Real estate farming is an invaluable tool that can be used by agents to find an area in which they can localize their expertise. Instead of having to compete with other real estate agents across the state or region, farming allows an individual agent to choose an area that best appeals to them. This way, they can focus on marketing to a targeted audience while creating a smaller pool of competition.
Marketing can be intimidating to approach because of the large number of strategies that you can use, making it difficult to know how to start. If you are a real estate agent looking into farming techniques to optimize your exposure and draw in potential clients, where should you begin?
Below are 18 unique real estate farming ideas to help get your name out to potential clients and build your reputation in a specific market.
1. Leverage a Professional Photographer
As we live in the digital age, quality photographs on a property listing can make or break its level of success. Therefore, having great property photos is an absolute must. To succeed here, you have two options.
One of the best guarantees to create a quality property listing is to hire a qualified professional photographer. It’s essential to do your research to find the best photographer for you. Be sure to look up professionals who have experience in architectural/interior photography.
When you hire a photographer, you should keep in mind that when someone else takes pictures of a property, they will still own the rights to the media. That means that you may have to pay extra expenses to legally be able to use their photos on your listing. However, in this instance, it’s a good idea to pay for quality.
What does photography have to do with real estate farming? When you have access to high-quality photos of homes within your real estate farm, you can leverage those photos on your social media pages (more on that shortly), and other marketing materials. Making this small investment will go along way in establishing yourself as the expert.
2. Set up a social media presence
Another great way to connect with your target community is to grow and maintain a presence on social media. When a prospective seller is thinking about putting their home on the market, they are most likely going to use Google to find a local expert near them. And, if an agent has a social media presence, they are going to screen their social media pages.
This is your time to shine. Social media platforms where you can share pictures, videos, and captions like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great for showcasing your knowledge of the area potential clients. The location-based algorithm that these sites use can help you connect with members of your target community as well.
Uploading pictures is only a part of maintaining an online presence. In addition, you can interact with other users in your community and share relevant media uploads to promote your profile and catch the attention of members that may be looking for a real estate agent.
3. Pop-By Gifts
Pop-by gifts are a great way to show your appreciation to real estate farming clients. It is an effective method of networking and provides their customers with a tangible reminder of their services.
Pop-by gift ideas can range from simple trinkets, such as personalized mugs or keychains, to more luxurious items like gift cards or bottles of wine. These low-cost tokens can create stronger relationships with your clients and help you stand out in the market.
Plus, showing gratefulness towards past clients is a surefire way to encourage loyalty and referrals down the line!
4. Update Clients with Mobile Messaging
One of the fastest ways to connect with others using a mobile device is text messaging. On average, once a text is sent, it is open and read within three minutes. You can use this to your advantage by creating a text list through which you can share new and sold listings, update and remind leads about upcoming appointments, announce open houses, and more.
A text list is similar to an email list, where clients subscribe to receive information about your services. Creating a text list is by far one of the most beneficial ways to keep in touch with your customers and advertise new property listings.
People typically spend a lot of time on their phones. This is a great way to ensure that clients have all of the up-to-date information on your listings and events.
5. Send Postcards
One of the first things that you should focus on when farming a neighborhood is getting your name out to the public. People won’t work with you if they don’t know who you are or what you can provide.
Sending out real estate postcards to potential clients is an excellent way to achieve this. Depending on the goals of your campaign, your postcards may showcase a current listing, a recently sold home, or introduce yourself as the local real estate expert. Be sure to include your contact information and any other important selling points of the area or listing in question.
6. Participate in Neighborhood Events
Attending and participating in neighborhood events is another great way for people in the community to meet you and for you to establish a reputation. While you connect with potential clients, you can also perform basic market research at the same time.
A simple way to find out about events in your area of interest is to do a quick Google search. You can find public events at local libraries, parks, and churches to attend as a vendor, guest speaker, or just as an attendee.
