February 9, 2017
Buying & Selling Tips

Real Estate Farming

As the saying goes, “You reap what you sow.” This is very true in the real estate industry. As there continues to be lower levels of inventory, farming is becoming an essential part of an agent’s marketing plan to gain leads in a competitive market.

What is a FARM?
FARM stands for Focus Area Research Marketing. It is a way to segment a specific area in which you grow your business, your reputation and your connection to a specific farm.

Geographic farms
Most frequently requested farms are geographic farms where you solicit a specific neighborhood for business. As a real estate agent, you want to establish yourself as an expert in your farmed area and develop relationships with the residents of that specific area.

How to identify a FARM
If you are a new agent, you may want to start with the neighborhood that you currently live in as a start since you are familiar with the surroundings. There are many other things you should consider when picking an area to farm.

Turnover rate of the Community: A turnover rate is the number of homes sold per year in a neighborhood. You calculate this percentage by dividing the number of sales in the last 12 months by the number of homes in the area. You typically want to see 5% turnover rate or higher.

Length of residence: Look to see how long residents live in your FARM area. Typically, most homeowners relocated every five to seven years. It is also a great way to find homeowners that may have higher equity in their homes if they have owned it for longer periods of time.

Competition: Look to see who is selling in your FARM area and how many homes they have sold.

Current trends: Are prices going up or down in your FARM area? How long are homes on the market? This will show you how difficult or easy it may be to market to this area.

Renters vs. owners: Is this area filled with renters? This may be a great opportunity to market to first-time homebuyers or homeowners looking to sell.

Demographics: What is the age range of the community? What are their interests, income levels, etc.? This will give you a better idea of the typical homeowner in this specific area.

Research: Visit the area and door knock to get a better feel for the neighborhood. Also look into local businesses you can partner with on marketing pieces or advertising opportunities including local papers, sponsorships and community events.

Now that you have researched and picked out your FARM area, you will want to develop a plan of action on how you will contact this area to generate business.

Some ideas include:

  • Develop a newsletter for the community in both digital and print formats.
  • Find local vendors that service garage doors, landscaping, deck repair, bug and rodent removal, roof repair, etc. Become the local referral expert for home repairs.
  • Develop a monthly postcard campaign. Don’t be generic- be timely and considerate of the wants and needs of your specific
  • FARM area when considering which cards to use. Visit www.landtitlemarketingsolutions.com for ideas for your next campaign.
  • Giveaway items: Calendars, sports schedules, notepads, etc.
  • Find local activities to sponsor: fundraising, school activities, senior meal delivery.
  • Work with a local business who is willing to offer a discount on an item for you to advertise in your newsletter or monthly postcard.
  • Develop a Home Buyer’s or Home Seller’s Seminar and hold it at your local library or recreation center.

The main objective is to be consistent so that your name stays top-of-mind when the consumer is thinking of buying or selling a home.

Contact a Land Title Sales Representative for more information on how to begin your FARM search and develop tools to market to your sphere. The hope is that the fruits of your labor will proper into leads, referrals and a good reputation in your community.