SEARCHING FOR MORE LISTINGS?
Build your own real estate farm in a few easy steps!
It’s no secret that inventory is down across the market right now, and the pressure to find new listings has never been greater. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time building out a real estate farming area, or you’re returning to it after reading our previous blog post, this step-by-step guide will help you develop a thriving local area for real estate.
Real estate farming is one the best things you can do for your business, and a fantastic way to prospect for new clients. Here’s how you do it:
step 1: finding the right neighborhood
Being able to develop a successful farming area depends on the neighborhood you’re working in. If you have the option to be able to choose your next farming area, you should base your decision on two criteria: Firstly, you need to find out if there is already a well-established agent in that area, and secondly you should do some digging to see if there are enough past or potential sales in that area for it to be worth your while.
If more than a quarter of the properties listed in your prospective farming area have been handled by one agent over the past year, then you can be quite sure this neighborhood already has a dominant agent.
RE/MAX Agents are never afraid of a little competition and collaborating with other agents (even outside the RE/MAX network) is the lifeblood of many of our offices, but the effort you will spend trying to gain market share in that neighborhood will likely not be worth the yield. What you’re looking for is an area where no one agent has more than 15% of the listings in the past year. Now that’s a market full of opportunity.
STEP 2: BE THE LOCAL EXPERT
A strong marketing plan in your new farming area that uses a mix of offline techniques and paid social media advertising, should result in listing appointment or at least positive conversations about real estate with the locals. Now is the time to set yourself apart from the other real estate agents in the area and really show you have local knowledge. Spend time getting to know your farming area; where are the best places to eat, how far away is the local park, are there any sports teams or what are the schools like? These are all things you should know automatically.
On top of that, your new potential customers are going to expect you to know exactly what is happening in the local real estate market at any time day or night. Some key facts to have ready could be:
- Historically, what have the homes in your farming area sold for in the past few years?
- What is the average time on market for properties in your farming area?
- What kinds of homes are currently for sale in your area?
- Are people mostly moving into the area or out of it?
- Have there been any changes in resident demographics such as younger people or families?
Making a first impression, by definition, is a one-time opportunity. Make sure you are the one-stop-shop for information on properties in the neighborhood. This will make all the difference when a potential customer calls to discuss buying or selling in your area.
STEP 3: GENERATE A SOLID PROSPECTING STRATEGY WITH ONLINE AT ITS CENTER
Especially if you’re new to your farming area, turning your attention to your online activities will be key in getting a foothold in the market and getting your name in front of potential customers. Make sure that the content you post across your social media channels is relevant to your local audience and delivered in a way which is true to your voice. You want to leave your new customers with impression that you understand their neighborhood and they can imagine themselves working with you.
Break your online content plan down into three main pillars: local area advice, new listings and real estate updates, and past client testimonials. Using video in your online content strategy is critical, no matter how shy you feel about being on camera. Your customers need to see and/or hear you in order to trust you.
Don’t focus too much on building your follower number. The most important thing you can do is start putting a little budget behind the content you feel most represents you as Facebook Ads. Learn more about how to get started with Facebook Ads for real estate here.
STEP 4: START NEW CONVERSATIONS AND ENGAGE IN CIRCLE PROSPECTING
The number of daily conversations you have about real estate, either online or in person, with your new potential pool of clients is critical to your success. If it is possible in your area, make sure you take a daily walk around the local businesses and make sure you remember details about the people who work there and their services. Being able to recommend tradesmen or a good place to get ice cream will go a long way in winning a client’s trust.
Get creative with your prospecting techniques and cluster your efforts around a known listing – even better if it is one of your own existing listings. Circle prospecting is a surprisingly simple technique that can generate a huge number of new conversations and introduce you to a wealth of leads outside of your sphere of influence.
Locate a property, or choose one of your own listings, that has recently seen some kind of activity such as an open house, recently listed or received viewings. Reach out to ten people living around that property, or in the same apartment building, and ask them if they would be interested in knowing how much this property, similar to their own, is worth. Ask them if they have any buyers for the property, and close by asking them if they would consider selling their own property in the near future.
Being able to generate listings is the most important skill a real estate agent can learn, and by creating a viable farming area you will have a regular supply. Take action on the steps above and see how it will positively affect your business in times of low inventory.