Constantly, we are fielding emails and articles about technology and real estate and all the things we should be doing to promote our listings and ourselves as Realtors. So much of it is beneficial but it’s support to traditional real estate and the practices that have worked for 50 years. People talk about Back to Basics a lot these days and I find that one of the most important basic principles in real estate is neighborhood farming.
Neighborhood farming is marketing to a particular neighborhood/area to gain a market share of listings. There are so many good things that come from this practice;
- Having several real estate signs in one area creates name recognition.
- It can give you the title of neighborhood expert to Buyers, Sellers and to other Realtors and appraisers who may have a buyer looking in the area and call you to see what you have coming available.
- Having a farm area is a better way to manage your time. You can service your listings and not drive across town.
- Have a mailing list created that is ready to print and go.
- People call you to list their homes without having met you before but they know you are the Realtor for the area.
- Open Houses can be an event holding several open at one time and generating more traffic for your Seller, you and the neighborhood!
There are many ways to get started. First you must pick an area and get a plan of how you are going to contact the homeowners/get your name out there. Consistency is key. Content is the next important thing. You should start by doing something at least once a quarter but sometimes every other month is necessary. When you get your first listing, work it as much as possible with an open house, just listed cards, great signage and make that Seller a raving fan. Once you get the house under contract, put a sold sign up immediately.
Most important, farming is creating a small community where you are the expert in the area and people come to you. You must be honest, professional, trustworthy and show results. If you want return business from this group, it is the only way to do it!
We chose our neighborhood as our farming area. It has been wonderful for us because we get to be involved in the community through volunteering and also sell the homes we love and believe in. In the three years we have been farming, last year was the year that we captured the market share and January’s postcard that was mailed stated that we were the “Top Selling Realtors” for the area for 2010. Our listing interviews have drastically increased and it’s only getting better. Now it’s up to us to keep them happy and get the homes sold!
-Heather & Alan Davis