical way to build trust and meet hundreds of potential clients.
What is Real Estate Farming?
Real estate farming is a marketing strategy to find clients in a designated area or demographic. Agents “farm” an area for new leads.
Similar to agricultural farmers, agents plant their seeds in neighborhoods to reap their rewards when the time is right.
In other words, a real estate agent will find a neighborhood they would like to farm. Then, they position themselves as the local expert by saturating the area with marketing. For example, they will buy bench ads, door knock, or mail letters.
The goal of real estate farming is to be the go-to person. When someone in that neighborhood is ready to sell, they will contact the agent who farms that area.
Which Real Estate Farm is For You?
Real estate farms come in many shapes and forms. Before you farm, you should know which real estate farm is conducive to your business. Here are the different types of farms:
Geographic farming is sometimes called geo-farming. A geographic real estate farm has physical parameters that contain an agent’s target audience. A few examples include neighborhoods, subdivisions, and zip codes.
As the name suggests, demographic farming focuses on a specific demographic. Instead of physical parameters, demographic farming focuses on people with specific wants, goals, or interests. For example, people who want to downsize their home, investors trying to make money, or surfers who want to move closer to the beach.
Micro-farming is where agents talk to the neighbors of their listing to advertise an open house. This starts conversations and raises awareness for that listing, but doing so also introduces the lead to an agent.
How to Pick an Area to Farm
To pick an area to farm, you should choose somewhere you are familiar with. This is the easiest way to quickly become a local expert.
Your own neighborhood is a good area to start with. You know the land, community, and any events that are coming to the area. Also, connecting with local homeowners is easier.
The size of your area also matters. So, refrain from making your farm too large – the bigger the area, the harder to manage. Also, your expenses will go up! Unless you have the budget to market to a large audience, stick to a small area.
If you are comparing areas, you should compare data. Look at the average sales price, commission per sale, turnover rate, and income potential. These metrics help you learn how much money you will put in and how much you can make.
On average, farming an area can cost $10,000 per year. This includes all marketing material you need for consistent promotion. That’s why you should crunch the numbers first. Farming can cost a lot, and doing it wrong comes with a big loss.
Quick tip: attend local events, community meetups, or council meetings to stay connected with people in the area. These are effective ways to stay current with your target audience.
Real Estate Farming Ideas
A plan to farm an area will only get you so far. Staying top of mind calls for creativity and personality. So, here are some ways to connect with locals:
Be the source of information: Let people know how much their land is worth through MLS data or comps. Then, deliver this information on postcards, door hangers, or leaflets.
Gift baskets: Welcome new homeowners with a gift basket and introduce yourself. This helps start the conversation.
Sponsoring: Sponsor a local sports team, school events, or helping local charities. You can also consider co-marketing with a lender and share the cost of marketing materials and events.
Local social media: Connect with local businesses and residents on social media. People love to see what’s happening in their community. You can use this to your advantage to reach locals through engagement and geo-hashtags.
Partner with local businesses: You can leave promotional material in local shops. This is another way you can stay top of mind.
Launch your website: Create a real estate website. If done well, your website can be at the forefront of search results when people look for agents in your farm’s area.
Final Thoughts on Starting Your Real Estate Farm
Real estate farms are effective ways to build trust and relationships with people in a specific area. But, don’t think you’ll make big bucks overnight. Real estate farms can take upwards of a year to start building momentum. But, when they do, you won’t have to find business because business will find you.
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