When was the last time you invested in traditional real estate farming (fliers, postcards, bench ads, etc.) but didn’t get the results you hoped for? These “market and wait” approaches will work to generate some listings, but implementing more proactive farming tactics will help you generate the leads (and income) you desire. This guide unravels the secrets of real estate farming to help you dominate the market and take control of  your business.  

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7 Farming Secrets To Become The Ultimate Geographic Prospector

Secret 1. Start With A Conversation
Secret 2. The Right Time For Farming
Secret 3. “Land and Expand” in Hot Markets
Secret 4. Keeping The Seller Promise
Secret 5. “Micro Farming” For An Open House
Secret 6. From Just Listed to Just Sold
Secret 7. Use The Right Tools

Secret 1. Start With A Conversation

Geographic and demographic prospecting (aka “farming”) is when you focus the bulk of your marketing efforts on a specific area or type of client.

If you’ve ever farmed before, you’ve probably stuck to traditional marketing techniques such as postcards, fliers, market reports, or even emails and targeted Facebook ads. These marketing efforts will generate some business, but they won’t provide you with consistent listings, leaving you wondering when (and if) you’ll see your next paycheck.

And to make things even trickier, most homeowners in “hot markets” receive these same marketing materials from every agent who’s interested in their neighborhood. So how can you set yourself apart from the competition and create a solid farming strategy that actually works?

The answer is simple: have quality conversations. Think about it. Who would you choose to help sell your home? Some random agent on a flier, or the one who takes the time to knock on your door or call you directly to introduce themselves? Whether it’s over the phone, at an open house, or face-to-face on a doorstep, being the agent with a strong voice will set you apart from all the other “ad” agents.

Secret 2. The Right Time For Farming

It’s time to fit your farming strategy into your (already) busy schedule. How you break up your day and optimize your lead stack is essential to maximizing your day and your prospecting sessions.

Here’s how top prospectors who profit from farming organize their daily routines:

• 5:00 – 7:30am — Morning routine: Gym, shower, breakfast, get to the office
• 7:30 – 8:00am — Prospecting warm-up: Journal, meditate, roleplay, import new leads
• 8:00 – 12:00pm — Prospect: New expireds and FSBOs and other “hot” leads
• 12:00 – 1:00pm — Lunch
• 1:00 – 3:00pm — Lead follow-up and more prospecting
• 3:00 – 5:00pm (or even later) — Farming time: Knock doors, organize open houses, call JL/JS (Just Listed/Just Sold)

The specific times and lead types for your own schedule will vary depending on your market, but dedicating 2-3 hours a day to farming will allow you to make new connections, build neighborhood rapport, and market your current listings to different areas.

Secret 3. “Land and Expand” in Hot Markets

With more time dedicated to farming, you’ll have more opportunities to test out a variety of techniques. One that you can do right from your office is called “Land and Expand.”

Start by searching for neighborhoods with a high turnover rate (number of homes listed to number of homes sold in the past three months), then use geographic prospecting software to drop a pin in the center of that neighborhood and call the closest 100-250 neighbors following this script:

“Hello! I’m [YOUR NAME], a local real estate agent with [YOUR BROKERAGE.] I’m calling because there has been a high turnover rate for homes in your area in the last 90 days. I sell homes [FASTER, FOR MORE MONEY, WITH LESS HEADACHE, ETC.] than [X%] of agents in this area.
Do you know anyone looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days? Or are
you looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days?”

This simple farming script gets right to the point of, “Are you ready to sell?” and positions you as the proactive agent. In these conversations, you’ll also get a feeling for how “hot” the neighborhood actually is while practicing your scripts and building your conversation skills (like every agent should).

Secret 4. Keeping the Seller Promise

Although farming is an amazing way to find and take new listings, it’s also a great way to boost local attention and interest in your current listings. Isn’t that what sellers pay you for? To fulfill your promise as their agent by selling their property? It’s Real Estate 101. Don’t let listings slip through the cracks in the search for new business.

So if you’re trying to sell a property that’s been on the market for over 30 days, drop a pin and call the closest 250 neighbors to the property using this script:

“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME], a local real estate agent. I’m calling about a property I’ve listed [DOWN THE STREET/AROUND THE CORNER/JUST WEST OF YOU/ETC.] I’m working hard to get that property sold for my clients.
Are you aware of anyone who might be interested in moving into the area?”