Here, you can ask locals about their interest in certain properties, their timeline towards selling a property, and what their future plans are. You can also learn more about the demographic of the area, or simply just get to know people. A day in the life of a real estate agent is usually revolved around phone calls and home showings, so taking the time to meet people on a more personal level is incredibly helpful.
Neighborhood events are a great opportunity to hand out business cards or speak about your life as a real estate agent. When people interact with a potential agent face-to-face rather than online, they might be more likely to work with you in the future based on your first impression.
7. Create a Virtual Tour
Most clients in real estate want as little of a hassle as possible when looking through potential properties. One of the tedious bits of work that people want to avoid is having to schedule a tour and take time out of their day to visit properties. Creating a virtual tour to include in your listing is a great way to show off your property while remaining convenient for clients.
A simple video of a property walk-through is an easy way to give clients an accurate look at what both the interior and exterior of the property look like and give an idea of the overall condition. Video walkthroughs can also be a great way to increase your credibility.
Most clients are aware that image editing can make a house or apartment seem more well-kept or more spacious than it is. Providing a video tour can ease that worry in clients’ minds and keep them coming back to your listings.
Remember that a client’s time is precious and that they don’t want to spend more time looking at properties than they need to. A quick two-minute walkthrough of the property should suffice; don’t make it too long!
8. Mail Greeting Cards
Whether it’s during the holidays, a birthday, or just a simple Valentine’s Day card, Greeting Cards add a personal touch to your farming efforts.
Greeting cards are a great way to stay connected with potential customers and show them that you care. In the world of real estate farming, greeting cards can play an important role in both building relationships and providing an extra touch to otherwise cold transactions.
Not only can greeting cards help to remind current and past customers about an agent’s services, but also show appreciation for their business. By using customized and heartfelt messages along with vibrant designs, agents can personally relate to each customer and establish a closer relationship than ever before.
9. Sponsor a Local Event
Sponsoring a local event or sports team is a fantastic way to get your name and business logo out into the community. Most real estate sales happen in the spring and summer, so the warmer months of the year are an ideal time to set up a sponsorship, especially with a large number of sports games and outdoor events that take place.
When you sponsor a team or event, everyone in attendance is going to come across your name and business. Even better is when these events are advertised online, which can reward you with even more exposure to the local community.
Community involvement is also a huge plus. Some communities consist of a tight-knit group of individuals that value their local sports teams and events. Sponsoring said events is a great way to show locals that you want to be involved and build a great relationship with the people that you’ll likely be seeing around.
10. Use a location-specific Google Business Account
The biggest aspect of geo farming is location, which is why it is vital to connect your online presence to a specific location. Setting up a Google business account connected to your target location will provide that information to clients when they search for you online.
When your account is connected to a specific region or neighborhood, all of the relevant information will appear online. People can see where your office is located, your current property listings, and how to get in contact with you.
11. Establish a Newsletter via Email
Like text lists, email lists are a great resource to keep potential clients up to date with information on listings, open houses, and more. Email marketing is an extremely popular strategy to connect with past and future clients.
One way to communicate news and offers to email subscribers is by drafting and sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter. This is better than sending out individual updates because subscribers will receive all of the relevant information in one email.
Do keep in mind that since you are targeting a specific demographic within a specific location, your newsletter should be tailored toward your audience. You can include information on local events and news to help build your relationship with the community.
12. Run Targeted Facebook Ads
Facebook currently holds the highest user base of any social media platform. An objectively large audience combined with a platform ideal for business and advertising creates the perfect place to run ads.
One of the most important aspects of marketing is reaching as many people as possible to draw in as many potential clients as you can. Facebook ads are essential, as you will reach more people that you might not have been able to advertise to in person.
When creating ads to run on Facebook, you can easily change the targeted location to the area that you want to farm in. This way, your ads will be shown to your target audience, exposing you to potential buyers in your farming area.
