Though real Estate farming is an industry-old concept, it’s been dusted off and re-branded to become a new real estate buzz-word. Targeting a specific community or neighborhood to become their prominent agent has always been an effective tool, but being seen with new eyes has given it fresh applications.
In keeping with the farming pun, a real estate geo-farmer ‘plants’ their flag in a specific area and becomes a pillar of the community, doing everything in their power to assert and establish themselves to ‘grow’ into the neighborhood real estate expert, which ‘sprouts’ a bigger ‘crop’ of sales within that area.
This agricultural endeavor includes more than your typical means of advertising, often meaning pounding the pavement, networking, socializing, attending HOA meetings, volunteering, writing community newsletters, and learning every last detail about the community and its residents. However, it is one of the most effective growth strategies in the real estate game today.
Here are the 10 best methods to ensuring you are crowned King of Real Estate in your chosen neighborhood.
1. Call Community Residents
Calling to advertise a neighbor’s listing as Just Sold or Just Listed is the single most effective way to gain new clients. Don’t forget to take advantage of phone calls under the premise of announcing other updates like Open House, Coming Soon, Price Reduced, or Back on Market which provide a perfect foot-in-the-door opening for you to make your pitch.
2. Knock on Doors
Though this literal beat-the-street take on making contact with potential clients involves more work and less chance of reaching people, face-to-face interaction is more effective on the people you do reach. If no one answers, you can leave an “I stopped by” note in their door with relevant information.
Avoid seeming like an intrusive and aggressive solicitor by using a listing update as your premise for the pop-in, which shows the public just how hard you work to sell your listings.
3. Contact the Hard Sells
Pay special attention to the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and expired listing residents in the community. You never know when these home owners may be ready to let someone else take the reigns or try again. Helping FSBOs market their home pro-bono with your other listings shows you care and keeping them updated shows your work ethic.
Stay updated on expired listings hotsheets so you’re ready to take over when the time comes.
4. Hold Frequent and Fun Open Houses
We all know open houses are a great way to get houses sold, but they are also one of the best ways to attract new clients. Think about ways you can make your open houses stand out, from offering cookies and promo materials to investing in a bounce house you can whip out whenever selling in a family-centric community.
5. Send Hot Sheet Flyers and Market Updates
These marketing materials can be direct mailed or left at the door. Come up with a fun, distinctive, and eye-catching way to advertize your listings and sales and promote updates. Don’t forget to include a “hand-written note” from you.
6. Join or Volunteer for the HOA
Though you are typically required to own a home in the neighborhood to be a member of the HOA, most welcome a helping hand. Offering to print HOA notices on your neighborhood marketing materials or volunteering your time or money for meetings, fundraising events, community festivals,or block parties is a great way to assert yourself as an expert and pillar of the community.
Reach out the the HOA in your chosen neighborhood to see how you can be of service.
7. Start or Join Neighborhood Facebook Groups
Ask to join an existing neighborhood social media group or create your own. Remember to cross advertize the page on your marketing materials and post your listing updates on the page. Be helpful and knowledgeable, answering questions and offering valuable information about the community whenever possible.
8. Host a Block Party
After getting to know neighborhood residents and having gained a couple listings, hold an event at a park, pool, or community common area. You can co-organize with neighborhood charities and organizations like asking a local dog shelter to bring their featured adoptable pets or offering the local Boy Scouts chapter a booth to make it real festival.
Offer a simple craft or activity, serve inexpensive food like hot dogs or cupcakes and refreshments, hand out balloons and other promo materials, and bring that bounce-house!
9. Create a Community Website
A neighborhood website provides a great way not only to promote yourself and your real estate success, but to further establish yourself as a neighborhood expert and dedicated agent. Make sure it includes a feed to your local MLS, a personal call-to-action (CTA), and a link to your appointment scheduler.
You can provide links to neighborhood happenings, the HOA, community social media groups, and nearby businesses.
10. Run Targeted Campaigns
Work to gain as many community email addresses and phone numbers as you can. Offer homeowners the opportunity to keep up on real-estate happenings in the neighborhood so they stay abreast on the valuation of their home. Create your neighborhood email group so you can send personalized community newsletters and updates specific to them.
One of the best ways to do this in today’s era is paid Facebook campaigns. With a high quality campaign and an effective offer you can get leads for as low as $1 in many cases.
And if you are getting leads for $1 and only spending $100 a month, you could be filling your database with hundreds of leads each and every month!
Leveraging the paid traffic sources online like Facebook is an extremely effective method for lead gen.
Don’t Forget to Cross-Reference Your Efforts
Putting all the necessary work into becoming the top tier agent in a community is a large undertaking requiring commitment and persistence. No matter which task you’re working on, you should always plug your other efforts.
When you send those flyers door to door, don’t forget to include your neighborhood website, email newsletter, social media group, HOA information, and community events and happenings.
When you call to inform neighbors about a new listing, offer to add them to the community newsletter or email them a link to the neighborhood website or facebook group so they can stay connected.
These tips will help you on your way to becoming a skilled farmer, so get out there and raise some real estate crop!