Use these real estate farming ideas agents to target specific neighborhoods and become the agent of choice for each community. Successful geographic real estate farming specialists systematically and continuously market to a neighborhood brand themselves as the area’s real estate expert. They do this by diversifying the types of marketing methods used to contact neighbors to display their many marketing techniques and to avoid annoying recipients through any one method too frequently. Marketing materials should focus on evidencing the success of the agent while also showing the neighborhood that no other agent works harder to get homes sold. Also know that real estate farming is a Game of Touches, so the more times that you can contact neighbors the higher the likelihood of getting more listings in the community. Before we examine the The Top 10 Real Estate Farming Ideas that agents should use to market to neighborhoods below, watch as top producing agent Amber Rothermel shares her real estate farming ideas & systems in this video.
The Top 10 Real Estate Farming Ideas
1. Neighborhood Market Updates
Sending a monthly or quarterly comparative market analysis (CMA) of the community to its members not only shows that you stay aware of the neighborhood’s sales activity, it provides residents with something of value that they will look forward to receiving regularly.
2. Just Listed & Just Sold Flyers
Whether distributed by foot directly to door steps or sent in the mail, flyers that market your new listings in the neighborhood as Just Listed or Sold are critical to evidencing your success to other residents. Remember that frequency of contacts is the key to farming success, so additional flyers for Coming Soon, Price Reduced, Back on Market and Open Houses just give you more ways to stay first of mind with the neighbors and show how hard you work to get homes sold.
3. Telephone Calls to Neighbors
As another means of evidencing success like the Just Listed & Just Sold flyers explained above, telephone calls to to the residents of the farm advertising your new listing as Just Listed or Just Sold typically result in more new listing appointments than any other real estate farming ideas. As with flyers, calls around the neighborhood to advertise listings as Coming Soon, Price Reduced, Back on Market and Open Houses just increase an agent’s chances of getting new listing appointments. The majority of phone numbers of residents for specific areas, even cell phone numbers, can be obtained by subscribing to companies like Cole Realty Resource. Home Owner’s Association (HOA) directories can also provide phone numbers and email addresses too. For some great scripts to use to make these phone calls check out our Just Listed & Just Sold Scripts.
4. Door Knocking
Although this traditional activity can be laborious and difficult depending on your area’s change in the seasons, there is no better way to obtain the “mind-share” of residents than by meeting them face-to-face. Door knocking does take significantly more time than telephone calls, but you can use scripts that evidence your success that are very similar to the telephone scripts described above. This way agents aren’t selling themselves door-to-door, instead they showing that they are working hard to market their listing in the neighborhood.
5. FSBOs & Expired Listings
Staying in contact with For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers and owners of expired listings is the most lucrative real estate farming idea since these residents typically have their hand up wanting to sell their home right now. Stay in continuous contact with FSBO sellers by showing how hard you work to market your listings while building relationships by helping them market their home along with your listings. Show the FSBO homes to buyers as much as you can to prove how much more buyer traffic you can generate. For expired listings, create a “hotsheet” in MLS to notify you of any listings in your neighborhood that expire each day. That way you can call them and drop off a marketing packet on their doorstep for a chance to interview for the job the first day the listing expires.
6. Open Houses
Real estate farmers know that open houses not just to attract buyers, but more importantly to meet neighbors. Owners that are thinking about selling love to check out open houses in their neighborhood prior to putting their homes up for sale, and hopefully they know that you are the area’s expert by now. So they will want to not only check out what other competition on the market looks like, but they will also want to meet and see what you do too. So holding successful open houses is critical to real estate farming specialists.
7. Email Campaigns
Whether you meet neighborhood residents over the phone, at open houses or at their front door, it is crucial to always ask for their email address to be able to “provide them with regular updates about what other homes are selling for so that you know how your home is changing or increasing in value.” Once you start creating an email database of all of the residents in the area, it becomes much cheaper and easier to systematically contact them to evidence your success. Click here for a list of customer relationship managers (CRMs) to manage your email database contacts.
8. Social Media & Facebook
Joining or creating a neighborhood Facebook page is another effective way to keep yourself in front of neighbors to show your efforts. Advertising the page on all flyers, mailers and to neighbors at open houses proves your commitment to community involvement. Post things of value on the page like CMAs, just listed & just sold links, open house invitations and other community events and information.
9. Block Parties
Once established as the neighborhood expert, hold block party events at a community pool, park or common area. These can even be held at one of your listings in conjunction with an open house. Bring in a bounce house, cook hot dogs or hamburgers on a grill, blow up balloons with a helium tank, provide face-painting and etc. to show you are giving back to the community. The key here is to market the event in advance with mailers, emails and telephone calls to again make more touches and invite everyone in the neighborhood.
10. Neighborhood Websites
Creating a website specific to the neighborhood you are farming is a great way to again show neighbors that you go above and beyond to market homes in the community. Neighborhood websites should have a URL that is specific to the neighborhood like www.ForrestRidgeEstates.com, or www.ForrestRidgeEstatesHomes if the prior is not available. This URL can be hung on sign riders below all For Sale signs and advertised on all of your marketing pieces as well. Links to the site should frequently be posted on the neighborhood Facebook page too.
The website itself can be relatively simple and low maintenance. It should include and IDX feed to your local multiple listing service (MLS) with criteria pre-set to pull up all active listings for the neighborhood when prospective buyers search for homes for sale. The website might also feature a video and photos of the neighborhood and local amenities like nearby shopping centers, schools, parks, trails and etc. Nothing impresses neighbors more than a Buyers Waiting List button on the site that collects the contact information of would-be purchasers waiting for a home in the neighborhood that meets their criteria to come up for sale. Remember the key here is not the content of the site, but the fact that you have one. So it is more important to market the existence of the site to the community than it is to build a complex site with all of the bells and whistles. A cheap and low maintenance farming website can be set up by any number of website design companies like BrandCo for around $500 or so.