As the conversation takes off, get more specific and see if they (or anyone they know) are looking to buy in the next 30-45 days. This not only works to help sell your current listings, but boosts your reputation as a well-established agent who knows the neighborhood and works hard to keep your sales promises.

Secret 5. “Micro Farming” For An Open House

Are you planning an open house for a new listing, but are unsure of how to best promote it? One way to create attention for your new listings is through what top prospector, Edward Estrada, calls “Micro Farming.”

Start by dropping a pin on the listing. Search the area immediately around the pin (about a one-mile radius) and follow this farming schedule to promote your open house dates:

Day 1: The day you take the listing, post a sign on the property to advertise the open house, then knock five doors to either side of the listing to get the neighborhood excited about the new listing on their street.
Day 2: The day after you take the listing, call the nearest 100 neighbors and invite them to the open house. Mention that you (the agent) will be there to show the house and answer any questions.
Days 3-4: Call every home within a one-mile radius to your listing and invite them to the open house. Mention that you (the agent) will be there to show the house and answer any questions.
Day 5: Call back any remaining neighbors you haven’t yet connected with, and finalize any traditional marketing materials for the open house such as fliers, yard signs, or local online ads. Make sure the house is ready to show.
Day 6-7: The open house! This should take place over a weekend, preferably the one nearest to when you took the listing. If it suits the neighborhood, hold an open house on Saturday and Sunday to maximize traffic.

Show off your listing! Following a “Micro Farming” schedule like this one shows the neighborhood that there’s a professional agent nearby who can help them navigate their next home-buying journey.

Secret 6. From Just Listed to Just Sold

Advertising “Just Listed” properties allows you to keep your promise to the seller, but what should you do when you close a sale? Easy! Do what all great farming agents do and let the neighbors know. This “Just Sold” strategy will help you land and expand in neighborhoods that you’ve made “hot” (with all the proof you need to back it up).

After you close a sale, gather statistics on how fast and how well you were able to sell the listing, then call the closest 100-200 neighbors and let them know. Like a “Just Listed” farming campaign, ask if they, or anyone they know, are looking to buy or sell in the next 30-45 days, and use your recent sale as proof that you’re the agent they ought to list with.

This “Just Sold” farming practice will demonstrate the neighborhood’s selling potential while positioning you as the most qualified agent for the job. In time, you’ll be able to repeat this pattern from “Just Listed” to “Just Sold” and create a self-sustaining cycle of contacts, leads, listings, and sales.

Secret 7. Use The Right Tools

You’ve got the techniques and tactics, now all you need are the tools. If you’ve got the time, the easiest (and cheapest) tools at your disposal are your own feet! Pick any neighborhood, hit the pavement, and get to knocking. It’s free, effective, and will immediately put you in front of homeowners for quality conversations.

For a quicker approach, use software to get phone numbers and start calling from the comfort of your office with GeoLeads™. This lead type allows you to drop a pin on a recently listed or sold home and instantly get surrounding addresses and phone numbers.

With just a few clicks, you’re on the phone with real people, filling up your prospecting pipeline and setting new listing appointments. Without these tools, prospecting is going to take longer and seem more stressful than it should be. The choice is yours, but if you want to prospect smarter, choose the tools that will help get you there.

Time to Stand Out

One common theme among all these farming techniques is building your sphere of influence. Real estate farming is about putting yourself out there in a memorable way so that you’re the first agent homeowners think of when they want to buy or sell a home. It’s the way to become the local expert and get more listings.

So as you start to ramp up your farming campaign with the strategies you’ve just read, remember that relationships, rapport, and repetition are the keys to success for geographic prospecting.

About REDX

REDX offers real estate professionals a complete all-in-one prospecting platform for generating listing appointments. The platform includes seller leads, a dialer with up to three lines, and a lead management tool that makes follow up simple. Call (800) 731-7339 option 1 to learn more about prospecting FSBOs, Expireds, FRBOs, Pre Foreclosures, GeoLeads, and our Storm Multiline Dialer or visit www.theredx.com