13. Localize Website SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a relatively new but incredibly useful tool when it comes to marketing. Utilizing SEO to reach your target location will help your website show up as the first for anyone Googling real estate agents to work within the area that you’re farming.
Incorporating as many keywords as possible will help your website become more visible to Internet users. You can use free programs such as Google Keyword Planner to help you find the best keywords to implement into your media.
One word of caution: SEO can vary in difficulty and cost depending on your specific market, so always consult with an expert before making the investment.
14. Partner with local businesses
Like sponsoring local events and sports teams, partnering with local businesses can not only increase your exposure in the community, but it can also help you establish a relationship with the members of that community as well. Local businesses will always have a connection to the residents, and it’s a great idea to advertise somewhere where there will always be a flow of people to see it.
Partnering with local businesses can be beneficial on both ends. For example, if you partner with a local roofing company, a mortgage lender, a home services provider, and a painter, you have added to their referral network and vice versa.
15. Door Knocking
Door knocking as a real estate farming strategy can be an incredibly effective way to build relationships in the local area. If done correctly and with determination, it gives agents an opportunity to increase their networking and generate leads for their business.
While it may not be the preferred method of generating leads, where are prospective clients who really do appreciate knowledgeable professionals who take the initiative to knock on doors and introduce themselves, demonstrating their commitment to the community.
Door knocking also lets agents gain direct feedback from homeowners about market trends, pricing strategies, offers, and more that can be used to enhance overall customer satisfaction when working with them.
Ultimately, door knocking gives real estate agents a platform to build meaningful connections within the locality that can help them achieve business objectives in both the short-term and long-term.
16. Choose a Niche
Choosing a certain area to farm in means choosing to sell to that particular demographic. This opens up the potential of using niches in the community to your advantage. Specifically advertising to a niche within the community can help you as a real estate agent stand out.
Maybe the community you’ve chosen has a dog park? You could make a point to emphasize your love of dogs and focus your time on helping the community within that space.
What if your community is a college town? You could market yourself as a young professional, providing some fun restaurants and bars that are frequented among college students in the community resource section of your website.
There are tons of ways to successfully market to very specific groups of people. The important step to remember is to do your basic market research. Finding information about the people you’re selling to is a great step towards generating interest in your name and business.
17. Start a Blog on Your Real Estate Website
There are many successful real estate agents that use a blog to create relationships with potential customers in their targeted area. By showing off your expertise and promoting the unique benefits that come with buying or selling property in a certain region or neighborhood, you can establish yourself as an expert in the local market and generate leads from it.
Furthermore, regularly updating your blog gives investors and customers new insights into what’s happening in your market and reasons to work with you. Ultimately, blogging is a great way to establish trust that will help increase repeat business and build referral opportunities – key components of any successful real estate farm.
18. Local Newspaper Features
Despite being considered a dead medium by most millennials, there is still a generation that enjoys reading a physical newspaper. You can partner with these local newspapers and provide real estate resources and information to those who may not know a lot about the industry.
Doing this can make a huge impact on your business and potential leads. Communities will receive information directly from you, a real estate professional, which builds up your credibility making people in the market more likely to trust you enough to do business with you.
You can also provide your contact information in the newspaper. This makes it way easier for people who are interested in your writing or services to contact you. They can get your information directly from the newspaper, rather than having to find your information online. Clients are more likely to contact you if you make it easy for them.
There are no “correct” farming techniques to begin with. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll know that your marketing is working when you begin to grow and maintain a clientele.
There are tons of possible strategies that you can use to successfully farm a neighborhood of your choosing. Keep in mind, however, that more doesn’t always mean better. Pick two or three strategies that you think would work best for your market. From there, you can slowly start integrating other farming techniques once you’ve gotten the hang of the strategies that you started with.
Just like actual farming, real estate farming takes time and effort to plant and nurture your “seeds” or listings to grow a product that you can sell. It’s hard work, but with consistency and 110% effort, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your farm.
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