Learn the geographic farming ideas that work at a high level in this ultra low-inventory market without being high cost.
In this ultra low-inventory market, we have found these geographic farming ideas to be super effective. And they aren’t expensive! If you’re a real estate farmer, this is the market for you. This is when farmers dominate. Check out the video and blog below for a complete geographic farming plan.
VIDEO: Geographic Farming Ideas in a Low-Inventory Market
Farmers are getting the listings
Our clients at ICC are always asking us about ways to get more listings, especially in low-inventory markets like the one we are in now. The fact of the matter is — Realtors who use geographic farming are getting the listings. If you’ve already saturated certain farms, the listings are going to fall in your lap. Realtors that have strong admin support do especially well with these geographic farming ideas because they don’t have to do it all on their own. More on that later.
1. Set up your farming databases
Using an information service will get you the contact information for your geographic farm. You can get 40%-60% of the email addresses for a given neighborhood, typically. Which is amazing! Don’t be disappointed by only getting a percentage — back in the day, we didn’t have this resource at all. Getting email addresses is key. Sending out emails to your geographic farm can cost you nothing. It’s very easy to email whatever it is that you are mailing, too. It’s an extra touch and an extra mode of contact.
You can take the email addresses and also upload them into Facebook and retarget Facebook ads to them. (More on this later, see number 4.) The emails are the key, here! There are a lot of things you can do for farming with email addresses that makes these geographic farming ideas very low cost.
Most people think of farming and they think of mailers. Mailers are great! Don’t get me wrong. And they work very well. That said, they are also the most expensive part which makes farming prohibitive to most people. A lot of agents do a very poor job of farming because they don’t want to spend the money and they don’t realize there are other ways to make contacts that add value with a lower price point.
Cell phone numbers are also very valuable, and this is information that you can get for your geographic farms as well. You can do bulk text messages, straight to voicemail messages, etc. Adding these additional methods of communication is so key to a successful geographic farm. You are diversifying your contacts and reaching more people this way.
Information services we recommend
Here are several information services that we partner with here at ICC. Click on the links below to get in on special promotions and discounts that they offer us!
2. Email templates for your geographic farms
In this video, I talk about several easy-to-use email templates (that can also be used as mailers). These are great (and free) geographic farming ideas to use! I’ll break them down for you below.
We Need Listings Letter & Email Template – This is after a “Just Sold” and it can be in reference to anyone in your office who just sold a listing. You just change the “I” to “we” in that case. “We” have buyers, so “we” need listings! It emphasizes that we are in a housing shortage. You are letting everyone know that you have buyers lined up and waiting. For an example of what this letter looks like, be sure to watch the video embedded in this blog.
Listings Needed Letter & Email Template – Here’s the hit list. Go to all the buyers you have in your pipeline and make a “needs list.” Get specific in your request. You’re diversifying your message and demonstrating that you have these buyers lined up and ready to buy. For an example of what this letter looks like, be sure to watch the video embedded in this blog.
Buyer Needs a Home Letter & Email Template – This isn’t a love letter. This is just a letter that describes specific buyers that you are working with and what they are looking for. You’re sending this letter off on your buyer’s behalf — by email and mail. For an example of what this letter looks like, be sure to watch the video embedded in this blog.
Use these templates during the busy season
We coach our clients here at ICC to use these templates, both in email form and mail form, from May through June every year. That’s a total of six unique touches that you can make to your geographic farm. Remember, the key is to be hyper-local. Hyper-local is the name of the game with geographic farming! Specify the neighborhood of your recipients and you will feel a lot less like “spam” to them.
3. Set everyone up on listing e-alert emails
Now, you should set up all of these farm contacts on listing e-alerts. That way, anytime a listing comes on the market in their neighborhood or community, they get an email alert. Typically you use this for your buyers. You enter criteria that your buyer is looking for, and they get an email whenever a match comes on the market. This also works for your farm because people love to be the first to know when one of their neighbor’s homes goes up for sale. When it comes to geographic farming ideas, this one is also no-cost to you!
This step makes you look good as an agent because they will likely believe that it is always your listing since you’re the one sending them the e-alert. You are providing a free service to all the residents of this neighborhood or community. They are seeing your name over and over, and they are getting value from you, too. And on top of that, they are learning about the value of the homes in their neighborhood — and value is increasing everywhere.
4. Create a Facebook list and repeat
You can create a Facebook list from your geographic farm email list and market directly to them on Facebook. This is huge! And this Facebook feature has been around forever! This is yet another avenue for people to see your name. Moreover, you are adding another method of contact to your geographic farm contact plan. When it comes to geographic farming ideas, using social media is very low cost, as well. And, Facebook has never been more popular than it is today. A lot of people live their life on Facebook. They are probably more likely to engage with you on social media than with you as the result of a mailer.
5. Send an intro mailer
This mailer gives the geographic farm members a heads up on the fact that you’ve signed them up for listing e-alerts. It explains how it works, and let’s them know they are about to get a bunch of emails from you. For an example of what this mailer looks like, be sure to watch the video embedded in this blog.
6. Just Listed / Just Sold marketing
Just Listed / Just Sold marketing does not mean simply sending out two postcards with each listing. They need to be part of a much bigger process. This is the process outlined in this article — steps one through six. I recommend a 6:2 ratio. That means six emails and two mailers for every listing.
Here are the six emails:
- Coming Soon
- Just Listed
- Open House
- Under Contract
- Sale Pending
- Just Sold
Here are the two mailers:
- Just Listed
- Just Sold
If you do this, with one listing, everyone in the geographic farm will think you just sold eight houses. It will evidence your success while showing the high level of customer service that you provide to your seller clients that are their neighbors in their community. You will be respected for your hard work! Everything you are doing is weaving in customer service to add value — while marketing your services at the same time.
Geographic farming ideas with admin support
Farming can be a lot of work. As a result, a lot of agents fail at it, or give up. This is why at ICC we coach that in order to level up as a top-producing real estate agent, you need administrative support. High-level teams can farm multiple neighborhoods at once because they have great, full-time administrative support. The key to farming is layering these various contacts and adding value constantly. A lot of agents fear hiring an admin because they don’t want to spend the money. However, with good administrative support, the rule of thumb is that it will pay for itself on a 3:1 return on investment.
Now, once you have your administrative support in place, you can add these geographic farming tasks to their listing to contract and contract to close checklists. This will ensure that all of these geographic farming ideas are executed with every listing you take!
Bonus: more fun geographic farming ideas
Block parties! You can generate a lot of neighborhood buzz and get facetime with the farm members by hosting a block party. You can use the block party as a reason to use the client event contact plan for even more touches to your geographic farm. Here are a few great block party ideas to use this summer:
- Taco truck
- Shave ice truck
- Ice cream truck
- Lemonade stand
During the summer, you can do these events on a weekday, which leaves your weekend days freed up for open houses and listing appointments. The kids are out of school during the summer at this time, so you can really get to know the neighbors in your farm community. You are coming from contribution and adding value through these easy geographic farming ideas. Everyone will love you (especially if you’re serving up shave ice on a hot summer day)!
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