What is real estate farming? Real estate farming is the process of branding yourself to a specific group of people, area or market segment as a first choice agent for homebuyers, homesellers or real estate investors. Real estate farming is a long time investment in both time and money but well worth it in the end because it will help you develop business on a regular basis.
An in-depth look The first step in the process of real estate farming is identifying the specific niche you want to specialize in. Do you want to farm your own neighborhood? A specific age or professional group? A certain type of real estate such a apartments or vacation houses? The next step is to gather in-depth knowledge of the area or market segment. Study each property sold as well as the location to get a feel of the finances and the general characteristics. Include in your research all the other listed homes and become familiar with every little detail concerning the pricing, the state of the market, the offers and the requests.
To attain this goal, you can also visit the open houses at the time, participate in the weekly tours of homes, and gather data about adjacent neighborhoods as well. After youve catalogued all this data, turn your attention to the neighborhood in question and start putting together a presentation portfolio. Education and transportation in the area are very important elements that can drop or raise the prices. Also, analyze shopping centers, churches, parks, theaters and any other significant places in the neighborhood. You will need to know all of these details if you want to be considered the expert and the first choice in the area. Take pictures of all your listings, outside and inside to give the clients a better idea before the actual visit. Also, be sure to include pictures of the neighborhood itself in the buyer package. In short, you need to be prepared to answer every question that may be thrown your way.
About real estate farming methods The keys to success for any real estate farming method are: quality, quantity and consistency.
Quality - Whatever method you use, be sure to employ quality means. People are sick of getting adds in their mailboxes and inboxes. They will probably get rid of your add before even bothering to read it. So instead of treating them as cash-cows, orient your farming so that it benefits your recipients instead of yourself. Give them something they can use, namely quality information: tips on buying and selling houses, mortgage information, house improvements, anything that might interest your target audience.
Also, take care with your advertising materials. If you use flyers, dont use cheap paper and low-quality printing that gets on peoples hands before your ad is even read. It will make you look unprofessional.
Quantity - In some cases, less is certainly more, but in farming, you need to get your name out there to as many prospective clients as possible. So there needs to be a sufficient quantity of targeted people and in consequence, an equivalent quantity of promotional material. People dont sell houses everyday, so you need a large enough base to keep a steady stream of business coming your way. For a good turnover, you need at least 250 properties. But in order to get these 250 properties, you will probably contact at least twice as many possible many owners and buyers. So while you dont want to spam with your flyers and emails the whole city, you certainly dont want to be facing a very interested prospect while reaching in your wallet for a business card and finding none.
Consistency - After the initial contact, it is crucial to do follow up. People dont like being taken over by a well-thought marketing campaign and then forgotten. Also, while youre idling, the competition might rear its ugly head. So, be sure to do everything in your power to keep your name in your target publics head. Its after all about being the first choice, the agent to pop up in peoples mind when they decide to do a real estate transaction. Its best to combine offline and online methods of farming, to get the best of both worlds.
During the past years, internet usage has increased dramatically. According to the 2004 NAR "Profile Of Home Buyers And Sellers" survey, over half of buyers (53 percent) used the Internet frequently during their search. Start by taking advantage of your circle of friends and meet as many people as possible. Make sure you take names, phone numbers and email addresses whenever possible. In the same spirit you can go around the neighborhood and knock on doors.
Once youve made the first contact, be sure to follow up at least every three months by talking to them. Also, send them quality information both offline, though regular mail, as well as online, using direct mail and newsletters. Dont forget, these people know other people and so on, like a domino effect. As trust runs high on the list of reasons for choosing an agent, referrals from friends will help bring new prospects to your doorstep. In the same spirit, do not forget to take referrals and testimonials for yourself.
Display them on your website and on offline marketing tools (brochures, flyers, posters). No matter which methods you use, be sure to collect as much data as possible. Obviously, a name, a phone number and an email are the minimum necessary. But you can get valuable feed-back as well. What kind of house is a potential buyer looking for, what and when does a seller put his house on the market, what does a person look for in a real estate agents and many more.
Also, it may be that they know someone else on the verge of a real estate deal. Once again, be sure to follow up and, most importantly, always ask permission to call. If an email can be deleted without too much trouble, an unexpected phone call can be annoying and you may end up losing a client. The first and most obvious advantage of real estate farming is branding yourself as a trustworthy and savvy professional.
Buying or selling a house is quite possibly the most important
business transaction most people will make during their life-time.
Because of that, trust and reputation are tantamount factors in choosing
an agent. Real estate farming builds your image over time so it is
quite probably the best way to conduct and promote your real estate