Real estate farming is an effective lead generation strategy for every real estate agent. But how exactly does it work, and how can you create a successful farming strategy?
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about real estate farming, including what it is and how to get started using this lead generation technique.
What is Real Estate Farming?
Real estate farming is a lead generation strategy that involves a real estate agent targeting a specific neighborhood or area within their market. This strategy is also known as geographic farming.
The goal of this strategy is to keep you top of mind in the particular neighborhood you choose.
As the name implies, real estate farming is much like actual farming. You’re planting seeds in order to reap the benefits in the future.
In this case, the seeds represent your relationship with the homeowners in this area. When you do your best to strengthen those relationships over time through communicating and engaging with the community, you are positioning yourself to be top of mind for these homeowners.
Even if these homeowners aren’t currently selling their homes, your name will be the first one they think of when the time to sell comes in the future.
In addition, by focusing your marketing efforts in one local area first, you’ll be able to completely capture that market before moving on to the next one.
Benefits of Real Estate Farming
When you specialize in a small number of these areas, you’ll have a constant stream of leads and referrals you’ll be able to work with now and in the future. You’ll also steadily grow your reputation so that you can start to stand apart from your competition.
Real estate farming is one of the best methods of generating leads. By maintaining a hyper-local focus, you’ll be able to position yourself as the authority in that area.
Also, you’ll be able to create a more streamlined marketing strategy rather than working too broadly.
When you tailor your message to a specific group, it has a much better chance of resonating with your audience. The message will come across as more personal. As a result, people will be able to relate to you more easily.
On the other hand, it’s harder to stay personal when you’re trying to reach the most amount of people possible.
Choosing Your Target Area
Before you begin your farming strategy, you have to choose what target area you will work in. With this strategy, it’s better to work with as narrow of an audience as possible. The exact size will depend on your budget and goals.
However, a good guideline to keep in mind is that your chosen geographic area should have no more than 500 homes. If you’re a brand new real estate agent, you might want an even smaller farm area at first.
Do Your Research
To choose your target audience, you first need to consider where your money will be the most well spent. For example, you might want to target a specific age demographic or income level within your chosen neighborhood.
Instead of just picking a certain subdivision, consider the current homeowners who live there and whether or not they would respond well to your marketing. So if you’re looking to target first-time home buyers, you’ll need to move to a farm area that is typically more popular with that group.
If your goal is to work with a specific income level, then you’ll need to research what neighborhoods have homeowners in that income bracket.
Some factors to consider when choosing your real estate farm area you want to target are:
- Local amenities in the neighborhood
- Desirability of the area
- Your own excitement and knowledge of the area
- The neighborhood’s boundaries
- Number of homes in the area
- Competition from other agents
- Turnover rate in the neighborhood
- Average sales price of homes
Demographic factors you should keep in mind when deciding on a target audience are:
- Income level
- Average age
- Nearby employers
- Nearby schools and their ratings
- Transportation options in the area
- Types of homes in the area
In addition, consider your current level of brand awareness and authority in the area. Are people already somewhat familiar with your name? Or are you starting completely from scratch? This will determine how much work you’ll have to put in to farm the area successfully.
Also, it’s a good idea to choose a real estate farm area close to your own home. This way, you will have first-hand knowledge of the area and will be better able to grow your relationship with the community.
How To Create a Real Estate Farming Strategy
A successful real estate farming strategy involves both physical and online marketing efforts.
First, a great way to start getting some influence in a geographic area is by creating home search websites and getting them to rank high in search engines.
You can create a simple home search website or use your own website to post engaging, SEO-optimized content related to your farm area.
For example, you can write blog posts centered around popular keyword searches about your area. These posts will draw in organic traffic over time from potential clients specifically interested in your area. In addition, this content will position you as a neighborhood expert in your market and increase brand awareness.
If you decide to create a home search website, you can create one for each real estate farming area you want to target.
Direct Mail and In-Person Marketing
Sending direct mail and other physical marketing material on a monthly basis works especially well with geographic farming because you’re focusing on a small, targeted area. This includes postcards, door hangers, and brochures.
Use handouts like postcards to spread information about new listings in the area, open houses, price reductions, and other news in the local housing market.
You should especially be sure to send out postcards with this type of information to the 50 homes closest to a new listing or recently sold properties in the geographic farm area.
Direct mail works great when paired with an online strategy. This is because your brand awareness will increase as people see your name in multiple places both on and offline.
For example, if you see traffic on your website is coming from a particular area, you can follow up by sending direct mail postcards to that area. This will help spread your name and keep you top of mind.
Similar to direct mail, door knocking is another valuable strategy for real estate farming. Door knocking is a great opportunity to perfect your sales pitch, introduce yourself personally to the community, and spread brand awareness.
You can also host real estate-themed events to support members of your community, such as seminars for first-time homebuyers. Or, you can just host informal events like barbecues, movie nights, food drives, or school fundraising events. This will keep you top of mind with your community and position yourself as a central figure in the community.
Events are one of the best ways to generate leads through real estate farming. This is because you’re interacting face to face with your community and forming relationships with your neighbors. Events that give back to the community also show that you actively care about the people there, and you’re not just a real estate agent looking to close deals.
Emails can also be used to attract leads in your geographic farming area and move them into your CRM database. Also, email is a good way to move people further down your customer funnel after they’ve received your direct mail and agreed to join your email list.
Encourage people to sign up to join your email list in exchange for a quarterly report with updates about the housing market in your chosen geographic farming area. This will keep you top of mind and keep your audience informed about the market until the point when they’re ready to sell their home.
Lastly, you can use paid ads and social media to generate leads in your real estate farming area. In particular, Facebook has great tools for targeting specific geographic regions.
For example, you can set up a Facebook retargeting ad campaign. A retargeting ad campaign can be used to create a customer funnel from your website to the lead’s Facebook account. This will help you focus on targeting and capturing the potential clients who show the most interest in your content. You can also set up regular paid ads to reach people in your geographic area.
Another way to utilize social media is to share content that encourages your audience to engage with you. Post informative content about the housing market in your area, upcoming events, and local news.
You can also set up a Facebook group specifically for your real estate farming neighborhood. Use this group as a place where you can answer peoples’ questions and engage with them in discussions.
Overall, Facebook for real estate agents is the best method for real estate farming, interacting with your audience, and increasing your engagement rates.
But whatever farming strategies you choose to use, you have to be sure you stay consistent. Real estate farming is a long-term game. You likely won’t see results right away, or even after a couple of weeks or months.
Focus on keeping your messaging and content consistent and strengthening your relationships with people. Over time, you’ll see your efforts pay off as more people eventually reach out to you to buy or sell a home, or give you referrals.
In general, it’s a good idea to post web and social media content at least once a week. For mailing postcards or passing out door hangers, you should aim for about once a month.
Final Thoughts on Real Estate Farming
Real estate farming is a lead generation strategy that every real estate agent should utilize if they want a steady source of leads. By focusing your efforts on a smaller area, you’ll be able to completely capture one area before moving to another.
This will help grow your reputation as a successful real estate agent, position you as a go-to resource in your area, and compete with other agents in the same city.
Have you tried real estate farming before? If so, how did it grow your real estate business? Let me know in the comments below!
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