Real estate farming is an increasingly popular strategy among real estate agents. The reason for its popularity? It can be a powerful addition to your lead generation efforts.
Here’s a closer look at what real estate farming is, why it matters, and tips for how to farm your neighborhood in real estate.
What Is Farming in Real Estate?
Real estate farming is establishing yourself as a go-to real estate agent in a particular geographic or demographic area while building solid relationships there. By making yourself the authority in that particular market, you position yourself as a unique commodity.
This doesn’t happen instantaneously, however. Just like with actual farming, cultivating a real estate farm takes expertise, efficiency, consistency, and the right set of tools.
What Is Geographic Farming?
The most common type of real estate farming, geographic farming involves targeting your marketing to a specific town, neighborhood, or subdivision. By zeroing in on one particular area, you acquire unique and specialized knowledge.This can be tremendously beneficial to your clients.
Your Geo farm can be an entire subdivision, a town, or a ZIP code.
What Is Demographic Farming?
A subset within geographic farming, demographic farming involves narrowing down your marketing efforts even further to focus on a particular demographic within your geographic farm. Common targets for demographic farmers may include:
- First-time buyers
- Move-up buyers
- Pet owners
- Sellers/buyers within a specific price range
One word of caution about demographic farming: It’s essential that you understand and remain in compliance with the Fair Housing Act as well as your state and local fair housing laws, which protect against discriminatory treatment.
Choosing Your Geographic Farming Area
Success in real estate farming depends on choosing the right farm area. Many real estate agents choose to farm their own neighborhoods, which has several benefits including familiarity, existing relationships, the convenience of being nearby, and inside knowledge.
These are benefits for your clients as well as for you. In fact, three-quarters of sellers report that local knowledge was an extremely important factor in their agent choice.
If you’re considering a farm area outside your own neighborhood, these factors can help you hone in on a particular geo farm area:
- Level of desirability
- Your personal feelings toward the area
- Clearly defined boundaries
- Size of the area
- Number of homes in the area
- Turnover rate
- Average sales price
Real Estate Farming Tips
Once you’ve decided on a farm area, it’s time to get your name out there. Use these eight geo farming real estate ideas to establish yourself and your brand.
Knock on doors.
While it may sound simple, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions. Make sure to bring a brochure or business card to leave with homeowners so they can find you later. Don’t feel comfortable knocking on doors? Leave door hangers instead.
Use direct mail.
Distribute materials like a real estate farming letter, real estate farming postcards, flyers, newsletters, market reports, and just-sold/just-listed notices monthly.
Keep in mind that it may take some time to start getting results, but a consistent approach is critical.
Collect emails to grow your list.
Direct mail gets your name out there, but it is also an opportunity to generate website traffic. Include a link on your direct mail materials directing prospects to gated content on your website that requires their email for viewing.
In exchange for access to the valuable information you provide, you’ll get their email addresses — and a new lead to follow up on in your farm real estate efforts. (The same strategy can be used at open houses.)
Email prospective clients.
Now that you’ve got contact information for interested potential clients, you can wow them with email marketing. Remember: At this point, the intent is not to sell, but to add value.
Real estate newsletters, market updates, and new listings can all help you build credibility and attract new customers to your website or social media accounts. (Just make sure to link to them.)
Do good in your area.
From participating in local fundraisers like food drives and school events to sponsoring a local youth sports team, there are nearly endless ways to make a positive impression on potential clients by making a positive impact on their community. Today’s customers highly value corporate social responsibility. Giving back can earn you a lot of points.
Speak up on social media.
In addition to posting to your social media accounts on topics that are relevant to your real estate farm area, participate in local real estate forums on the internet.
Steer clear of overt marketing and instead focus on how you can contribute and add value from the perspective of a community member.
Blog about local things to see and do.
Blogging is an excellent way to gain exposure. From highlighting the best restaurants to special events blogging raises your visibility and improves your SEO. Make your content shareable and your reach will grow exponentially.
Use Facebook ads
Facebook advertising lets you target many things, such as ZIP codes and categories like “ready to move.” Zillow’s 10 Tips for Effective Real Estate Facebook Ads can help you launch the most effective campaign.
While getting into real estate farming may seem like a risk, the reality is that the payoffs can be significant. Want to learn more about real estate farming or take steps to becoming a real estate farm?
To get started today, contact the digital marketing experts at The Light Digital.