Identifying a Farm
Farming an area can be one of the most effective ways of building your business long term. Consider the difference between working with a good buyer or actively farming a neighborhood. Typically with a buyer, the relationship is started when you first meet the buyer and is established very quickly. If they like and trust you, and believe you can get the job done, they’ll want to work with you. But consider the following drawbacks:
- You may not be familiar with the buyer’s area of interest.
- You may not have important information you can send your buyers as part of your 24 touch campaign.
Now consider the benefits of continuous prospecting in a farm area:
- Homeowners in your farm move an average of once every seven years.
- Advertising and marketing may typically take 6-8 communications before the impact is realized. Imagine how well the residents will know you if you have a 24 touch annual campaign year after year.
- Because the residents already know you from your continuous mailings, a relationship is already in place when they do want to sell. You are likely to be one of the agents they call when they want to list their property.
- Also, consider that approximately 5-10% of homeowners move every year. If you have a farm of 1,000 residents, 50-100 will list in a given year. If you are providing continuous contact, most of them are likely to call you before they decide who will represent them.
- Best of all, at some point every homeowner will eventually sell. In other words, your marketing dollars will always be well spent and your time invested always worthwhile, unlike a buyer that may decide to buy in another area with another agent.
Per the above comparison, it’s obvious that the key to building a highly successful business over the long run that continues to grow is to focus on building a farm area. Here are a couple of key points to consider before you chose your farm:
- Never focus more than 1,500 residences.
- Calculate the rate of movement by dividing the total number of homes by the number of sales in the past year. Identify a farm that has close to 10% movement in any given year. If it’s less than 5% movement, find another area.
- Two mailings per month or 24 touches over the year is ideal. Additional contacts via face-to-face can dramatically improve your sale success.
- If it’s possible to live in the farm area you’re farming, attend social events, or even walking your dog every night is even better.
- If one agent dominates an area you may want to look elsewhere.